Trip Report: Intercontinental London – The O2

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Introduction
Oneworld Business Class Lounge Los Angeles
British Airways A380 Business Class Los Angeles to London Heathrow
Intercontinental London O2
Holiday Inn Express Bath
Holiday Inn Royal Lemington Spa
Holiday Inn Express Shrewsbury
Lancaster Hotel (Brunnel University)
A Week in England: London, Greenwich, Bath, the Cotswolds, and Shropshire
Visiting an Airplane Graveyard
American Airlines Admirals Club London Heathrow
American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class London Heathrow to Los Angele

When we arrived at LHR, we hopped on the Piccadilly line to get ourselves into downtown London. It’s a 40 minute ride from there to Green Park station, where we changed trains for the Jubilee line out to North Greenwich station. You gotta love having public transit that can get you from the airport to steps away from your hotel (or any other location in the city)… something which is unheard of in the US.

To get to the hotel, your best option (IMHO) would be to buy a Transport for London Oyster Card (a card you can get for a very low price and use to pay for subway tickets until it runs out of credit) and ride to London Tube subway. All of Heathrow’s in city airports, Heathrow, Gatwick, and City, have subway stops (London Stansted and London Luton don’t), making getting to the city very easy and achievable in under an hour. You can then use the card to take the Tube around London if you want to explore the city, thereby killing two birds with one stone (no birds were harmed in the making of this sentence).

We arrived at the North Greenwich station as the sun was starting to set. I was quite excited to notice that the hotel was directly under the flight line of aircraft taking of from London City airport, an airport which sees some aircraft very rare in the US (notable CityJet Avro RJ100’s, a derivative of the near-extinct BAe-146, and BA CityFlyer Saab 2000’s). On top of that, the hotel was located right beside the Thames river… talk about scenic!

The hotel gets its name from the O2 arena (which it is located next to and connected to by a series of difficult-to-find walkways), a gigantic white tent-like arena and shopping mall. Its close proximity to the O2 and the attached malls mean you have a ton of options when it comes to where to eat besides the somewhat overpriced hotel restaurants. I’ll discuss this more later.

The hotel lobby is decorated in a fairly modern style, with much of the art relating to geography (Greenwich is located on the prime meridian, something I’ll talk about more in the post about what I actually did when I was in England).

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We had reserved a standard room, but thanks to my dad’s Intercontinental Platinum Ambassador status (which he got via his IHG credit card) we got upgraded to a deluxe river-view room. I love myself a good view, so this was pretty exciting.

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The room featured only one queen bed, which was the best the hotel could do for us. Long story short,my sister and I ended up alternating sleeping on a foam pad on the floor.

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On the wall was a desk, TV, and a chair and table.

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The bathroom was decently sized and featured the standard toilet, sink, and shower (no bath).

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Why did I photograph this?

Why did I photograph this?

However, the best part of the room was the view. The almost floor-to-ceiling windows offered views of the Thames, the O2, and the Greenwich Observatory off in the distance, as well as aircraft approaching London’s various airports, though these were pretty far off (though by digitally zooming in once I took the photo I could make out aircraft types and liveries).

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Rooms either face the river or the O2, though I suspect those facing the O2 would have a great view of aircraft taking off and landing (though I don’t know this to be true).

The room was decorated in a modern, understated way, and looked like exactly the kind of room you would expect from Intercontinental: class, comfortable, and modern (but not, erm, like a room at a W…).

Intercontinental London - The O2 artwork

Intercontinental London – The O2 artwork

In terms of things to do around the hotel, there is, of course, the O2 arena, which hosts concerts and performances as well as shops and restaurants, and the Greenwich Observatory, location of the Prime Meridian, and Royal Maritime Museum just a short bus ride away. The close proximity to the subway station means that its not difficult to get anywhere in London from the hotel quickly and at a reasonable price.

In terms of things to eat, there is the hotel restaurant, which is quite pricey (as you might expect). This led us to head over to the adjacent O2 mall, where there were tons of food options for cheap, everything from Sushi restaurants to Chinese buffets to Middle Eastern food stands to a Tesco (a British supermarket that has literally everything).

During our stay, we spent a lot of time at the hotel pool, located on the ground floor. There’s also a sauna (I avoided it) and hot tub (I thought it was awesome), in addition to the attached spa and showers.

Spa desk

Spa desk

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One thing of note was that you could see aircraft taking off from LCY from these windows. Planespotting from the hot tub is awesome!

One thing of note was that you could see aircraft taking off from LCY from these windows. Planespotting from the hot tub is awesome!

And there was this inexplicable pile of ice.

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One thing to note was that there were explicitly stated pool hours for children (9 to 10:30 and 3 to 4:30), though it seemed like no one paid attention to these.

There was also a gym, with the standard equipment.

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In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed  our two-night stay at the hotel. The room was comfortable, spacious, and had a great view, the staff was friendly, and the hotel had a wonderful location close to many fun sights in London.

About the Author

Alex
I'm Alex, and I am an enthusiast in all things travel: miles and points, airplanes, airline products, and more. On this blog, you can read my take on recent travel/ commercial aviation news, trip reports, ramblings, rants, and opinions, and I'll even share some of my aviation photography from time to time. Hope you enjoy reading, and happy travels!

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