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Canopy by Hilton London City [In-depth Review]

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Daniel Ross
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Daniel Ross

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Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...
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London was the city I most recently called home before moving back to my hometown in the northeast of England.

Even after several years of living there, I still have so many areas of the city to discover. So now, when I travel to London for work or to visit friends, I like to base myself in areas of the city I’m not yet familiar with.

The area between the Aldgate and Tower Hill Tube stations to the east of London’s financial center is one of those areas. So, when I heard there was a new Canopy by Hilton hotel opening there, I jumped at the chance to experience a brand-new hotel, as well as spend time in an area of the city I had yet to experience.

The Canopy by Hilton London City is the brand’s first U.K. outpost. In fact, this Hilton brand only has 33 properties at the moment. They can be found in Brazil, China, Croatia, France, Iceland, Mexico, Spain, U.A.E., the U.S., and now the U.K.

After doing some research on the property, and given the state of our planet, I was excited to find out that it places a strong emphasis on making sustainable choices. Some of the hotel’s energy comes from solar panels on the roof, the hotel beds are made from recycled steel and wood from sustainable forests, and the building’s management system is designed to optimize the use of lighting and heating throughout the building to reduce energy waste.

Here’s what I thought of my first-ever stay at a Canopy property in no other than the brand’s debut U.K. property.

Hotel Location

Hilton’s new Canopy property is ideally located for visitors popping into the city for business meetings.

The closest Tube station is Aldgate on the Circle and Metropolitan lines, though you won’t necessarily need to take public transit — London’s financial heart is only a brisk 15- to 20-minute walk away.

The location doubles up as a handy spot for tourists, too. Being based out towards the east of London means easier access to nightlife hotspots in the buzzy neighborhood of Shoreditch. The popular tourist attractions of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London are also only a short walk from the hotel.

Canopy by Hilton London City hotel exterior
You can’t miss the hotel’s striking exterior design.

Booking

Inexpensive hotels in London, especially those in desirable locations, are few and far between.

The average room rate I managed for my 2-night stay was £223 (~$290), which is a little on the high side for this area.

Booking for Canopy by Hilton London City
My reservation breakdown at the Canopy by Hilton London City.

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Checking In

When available, I like to check in using a hotel’s app before I arrive. The night before my stay, I was able to do just that with Hilton’s app — and I was even able to select my room!

Hilton in-app check-in
Checking-in via Hilton’s app.

I was given the option of a room on the first or fifth floor.

Hilton app room selection
I’ll take the highest floor possible, please.

I assigned myself room 523, which was a standard Queen Room that I’d booked.

Hilton app room selection
After I selected my room, I was able to access a digital key.

The following day I arrived at the hotel well in advance of the 3 p.m. check-in time, but Liam at the front desk was happy to tell me that my room was ready and waiting for me.

After a few minutes of dealing with system issues, Liam checked me in and upgraded me to a Queen Premium Room thanks to my Hilton Honors Gold elite status. The more premium room would have set me back around £40 (~$52) more per night.

Canopy by Hilton London City reception staff
Smiling reception staff.

The orange bicycle at reception is a reminder to guests of the complimentary rentals available at the hotel.

Canopy by Hilton London City reception bike
The signature Canopy by Hilton bike.

Amenities

The hotel’s main amenity is its gym — an amenity that I actively seek when I’m researching where to stay.

Gym

A set of easy-to-follow signposts guided me to the fitness center in the basement of the building.

Canopy by Hilton London City fitness centre signage
Directions to the gym in the basement.

A so-called “transfer” was also located in the basement — though I’m not sure exactly what that was.

Canopy by Hilton London City basement
Downstairs on the basement level.

The gym was well-equipped with an adequate selection of cardio and resistance machines, as well as a set of dumbbells up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds).

Canopy by Hilton London City fitness centre
Cardio machines.

Towels and water were available for drying off and keeping hydrated. Extra points for the paper cups.

Canopy by Hilton London City fitness centre
Towels and water dispenser.

The changing room was clean, bright, and spacious.

Canopy by Hilton London City fitness centre changing
Male changing room.

There was also an accessible bathroom with a shower and changing area that I’ve not seen before in a hotel.

Canopy by Hilton London City basement accessible bathroom
Accessible bathroom and changing room.

COVID-19 Protocols

At the time of my visit in November of 2021, COVID-19 restrictions were still in place in London and the rest of the U.K., but mask-wearing was optional for both guests and staff.

The Room

The hotel was so new that I had the privilege of being the first guest to stay in room 915.

Canopy by Hilton London City room 915 close up
Welcome to room 915.

How do I know that? The drapes were still fixed to their rails, rendering it impossible to open them.

Canopy by Hilton London City room drapes closed
Room with the drapes fixed shut.

Opening the drapes and tying them together revealed a spectacular view of 30 St. Mary’s Axe (also known as The Gherkin because of its shape).

Canopy by Hilton London City drapes tied back
You can’t beat a room with a view.

I made a quick call to reception and 1 of the hotel’s maintenance staff was sent right up to fix the drapes for me.

Canopy by Hilton London City maintenance
Hard at work.

Even with Aldgate bus station in plain sight, I just could not get enough of the skyline views against London’s gloriously blue and wintery skies.

Canopy by Hilton London City room view
View from the room by day.

By night, the city’s bright lights were a sight to behold.

Canopy by Hilton London City room view by night
View from the room by night.

I loved that depending on where I was in the room, I saw a different slice of London out the window.

Canopy by Hilton London City room bedside view
Bedside city views.

Yes, this might be an over-curated shot with the angles but it had to be done to showcase my “office with a view.”

Canopy by Hilton London City room desk with a view
An office with a view.

I even went against my rule of not working from my bed just so I could make the most of my city views.

Canopy by Hilton London City room bed with a view
At times I preferred to work from the bed so I could look straight up and see the Gherkin.

Bedroom

My room felt like a home away from home and was more spacious than I expected for a hotel room in London.

Canopy by Hilton London City room and bathroom door
Wide-angle view of the room, including the mirrored door that slid open to the bathroom.

Canopy by Hilton London City room wide angle
Wide-angle… from a different angle.

This open storage unit had a lot of space — perfect for those staying for more than a few days with lots of luggage.

Canopy by Hilton London City room storage area
The non-enclosed wardrobe and storage area.

There was actually more storage than I knew what do to with.

Canopy by Hilton London City room storage
Storage for days.

The storage unit was home to a safe.

Canopy by Hilton London City room safe
The in-room safe.

An iron and ironing board were discreetly located at the bottom of the storage unit. I love when a hotel supplies these in the room so I don’t have to call to request one!

Canopy by Hilton London City room iron storage
Well-planned use of storage space.

Canopy by Hilton London City room ironing board
A good quality iron is everything when you’re living out of a suitcase.

A hairdryer and laundry bag were contained in a drawer.

Canopy by Hilton London City room hairdyer and laundry
More amenities are hidden away.

A minifridge was hidden away by a cabinet door.

Canopy by Hilton London City room fridge
As I often find is the case at Hilton hotels, the fridge temperature was not as cold as it should be.

A drink station, complete with a Nespresso machine and a refillable glass bottle for water, was also set out.

Canopy by Hilton London City room coffee
Refillable water, espresso pods, and tea: something for everyone.

On each floor, there was a so-called “Pantry,” where guests could fill up their water bottles and grab some ice.

Canopy by Hilton London City pantry
Each floor had a water-filling station.

A slight issue with the tap was that the bottles provided didn’t fit properly underneath, making for a rather wet pantry area on the few times I visited.

Canopy by Hilton London City pantry tap
Smaller bottles would be better.

Next to the storage unit was a work area with both a desk and floor lamp so that you could adjust the lighting to suit your needs.

Canopy by Hilton London City room coffee and desk
Hot drink station and desk area.

I used the desk each morning of my stay to get work done. It helped that the Wi-Fi was great.

Another sign of the room’s newness was that it took a bit of shoving to get the plugs in the sockets!

Canopy by Hilton London City room desk close up
The desk area.

Above the desk was a mounted 49-inch TV in a quirky display unit.

Canopy by Hilton London City room desk area
Desk and TV wall by night.

The little ornaments and art that surrounded the TV were a nice touch and added to the homey feeling of the bedroom.

Canopy by Hilton London City room art work
Room art and finishings.

The centerpiece of the room was the bed. I was the first person to sleep in it, so the mattress was unbelievable.

I know this is a personal preference, but the pillows had the perfect amount of plumpness without being too hard — it was like resting my head on a cloud.

Canopy by Hilton London City room bed
The bed, complete with its 300-thread-count sheets.

On each side of the bed were small nightstands. Given the amount of storage elsewhere in the room, it didn’t matter that neither of these was without built-in storage.

Canopy by Hilton London City room bed close up
Bedside table and lamp.

Power outlets were plentiful. Not only were there 2 on each side of the bed, but the alarm clock had 2 U.K.-compatible sockets, as well as 2 USB-A and 1 USB-C outlets.

Canopy by Hilton London City room alarm clock
Bedside table and alarm clock.

The white drapes and thick, blackout floor-to-ceiling curtains made for a dark room and a great night’s sleep. Noise disturbance from the busy street and bus station below was also nonexistent.

Canopy by Hilton London City room blackout curtains
Floor-to-ceiling blackout curtains.

Next to the bed was the thermostat for the room.

Canopy by Hilton London City room temperature control
Temperature control for the room.

A final little thoughtful home-away-from-home touch was this little shelf next to the door — perfect for setting your wallet, keys, or purse on so they’re ready to grab when you’re leaving the room.

Canopy by Hilton London City room storage shelf
A handy shelf.

Bathroom

The bathroom was revealed by sliding open a huge floor-to-ceiling mirror.

Its design reflected the current trends — white tiles with matte black finishes. It’s a design I see a lot in hotels and homes these days, and I have to say it does look good.

I liked the addition of the dark wooden storage unit against the white tiles and vanity.

Canopy by Hilton London City bathroom
Wide-angle bathroom shot.

The fixtures inside the shower were the same matte-black finish, including the powerful rainfall showerhead.

Canopy by Hilton London City bathroom shower
Inside the shower.

The sink area had a mirror with a built-in light around the edge, a box of tissues, more towels than 1 person could ever need, and the all-important bathroom amenities.

Canopy by Hilton London City bathroom sink
Sink area.

The Canopy’s amenities of choice were by APIVITA. Though they smelled lovely, I think hotels should be opting for refillable bottles in guest rooms rather than throw-away plastic miniatures.

Canopy by Hilton London City bathroom amenities
APIVITA bathroom amenities.

Inside the vanity kit were cotton pads, a nail file, and 2 cotton swabs. Surely there’s no need to wrap individual items in plastic given that they already come in the cardboard packaging?

Canopy by Hilton London City bathroom vanity kit
Vanity kit contents.

The soft under-sink light detailing meant the “big lights” could be kept off at night.

Canopy by Hilton London City bathroom under-sink lighting
Under-sink lighting.

Food and Beverage

The Canopy London City has an expansive lobby area with various seating areas fit for working, relaxing, or eating and drinking.

Along the back wall of the lobby area is the hotel’s main bar. I liked that each barstool had its own power outlet — great for remote workers like me.

Canopy by Hilton London City lobby bar
The hotel lobby bar.

Alternatively, you could choose from an array of comfier spots to enjoy your drink.

Canopy by Hilton London City lobby seating
Lobby seating area.

Canopy by Hilton London City lobby seating
More comfy lobby seating.

The greens of the plants and some of the furniture popped off against the main color palette, which consisted of beiges, browns, and greys.

Canopy by Hilton London City lobby
No space is complete without a couple of plants.

Canopy by Hilton London City lobby
Looking toward the hotel entrance and the reception area.

Freedom Café — Lobby Bar and Café

The lobby is also home to Freedom Café where you can order drinks and snacks throughout the day from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast and from 12 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for everything else.

Canopy by Hilton London City lobby bar and Freedom Cafe
Freedom Café.

The menu was full of interesting spins on regular dishes that were far more tempting than your average hotel lobby snack menu.

Freedom Cafe Menu
Freedom Café menu.

Tempting as these more exciting options were, I decided to go for a melted ham and cheese “toastie.” It was tasty, but not worth the £11.50 (~$15) that I paid for it.

Canopy by Hilton London City Freedom cafe snack
Ham and cheese toastie.

The Freedom Café was also open to non-guests and was clearly trying to pull in passers-by with this sign placed outside:

Canopy by Hilton London City Freedom cafe sign
Everyone is welcome at Freedom Café.

There was a selection of pastries to choose from.

Canopy by Hilton London City Freedom Cafe pastries
Sweet treats.

Also, there was a wide variety of beverages available, including juices, smoothies, and, of course, coffee.

Canopy by Hilton London City Freedom Cafe menu
Freedom Café coffee menu.

Penny Squares — Restaurant

Due to the pandemic, the hotel’s main restaurant, now named Penny Squares, was only open for breakfast during my visit, though the plan was to launch a dinner service here, too.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast area
The hotel’s main restaurant.

Most of the seating was for groups of 2 of 4, but there was also capacity to accommodate larger groups.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast seating
Table settings for breakfast.

Breakfast

At the far end of the restaurant was the hot buffet area where you could request made-to-order eggs.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast hot buffet area
Hot buffet area.

Everything else you’d expect from a breakfast buffet could be found on the other side of the wall.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast buffet area
Breakfast buffet area.

Monika at breakfast was lovely and offered to make eggs Benedict for me, even though they didn’t officially serve them.

I’d say that the dishes available at the hotel’s breakfast buffet were a level or 2 up in quality and imagination than you might be used to at a hotel breakfast buffet.

It was more like choosing from a selection of à la carte dishes, just without the menu. For example, hot dishes offered included individual shakshuka-style fried eggs (rather than normal fried eggs).

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast shakshuka
More appetizing than a vat full of greasy fried eggs.

Sumac portobello mushrooms were on offer.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast mushroom
Mushrooms: do you love them or hate them?

The tapioca potato hash was a spin on traditional hashbrowns.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast hash
Tapioca potato hash.

Soft-boiled eggs featured za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast eggs
I’d never even heard of za’atar before I had these eggs.

However, you could also choose from some breakfast classics, including bacon and sausages.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast bacon
Let’s face it, no breakfast buffet would be complete without sausages and bacon of some variety.

And for those wanting something a little lighter, there were numerous cold options available, including cold cuts, salads, and smoked salmon.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast cold cuts and salad
Cold cuts and salad items.

A selection of cheeses was displayed.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast cheese
Cheese, if you please.

Berries, dried fruits and nuts, cereals, and yogurts were plentiful.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast buffet display
Create-your-own breakfast bowl.

Individual pots of yogurt were topped with granola and berries.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast yogurt
Sweet and delicious.

Pastries, muffins, English muffins, and bagels were available…

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast breads and pastries
Mornings are for carbs.

…as well as a large selection of breads, butter and jellies, and more pastries.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast breads pastries and jellies
Spoiled for choice.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast spelt and beetroot bread
Spelt-and-beetroot bread was a new one for me.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast sliced bread
Where the points were won for providing a gluten-free bread option, the points were lost again for wrapping each slice in plastic.

Even more fruit and yogurt were also available for grabbing.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast fruit
Lots of healthy choices.

There was also plenty to drink, including 4 flavors of freshly squeezed juice…

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast juices
Fruity refreshments.

…and gluten-free oat milk, almond milk, and whole milk.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast milk
3 types of milk.

Coffee was self-service from a bean-to-cup machine.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast coffee machine
There’s no better way to start the day than with a freshly brewed espresso.

And 5 varieties of Newby teas were offered.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast tea
Newby tea.

So, what did I eat, you ask? Well, you may be shocked to know that I strayed a little farther from my usual DIY ham and cheese on toast and made myself a DIY eggs Royale instead. I toasted an English muffin, ordered some poached eggs (for some reason the chef cooked me 4!), added some smoked salmon on top, and threw some portobello mushrooms on the side for a delicious breakfast feast.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast DIY eggs royale
DIY eggs Royale, without the Hollandaise sauce.

Though I did start with a bowl of fruit — some habits die hard.

Canopy by Hilton London City breakfast fruit and espresso
Breakfast fruit and espresso.

Florattica — Rooftop Bar (Not Yet Open)

The only disappointing part of my stay at the Canopy by Hilton London City was that its rooftop bar, Florattica, was still under construction.

On the 11th floor, along with a few of the hotel’s best rooms, Florattica is sure to boast some spectacular views of London’s skyline. I did a quick check online while I was writing this review, and it looks like it’s still yet to open.

Canopy by Hilton London City rooftop directions
Directions to the rooftop bar.

Being the nosy hotel reviewer that I am, I wanted to see if I could get a sneak peek. So, I snuck up to the top floor, which still clearly had some finishing touches left to be made.

Canopy by Hilton London City rooftop under construction
Under construction.

I’ll be sure to visit Florattica once it finally opens.

Canopy by Hilton London City Floratica coming soon
“Florattica, coming soon”

Service

In all honesty, interactions with staff during my stay were few and far between as I was out and about and busy most of the time.

However, on my first day, I did receive a call from Alberto at reception to make sure everything was OK with the room. This was a nice touch, and something I’d expect more from a 5-star hotel. Also, I’d like to give a shoutout to Jasmin at the front desk who was happy to authorize a 1 p.m. checkout time for me as well.

Most of my interactions were with Monika, who was on hand at breakfast each morning with a smile and infectiously positive energy. Matyas was also at breakfast every morning, and I always saw him making sure every guest had everything they needed — a good sign for the future of this hotel.

Final Thoughts

The Canopy by Hilton London City is a great addition to Hilton’s London portfolio.

At first, I thought this hotel might be best suited for city slickers and those visiting London for meetings. But after my 2 nights here, I would also recommend the hotel as an option for anyone who wants something a bit different when visiting London.

I loved the design of the room and all its homey touches. It was a far cry from some of the cookie-cutter Hilton rooms I’ve stayed in before.

Hilton’s Canopy brand is certainly one I will aim to stay in again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which popular attractions are close to Canopy by Hilton London City?

The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are within walking distance of the hotel.

What is the Canopy by Hilton concept?

As described by Hilton, the Canopy brand is for “originals, room-centrics, modern business, and cultured vacationers.”

What kind of breakfast is served at Canopy by Hilton London City?

The Canopy by Hilton London City serves an excellent buffet with classic breakfast options as well as some unique options. Hot dishes, cold dishes, and a wide variety of beverages are all offered.

Which is the closest Tube station to Canopy by Hilton London City?

The nearest Tube station is Aldgate, served by the Circle and Metropolitan lines.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.

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