We’ve just come back from a mini break in London where we stayed at the Novotel Paddington and frankly, we couldn’t have wanted anything more from our stay. The hotel provided the perfect backdrop to everything else we did and was so brilliantly located with thoughtful details for a family inside that we HAVE to make plans to go back!
Leaving London full time was one of the best things we ever did as a family. Getting out has meant for us a bigger house in a countryside location where we feel we can breath and be far free-er than we could when we lived in the capital. But… We don’t half miss some of the things we used to be able to do on a daily basis and though we visit fairly frequently for the day, it’s not quite the same when we’re on a time limit.
So, occasionally and mainly in the holidays, we like to take a trip where we can stay over night in a hotel. We often do this with fellow London departer Katy from Modern Mummy and her family who, just like us, doesn’t regret the move out of the capital city but does want to go back now and again to take the children to their favourite places. The hotels we’ve stayed in for past trips have been fine, good in fact, but this one has to be a cut above when it comes to the family room. Budget prices for sure (we like to spend our money when we are there rather than on a hotel) but with more than you could expect for the price tag.
This trip we’d planned to visit The London Transport Museum (where kids go free and grown up tickets last for a year – it’s a fave and ticket renewal was a MUST for us), a jaunt around Ripley’s Believe it or Not (which was awesome and I have reviewed separately) and a couple of other things interspersed with food at Zizi’s (what a great kid’s menu) and the simply amazing Planet Hollywood (again, please see my separate review because this place is OUT OF THIS WORLD)! We knew that we’d need at least two days to do everything we wanted and we also wanted to take advantage of the facilities at the Novotel. The hotel offered us not JUST a bed for the night but, to the children’s delight, a swimming pool and video games in the room too so some down time had to be factored in!
We checked in after a morning of fun in Covent Garden (We watched a street performance by the super funny Owen Lean and got our Transport Museum fun in) and we were in that pool quicker than the blink of an eye. But, not before the kids had fun in the small entertainment and play area in the lobby. Katy and I did the signing in they were off having fun – beautiful!
Our rooms were very close to each other and exactly the same. With a separate toilet to the bathroom which opened up by a sliding door into the main room it was an ideal set up for families. Parents can be in the shower while still watching little ones and as well as a shower there is also a bath. Ordinarily in hotels of this side of the price barrier one could only expect either or but the Novotel bathrooms go the extra mile. They had also left us a plate of Macaroons which the kids devoured in seconds which was a lovely touch.
Going to London, when you live outside of it, can feel like an enormous trek and when you’re there as if you have to rush around all the time but staying overnight at the Novotel really relieved that feeling. A night away was just what we all needed and the swimming pool was the cherry on the cake for making us all feel extra relaxed about our stay – they also have towels on demand so you don’t have to remember to take your own or carry a wet one home with you! There was no shallow end so if you have non swimmers remember to take arm bands but our fearless foursome were not phased and spent a good hour wearing themselves out before going out to dinner.
Food was next on our agenda and the hotel, thankfully, is a stones throw from Paddington station (if you don’t walk in the wrong direction – I am ridiculous) to get to the many restaurants of London but if you fancy a cosy little dine nearer to the hotel then just next door, alongside a Starbucks, mini Sainsbury’s and a few little eateries, is a Zizi’s which we absolutely HAD to eat at because energy levels were running out for anything else. The food was very good, inexpensive and the kid’s menu perfect!
And then back to our two spacious, clean and comfortable family rooms to settle down with a movie on the XBox which comes with the room. The hotel have a selection of DVDs (we chose Lady and the Tramp) and video games which can be played on it. This was the perfect night for two mammas who wanted to catch up and the children who just wanted to be together. They’re the best of friends but don’t see each other all that often due to our location and of course when we do get together often it’s just for a few hours! So Katy, the kids and I got comfy on the mega sized double bed and pulled out sofa bed (six of us could have easily slept here in fact but all this room is intended for four) and chatted while the movie played.
Next morning and with everyone well rested we went off for another swim before breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Children dine for free (in fact they stay for free full stop) which is superb value when you see what ours managed to put away. They may only look tiny these four (and mine usually eat nothing much at all) but they seriously ate their body weight in breakfast at the Novotel! Urm… I may have actually joined them in that if I’m being perfectly honest which I suppose I should be!
The breakfast is extensive in choice as we have come to expect from hotel breakfasts. There was the usual fruit, yogurt and cereals alongside pastries, continental offerings and the obligatory full English fry. What was notable however was the quality of lots of the food such as the sausages. Often times in other hotels I have noticed them to be not so good but here they were (both meat and vegetarian) of extremely superior quality. The breakfast buffet also included a pancake machine which went down an absolute storm with our who almost certainly hogged it for the entire time we were in the restaurant – sorry to all the other guests who didn’t get pancakes on Monday morning…
Great quality all round and Naturally we all went for three courses (fruit and pastries, full English and then something sweet) and tried everything! Well, we were on holiday after all!
The Novotel in Paddington is ideally located close to the tube and with all the extra welcoming features such as the swimming pool it offers everything you could need as a family. We would love to go back and it would be hard to forget such a positive experience so I’m sure that we will be using them again. We thoroughly recommend The Novotel when staying away with the family and with a wedding coming up soon for us it’s going to be first on my mind when booking our room for the night.
We were offered a night at the Paddington Novotel in return for an honest review.