Over the last 16 months, Isle Of Dogs residents have witnessed the construction of the tallest Novotel in the world.
Work on the 39-floor hotel at Marsh Wall could end soon, with the opening set for the end of November.
Standing at 127m, (One Canada Square is 236m) the Novotel London Canary Wharf will contain 313 rooms including 26 suites, nine meeting rooms and a “destination” restaurant and bar.
And hotel managers Accor UK have given The Wharf a sneak preview of the building still weeks away from completion.
During a tour, managing director Thomes Dubaere said the project marked a “new generation” of Novotels that not only targets visiting business clientele also looks to attract customers from the local area.
He said: “This is the Novotel new generation. We had to go higher, we wanted to maximise the rooms and we wanted to get the views.
“In our business we talk about our guests, but the core of the industry is moving to customer-oriented – so we’re aiming to attract people from outside as well.
“Hence we have the destination restaurant and the coffee shop – that’s quite important in the way we move on. We call it the transformation in our business - guest and customer.”
So how does this Novotel hope to set itself apart from the competition? Here are three of the key features we learned on the tour.
On the 20th floor are some of the rooms just a hair’s width away from completion, fitted with beds, bathrooms and chairs, with just a large rectangular gap on the wall where a 50-inch TV will sit.
Visible through the window is The Shard and the City Of London and views are apparently available from as far down as the 9th floor, with the 220 rooms from the eight to the 24th floor able to see the Thames and 180 able to see The Shard.
The destination restaurant and bar
Up on the 37th, 38th and 39th floor are the restaurant, bar and terrace, each floor offering panoramic views of the capital from the City to The O2 to Canary Wharf.
Named Bokan, the three-floor restaurant and bar is connected via a staircase set in the middle of the rooms.
So far, not much has been revealed about the food but it is going to be sourced from the UK.
The 39th top floor terrace provides the best views with visitors able to spot the Thames Barrier in the distance to the east.
Novotel London Canary Wharf general manager Philip Logan said: “The bar will be an entertainment bar and buzzy. It’s a beautiful view and in the restaurant you will have 360 degree views from the Shard, to Greenwich and to Olympic Park.”
The wi-fi will be free and rooms will have an LED TV that can link to your smartphone.
Thomas said: “It should be like you’re at home. A guest doesn’t have the time to figure it out, it has to be simple, it has to be practical and it has to work wherever you go.
“So when you come in with your phone it should be a no-brainer. It’s about having technology as a support and you getting all the benefits from it.”
For those professionals using one of the nine Novotel meeting rooms, there is a docking station beside the bed where you can connect a laptop to the TV, which can then be connected to the meeting rooms.
This will enable guests to have conference calls with a meeting from their room if they happen to be running late.
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