Hotel Verta promises to be different. Well, its location certainly is. Situated at the London Heliport in Battersea, the capital’s only commercial heliport for over 50 years, Hotel Verta offers its guests the convenience of vertical access if required. This new luxury hotel which opened last year, continues the regeneration of the Thames riverfront and is a welcome addition to London’s fast-changing metropolitan skyline.
Hotel Verta is the modern, hip younger sibling of the von Essen hotel group, which includes the stately Cliveden in Berkshire. A new build, it comprises 70 contemporary-style bedrooms and six suites, all of which feature top-of-the-range bathrooms including a bath with a television at the foot (always a favourite). Naturally, be careful to request a river view. The bed was deliciously comfortable – I had a blissful night’s sleep. iPod dock music systems, coffee tables and chairs are standard issue; best of all, each room comes equipped with three Penguin Classics for guests to peruse – a copy of Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth kept me quiet for a while.
Downstairs, Patrisey Restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows which allow diners to take in spectacular views of the river and watch the comings and goings at the heliport. Faithful to tradition, the menu features plenty of British and European classics with a twist, but its extensive length means that diners won’t mind returning again and again.
One of Hotel Verta’s strongest selling points has to be its subterranean spa. The gloriously decadent Spa Verta offers a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, samarium (sort of a cross between a sauna and a steam room) and state of the art gym. An afternoon spent down there, sampling the glorious spa treatments and impressive facilities, certainly makes all the difference when staying at the hotel in the depths of winter, as I did.
And if all this is not enough to satisfy the most demanding of guests, the hotel is also happy to arrange champagne and canapés in its Vertilon Bar, followed by a guided helicopter tour of famous landmarks along the River Thames.
My only real complaint about Hotel Verta was their charging for internet access: a hefty £16 for 24 hours. I thought this was a bit cheeky, especially when the von Essen brochure advertises complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel. But otherwise, my stay at Hotel Verta was pretty much spot on. And with the forthcoming Olympic Games and a likely surge in helicopter traffic, Hotel’s Verta’s profile is set to be raised dramatically.