The Hilton Bankside Vegan Suite
This post is in collaboration with Hilton Bankside, as I’m running a giveaway with them to offer a one-night stay in their Vegan Suite. For details of the giveaway, please see the end of this article.
Earlier this year, London’s Hilton Bankside launched the city’s first all-vegan hotel suite. The five-star hotel is a short walk from Southwark Underground Station on the Jubilee line and, along with my husband and one-year old daughter, I went down to immerse myself in the Hilton’s five-star vegan experience! (Courtesy of the Hilton.)
Located on the first floor, the suite has a bathroom, an additional WC, a living space and a generously-sized bedroom. There is enough room for two people to spend a weekend or a few days comfortably in the space or, in our case, two adults and a baby.
The hotel’s Guest Services manager took us around the rooms, meticulously pointing out the features of the vegan suite. Decorated with artwork featuring stunning botanical drawings by Katie Scott, the living room has a contemporary feel, with a large L-shaped couch (that can easily take three people) sat opposite a large flatscreen tv. Interspersed with real plants, from the fiddle-leaf fig to smaller succulents - the attention to detail in the suite is perfect. The minibar was stocked with vegan snacks including ethically-produced Lemonaid, Ombar and Nakd bars, plus there was a complimentary fruit platter.
Bamboo flooring runs throughout the suite, leading into the bedroom, which sees a large queen-sized bed on top of a vegan-friendly carpet. The large bed had plenty of space for my husband, daughter and I to cosleep, and we had a fantastic night’s sleep! Well the two of them did - I had a 24-hour tension headache starting the morning that we set off for our visit, but the swimming pool helped ease it up.
One exciting addition to the room was a pillow menu - a first for me! Guests have the option to order a broad range of pillows to try, from bamboo to buckwheat, for the ultimate night’s rest.
Pińatex is a key feature in the suite, and can be found on the key-card case, the bed’s headboard and the cushions dotted around the suite. This vegan-friendly leather is made from the cellulose of pineapples, and is starting to appear in shoes and watch-straps made by brands looking for an ethical and sustainable alternative to leather.
The bathroom is generous for a city-based hotel, and has a wonderful walk-in shower. The entire range of toiletries is also vegan & cruelty-free - as are the bath-robes, which are washed (along with the sheets and rest of the soft furnishings) with vegan-friendly detergent.
Overall, the suite is beyond comfortable, and Hilton Bankside should be proud of what they’ve put together. They’ve managed to retain their five-star quality while understanding that sustainability is something a lot of vegans are passionate about, and have got it just right.
The Food - OXBO Restaurant
On the evening of our stay, we had dinner at the OXBO restaurant, the Hilton Bankside’s own in-house restaurant. To start, we were served bread rolls with kelp sea butter - usually this isn’t anything to write home about, but as someone who usually doesn’t eat butter because of the lack of vegan options, this butter was so good. It tasted really similar to dairy butter, but without the overpowering dairy taste - definitely worth trying!
We tried the lightly-spiced lentil daal, topped with courgette, butternut squash and broccoli - it was delicious and a hearty meal. We also tried the avocado & sweetcorn poké bowl - it’s a lighter option, and one for those who like to ‘eat the rainbow’ (like me!).
For dessert we had the berry crumble - a nice, light crumble, and more refreshing than the traditional style. We also tried the coconut kulfi, which came with sticky mango - this was so good; I could have eaten it the next day for breakfast too!
Hilton Bankside also has a secluded area with vegan-friendly chairs, meaning that diners - upon showing their hotel room card - can make the smooth transition from the entrance of the restaurant to a vegan-friendly space without having to state they are vegan. We enjoyed eating with the other diners and personally don’t mind where we sit, but the service was great and we really appreciated the gesture. A selection of vegan drinks - wine, champagne, and beer - are also available as you’d expect. Neither of us drink, so you’ll have to let me know how they are if you try them out!
The following morning, before a dip in the pool and a session in the jacuzzi, we headed down to the OXBO restaurant for breakfast. There was soya milk available in little jars, but I didn’t spot it at first - I asked a waiter for some vegan milk and he returned with a bottle of rice milk, so there’s even more choice if you’re a soy-free vegan! There was more fruit to choose from than you could shake a spoon at, and the fresh porridge at the porridge station is made with water by default, so you can take a bowl and choose from the huge array of toppings, including lots of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. There are also plenty of juices on offer, and Alpro soya yoghurts in the fridge.
Overall, we were incredibly impressed with Hilton Bankside’s vegan suite. I’ve never seen so much attention to detail in a hotel room, and it really won us over. There are way more sustainable elements, like the recycled stationery and bamboo bikes (see photos at the end of this article) that I’ve not even been able to touch on, because we’d be here all day!
From the bedroom flooring to the seating in the diner, the designers and the staff of the hotel have done a fantastic job at making sure their vegan customers are well looked after. Designed by Bompass & Parr, the team behind the non-melting ice lolly and bioluminescent jewellery, the food-styling team have left no stone unturned for their work with Hilton Bankside. The Vegan Society have also given the their seal of approval, after having counselled the Hilton on the project.
Priced at £549 for a night’s stay, this is a luxurious and premium hotel suite that comes with sterling service, a 5-star experience and, most importantly, a cruelty-free stay. Perfect for the ethical traveller looking for luxury in London, or a UK resident who wants to spend her/his money on something that aligns with their beliefs (for example, something special for a birthday or anniversary), the Hilton vegan suite won’t disappoint. Hilton Bankside really has set the trend amongst lifestyle travel brands, and I love that they’ve showcased the fact that veganism isn’t a diet, but a lifestyle.
Want to win a stay at Hilton Bankside’s Vegan Suite?
Later this spring, on my vegan-focused Instagram page @vegansofldn, we’ll be giving away a one-night stay at this exclusive suite, plus a meal for two at the OXBO restaurant so that you can try the luxury vegan experience yourself.
For the announcement, follow @vegansofldn, as I’ll be updating the page when the giveaway is running.
Let me know what you think of the vegan suite - I’m still dreaming about our visit!
Thanks for reading.