The Westin London City review: a hotel banking on wellbeing and luxury

It’s not all work and no play at this sleek riverside retreat 

The Westin London City
The Westin London City
(Image credit: Westin Hotels & Resorts)

In the past couple of years the mental health of workers has been a major topic of discussion for business. With employees told to work from home for months on end, and only interacting with their colleagues virtually, there has been a big focus on how companies can ensure the wellbeing of their staff.

Wellbeing is “more than a buzzword”, said Naz Beheshti on Forbes. Corporate wellness has “come a long way in the last two decades” and is an $8bn a year industry. However, stress and burnout “are at epidemic levels”.

An easing of restrictions has seen workers return to offices up and down the country. And in the City of London particularly, the capital’s financial district has come alive once again.

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Should staff burnout be an issue for any City business then luckily there’s a solution. Because the great return to work has coincided with the opening of The Westin London City – a new five-star retreat on the banks of the River Thames. Here, wellness is not a buzzword, it’s a way of life.

The St Paul’s Duplex is one of the plush suits at The Westin London City

The St Paul’s Duplex is one of the plush suits at The Westin London City
(Image credit: Westin Hotels & Resorts)

Why come here

This is the debut UK property for the luxury Westin Hotels & Resorts brand and also the 1,000th hotel within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. It held its soft opening in November and officially launched last month.

With its proximity to London’s financial district – and just a few minutes’ walk from Mansion House, Cannon Street and Bank Tube stations – you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is just another business hotel. However, there’s no stuffiness here.

Designed by British architects Dexter Moren Associates, the Westin is nothing short of stunning. The look is sleek, the atmosphere is relaxed and the facilities are top class. There are 222 rooms, including the plush St Paul’s Duplex and Presidential Suite.

The wellness ethos can be felt throughout the hotel, too. The comfortable bedrooms all come equipped with Heavenly Beds and downstairs in the Heavenly Spa by Westin there’s six treatment rooms and an indoor pool. For the more active visitor, the state-of-the-art WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio offers TRX exercise equipment and Peloton bikes.

Hithe + Seek wine bar at The Westin London City

Enjoy a fine selection of wine and food at Hithe + Seek
(Image credit: Westin Hotels & Resorts)

Eating and drinking

It’s not all work and no play at the Westin though. Because when the workouts are done, guests can order 24-hour room service or relax at the hotel’s two dining venues: Mosaic restaurant and Hithe + Seek wine bar.

For all-day dining, the light and airy Mosaic offers a menu of international cuisine with sustainably-sourced nutritious dishes. But once the night falls, head to the third floor and enjoy a corking range of wines, cocktails and delicious plates.

Overlooking the Thames and with fantastic views of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and the Tate Modern art gallery, Hithe + Seek is a classy place in which to spend an evening.

At this snazzy bar, wine is the hero and the list is made up of 80 varieties and split into two sections – Hithe, which features “old world” favourites, and Seek, which showcases undiscovered gems from the “new world”.

As we were enjoying a night out on the town, we decided that cocktails were the way to go. Highlights included the 1666 (£14, with Laphroaig, Amaretto, IPA and rosemary reduction, and fresh lemon) and The Corn Harbour (£14, with Woodford Reserve, corn-infused syrup, egg white, and fresh lemon). Both looked and tasted incredible.

Hithe + Seek wine bar at The Westin London City

Hithe + Seek wine bar at The Westin London City
(Image credit: Westin Hotels & Resorts)

For food, from the “Hithe” menu we chose the lamb kofta, tzatziki and flatbread (£9) and from the “Seek” we had the Westholme steak sandwich with mature Cheddar and bacon jam (£16). On recommendation from the staff, the latter was paired with a glass of St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz (£12.50), a red wine from the Barossa Valley area of South Australia. Delicious.

Hithe + Seek has also launched its new Seekers wine club. Every month the bar hosts an event and membership includes a complimentary “unusual bottle” chosen by wine curator Erin Summers, plus access to wine advice and food pairing tips. Membership costs £40 per month.

Heavenly Spa by Westin at The Westin London City

Relax with a swim at the Heavenly Spa by Westin
(Image credit: Westin Hotels & Resorts)

Out and about

With it being so close to the “Square Mile” and sitting right on the Thames, The Westin London City really does have a fantastic location.

Should you want to venture away from the room, spa or wine bar, then a walk over to the South Bank is recommended. As previously mentioned, directly across the river you can indulge in some culture by visiting the Globe or Tate Modern.

Staying on the hotel side of the Thames, things to see in the City include iconic attractions such as Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral, shopping at the historic Leadenhall Market, and delving into the capital’s history at the Museum of London.

The Westin London City, 60 Upper Thames St., London EC4V 3EH. Double rooms start from £309;

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Mike Starling is the digital features editor at The Week, where he writes content and edits the Arts & Life and Sport website sections and the Food & Drink and Travel newsletters. He started his career in 2001 in Gloucestershire as a sports reporter and sub-editor and has held various roles as a writer and editor at news, travel and B2B publications. He has spoken at a number of sports business conferences and also worked as a consultant creating sports travel content for tourism boards. International experience includes spells living and working in Dubai, UAE; Brisbane, Australia; and Beirut, Lebanon.