London, full of exquisite luxury hotels, all individual in their own way, whether it has balcony views over the Thames, is in the heart of the buzzing theatre district or hidden down a leafy suburb, they all have their own piece of uniqueness, but as far as unique and stylish goes, Sunborn London has to be high up on the list. Housed in a 128m super yacht and permanently docked in the Royal Victoria Docks this hotel oozes all the glitz and glamour of a super yacht, without the choppy seas to accompany.
Entry is via a lift that takes you to the reception area, which is dominated by a sweeping gold and glass staircase with a crystal chandelier glistening overhead, reminiscent of a luxury cruise ship or super yacht of the rich and famous.
The yacht houses 136 rooms and suites, many of which have private balconies offering views of London’s iconic skyline.
Our Yacht Executive Room or cabin if we’re talking ship language, is an exact replica of a balcony cabin – A bright spacious room with shiny wood panelling, sleek furnishings, private bathroom and a fabulous personal balcony, just perfect for a chilled glass of wine as you make the most of the views across the river.
Suitably relaxed, it was time to explore the rest of our non- cruise yacht. Spread over five decks, the elegance and grandeur is around every corner, there’s the Sundown cocktail bar, the perfect romantic spot to sip a signature ‘Strawberry Kiss’ cocktail as you watch the sunset in the distance. If the weather allows it’s worth venturing outside to the bars deck area, where you can watch the capital come to life before your very eyes, the ideal spot to savour the moment.
Dinner is served in the yachts Lands End restaurant, which takes its name from the one given to the area by Victorian engineer George Bidder in 1840s, who cannily bought up the original undeveloped marshland and made a handsome return as the land was sold for the docks and for a belt of factories along the river.
The restaurant, with its floor to ceiling windows gives unrivalled views of the lights of the dock twinkling from the ever-changing waters of the Thames. The dining room effortlessly blends the old with the new, the classic with the contemporary, and the vintage with the avant-garde. The atmosphere is one of relaxed glamour and the soft lighting adds a little mystery to the whole setting.
We began our onboard dining with starters of crispy free-range hen egg, on a bed of charred gem lettuce with Caesar emulsion and truffle, think scotch egg, but far more delicate, and mouth-wateringly delicious. Brixham crab, dressed with crème fraiche, apple, cucumber, & caviar was the other delight, divinely fresh and flavoursome.
Mains were just as impressive, pan fried cod on a bed of white beans and smoked mussels mixed with Somerset cider. They say you eat with your eyes, and you certainly do here, each dish was exquisitely presented and tasted delicious.
Cote du boeuf served with Portobello mushrooms, chunky chips and confit plum tomatoes was a real hit, cooked to perfection the meat literally melted in the mouth.
I really didn’t have room for dessert, but that wasn’t the case with hubbie and he indulged in vanilla panna cotta with blackberries, apple, and rhubarb, creamy, light and refreshing a definite voyage of discovery for our taste buds.
All too soon it was time to retire to our cabin for the night – I think there’s something to be said about sleeping on a yacht (whether it’s moving or not) the gentle sound of the water lapping against the side gives a relaxing, calm feeling that helps you drift off into a blissful night’s sleep.
The Sunborn is a destination in itself, you can have all the glitz and glamour of a cruise ship, without venturing out into the deep blue waters of the sea. A fabulous alternative to a hotel when you next visit the Capital, where you can see a different side of the most exciting city in the world from the deck of a luxurious superyacht hotel.
Prices start from £127 per night per room, based on two people sharing a Classic Dock view room.
Prices start from £345 per night, per room, based on two people sharing an Executive Riverview room.