GTW's editor Helen Milbank writes…
If it’s been a few years since you hit Stratford and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park you’ll be shocked by the speed of change. The 2012 Olympics may have led the charge, as great swathes of this region were rejuvenated, but since then we’ve seen the launch of the Elizabeth line (which speeds from Stratford into central London in around 25 minutes), the arrival of V&A East and Sadlers Wells, and the complete transformation of the Olympic Park and its waterways.
Add to this the Olympic legacy that’s very much apparent, with the London 2012 venues now open to the public, and the love-it-or-hate-it ArcelorMittal Orbit towering over proceedings, and suddenly this region has become a group friendly mecca, where day trips and multi-day itineraries can be planned to suit everyone, from wildlife lovers in search of peace to shopaholics in search of a bargain.
If the latter appeals, you’ll love the Hyatt Regency London Stratford, which opens straight into Westfield Stratford City, an indoor shopping centre that’s home to 250-plus stores and is constantly buzzing – proof that we very much still want to shop ’til we drop, and constantly snack while we’re at it.
Getting to the hotel couldn’t be simpler. Take a short walk from Stratford station or park at Westfield and this modern hotel soon looms into view. In fact it’s two hotels in one. The Hyatt Regency London Stratford, where we stayed, has 225 rooms, including 10 suites. Sitting above it is the Hyatt House London Stratford aparthotel, with 92 studios and 35 one-bedroom suites, offering apartment style living with all the perks of a top-notch hotel.
Whether you prefer a traditional hotel stay or the flexibility of an apartment, you can expect all the mod cons and services of a top-notch venue, from the use of a gym with fantastic views across West Ham Stadium, to the smart Elondi restaurant, where the food is a real cut above, but the process hugely reasonable. I can recommend the tandoori roast chicken breast (£17) and the sirloin (£28). And a big shout out goes to our fantastic cocktail waiter, who kept us entertained while we sank way too many frozen strawberry daiquiris.
I loved the fact we were right on the doorstep of the Olympic Park and all its bars, cafes, sights and attractions, but only 20-minutes-ish from central London on the fantastic Elizabeth line.
If I was taking a group to London I’d much rather stay here and jet in to London on this smart new train line than pay more for a central London hotel that’s not nearly as plush. As I said before, if you haven’t visited this part of East London for a few years, it’s well worth a fresh explore. Like me, you’ll likely be amazed at what’s here and the Hyatt makes a fantastic base.