Which is the best InterContinental or ihg.com hotel in London? In this review, we focus on the two most luxurious properties in the ihg portfolio. The InterContinental Park Lane in Central London vs. InterContinental London The O2. The O2 hotel is located in South East London on the banks of the River Thames and is the best place to stay for events and shows at the O2 Arena, along with Canary Wharf and Excel exhibition center.
InterContinental’s hotel brands include IHG, InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton Hotel & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, but for the sake of this comparison, we are only looking at the best InterContinental Hotels In London.
In summary, both these hotels are brilliant, top-level 5-star luxury hotels, and we love them both for different reasons.
We have outlined points for comparison below. Do remember that if you want to book into any InterContinental around the world, get a quote from our luxury travel concierge and we can share brilliant extra benefits at no extra cost, plus you still get your loyalty points and status benefits.
Our exclusive free benefits at the InterContinental London Park Lane based on a 2-night minimum are:
- Guaranteed free Club InterContinental Lounge access, including breakfast, afternoon tea and evening drinks (including alcoholic drinks) and canapés
- Guaranteed free room upgrade at time of booking (subject to availability)
- Full English Breakfast daily in Club InterContinental for up to two in-room guests
- Complimentary internet access/Wi-Fi
- Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
InterContinental London The O2
The InterContinental London The O2 has “to die for” views (pictured above), much like those of the Manhatten skyline, across to Canary Wharf. It has a gorgeous pool and an ESPA Spa as well as two of my favorite bars in London, The Clipper Bar with 270 Degree Vista windows, which truly capture the amazing views of River Thames and Canary Wharf. The Eighteen Sky bar has equally fabulous views.
Breakfast at Market Brasserie at InterContinental London The O2 is almost never-ending and of brilliant quality. The food at the award-winning 2019 Michelin-guide Peninsula Restaurant is hard to beat. The superb pool is something that is hard to find in London and is unique to this InterContinental. Finally, it’s easy to drive to if you are located outside London as it sits outside the congestion zone.
InterContinental London Park Lane
The InterContinental Park Lane is in the most central location imaginable, right in the thick of London with designer shops just steps away. Ella Canta is an incredible Mexican restaurant by Martha Ortiz in the hotel, and Theo Randall At The Intercontinental serves the best Italian food I have ever had. The rooms are undergoing refurbishment, and the new rooms are fabulous. The view from the club lounge and rooms looking over London’s Parks are gorgeous, making this InterContinental hotel a brilliant choice too.
Which Is Best?
The bottom line, there is no “best” InterContinental. They are both brilliant. I visit both for leisure and business, and they remain two of my favorite hotels in London. There are so many quirky hotels in London with some good and some truly awful hotel rooms. By contrast, both InterContinental’s offer consistently luxurious, modern rooms. You know what you are getting, and what you get is excellent.
For me, the main differentiator is location and price. The InterContinental Park Lane has a better location for shopping and Central London. The O2 is better if you want to visit the O2, Greenwich, City airport or have an Excel conference. For families, the great pool is also a great asset at the O2.
Price-wise, the Park Lane property can be pricy while the rates at the O2 vary hugely. Book into the InterContinental London The O2 when there is a show, and the prices match or are more expensive than Park Lane. Book a room when the O2 Arena is empty, and you can pick up a comparatively cheap rate and enjoy all the facilities for a brilliant deal. These deals can be too good to turn down!
If you are looking to hit the center of town, near Harrods, Selfridges, Top Shop in Oxford Street, etc., the InterContinental Park Lane property has a better location. You are slap bang in the center on Hyde Park corner (almost on top of Buckingham Palace) and can walk everywhere.
The O2 is located in East London and is very accessible to the center via public transport. The riverboats, in particular, offer a great way to travel to the center, but the hotel sits in a relatively remote location. The location is ideal for conferences at the Excel and shows at the O2, but for sightseeing in Central London, transportation is a bit more of an effort. Of note, you are however perfectly located to explore the Cutty Sark and the Naval history of Greenwich and the historic Docklands. InterContinental, the O2 is also super convenient for City Airport.
Both properties offer staggering views. The InterContinental London Park Lane looks over Hyde park roundabout, and you have a birdseye view of the cars weaving around the roundabout from the Club Lounge as well as from the Green park facing rooms. In the distance, you will spot the London Eye, Big Ben, Battersea Power station, and more. Most of the rooms look over one of the major London Parks (Green Park and Hyde Park on the South and West sides) as well as the Four Seasons across the road, and frankly, I can’t imagine a better hotel and location for views.
The InterContinental the O2 offers equally incredible jaw-dropping views. You look over the Thames, and there are boats that motor up and down throughout the day and night. Further away are the sparkling spires of Canary Wharf, so again, the views here are phenomenal.
The rooms at the InterContinental Park Lane London look over the parks (Green or Hyde Park), Park Lane, or towards the Four Seasons London Park Lane, which is located opposite this InterContinental. Some of the base rooms look over the internal courtyard, which is a boring if peaceful view, these are the worst rooms. If you book with our luxury travel concierge, you will never have an internal courtyard view because of our free room upgrade.
The best rooms look South over Green Park (the same as the views offered by the Club Lounge here). Some of the rooms at the InterContinental Park Lane London have recently undergone refurbishment and are absolutely beautiful and well worth requesting.
It is also worth noting that the base rooms at the InterContinental Park Lane in London can be quite small with small bathrooms so any upgrade is extremely valuable to give you a more spacious experience.
The rooms at the InterContinental O2 in London are slightly larger than those in Park Lane. They have a more corporate feel, but the size and the larger bathrooms may make them more suitable for guests who like more space. Again, you want to request a river view for the best experience.
It is worth paying the extra for a room with a river view, and ideally on a high floor, as the windows are floor to ceiling and you can watch the boats go up and down the river, all day, as well as the tides, raising and lowering the water level.
I am a major fan of Theo Randalls at the InterContinental Park Lane property in London. He serves up my favorite pasta in the world. There is also an excellent Mexican restaurant here. The O2 also has an excellent fine dining restaurant, the Peninsula, which has incredible views and serves up the most delicious European cuisine I have had. Even their 3-course set menu is completely mouthwatering, and the setting, with the distant sparkling lights reflecting off the Thames, is romantic. Both hotels offer brilliant food, don’t make me choose between them!
I love the Club lounge at the Central London Park Lane property. It faces South, and the sun shines into the lounge throughout the day. The staff are excellent, the views phenomenal. If you read my full review of the InterContinental Park Lane club lounge, you will see that there is little not to like! In the evening the food on offer is lacking as it is really nuts and snacks with some canapes rather than a full meal, so there is not enough food to fill you up.
By comparison, the club lounge at the InterContinental O2 has a great spread of food in the evening and will fill you up, so if evening food is a deal-breaker, the O2 is the better choice. The atmosphere is not as sophisticated as the lounge in the Park Lane hotel, but breakfast is substantial in both hotels, and the views are great too. The O2 Club lounge also watches over the river rise and fall, and the Thames boats whizz by, so the view at the O2 is super fun.
Club Lounge Access For Free
It is worth noting that if you want club lounge access for free in London, book a standard room at the InterContinental Park Lane in London via our luxury travel concierge (rates tend to range from £200 GBP to £500 GBP for the base room depending on the day and the season) and you will get a guaranteed room upgrade and free Club Lounge access, which includes: breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening drinks and canapés. At InterContinental O2 London, we can also offer big discounts on the Club Lounge with any booking at this hotel via our luxury travel concierge.
The central London Park Lane InterContinental has a great spa and large gym but no pool. The InterContinental O2 has a gorgeous pool ideal for couples and families (they have specific times allocated to children so adults can have quiet time too. So if you want a weekend away and are not bothered by central London shopping or hopping on a riverboat, the O2 definitely has the better facilities on this score.
I love both of these properties. Both offer complete luxury and some of the best Club Lounges in London. For me, the location of the InterContinental in Central London is far better, and the Club Lounge bathed in sunshine makes this hotel an absolute favorite of mine when it comes to club lounges. The newly refurbished rooms are also really lovely.
But, it is actually the O2 I am heading to next rather than the Park Lane property. Why? The price can be very good when there isn’t a show on at the O2. I love the views, and the rooms are spacious, and the food in the Club lounge is better.
Both have great breakfast and afternoon tea, but the dinner in the central London club lounge is nibbles rather than a full meal, so you need to include a budget to eat out at this property.
My son likes the pool at the O2, and it’s hard to find a Luxury hotel in London with a good pool. The Langham and the Mandarin Oriental have great pools in London, but most luxury hotels don’t, including the Four Seasons on Park Lane.
I hope my comparison helps you make your own decision. My full reviews of both hotels and their Club lounges can be found below to help you decide:
I have reviewed most of the best club & executive lounges in London’s luxury hotels. I am a big fan of the club lounge at the Langham London with excellent food & staff. But in my humble opinion, the “Club… Read More.
The InterContinental London Park Lane is an elegant luxury hotel right in the heart of London. It offers rooms of varying sizes with incredible views across Regents and Green Park, as well as the Hyde Park Corner roundabout. It also… Read More.
I have put together a menagerie of articles reviewing the best club lounges in London’s luxury hotels. I am a big fan of the executive lounge at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House for the ambiance and food. The club lounge at… Read More.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.