Country 2 Country Festival (C2C)

The Intercontinental London O2 – Our favourite Family Hotel for Many Reasons – Amazing Staff, The Best Buffet Breakfast and more!- Review

It may seem strange to look forward to the hotel during C2C Festival just as much as you are the festival itself as for many, it’s just a place to rest your head for the night. For us though, as we go as a family, it’s an experience.

My seven year old calls The Intercontinental O2 Hotel “THE London Hotel”. He adores it! We all do! There is just something so magical about it for us and I would probably put it mainly down to the way we are treated. We aren’t anyone particularly special, well of course my kids are. But the staff always make us feel like we are the most important person staying.

We are part of the Intercontinental Ambassador program which of course helps a little bit but that had nothing to do with our overall treatment as that was just down to empathy and staff being decent human beings. This is what made this time, even more special than usual. Before we checked in I was having a bit of a panic! My youngest (2 and a half) wakes me up between every 20 minutes and every hour each night and has done for two and a half years. He is also such an outgoing child that he won’t settle in a restaurant. So I was emailing two wonderful members of staff back and forth (Michelle and Elaine) about whether it was worth us having access to the club lounge or not? Purely because I was concerned that my son would run riot in the Market Brasserie where breakfast was and disaster would strike!

The Club Lounge upgrade was £85 a night! It is arguably worth it because it includes breakfast in the club lounge which is much quieter and are often the only ones in there and more private service. It also includes Afternoon Tea, and evening Canapés. So we were tempted as were on a budget and as my husband and children were going to be spending a lot of time in and out of the hotel whilst I was working at the event, then this would have been time saving and money saving and overall more beneficial. However, we sadly talked ourselves out of it! I do actually regret that a bit!

So still emailing, my questions were constant and indecisive and let’s face it, possibly tedious. Michelle and Elaine who I was emailing were amazing!! Elaine who was dealing with even more of my questions was absolutely brilliant. She responded quickly, was very friendly and very helpful and made me feel at ease before we even arrived! I may have even apologised too much as the night before arrival, my sleep, if possible, was even worse and I instantly regretted not staying at home!

Elaine reassured me though, told me if I needed anything to just ask. She explained our Ambassador benefits clearly which included a £15 bar credit which could even be used towards breakfast. The buffet breakfast is amazing and something that we always look forward to every stay. We had it included on one night but not the next so we decided only I and our eldest would go to breakfast and my husband would stay upstairs with our youngest as he could grab a snack anytime in the day. With the breakfast only being £20 (worth it for what is available) it only cost £5 with the credit!

When we arrived at the hotel, around 9am our room was already ready for us which we didn’t expect at all!!!

I must also give a massive shout out to the doorman who was such a gem. He got me bottles of water whilst I waited and helped us with our bags. I felt awful as had no money to hand to tip. I also don’t really understand the whole tipping system either as isn’t something that I am used to at a hotel as we always carry our own luggage.

We were in a suite on the 15th floor as ambassadors get a guaranteed upgrade every stay. We had booked a junior suite but were upgraded to a suite with a separate lounge and two bathrooms. Well, one full bathroom and then a separate WC and sink. That way, the kids had their own bathroom as was attached to the lounge area where their sofa bed was. The view from the room was incredible and you could see all the boats along the river, the canoeists and all the buildings across the river at Canary Wharf. At night it is just spectacular with all the lights and my eldest sits at the floor to ceiling windows and just stares in awe.

I had to rush off immediately when we arrived as I had a media screening to get to for Stoned Cold Country (country artists covering the songs of The Rolling Stones, brilliant by the way).

When I returned to the hotel to get the rest of our bags (which we didn’t have a chance to take out of the car as I was in a hurry) I discovered my youngest was unwell, he had a bad belly and at two years old, he didn’t really understand what was happening! Don’t worry, he was with my husband all this time so he was being looked after but I decided to stay with him for the rest of the day. All my scheduled plans had to be cancelled but everyone was completely understanding. Family comes first so I wouldn’t have accepted anyone not being understanding.

Before I had returned though, my husband explained that we had three knocks on the door (it didn’t disturb the kids as the bedroom was separate from the front door) The first knock on the door was a member of staff arriving with some complimentary treats such as Macaroons and chocolates and Jellybeans and pringles for the boys. The second was a member of staff arriving with a complimentary bottle of Prosecco in an iced bucket with two glasses and the third was Elaine making sure we were all ok. Sadly I didn’t get to meet her as I was at the screening. She even sent a follow up email to make sure I was ok. I apologised for not immediately thanking her for the gifts but that I had arrived to my son being ill. She immediately said that if we needed anything to just ask and that if we preferred to have breakfast in the room the next morning so that we could all enjoy it, that the tray charge was just £5. We didn’t end up doing that though, maybe next time!

The beds in the hotel room are beautifully comfortable and large. Easily enough room for all four of us (although we ended up me and my youngest in main bed and husband and eldest in sofa bed) . The pillows are so soft that I even hugged them goodbye when we left haha!

The bathroom is shiny and glossy with a bath and a large shower with a powerful ceiling over head, an adjustable shower head and even had wall jets. We also had bathrobes and slippers in the room as well as regular towels. These are large towels too which hotels rarely provide. It’s frustrating when a hotel towel barely covers you.

There were also complimentary items such as shower gel, shampoo and conditioner and moisturiser which isn’t unusual for a hotel but these were particularly lovely and you could purchase bottles if wished to have some of your very own. We also had toothbrushes and toothpaste provided, shaving kits, combs and more!

The space in a suite is fantastic! My kids had so much space to run around. The lounge area comes with a table and chairs, a cabinet with a mini bar, kettle and coffee machine. We also had complimentary bottles of water.

Breakfast at The Market Brasserie is always a highlight for us. There is so much choice. Tea and coffee upon arrival, you can also ask for a latte or another type of coffee if do not want filtered. You can also order off Buffett such as an omelette or avocado on toast. I always mean to do this but never do. Mostly because the cooked breakfast is fantastic and then you have various pastries, pancakes, fruits, yoghurts, smoothies, cold meats and cheeses, breads, bagels, cereals, boiled eggs and so much more! I just wish my stomach could handle more than it does.

I had forgotten my key at one point and despite there being a large queue at reception, a member of staff from the guest area immediately helped me and even remembered my name the following day. That was wonderfully surprising.

The ambassador program is worth looking into if you plan to stay every year. It is about £200 to join but you get a large amount of welcome points, a complimentary weekend night (which basically pays for itself so worth it for that alone) a welcome drink upon stay or 600 points, a guaranteed room upgrade, discount or credit on restaurants and bars, including minibar (£15) – *Not applicable to in-room dining and Kinaara Restaurant and Sky Bar, Complimentary mineral water to be replenished daily, Single room rate for double occupancy and a 4pm checkout which really benefitted us as were leaving Sunday afternoon.

We also recommend the swimming pool and spa. We didn’t get a chance this time but have used it before and loved it!!!

We were sad to leave! We always are. My eldest was really upset! He didn’t want to go home!

The Intercontinental O2 is perfect for C2C Festival attendees especially if you are media like me and need to be places early and often. It’s even more worth it if you are there with family who aren’t necessarily going to the event itself. This allowed me to do my work and pop back to the room every now and again to meet up with the family. They didn’t spend all day in the room don’t worry, they were off trampolining at the Jump place and playing interactive football at Toca Social and much more.

I really hope we can stay next year for C2C Festival and we definitely recommend it!

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