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Riverbank Park Plaza, London 

18 Albert Embankment
Tel: 44 20 7958 8000
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
When you arrive at the Riverbank Park Plaza, the engaged hum rising from the young business crowd in the foyer bar affirms that Vauxhall—with its new glossy corporate towers—has arrived. The hotel's architecture may be office block bland, but the interior decor is dramatic: A welcoming gas fire flickers inside a rectangle of chrome; at the rear, beyond plush banquettes of magenta, orange, and dark brown, is an opalescent puce-green glass-backed bar. Guest rooms are well-equipped for business travelers, outfitted with high-tech efficiencies and decorated with minimalist design accents of blond wood, pale stone, glass, and chrome. The London Eye and the Tate Modern are within walking distance, and a water taxi can speed you across the Thames in just five minutes. But the best argument for this hotel is its rooms with unimpeded views across the Thames of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben—if you can get one. —2006 Hot List

When to go: London is a year-round destination, but spring through fall has the best weather.

Which room to book: For the best Thames views, rooms ending in 41 on floors 4 through 11 (doubles, $327–$398).

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym

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