Checking In: Sea Containers London


This London hotel overlooking the Thames River is equal parts playful and chic.

Don’t be fooled by the industrial–style facade: From the minute you step inside Sea Containers London, modern curves and sculptures draw you in to a sleek, futuristic copper–panelled reception desk whose design is a nod to the hulls of old ships. Cheeky sentences appear and disappear on a large split–flap display, and if you walk past it and into Sea Containers restaurant, you will spot a large suspended yellow submarine above the bar – another maritime detail, though also a wink to city’s connection with the Beatles.

March 1, 2023
The copper hull of the reception desk at Sea Containers in London
The geometric design of the Agua Spa's steam room at Sea Containers London
The copper hull reception desk.
Agua Spa.
The luxurious screening room at Sea Container in London
The screening room.

The hotel is just a short walk to the Tate Modern, so it’s worth spending an afternoon enjoying the museum’s seven gallery floors (housing over a hundred years of art, dating back to the early 1900s) — especially since admission is free. But there’s also no shame in aimlessly strolling along the Thames Path, popping over to Borough Market for lunch (locals swear by the toasted cheese sandwich at Kappacasein). On rainy days, book a treatment at the hotel’s sleek below–waterline Agua spa, or see what’s playing at the 56–seat screening room.

The dining room of Sea Container Restaurant in London
A cocktail from Lyaness on a mirrored table at Sea Container London
Sea Containers Restaurant.   Photo: James McDonald
A Cereal Martini at Lyaness.
The vibrant hued lounge at the rooftop 12th Knot bar at Sea Containers London
12th Knot.

Here, food and drink offerings are not just a check in the box. Sea Containers Restaurant is a favourite for alfresco brunch, lunch or dinner, while the rooftop 12th Knot bar is a glitzy spot for happy hour, complete with sprawling views. On the hotel’s ground floor, blue–velvet Lyaness was awarded World’s Best Bar by the 2022 Spirited Awards and is a must for one–of–a–kind cocktails. The housemade ingredients described on the cocktail menu might raise an eyebrow (tree caramel, death bitters and thunder mushroom), but they’re so thoughtfully and expertly blended into signature libations, such as the Goldblum Whiptail and Black Champagne, it won’t be long until you’re raising your glass with a second round.

A balcony suite that overlooks the Thames river at Sea Containers in London
The chic, marble lined walls of a suite bathroom at Sea Containers in London

Of the 359 plush guest rooms and suites, many have jaw–dropping views of the Thames River. For an extra–special stay, opt for a riverview balcony suite, which features a fully furnished private balcony (perfect for enjoying afternoon tea or evening cocktails), a stylish living room area and an oversized marble–clad bathroom with rainfall shower.