We were zooming down the River Thames with the wind in our hair and the city lights flashing by us at night.
I’d lived in London for around seven years but I was doing something I’d never done before – a boat ride from Westminster to Greenwich.
I was testing one of Conrad St James’ new 1,3,5 experiential packages which allows hotel guests to access some of London’s more secret spots in a short amount of time.
My friend Nick – who had just jetted in from San Diego – and I were trying out the ‘East Meets West’ package on a chilly January night.
After checking into our luxurious hotel suite, complete with a complimentary fruit bowl, colorful macarons and a red London bus fashioned out of white chocolate, we got on our merry way.
Conrad had given us instructions showing us how to get to the boat along with a schedule listing the times it was running to.
After disembarking in North Greenwich – right by the Millennium Dome-turned-O2 Centre – a restaurant reservation had been made at Craft London.
It was great seeing the city by night and I felt like a true tourist on my overnight ‘staycation’.
Although it was cold, we opted to sit on the back of the boat in the open air.
After an hour of zipping past dozens of landmarks including the London Eye, the Shard and St. Paul’s Cathedral, we eventually arrived at our point of call.
Craft is just a short walk from the North Greenwich boat stop.
Although it’s a funny area – with most places a bit chainy – this restaurant has a cool vibe thanks to a spot of interior design from the famed Tom Dixon.
The food and drinks were delicious.
To warm us up – on what turned out to be a pretty chilly night – we opted for a meaty
concoction of steak, bone marrow, punchy old fashioneds and gooey chocolate cake to finish.
It was a Wednesday night and pretty quiet, but that meant we managed to nab a leather-clad booth all to ourselves.
The cosy lighting added to the glowy feeling we both felt as we sat enveloped in the circular-shaped eatery.
After gorging on our three-course feast we nipped upstairs to the restaurant’s retro-style bar.
Floor-to-ceiling glass windows treated us to 360 views of the Greenwich area bleeding into the River Thames.
Feeling a little dozy we opted to take the Jubilee underground line back to the Conrad hotel.
We agreed it had been a great experience and something we wouldn’t normally have done.
In one night, it allowed me to show my friend from the U.S. both poles of the city in a non-touristy way.
The 1,3,5 program was designed by Conrad Hotel’s new creative director, Peter Jon Lindberg, who is a longtime travel and food writer who’s work has been continuously featured in Condé Nast Traveler and Saveur.
He told me over dinner he’s had great fun putting together various itineraries – from dinner suggestions to spa days – and I think he’s done a stellar job.
Back at the suite, we indulged in the little macarons as a midnight snack.
For those in London for a short time, Conrad’s 1,3,5 packages are certainly a great way to see the
city in style. As the name dictates, the experience range from one to three to five hours.
I felt the weight lifted off my shoulders as I followed instructions and ventured off to see the metropolis in a whole new way.
Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks!
To book a 1,3,5 experience via Conrad Hotels around the world visit conradhotels3.hilton.com