Westfield Stratford: A vibrant and cool stay in the city’s heart – a shopper’s paradise

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A solid pick for me turned out to be the Hyatt Regency Stratford, totally in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the district. If you’re looking for a city break allowing you to access all the action with little effort, you’ll definitely be well-placed. But while the location of the hotel is unrivalled, the interior is far calmer and offers a welcome break from the noise below, and it is nice to be greeted on arrival by friendly concierge staff, sailing upstairs to your room in one of the hotel’s many lifts. 

The air conditioned room is ideal, especially in the middle of a heatwave, and you can take the weight off your feet and unwind after a day of hitting the expansive Westfield Stratford shopping centre, quite literally only a few paces away from the hotel’s front door. 

Nothing is better than being revitalised by standing under a cool, rain shower in a modern, tidy and clean bathroom. 

Rooms at the Hyatt also offer unparalleled views over London. From our room, a lovely nearby garden was visible when looking left, but turning our heads the other way, we were confronted with the impressive and looming London Stadium peeking out from behind the skyscrapers, which will make any guest reminisce on the Olympic Games of 10 years ago. 

Back downstairs, the Hyatt’s Elondi Restaurant and Bar did not disappoint. With beautiful plush chairs and Art Deco lights, it gave off a Great Gatsby-esque vibe that was perfect in kicking off a night on the town. 

And whatever your drink of choice, they’ve got it covered. Guests can switch seamlessly between traditional cocktails and just as refreshing mocktails with prompt service to keep the drinks and relaxed vibe flowing. 

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Heading out for the evening, there is plenty to see and do, with Westfield Stratford attracting a myriad of fashion, food and entertainment brands. It really adds to the experience.

For dinner, we decided to opt for Lokma, a restaurant in the middle of Westfield Stratford’s ‘Street’ offering amazing, authentic Turkish food. The menu was expansive, with lots of choice, and the portion sizes were impressive.

A particular favourite was the sucuk izgara – a spicy, garlic beef sausage – which, when paired with the grilled halloumi, and a nice cocktail, went down an absolute treat, before we tucked into our main meals of chicken adana and lamb shish.

While the restaurant was busy, the staff went out of their way to ensure each customer was taken care of, with a quick and attentive service. The music is also an eclectic mix of pop, RnB, Afrobeats and more, with familiar favourites really helping diners to get in the party mood. 

If you are looking to let your hair down with a good bit of old-fashioned fun, there’s perhaps no better place to be than the nearby Bat and Ball. Once inside, there’s a lively bar, but primarily the chance to pick up a paddle and start a game or two. 

You’ll find players of all abilities, and some decided to ditch the bats entirely in favour of beer pong – a drinking game which can definitely bring out a competitive side in everyone.

Opting for the traditional game, we were breathless by the end, chasing after ping pong balls, but our sides also hurt from laughing so much.

Breakfast back at the Hyatt is the perfect hangover cure after a night out, but even if you’ve skipped the alcohol, it’s not one to miss.

Guests can choose from the continental options of croissants, bread, doughnuts, pastries and juices, or go the whole way with a slap-up Full English.

There’s also the chance to have poached eggs and omelettes cooked to order by the restaurant’s chefs and presented to your table. 

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The restaurant is well-kept with staff making sure your coffee mug or teacup is never empty. And we found the restaurant manager to be the star of the show, offering an incredibly professional and attentive service which could not go unnoticed. 

Guests can step out onto the hotel’s impressive terrace, with the opportunity to sit outside and take in the fresh air, read a newspaper, or simply catch some sun rays in peace. And it is frequently host to the Sunday Grill, the new answer to a more familiar brunch, with barbequed food, excellent music and a great atmosphere. 

Before leaving, we couldn’t resist visiting the shopaholic’s playground of Westfield Stratford for one final time. It’s hard to believe the centre is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, as it is just as popular as it was when it first swung open its doors. 

Since then, it has garnered over half a billion visitors, and it is easy to see why. Once inside, the day can really just melt away. 

It will be a challenge for you to leave without burdening yourself down with shopping bags, and new treasures to try once you are back home. 

All in all, the Westfield Stratford experience is one of jam-packed fun and dynamism, but also one that allows you to take a break exactly when you need to. 

Looking for a truly memorable city break? Look no further.

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