An Olympic Stay at the Hyatt Regency London Stratford

Mark Bibby Jackson takes a walk down memory lane when he stays at the Hyatt Regency London Stratford.

Europe, Reviews

Mark Bibby Jackson takes a walk down memory lane when he stays at the Hyatt Regency London Stratford.

Every time I visit Stratford, I think of my grandparents. They were born in east London and couldn’t wait long enough to move up-market to Leyton and Chingford from Canning Town. To them Stratford would have been a step in the wrong direction. Now, it seems that all roads are leading to Stratford, which has been transformed since staging the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

The most obvious attraction is the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which hosted the 2012 Games. A year earlier Westfield City Shopping Centre opened next to the station.

It is through the latter that I walk to get to my hotel the Hyatt Regency London Stratford, for my first stay in East London since I lived here in the 80s. It certainly has changed!

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

At the fore is the Olympic Park itself. In addition to the London Stadium, now home to the other team in east London – I was brought up an Orient fan –, the Lee Valley VeloPark and the London Aquatics Centre, there are 560 acres of parkland to be explored, including a walking trail and artworks along the Art in the Park trail, which includes work by local and international artists as well as living walls.

The community is very much at the heart of the development of this long-neglected corner of London. Groundbreakers provides visitors with a tour of the history of the area, while the London Blossom Garden is a living memorial to the Covid pandemic, designed by the community.

Hackney Bridge close to Hackney Wick features markets, restaurants and bars, as well as the Park’s Mobile Garden, a movable public garden with events for the whole community. In the 90s Hackney Wick was not an area of London many would have chosen to visit.

On my trip I took the lift to the ArcelorMittal Orbit’s viewing gallery, some 80 metres above London. The views down towards the Olympic Stadium and across London from the UK’s tallest sculpture were spectacular, although fortunately for me the weather prevented me from coming down to earth on the world’s longest tunnel slide.

A Room with an Olympic View

After visiting the Olympic Park, I checked into the Hyatt Regency London Stratford. I have been fortunate enough to stay at a number of Hyatt’s in my time as a travel writer, including Hyatt Place London City East with its quite amazing cocktails. I have always found the brand to stand for reliable high standards. The Hyatt Regency London Stratford did not disappoint.

View of the London Stadium from the Hyatt Regency London Stratford
View of the London Stadium from the Hyatt Regency London Stratford

The hotel has 225 luxury guestrooms, including 10 stunning suites, with rich velvet furnishings and fashionable marble fixtures. My well equipped and tastefully decorated room had a wonderful view of the London Stadium. This was an excellent base to explore the area.

The adjoining Hyatt House London Stratford has 92 studios and 35 one-bedroom suites for those looking for apartment style living. All suites feature fully equipped kitchens, free wi-fi and stylish living and working spaces, if you are planning a long stay.

Dining at Hyatt Regency London Stratford

There is also a gym for guests of both Hyatt House and Hyatt Regency. However, it is to the Elondi Restaurant, Bar and Terrace where I headed for a cocktail reception with the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW) followed by dinner.

Elondi Bar
Elondi Bar

Sicilian chef Alessandro Femino, formerly of Claridge’s and Nobu, has derived inspiration from the cuisine of his home region, which he has fused with local dishes with ingredients from premium London suppliers. The result is a sophisticated, unfussy menu with Italian-inspired dishes and excellent British fare.

I decided to relax at the bar, as the reception had taken place in the restaurant. Here I soon got chatting with fellow guests and members of the Guild. It was a relaxing and convivial place to meet, and the food was excellent. I had a great crab linguini served with some amazing celeriac chips on the side.

All that was left to complete my swift stroll down memory lane in east London was to retire to my room, where the wonderfully comfortable bed ensured a restful night’s sleep.

Things To Do in Stratford London

ABBA Voyage Credit: Johan Persson
ABBA Voyage Credit: Johan Persson

ABBA fever has taken hold of east London since the opening of ABBA Voyage, which is supposed to be quite brilliant. Don’t be surprised if you bump into Benny, Bjorn Agnetha, Anni-Frid look-a-likes while dining in one of the many restaurants in the area. You can also shop to you drop at Westfield City with its 250+ shops, as well as restaurants, bowling alley and a 17-screen cinema.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Events

The Olympic Park will stage a series of events throughout 2023, including two Major League Baseball games and world class athletics events.

As for culture, the V&A East and Sadlers Wells will be moving to the park shortly. For more information on the events happening at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, click here.

Getting to Hyatt Regency London Stratford

Hyatt Regency London Stratford is a five-minute walk from Stratford tube and mainline station, which has great connectivity to the City, Canary Wharf and Westend from Central and Jubilee lines. The Elizabeth Line also provides a direct link to Heathrow Airport, while the Docklands Light Railway links to City Airport. You can also reach London St Pancras Station for Eurostar, via a number of lines.

Hyatt Regency London Stratford

Hyatt Regency and Hyatt House London Stratford, 10a Chestnut Plaza, Montfichet Road, Westfield Stratford City, London, E20 1GL.

T: +44 203 301 5680 

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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