Overall: A clean, reasonably-priced comfortable room, in a great city location. Best for tourist couples or business travelers.
We stayed nine nights, booked directly on the hotel’s website, the same day as our arrival. Room rates per night varied from GPB $99, increasing to GBP $149 on weekend nights. Rates seem dependent on occupancy, although expect to have to sell a kidney on ebay for a room during peak periods (including the Olympics). Our room (L8) was on the lower ground floor (basement from the street level, although our window looked out onto a small internal courtyard), and the room size and fittings exceeded our expectations. I suspect we received an upgrade to a larger room, as we had a couch.
North American travelers should be aware that hotel rooms in the UK and Europe are generally smaller than those in North America, include tax in the rate, don’t have a top sheet on beds (just a duvet or doona) and don’t have ice machines.
What’s good: Our room had good lighting, a beautiful solid timber king-size sleigh bed, three-seater couch, wardrobe with safe, small mini bar & refrigerator, kettle and tea/coffee items, small desk & desk lamp, and a window able to be opened for fresh air. Flatscreen colour tv with good selection of channels (including cable). The room furnishings & fittings were reasonably modern and in good condition. Breakfast included in our rate was in the lower floor restaurant each morning from 7am – 10am (later on weekends). Cereal, croissants, fruit & yoghurt, euro platter of cheese & cold meats, toast; tea , coffee & juice. There’s a charge for a cooked breakfast.
The location of the hotel is in a quiet residential area, with very close access to transport (Lancaster Gate tube station is 5 minutes easy walk), shops and famous London gardens.
We saw no evidence of bed bugs, encountered no problems and saw no reports of them on any internet registers for this hotel.
Minor annoyances: Internet in London hotels is generally an additional and expensive cost, and it’s no different here. You can purchase wifi access for one hour for GBP1.99; 24 hours for GBP3.99 or seven days for 15GPB - for one device only. There’s a printer and desktop computer in the foyer for guest use, with one hour at GBP6.99 using the hotel’s computer.
After purchasing access, we discovered our room location prohibited a fully functioning internet connection unless we sat in the middle of the bed, and even then, the signal was extremely weak and intermittent. I expect this is a regular complaint so if you experience a weak signal, take it up with the front desk and anticipate some financial relief or the offer of some business desk access as a compromise.
Our room was next to one of the (tiny) elevators, a set of stairs, and was the first room before the restaurant. As a result, there were plenty of the “I’m-awake-so-everyone-else-must-be” loud guest conversations in the morning outside our door, and usual door slamming. We also experienced noise from late-night staff accessing coffee in the restaurant after hours. You’ll likely (just) hear the rumble of the tube (subway) in this room, but it wasn’t loud and didn’t disturb us. Because our room faced an internal courtyard, we had no traffic or footpath noise. Mostly the room was very quiet. Bed a little on the hard side, with flat pillows. Bathroom was amongst the smallest ever encountered in the world, and towels were large, bathsheet size. It’s common for UK & European hotels to not have a top sheet on beds (duvet or doona covering only).
There’s no laundry on site, but the hotel offers a more expensive in-house cleaning service. You’ll find a Laundromat within two blocks walk next to the Elysees Hotel on Craven Terrace (open 8am – 6pm except Sundays), where you can launder your own clothes for GBP3.60 (Machines take 3 x $1; 3 x .20p and 0.50p gets you a cup of washing powder) and have a coffee at the café in the same building while you wait.
Safety/Security: The hotel is surrounded by middle-class apartments and luxury vehicles, and we felt quite safe returning from the Tube station later in the evenings (10:30pm). The in-room safe had default passwords changed. Security could be improved by staff requesting a guest name and identification when issuing a replacement room key.
Staff were polite and efficient. Room & bathroom clean.
Would stay again at the same rates only, but in a room further from the restaurant and stairs.
Nearby: Within one blocks walk on Lancaster Gate, you’ll find a number of small grocery stores, and a few kebab takeaways. For an excellent English Pub meal (and live music on the weekends), be sure to try the Swan Pub (1 block) and their proper-pastry crust Steak & Ale Pie, Fish & Chips and a great organic beer on tap. I’d give the nearby Lancaster Gate Pub a miss – with prices similar to the Swan, the service was completely indifferent and poor quality.
Three blocks walk (15 minutes) to Queens’ Way, there’s another tube station and just about anything else you could ever need including tourist souvenir shops, a Starbucks (free internet), Pret-A-Manger (fabulous fresh soup & sandwiches, and also free internet), a Boots Pharmacy, Post Office, several banks and a large Shopping Centre (Whiteleys). Don’t take up any offers of foreign exchange on the street (try the Post Office for a good rate).
Transport: There’s several ways to get from LHR (Heathrow airport). On the tube, (subway, but don’t call it that), for the least number of changeovers, catch the blue Picadilly line from LHR and ride until Holborn station (red Central Line). Transfer to a red, westbound Central Line train (either Ealing/Broadway or West Ruislip) to embark at the Lancaster Gate station. Alternatively, catch the blue Picadilly line from LHR until the South Kensington stop and take a short cab ride. The hotel is five minutes walk from Lancaster Gate station. More central London locations are just a few tube stops away (e.g. Bond Street is one, Oxford Circus is two), and every other tube line meets up at some point with the red Central Line. Those with unlimited budgets or pressed for time might prefer the Heathrow Express train (GBP18 p/p one way), which brings you into Paddington Station in just 15 minutes. A transport card (Oyster Card) was GBP32.50 including the card, for seven days unlimited tube travel to Zones 1&2.
There’s also a taxi cab rank opposite the hotel.
For something different/unusual nearby: at 10 Hyde Park Place you’ll find the smallest house in London (around a metre wide). Touted as being built to block a right of way through to St George's graveyard, and deter grave-robbers, it dates back to 1805 and is now part of Tyburn Convent. The tiny house was actually hit by a bomb in 1941 during World War II. At 22-23 Leinster Terrace you’ll find two fake building frontages to mark the spot where the steam engines of the Paddington to Farringdon line passed close below the surface, the train company having demolished the real houses to dig tunnels, and then covering them up.
Try a lower ground floor looking towards the internal courtyard, away from the stairs and elevator
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC