London Hotel Tips by iandsmith
London Hotels: 520,807 reviews and 2,056 photos
Spot the hotel
Somehow, in the middle of large cities, my nose for sniffing out good accommodation at a reasonable price seems to desert me. I should have noted the Tripadvisor comments on the internet before I booked.
Outside the lovely semi-circular street surrounding the tennis courts and gardens belies what you may find inside. The whole of the street actually is hotels and nothing but.
The Mentone, lodged in the middle of them, is rather obviously run on budget lines and thus the Polish community make up the bulk of staff which brings the ever present problem of communications and the feeling that they've been hired at the cheapest possible rate and really don't care much about the friendliness of the service.
On two of the five nights we stayed there, the linen wasn't changed and the beds left unmade, something that has never happened to me before and didn't endear the place to my partner or myself. The room itself was O.K. We had the one nearest reception, unlike some other people who have been stuck in the attic.
We had an ensuite which is a blessing when you're in a major city so that was a plus and the price, 65 pounds a night, was good for the location but not the level of service.
The advertised English breakfast varied depending upon whether they had purchased mushrooms or tomatoes at the local supermarket but the service was brisk and sometimes friendly.
At the end of the day if I was with my partner I definitely wouldn't stay there again but might chance it if I was on my own trying to save money.
Unique Qualities: One big plus I had to give them was that they have a free internet computer. That, for me, was very helpful and, along with the central location, were the two big ticks I would give the place.
Address: 54-56 Cartwright Gardens, London WC1 H9EL
Comparison: less expensive than average
I actually got into this place via RCA timeshare. It was on offer and, as I hadn't seen London and had also heard that accommodation was ridiculously expensive, I decided to take up the offer - I exchanged.
One of the first things I found out was that, in a rather obvious attempt to save money, they had almost exclusively hired Eastern European staff which made communication and help pretty difficult on occasions (see my Bath page).
Unique Qualities: The rooms themselves I found to be very satisfactory. There were actually three of them. I got a bedroom, kitchen and a shower/toilet, all linked by a corridor on one side. Very cosy. There was also a full range of TV channels. Only too vividly can I recall returning home from my day in Bath and watching the World Trade Centre disaster, but that's another story.
One thing that really got up my nose was being charged 38 pounds for electricity for the week. Apparently it's the done thing at many timeshares in Britain. Personally, I found it an affront. If I had to pay for my electricity use, fair enough, but I doubt if I would have used 2 pounds worth of electricity in the week I was there.
Of course, you can argue all you like but, the Eastern Europeans didn't understand and they had your credit card details so it was a fait accompli.
Address: 120 Maida Vale, London, England W9
Comparison: about average
Directions: About 3 minutes walk from Maida Vale Station
Unique Qualities: Hyde Hotel is only 2 minutes from Paddington station and Hyde Park and close to Lancaster Road and Bayswater Road. Set back in a private tree lined terrace, The Hyde Hotel is accessible via all major routes in and out the heart of London. It offers spacious executive rooms, family rooms and standard rooms to meet your requirements. The rooms are en suite with the choice of warm colours and furniture. Each room is equipped with a direct dial telephone, and TV. Car parking is available and there is 10.00 GBP charge per night. Other features of The Hyde are its Restaurant and Bar. The 'Eclipse Bar/Restaurant' is sophisticated, spacious, and elegant; charming,it is an ideal meeting point for friends and family.
The shower area is small but, if you can live with that, it's very acceptable accommodation
Address: 55-61 Westbourne Terrace
Comparison: about average
Unique Qualities: Nearest Underground : Paddington. Now, in London, that's always one of the first things you need to know.
I actually chanced upon this place while on one of my "gee-I've-got-half-an-hour-wonder-what-I-can-discover" walks and I noticed this wonderful tree-lined square and that just happens to be where the Cardiff Hotel is, not far from Paddington Station and the Heathrow Express Train.
The Cardiff Hotel is a Bed & Breakfast Hotel in the heart of London, run by the Davies family for over 40 years.
Address: 5-9 Norfolk Square, Hyde Park, London, England W2
Comparison: about average
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