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A GOOD OLD HOTEL
The Guards Hotel is an old budget hotel that actually delivers well above the London standard. It is part if the RCA group of hotels which has a sister hotel in London called the City Hotel (read my review here). It has seen better days, but it all works very well. It is located close to Paddington Station and Hyde Park, near one of the busiest roads in London. However, it is located at the very back of a massive residential square so the hotel is actually one of the quietest in London. Reception is nice and helpful enough and the hotel has a very good Russian restaurant in the basement called Erubuni (read my review here). The real secret of this hotel is the little extras in the room that you will not see in most hotels of this price range in London. First the rooms are functional. Not massive, but they have a desk you can sit at, a stand to put your luggage on and an ok closet. They also have some features you will NEVER see in London at this price. First, the rooms have climate control. Yep, air-conditioning, heat, whatever you need. They also have a good sized refrigerator. Not a mini-bar, but a fridge that you can put your own food and drink inside. Also inside are milk containers for your coffee and tea (also provided). And finally, in the bathroom there is a massive heating rail to dry your towels and make sure your bathroom is warm in winter.
The important things are in place. The beds are good and the rooms are quiet. If you book ahead you can get a room here at a cheap (for London) price, be well located and have plenty of food options nearby. I am happy to recommend the Guards Hotel.
• Free Luggage Store
• Laundry / Dry Cleaning (fees apply)
• Travel Advice and Ticket Sales
• 24 Hour Reception
• Excellent location
• Russian restaurant
• No car parking and the hotel recommends that you NOT drive here!
• Room types: Single, Twin, Double, Triple, Family
• Fridge, iron/ironing board, safe, desk, phone and TV
• Tea/Coffee making facilities
• Shower with
• Iron/Ironing board
TUBE & TRAIN:
Paddington Station/Heathrow Express
(Bakerloo, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, First Great Western)
Lancaster Gate (Central)
Terrible Customer Service
I wish that I could write a good review of the London Guards Hotel. However my experience with the London Guards Hotel is far from pleasant. I will lay out the facts as I see them that are substantiated with documentation.
For the Christmas holidays I planned to take my family (wife and two teenage sons) to London to partake in what I've been told is a wonderful time in London during Christmas. I booked my airline flights in early November to arrive into London Heathrow airport on December 21st. The challenge was finding hotel accommodations that were near parks or trails that my son can train as a runner. The only accommodations that I could find were at the London Guards Hotel and the only rooms available for booking were non-refundable. In addition, I had to pay the full amount for two rooms instead of a deposit for which I'm more familiar doing.
Unfortunately there was nothing else available and I had full intentions of travelling to London and staying at the hotel with my family since I already had the airline flights purchased. So I took the plunge and payed in full for two rooms at the London Guards Hotel that was non-refundable. We waited with anticipation to start our Christmas Holidays in London.
The night before our travel day I received an email from the airline that our flight was cancelled due to the blizzard conditions hitting England. I immediately called the London Guards Hotel to explain my situation. My call was received by someone that did not speak English very well and the person could not answer my questions. I also sent an email to the London Guards Hotel with a copy of the airline email indicating the flight cancellations.
I called the London Guards Hotel first thing in the morning at 9am asking for the manager and once again my call was answered by someone that did not speak English very well. It was not clear if the manager was in the hotel. I called the hotel two more times that morning with the same results; no one that spoke English well and no manager to be found.
I finally was able to speak with the manager, a Mr. Giuseppe, after lunch time. I explained to Mr. Giuseppe that my flights were cancelled and that I was trying to find flights to London to salvage my Christmas holidays. I tried to ascertain from Mr. Giuseppe what other options I may have with the London Guards Hotel in the event that I could not get to London because there were no flights available. To my amazement Mr. Giuseppe was very curt and rude. He reminded me that my hotel bookings were non-refundable and that there was nothing he could do. I appealed to his sense of ethics about the non-refundable room bookings in relation to the flight cancellations that were out of my control. I was willing to pay for a cancellation fee or to get a credit for a room at the London Guards Hotel at a later date. Mr. Giuseppe indicated that he was preparing for his holiday vacation and he did not have time to deal with my situation and he abruptly terminated the phone conversation.
Never in my travel experience have I ever been tried as negatively and rudely as the staff at the London Guards Hotel.
I called back the hotel and told Mr. Giuseppe how rude and unprofessional he was. I asked to speak with the owners of the hotel and Mr. Giuseppe indicated that he was the owner. The phone conversation ended with a sad realization that my family and I were not going to London and we lost almost 1000 Euros for the room bookings.
I made the best of the Christmas holidays and settled back into work and study after the New Year festivities with a nagging thought that that Mr. Giuseppe was not the owner of the London Guards Hotel. I called the hotel towards the middle of January and I asked to speak with the owner of the London Guards Hotel. The receptionist indicated that the owner was not at the London Guards Hotel but at some other hotel. I asked for the telephone number of the other hotel and I managed to get the name of the owner; Mr. Jack Gill.
I was not surprised that Mr. Giuseppe lied to me about him being the owner. I then called the other hotel and asked for Mr. Gill. I was transferred to a person that did not identify himself as Mr. Gill but immediately asked the nature of my call. I asked if he was Mr. Gill and with a pause he indicated that he was. Given my experience of Mr. Giuseppe lies, I had my doubts that the person I was speaking with was indeed Mr. Gill. I explained my situation and about the unprofessional manner Mr. Giuseppe behaved in my conversations with him. The "Mr. Gill" indicated that he would look into the issue. "Mr. Gill" was difficult to give a commitment for when I would receive a response. He finally agreed to respond within one week.
That last phone conversation with "Mr. Gill" was three weeks ago and I did not receive any response from the London Guards Hotel.
Please use my story as an indication of what you may experience if you decide to stay at the London Guards Hotel. Once they have your money you are at the mercy of individuals that do not understand customer service and have no sense of honour and ethics.
Very nice location
This hotel is very well located, just few minutes walking from Hyde Park and Lancaster Gate tube station. Oxford Street with Selfridges and Topshop is not far away. The rooms are quite spacious for London. You can get a good deal if you book in advance. The breakfast is awful!
Enjoy your stay.
Unique Quality: location
Tired but Spacious
This hotel is in good location a minute's walk from Hyde Park and about a 10 minute walk (or so) from Paddington Station. The location is fairly quiet as it's tucked away up a street that doesn't see through traffic.
It's a little tired and the wear is starting to show but I had a good four day stay here. I'd booked a double room but was given a triple room that was quite unique. The room was clean but the skirting boards were showing wear and the curtains were coming down in some spots. The bed was fairly comfortable. The bathroom was quite large but not sure if that's the case for all the rooms. Mine was on the ground floor facing the street. There is even air-conditioning and it was needed one day as it was quite warm outside.
There are the usual coffee/tea making facilities but the great thing about this hotel was the refrigerator that comes with the room. Just a small one but perfect for storing food if you're on a budget.
If you forget your toiletries there is soap/shampoo/conditioner, etc available in the bathroom.
Breakfast was a continental style and not worth the bother actually. The croissants were slightly crispy but I filled up on tea. This breakfast is served in the basement, like a lot of this type of hotel.
There is a lift if you've got a room on an upper floor.
Not a fantastic hotel but okay if you can get a cheap deal, especially because of the refrigerator. The largeness of the room was ideal because I had room to move around and store my suitcase. It could do with a bit of an overhaul but I'd hate for it to lose the charm of the period details in the room such as the high ceilings, sash windows and high skirting boards.
Unique Quality: My triple room was interesting as it was on different levels. As you entered the room you could see a staircase in front of you. To the left were a few steps which brought you to the main part of the room. There was a double bed on one end and single on the other. No dressers or desk but there were night tables on either side of the double. The tv was on the wall in the corner by the single bed. The stairs led up to a landing where the closet was. I was quite impressed with the closet as it was very large. Beside the closet was the small refrigerator which had the coffee/tea making items. The built in hair dryer was also out here, a mirror on the wall was also there. Handy for doing your hair. This is where I'd plug in my curling iron as well as there was no plug in the bathroom, something I find common with a lot of UK hotel rooms.
The bathroom had a large tub with a so-so shower, it tipped a bit, and the water pressure wasn't huge but adequate. The was a heater over the toilet which I used to dry clothes after I'd washed them in the tub. A small alcove off to the right had a shelf and drawer where you could store your makeup, etc. There was also a mirror over the sink.
If you need an iron and ironing board you can get one from reception.
Directions: About a block from Lancaster Gate tube stop
Lancaster Gate area hotel
Three star hotel in a Grade 2 listed building, 40 rooms en suite from singles to large rooms that can accomodate 6. Hotel has an elevator/lift but there are a few steps to get into the building. Located on Lancaster Gate, a quiet square steps from Bayswater road and Hyde Park. Very short walk to Lancaster Gate and Queensway tube stations and not that much farther from Bayswater or Paddington stations. Satelite tv, safe and small fridge in rooms which is very useful for snacks and milk for your tea and coffee (provided).
Unique Quality: Restaurant and bar on premises. They will also arrange transport from the airport for a fee. Concierge services. Part of the same hotel group that owns the Paddington hotel where we stayed in Jan. 2005 and the Royal Court Apartments.
Prices on website are good but you might get a cheaper deal on londonnights.com. Not always and i think it's probably seasonally dependent. Prices for May 2006 were ?75 for a double en suite and continental breakfast. That was the same from the hotel directly and from pretty much every other hotel booking site i generally check. Winter prices might find you a better deal.
Directions: See photo for location map
Good service at London Guards Hotel
The London Guards Hotel is the best place I have stayed on in UK so far. The service was good, the rooms were nice and clean, and the price was really low, at least when booking on the net.
Unique Quality: On London Guards Hotel I didn't even have to ask for my keys when coming back after the evening on the town, the people in the reception recognised me and saying "welcome back Mr Stenvall, here is your key", that's service.
Directions: Lancaster area, near Bayswater
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Arbor Hyde Park Hotel
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- London Guards Hotel
- Guard Hotel London
Address: 36-37 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NA, United Kingdom
12 Photos of Arbor Hyde Park HotelView Professional Photos
Amenities at Arbor Hyde Park Hotel
- Room Service
- Continental Breakfast
- Bar / Lounge
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