I was satisfied
I've just returned from a trip to London and a stay at the Hilton Olympia.
My room was very small, but clean and comfortable and everything worked. The air conditioning worked perfectly, but I discovered I didn't need it, as the climate in London was quite cool. While reading reviews on this board, I see that many people had problems with the bathtub being too high off the floor. My tub was a little high, but there was plenty of room at the top and taking a shower was no problem. A person well over 6 feet tall would be just fine.
The continental breakfast buffet (that was included in the room price) was sufficient for me. It consisted of small chocolate muffins, blueberry muffins, toast, croissants, bread rolls, cereal, fruit (peaches and pears), juice, water, coffee, and tea.
The staff was very friendly, attentive, and efficient. My only complaint is that the concierge wasn't as knowledgeable as I'd expected. There were three different gentlemen at the post and since I stayed over a week, I met them all. Two of them kept mixing up the Museum of London with the British Museum. One of them had never heard of the Museum of London. One of them thought that the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Albert Memorial was the same thing. None of this was a huge crisis, as I'd already done my research and pretty much knew what direction to go in, but I was a little surprised that they weren't more knowledgable about these very famous sites. (especially the V& A vs. the Albert Memorial thing...one is a museum and the other is a statue! Not remotely the same thing. And they're not that far from the hotel)
The hotel is about a 20 minute walk to the High Street Kensingston tube station and a 25 minute walk to Kensington Gardens. There are two Boots pharmacies nearby, as well as a Waitrose and Tesco. There is also a wide variety of restaurants in the vicinity - upscale, ethnic, sandwich shops, and fastfood. You definitely will have no trouble finding supplies or food in this area. And if you're a shopaholic, you'll love the plethora of clothing and shoes stores as well.
If you want a hotel that's upscale and elegant, this definitely isn't it. But if you just want a safe, clean, reasonably priced, and pleasant hotel, this place will do just fine.
Olympia is great
This hotel deserves its 4*s. The staff are very friendly and well trained.
The food is excellent at all meals but the drinks are very expensive though!
It's a long way out of London centre but Olympia station gives you tube and rail connections.
Holland Park nearby is worth a visit as is the pub down the road - the flower in hand (I think). Good pub grub and beer and again friendly staff.
Nice hotel, comfy bed
Room was very comfy. There was an electronic fridge. The beds were really comfortable. The room was very nice and modern, decor was modern as well.
The thing i didn't like was that i was given a room on the 2nd floor. Upon exiting the lift, there were like 10 stairs to climb. Very small stairs which made it difficult to carry up and down and there was no one around to help.
We used the bus (i think no 9) to go to piccadily circus. the bus stop is just across the road. Walk out and turn left and cross the road, you won't miss it. I suggest you to get a one day travelcard at the tube before getting the bus because there is no ticket machine at the bus stop and they don't have change on the buses.
Oh, ask the concierge for a free map. There are discounts to various attractions and restaurants on that map. I highly recommend Bella Italia (restaurant) they are all around the place (20% off). The food was delicious - try the tirimisu.
not good-bad first impression and tiny, worn rroms.
Me and my friend checked in an hour early, not expecting our rooms to be ready, which we were quite surprised when we were told both rooms were ready for us. This is the only positive point about the hotel.
Whilst checking in we noticed that a few members of staff were sitting in the lobby chatting and laughing quite loudly. They were quite aware that there were other guests in the lobby area but made no attempt to move out of their seats. Not a good first impression.
My room was to be quite honest: crap. It was small, old and worn. My tv was not working and the minibar was overpriced. I had a lovely view of the central building and the main power system. The room service menu seems to be the same as a lot of the hiltons I have stayed at in the uk: simple and overpriced.
The staff in general were ok, they seemed pleasant and helpful. But that was it.
Undistinguished hotel but good value
I stayed here at the end of May, 2005. I found the Olympia to be a rather drab, labyrinthine, but serviceable hotel. The corridors are small and dark; the rooms are also on the small side. I was given a room with twin beds; it was rather plain and small but no real complaints. For those who like this (like me) the beds are very firm. I did not use the fitness center or the restaurant. It’s a good hike from the Kensington High Street Station (a long 10 block walk of about 25 minutes and I am a brisk walker) There are better, more convenient choices but for $73 on Priceline, who am I to complain? Continental breakfast is £13, high-speed is £15 daily or it just might be free if your window faces the right direction.
Cannnot Jusitfy the Rating
Stayed at the Olympia for one night in transit. We arrived early so the room was not ready and we had to wait; however there is no real lobby to wait in so you have to stand in front of the registration desk, walk outside or sit in the overpriced restaurant.
When we finally got to the room we were surprised at how small it was considering that I am an elite member of the Hilton chain.
The room also faced the railroad so we heard the train every time it passed.
I am surprised that it is rated 3 stars.
uncomfortable, problems, overrated
Room was hot upon arriving (in October), so we had to wait a couple of hours before it cooled off enough to sleep (we arrived at midnight). Beds had no sheets, except for the mattress sheet, and a very thick heavy hot duvet. Tried to call front desk for sheets - phone didn't work. Shower head leaked, leaving a lake on bath floor. We fixed it - why didn't housekeeping? Construction at back of hotel greeted us at 8:30 am with jackhammers - so much for sleeping in after finally falling asleep in the heat at 2 am. Other reviews said small rooms, but I didn't think that would be problematic since we weren't going to be spending a lot of time in the room. But small rooms means barely enough room to walk around the beds, not enough room for 2 suitcases. We booked thru priceline for $100/night for 2 people. Priceline said 4 star hotel - i would say 2.5. Location was OK - 10 min. walk from circle/district lines (Kensington HIgh street station), and couple of blocks from #9 bus stop, several restaurants nearby.
No problems for this visitor
I didn't book this hotel through choice - reading the previous reviews would have directed me elsewhere. When Priceline told me where I would be staying I headed to tripadvisor and my heart sank.
I arrived in London on Saturday and expected a three mile hike from the nearest underground station, to be met with a disinterested surly receptionist and be pointed to a dark damp broom cupboard located in the hotel basement.
What I experienced was completely different. A pleasant 5 minute stroll from Kensington Olympia (trains run every 15 minutes from Earls Court) and we were in the bright modern hotel lobby.
Within 5 minutes we were checked in and on our way to our room on the 5th floor. On leaving the lift lobby there were a few steps down to room level and the corridors were a bit of a maze but following the signs we found our room with no problem.
With some trepidation I opened the door to be greeted with a reasonable size room with two single beds (as requested), a bathroom with bath and shower, TV and drinks tray. We're talking of your typical Travelodge/Travel Inn/Holiday Inn Express type rooms. For the people commenting on "very small rooms" - believe me, you've not stayed in a "very small room" in a London hotel.
Getting out and about from the hotel is easy. Turn left out of the front of the hotel and 50 metres away is a bus stop. The number 9 or 10 will take you down to High Street Kensington station, on to Knightsbridge (Harrods / Harvey Nichs), Hyde Park Corner and further into town. Coming back the bus stop is almost opposite the hotel.
There are lots of shops and restaurants nearby - you'll use them as the hotel facilities aren't cheap (but then it's a Hilton - did you expect them to be?)
I'd certainly stay here again.
Hilton Olympia or HIlton Kensington: Which Has Best Location?
Just decided to book a quick trip to London, and want to use Hilton points to book two nights of free stays. Since my award credits are limited, I can either book two nights at the Hilton Olympia (380 Kensington High Street) or the Hilton Kensington (179-199) Holland Park Ave.
This trip is a quick, long-weekend thing, mainly for museums, etc. (I've been to London twice before, so don't need to do a ton of sightseeing....) I'm just mainly looking for good access to the tube, and not to be too too far away from the sites of the National Gallery, Sir John Soane's Museum, etc...
Which hotel is better for this? Many thanks for any advice.
Re: Hilton Olympia or HIlton Kensington: Which Has Best Location?
I'm crushed that you didn't ask me this question--I've stayed at both. (Just kidding.) The Kensington is better for tube access and it's also closer to where you want to be. There's a tube stop close to the Olympia, but it's for a weird spur line that only goes for one stop, then you have to change trains to get the regular tube. Still, I liked the Olympia when I went there, it's got very good access to the bus which I prefer to the tube anyway, and it's right next to the train line to catch the cheap train to Gatwick (NOT the Gatwick Express) if that's the airport you're using.
Re: Re: Hilton Olympia or HIlton Kensington: Which Has Best Location?
Many thanks. The FTers on the Hilton forum pretty much thought the access was much better at the Kensington. Such it's such a spur of the moment trip, and so short--a long weekend--it's pretty important that I stay where I can run where I need to go on the tube. I've taken exactly one bus ride in my two trips to London....I can't imagine figuring out bus schedules...
Re: Re: Hilton Olympia or HIlton Kensington: Which Has Best Location?
Kensington definitely. Much closer to shops & restaurants. Plus a nicer area - Olympia is not great, especially at night.