More about Park Plaza County Hall London
Great Location and Amenities -- Hard Bed
My husband and I spent 10 days at the end of March at the new Park Plaza County Hall which just opened in February. It is in a super location next to Waterloo Station and Westminster Bridge. They didn't have the type of room we had booked three months earlier, but generously upgraded us to a fabulous "studio", which is really a suite. It had a bedroom with flatscreen TV, vanity, and closet; a nicely appointed kitchenette; a luxurious marble bathroom with bath and shower; and a sitting area with sofa, easy chairs, desk, and a second, larger flatscreen TV, all overlooking Waterloo station and NE London. PROBLEMS: (1) the suite is entered through the bedroom, with the living area at the back, so that the bedroom gets noise from the corridor and is less private; (2) at least one of the three elevators was broken the entire time we were there; (3) the bed was hard as a rock -- very uncomfortable; (4) there was no alarm clock; (5) the room's temperature control was unmarked and did not seem to work; (6) the plumbing in the shower was stylish, but confusing; and (7) the shower door did not seal, so the bathroom floor stayed wet. Despite all this, staying in a spacious suite was worth the problems, except for the rock hard bed which made it impossible to get a good night's sleep. (The cost of our stay averaged only $240 per night, so it was a good deal financially.)
Good upper mid market hotel
I work occasionally in Central London and am always amazed at a) the size of rooms normally found b) the exorbitant cost per night.
As a result when I heard that the Park Plaza had opened (1st Feb 08) a new hotel I was keen to try it out. Generally speaking I found it to be good quality at reasonable price (if on the high side). However, there are still a few teething problems as mentioned by other reviewers. That said these were very few and generally speaking my stay was very pleasant and quiet.
I also had a meal in the restaurant, which was good with the staff being extremely polite and friendly.
What improvements would I like to see, small issues such as the lifts stopping at the correct floor. (I had to take the stairs down 7 floors as the lifts constantly bypassed this landing).
Would I go back? Yes definately.
Great New Hotel
We stayed for a week in Mid March and we were a little wary first because it was a brand new hotel and reviews on here IDed the hotel as having 'teething problems'
To our suprise though, everything was almost perfect at County Hall Park Plaza. Upon arrival we were greeted by friendly staff who were willing to go out of their way to accomodate our needs. They even allowed us to get to our room much earlier than the check in time - because they saw that we had just come from a late night flight and were exhausted. Until the room was ready - they stored our bags for us in a locked room and provided us with tagged receipts for the bags.
When we got to the room, it was really everything we expected - just a little smaller than some of the photos on here reveal. We were booked with a double - so we had no lounge area. But we had a great view overlooking Waterloo station and train tracks on the 11th Floor. We could even see the Houses of Parliament from the window.
As for the room, there was a great kitchenette - although the space of the mini-fridge was limited because the mini bar took up most of it - and we couldnt figure how to even open it. The microwave was a bit confusing but worked out fine once we understood how to work it. The beds were very comfortable - for the double, they were two mattresses next to each other on some kind of frame. Lots of space for wardrobe and storage. The TV was as expected - digital flatpanel. Most of the channels were just the networks that were on Freeview along with a couple of music and news channels. But good news for international visitors - they had a huge selection of German, French, Greek, and Italian channels availible. There was also radio available on the TV along with internet radio and playlists that the hotel made.
The bathroom was great. The toilet was the only real problem - where it would be stuck on the flush mode - but was easily fixed by pressing the flush button lightly. The glass sliding door however, gave little privacy and also had a tendency to fall off its track on the bottom. The glass shower was great - had a rain head and another nozzle that could be adjusted and moved. The bath was also spacious.
We only really used concierge once - and that was because my cell phone charger would not work with our US to UK wall adaptor. They were nicely able to charge my Nokia phone with their universal charger. As promised it was charged, and stored properly and availible for pickup later that evening.
The meals were decent. We only really did breakfast and one night of room service at the hotel. Except for easter sunday, when it was really packed, we were able to have the full english breakfast buffet (even though we were put down for continental) - The full english breakfast was full of great food: eggs, bacon, ham, beans, toast, fruit, pasteries, cereal, and much more - served with coffee, tea, or an assortment of juices. All very delicious, fresh, and served hot. When we got room service, it was fast and delicious high quality food - and was pretty reasonable in terms of price for hotel room service.
Overall hotel negatives - I would say the lifts are a little slow - usually took between 5 and 7 minutes to go down in the mornings when there was a lot of traffic. But thats only because there are 3 in the main atrium. There are however some elevators located near the stairs in the corners of the building - but I'm not sure if they are for guests. We also had the fire alarm go off twice during our stay - one was very early easter morning. this was due to 'guest actions' The first time, we trecked down the 14 total flights of stairs to the ground - and were told that we did not have to evacuate. The second time (the same day), we just stayed in the room and the alarm shut off after 3 minutes or so.
There were so many more positive aspects however, and we were quite pleased with our experience and stay at County Hall Park Plaza. I would definitely come back next time I travel to London.
Good family option in central London
It's inevitably difficult to find reasonable accomodation for a family of four at a reasonable price in Central London, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a suite at this new hotel for £135 per night (Room only, plus VAT - hotel website).
The location is excellent. You can walk over Westminster bridge to Parliament Square in 10 minutes or over the Hungerford footbridge to Charing Cross and Trafalgar Square in 15 minutes. Also of course, Waterloo station, the London Eye and the South Bank are only a couple of minutes away.
As described in the other reviews, the hotel is ultra modern and check in was quick, friendly and efficient. We'd asked for an early check in and a room on the upper floors with a view and both were granted without fuss. Our suite, on the 12th floor, had a small double bedroom area, a corridor with a kitchenette and superb bathroom and a living area with a sofa bed for the kids.
You're probably wondering why I haven't given this hotel five stars. Well, as reported elsewhere, there are still several teething problems.
Our biggest problem was the beds. Both the double bed and the sofa bed are on the smallish side, but we found both to be over hard. In particular, the sofa bed was probably less comfortable than the floor and we ended up piling as many pillows as possible on top and the children slept on that arrangement.
Second problem was the housekeeping service. We called the housekeeping number several times and they never answered. The only way to get through was to call front desk and they dealt with the request. Once you do that, the service is pretty quick, but not at all efficient. We asked for bedlinen for the sofabed and they provided sheets and duvet but only one pillow. We asked for four sets of towels every day and every day got two sets. It became routine to pick up the phone every day and call front desk to get two extra sets of towels. The ultra modern expresso machine didn't work and it took them two days to fix. They kept removing the soap from the bathroom. They only provide cups, plates and utensils for two people. They expect you to wash up (of course) but there is no brush, cloth or tea towel to wash up with. We got our soap and our kitchen stuff in the end, and all these were relatively minor irritants, but an irritation nonetheless.
Third problem was that we took a bottle of cola from the mini bar and attempted to open it on the "built in" opener. Unfortunately the "built in" opener wasn't, and all the cola spilt out into the drawers. Again, only a minor inconvenience, but the irritation was that the lady at the front desk insisted that we pay for the drink. She seemed to think that there was no way to reverse the charge once it automatically gets added to your bill.
We must have stayed at the same time as the previous reviewer as we were also disturbed twice by the fire alarm at 08.00 and 11pm. My concern here is that the emergeny exits and stairs are not clearly marked and there could be big problems in the event of a real emergency.
Finally, also as previously mentioned, there are only three lifts and there are still teething problems with them. If one lift is out of order, even temporarily, at peak times, you can be in for a long wait.
As we were able to prepare our own breakfast in the room and there are several alternative breakfast cafes in the area, we never used the restaurant, but the bar area was very cosy. There is an excellent fitness centre in the basement, all brand new equipment as well as a sauna and steam room.
All in all, still good value for the money. The bathroom in particular, was one of the best I can remember of any hotels I've stayed in. However, there are still too many problems to give top marks. Three out of five may be a little harsh. Perhaps if they hadn't charged me for that cola......
Great Suite Room for a Family
Our family stayed there Mar 13-19 and enjoyed our stay very much. Great location - a couple of blocks from the Eye and a 5 min walk to the Waterloo tube. There was contruction going on right across from us but it didn't bother us since we were out all day sightseeing.
The staff was very friendly and they always tried to help you with your question or issue though some were better at it than others.
The room was very nicely furnished (and new) and a good size for a small family (max 2 adults and 2 young kids). The separate sitting area with a sofa bed and flat screen tv was perfect for our 12 yr old and the bedroom area was nicely appointed as well. Though I would've reversed the floor plan so the sitting area would be first as you walked in and the bedroom area would be further in where the large window (and natural light) was. The counter area with the microwave, hot water kettle, and minibar were wonderful! However, we couldn't get the internet to work on our in-room tv. The staff gave us an IT support number to call and they said they couldn't help us and we had someone come up to our room to check and he couldn't figure it out either.
The bathroom was very stylish and not too small like other European bathrooms I've seen - the basin was a little shallow and it took a few minutes to figure out how to operate the two different shower heads. All in all, a great bathroom!
We had breakfast included with our stay and it was a very good buffet breakfast - great variety and they even made omelets to order! It was usually very crowded for breakfast and it was hard sometimes to get coffee/tea refills. The hotel did set up an overflow breakfast room though it was on a different floor but it offered most of the same breakfast items.
Agree with other reviewers that the elevators are the one area that needs to be worked out. It took a while to catch one during the busy hours so we ended up going down 5 flights of stairs several times during our stay.
Would definitely stay in this hotel again assuming I was able to get a reasonable rate like we did this time.
Stayed here on a recent work trip. I got a great deal through the top secret collection on last minute and was very pleased with my choice. When travelling I much prefer deign led or boutique hotels but I can’t normally get this in London on our company budget so staying here was a real treat. Modern design, brand new rooms with excellent facilities. I did not have a suite but my room was on the ninth floor and had spectacular views over Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London eye. Please note that some of the suites have an internal view.
The location is very convenient right night door to Waterloo station and within walking distance of all of Southbank and Westminster’s attractions. The staff were very friendly and helpful. I would stay here again on business or pleasure.
I stayed here with two friends on a Saturday in April 2008. All in all we found the hotel to be really good, with just a couple of exceptions.
Check in was painfully slow - there was quite a big queue and several hotel employees behind the desk who appeared to be doing nothing! We had booked a studio room through Lastminute.com for the three of us. However, the room we had been allocated was a standard double - they soon sorted this for us.
One bedroom studio with separate lounge and sofabed. The room was great - very stylish and perfectly comfortable. The shower was good and the beds not too hard, not too soft - just right. The TVs in the room (there were two) had a free music on demand service - great fun for when were getting ready to go out. We were quite close to the lifts, but this didn't disturb us at all - in fact the room was very quiet.
We didn't eat in the restaurant, so can't coment on that, although it did look very nice. The bar closed at about 2am even though it was full - this upset more than a few guests. Drinks were expensive, but we expected that. We did order room service - just sandwiches and snacks - no problems there.
The lifts are really slow - we were on the 10th floor so had no other option than to use them.
Location is very good and very handy for Westminter and Waterloo. There are a few cafes and small shops nearby. Because we had the kitchenette in our room, we went to the local M&S simply food and brought our meals back.
I would definately recommend this hotel, especially if there are three of you wanting to share a room - not many hotels seem to offer this.