More about Shaftesbury London Hyde Park
Can't be beat for atmosphere and location
I feel like a fool for having been misled by negative TripAdvisor reviews of this place I read before my trip, so am now compelled to write of my own experience.
I'd booked into the Inverness Court as part of a package deal, then read some really hair-raising reviews here. I was getting ready to travel with my 15-year-old daughter, and wanted to make certain we would be in an okay place; the reviews made it sound like some awful cross between a sour-smelling bordello and a mecca for junkies. So I gave up my deposit, and we booked somewhere else -- that cost twice as much, and was perfectly okay, but dull.
I wanted to see what I'd turned down, though, and we looked it up on our last day in London. It was the coolest place we'd seen during our entire week -- and located exactly one block from Hyde Park, the Queensway tube stop, every Bayswater bus, the tour buses as well. The best and easiest location imaginable. And with the handsomest, most in-period, high-Victorian facade in the neighborhood.
Yes, a little threadbare in spots -- but the real deal, with cascades of leaded and decorated windows, a white and gold jewel-box of a theater-bar, perfectly nice rooms and baths, and what I found to be an extremely amenable staff, who welcomed us to look around and linger.
Why do most people seem to be looking for a Motel 6? My daughter was ecstatic over the Hogwartsian qualities of the place, and didn't want to ever leave the Wm Morris-patterned armchairs in the paneled lobby. It was the closest we came to "membership" in a Victorian club, and just visiting became a highpoint of our trip. Wish to heck we'd stayed there the whole week, per first plan!!!!
Very nice hotel, perfect location, great value for the money!
I stayed at the Inverness Court Hotel in November of 2004 and I was very nervous about staying there, due to the horrifiying reviews other travelers had given the hotel, but I decided to give it a try, and I am glad I did! It is a lovely hotel the lobby is georgeous and the location is key! It's right across the street from beautiful Hyde Park and a tube and bus station is 2 seconds away! I stayed in a single room, which was nice and clean! The bathroom is small, but at least you get your own and again it is clean! The elevator is a little slow, but the days your not lugging your luggage just use the steps, because the views on the ceilings are to die for! The free breakfast is a wonderful array of croissants! Overall it's a nice hotel, and you can't beat the price!
What a nightmare ! Horrible
Do not stay here. Staff is unfriendly,unhelpful and dont know the definition of customer service nor hospitality. Rooms were beyond small (2 people cant move about at the same time). A 12 inch tv that had almost no reception other than 2 channels. Bathroom was filty (mold growing in shower) as was the rest of the room. If you sit on the toilet your knees almost hit the sink. I cant even explain how small the bathroom was ! The bar hours in the hotel are inconsistent. They open and close whenever they please. Sometimes they dont open up at all. Breakfast consists of stale croissants,rolls, juice and coffee. I reccomend that you sleep on the street. Youre better off.
Beautiful Victorian gone wrong...
Upon arrival, the old victorian looked interesting, almost comparable to the Shining. What looked to be original artwork in the lounge and the bar, big wooden staircase and big marble fireplace in the lobby. The location of the hotel was very convenient to the tube, restarants and shopping and in walking distance to kensington gardens.
In hopes of being greeted by a nice british accent that I traveled all that way to hear, I was immediately disappointed to hear an accent of eastern european descent
After checking in we took the one working elevator, the other one was probably still out from the october visit from another review, and found our very small room. The size of the room did not concern me but the condition of the bathroom did. Mold was in the shower and all over the ceiling, the shower curtain rod was rusted and no ventilation caused moisture tinted with rust to form on the ceiling and then drip down onto whatever you had sitting out, ie. your toothbrush...
On the second day of our trip we were informed in a very nasty way by Audrey (the front desk attendant) that we needed to check our key at the front desk every time we left the hotel. This strikes me as odd to HAVE to leave the key so the staff knows when you are there and not. I am a traveler who chooses not to have my room serviced during my stay. In total disregard to the "do not disturb" sign hung on our door at all times the staff entered our room every day (they knew we werent there because our key was at the front) and made the bed.
Going back to the broken elevator, in the mornings, on the way to the continental breakfast that wasnt too bad, just plain, the single elevator that stopped at the 6th floor every time you rode it for no reason at all, was tied up by the staff and their mounds of sheets or cleaning supplies. After waiting 10 minutes you resorted to the climb down 8 flights to the dining room. And yes, the elevator only goes as high as the 9th floor and if you are that unfortunate person with big luggage going to the 10th floor the staff will not help you up the stairs, as I witnessed by another guest.
My last disappointment, which is not critical, just odd, is that the hotel bar was opened very irregular hours. Some days opened all day, sometimes it was closed for a few hours and one day it was closed all day, yet the bartender was there. The reason we were given was "Just because."
I have made it home from my trip in one piece and I was greatful for a clean shower. If I hadnt paid in full before the trip began I think I would have followed the other reviewers to a different hotel.
Don't be scared off...
Okay, the good points:
The hotel and ESPECIALLY the room was CLEAN; Room was on the small side, but manageable . No idea about some of these past horrible reports on this site. Location is EXCELLENT, just off Hyde Park and very close to 2 different metro stations. Charming hotel lobby and lounge, though it's getting tired and smells smokey (tho everyone over there seems to smoke). Hotel staff cordial and polite, tho this is not a full service hotel with any overly useful consierge service.
The bad points:
Since it's so old, certain expectations of the building should be noted: one elevator worked but you never knew what floor you'd go to, floors creak loudly (so you had better not be a light sleeper or at least hope your upstairs neighbor is on your schedule), the bar and restaurant are almost always deserted by both staff and guests; The most activity is during the free breakfast (juice, tea, coffee, rolls, croissants - or purchase other dishes).
Our worst meal in London was dinner at the hotel: the Chef had to be called down to the restaurant, tho we had seen a menu with many items he tried to give us the spaghetti, then we insisted on the menu items we had seen posted. My friend's Welsh Rarebit & medalions of pork with wine reduction sauce was actually toast with melted cheese slices and over cooked - probably leftover - chops. My pate & roast lamb in mint sauce was actually toast with liverwurst spread and thin slices of lamb. We both had the same brown gravy on our meat and boiled potatoes and carrots. NOT worth the $20 US dollars we spent in addition to having to ask for beverages.
All in all, well worth the $80 - $90 US dollars per night we paid. Just don't eat or drink there and expect not to get a lot of sleep if you get the creaky neighbor.
A Scam - do not go to Inverness Court!
Inverness Court is a beautiful old building with a gracious lobby and ornate bar, but that is all is has going for it. The staff is unbelieveably rude. They did not have hair dryers available, even though the website claimed they did, and would not reimburse me when I had to go buy one. The staff did not know how much the bus cost, how to get to or from the airport, or other basic information. They were incredibly rude - they sat smoking at the front desk while people carried their own bags.
The elevator was broken. The window in our room would not open. The water in the shower was boiling hot and the cold water would not come on. But, by far, the worst part was the beds. They are like cots from WWI. They did not have bed pads and you could feel sharp coils coming through as you slept. And, they beds and pillows reeked of urine. I can' t understand why both of the twin beds in our room smelled like urine, but the stentch was strong and unbearable. The hotel is well located - but that's about it. We got the feeling that there was no manager in charge - just a bunch of 18 year old Eastern Europeans running a scam. Be careful.
Having just returned from a seven-night stay (November 2004) at the Inverness Court, I must give warning to travelers who are considering staying here. I have stayed in many comfortable London budget hotels, but this budget hotel was horrific. The tiny rooms, partitioned with paper-thin walls, were so noisy that I had to change rooms twice, once to get away from the loud elevator and again to get away from the street noise. When I turned on the bathroom light, roaches scurried across the floor. Consequently, when I returned from my trip, I left my luggage outside in the yard and open to allow any roaches that may have crawled in to escape.
The lobby was shabby and tacky beyond belief. Underneath the lobby's brutally bright chandeliers were the cheapest, tackiest plastic plants that I have ever seen. Dust covered the "plants." The fabric chairs were worn and dirty, and the "theatre" bar next door was drab and sterile-no atmosphere whatsoever. The miserable management has no imagination. They will take your money; that's all.
Stay somewhere else!
After deciding to take advantage of a great deal though a travel agent we made our way to London from Nov 27-Dec 2nd. I was expecting the rooms to be let's say 'compact.'
When we arrived, they took our luggage and put it in the bar along with other people who had arrived early. After repeatedly asking for our room, they finally had a room available. The staff was very unaware of how this hotel apparently functioned. They were EXTREAMLY RUDE to the guests, including myself, who stayed there.
Making our way up to our room, the lifts didn't exactly work, per say. You had to push the down button to get an elevator to go up and when you got in the elevator, it was like picking a number out of a hat to figure out what floor you'd be let off on. When getting in our room, the room, was about the size of a small American bathroom. There were two twin beds in the room, with mattresses that were about 3 inches thin, with SHARP springs sticking into your body as you lay on them. Not to mention the fact that I’m about 5’10 and my half of my legs and feet were hanging off of the little beds. The middle of the mattresses was FLAT as were the down pillows in the room that had about 7 feathers in them. There is no room to put your suitcases; we had to pile them on top of the desk.
Our first room had no outlets, so I had no way to charge my video camera among other things that needed to be charged. We had to change rooms, because we needed an outlet. When they moved us, they moved us to another room in which the one outlet did not work. They would do nothing to accommodate the lack of power. We would take the stairs another floor, because all of the outlets on our floor didn't work, and sit in the hallway charging our things that needed to be charged. Employees of the hotel saw is in the hallway and offered to 'look into’ the lack of power in our rooms, yet they actually did nothing.
The bathrooms are horrible! The sink blocks the door, so you have to turn sideways and exhale to get in(and I’m not a fat person). There is nowhere to put anything in the bathroom. If you sit on the toilet, you have the sink in your lap(LIERALLY). After taking a shower, you have to leave the bathroom and try to find some space in your room to dry off.
We had a closet, but nothing fit in there! The door was probably about 8 inches wide. There was no way to put two suitcases in there.
The walls were about a half of an inch thick and you could hear EVERYTHING, from conversations in every language to people using the bathroom through out the WHOLE FLOOR! They must have been made out of cardboard.
The hotel itself was nice, yet very old. I it needs a desperate restoration. It's very worn out. The 'main staircase' is adorned with wonderful woodwork and frescos, yet that doesn't say much about the rooms.
The breakfast was good. They had croissants and juices. Not bad.
All in all, if you're looking for a hotel that has 'decent' accommodations this place, unfortunately isn't it. I only didn't review this hotel as horrible because of the nice staircase. It almost gave the hotel character.
Trust me...Do not stay at Inverness!!!
Honestly, if I could give the Inverness Court a lower rating then "terrible" on this review I would! First of all the front desk staff was EXTREMELY rude, arrogant from the minute we walked in. On top of that NO greeting whatsoever. Plus they personally insulted me to my face the first day! The lobby is incredibly tacky and unkept. If they actually restored and took care of those walls, carpets, furniture, that lobby would be a gorgeous Victorian treasure. Instead it looks like a shabby rusty abandoned ghost house. The halls in the hotel are extremely narrow and reeck of manure. Out of 2 lifts (elevators) one was out of order our entire stay and the other one only worked by going all theway "up" first...even if you had to go down. Plus, they took forever to open and close and get to their destination. You can only walk in the bathroom sideways and sit on the toilet with the sink in your lap. NO WAY can you do anything in the bathroom like getting ready unless you dont mind standing in the tub (if you are lucky enough to have one...or else you just get a stand up shower) or sit on the toilet. NO STANDING SPACE in the bathroom!!!!! Every female's nightmare. You can hear everything in any part of the hotel through those walls. We were put in a room(BEWARE: Room 506) that couldn't be any bigger than 7ft x 9ft with 2 smaller-then-twin beds and a bathroom! ABSOLUTELY NO walking space within the entire room, NO space for luggage. One bed had an extremely sharp bed spring sticking out. And NO access to any outlets!!! For someone who has things to charge (i.e. camara, computer, mobile phone, etc.) this can create a huge problem. Went down to ask if any other rooms were available, I was yelled at with they were fully booked, nothing she could do, and what did I want her to do comments. As I waited a few moments for the manager, she uttered in her HORRIBLE English accent ," ugggh...Americans... I have head-th-ache." Instead of screaming at her I kept my cool and just complained about everything to the manager in private. He ordered to put us in another room (Room #615) Which was exactly like room 506, except now we had some sort of a desk (which we used to put our luggage). The power outlet hidden in the corner behind the desk didn't work our entire stay!
I don't mind the size of the rooms, hall, in general the place is an extreme dump! The service overall was absolutely horrible considering they don't even speak fluent English! And I wouldn't recommend this place to my worst enemy!!! I've stayed in places where they charge by the hour, which it doesn't get any worse then that (i.e. Motel 8, Thunderbird Motel), but by far...the Inverness made those places look and feel like The Ritz Carlton!!! If you like to be treated like garbage and stay in pig barn then stay here...if you expect at least some standards for your money then I advise you to pay an extra few pounds and stay somewhere else! I swear!!!