Good Hotel both for Business and Leisure Stays
Sheraton Park Tower is a very good hotel both for the business and leisure traveller. Location is excellent and service standards are good except the reception area. The reception area is somewhat crampy due to the design of the hotel and if you try to check in or out at a busy time, it may take sometime to reach to the reception desk as the area gets crowded easily. Reception staff during my last stay also did not seem to have service consistency. Although I am a member of the Starwood Guest programme, I was not upgraded but, my colleague who checked in at the same time without any loyalty card was upgraded to an Executive Floor room. The rooms are OK in general, most have been refurbished and look nice. Breakfast room, which serve as a fish restaurant in the evenings looks a bit dated and the buffet area is also very crampy.
In summary, this hotel will again be my choice with good location and predictable service quality at my future London travels.
Great location, good hotel
I stayed at this hotel for 3 nights in Nov. 2005. It is extremely well-located, across the street from Harvey Nichols dept. store and just down the street from Harrods. My room was clean and comfortable, with a small but well-appointed bathroom. I had called the concierge ahead of time to ask that he arrange car service for me from the airport and he did a good job with that - I had an excellent driver who was waiting for me right outside customs. I dined at One-on-One Restaurant two times for breakfast and once for dinner. The breakfast is a buffet and quite European in its offerings (cheese, meat) with less emphasis on fresh fruit than I would have liked, but there was nothing wrong with it. I had a mixed experience at dinner. The food was excellent but at first I felt the staff was unfriendly and, well, snotty. Then, one of the staff members noticed that I was dining alone and she brought me magazines with listings of local activities and events, as well as that day's newspaper. After that all the staff members started paying attention to me, offering a pillow for my back, checking regularly to see that I was happy with my meal, etc. So, in the end I had a pleasant experience at the restaurant, albeit an odd one. My only real complaint about this hotel is that the public areas reek of cigarette smoke. Otherwise it is just fine - not as nice as a Four Seasons or a Ritz Carlton, but still okay. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again or recommend it to a friend.
Booked this hotel based on positive reviews here and the location. At check-in I was greeted by the hotel general manager and several staff. As it turned out I was given my room free in appreciation for being a Starwood Preferred Guest and for having booked with the hotel directly online. Needless to say this saved me a lot of money as my rate was for 190 GBP per night for a standard room. I got upgraded to the 11th floor executive room with a nice view out over Hyde Park. The rooms were quite nice as expected. All the rooms here, except suites as far as I can tell, are the same size so you don't have to worry about getting a bad one. Are all equal which is actually a nice size for a London hotel. The sofa built into the wall by the window is great for relaxing. The bathroom includes a separate shower stall. The room has both wireless and wired internet connections available (both for a fee). The lobby and public spaces are average in my opinion. The rooms and the location are the reason to stay here. Just a one minute or less walk to the Knightsbridge tube statation and next to Harvey Nic's. Good location for both shopping and for taking the tube into Covent Garden for going to the theatre. All the staff that I had interaction with were very professional and did their best to help me. I would definitely stay here again.
Good Location, Good Rooms
Stayed in the hotel for 2 nights in December.
Room was quite nice - and reallly well furnished, and quite roomy - bathroom was of a good size, with an odd sized shower that did not drain correctly. Plenty of TV Channels, and location is awsome, just next to Harvey Nics Dept Store.
The "king" bed was of the awful 2 x single stuck together type - once of the beds was slightly lower than the other, only figured this out the second night, so did not give the hotel the ability to fix and satsify.
Room Service were very good, and even offered me as many free bottles of waters that we wanted - which was nice for a hotel. All in all, very friendly, great spot, and well furnished and would go back.
Once great service; not any more
We have been staying at this hotel for over 10 years regularly...this last visit was a disaster. Not just experienced by us, mind you, but also by the several other guests traveling for the same meeting. Three different groups had problems upon checking in! Everything from rooms not ready until late at night upon checking in; wrong rooms & beds assigned; lack of concierge service; housekeeping not bringing in a cot for almost an hour when it should have been set up prior to our arrival, etc. Don't know what went wrong with this time, but we'll look elsewhere for our next trip. Also, note that the rooms are noisy - both from street sounds and hallways. I slept with earplus so no problems, but our daughter would awaken early in the a.m. due to traffic sounds. Rooms are well decorated and clean.
Nice hotel, would go back!
We stayed here for five nights in December 2005. We had a suite, which was basically two interconnecting rooms. One room had a very comfortable king size bed good sized desk, and the other room was the sitting room or entertaining area. It was a bit unusual that the two rooms were quite separate but I guess it enables the hotel to be able to sell the bedroom part as a separate room.
Check-in and check-out were fine with no problems at all.
We asked for a rollaway bed for our child which was delivered promptly.
We had breakfast each morning in the restaurant. I was surprised to see that the restaurant opened only at 7 a.m., whereas for most hotels servicing business people the common start time seems to be 6 a.m.. They do provide coffee/tea and croissants free of charge from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. in a small sitting room close to the restaurant. Given that we had just arrived from Australia and we had jetlag, we did go down quite early on a couple of occasions. They take the croissants and coffee away at 7 a.m. when the restaurant opens. The breakfast buffet was around 18 pounds for a continental breakfast, which was okay but not a huge selection. For an extra 3 or 4 pounds you can have a cooked breakfast which they make for you and bring out as there is no cooked food on the buffet. The service was quite good and the waiters were quite friendly. We did not eat in the restaurant for dinner although the menu did look quite good, if not perhaps on the slightly expensive side. If you are interested, Harvey Nichols (across the road) has quite a good restaurant and cafe upstairs and it is reasonably priced.
The room was very comfortable. It was relatively spacious for a London hotel and the bed was very very comfortable. The toiletries were from Molton Brown which I particularly liked! Because there were two interconnecting rooms, we had two bathrooms. One had a bath and a small triangular shaped shower, and the other had a spacious shower.
The location of the hotel is quite good for things like Harvey Nichols and Harrods and Hyde Park. It is also about a three minute walk from tube station.
They are currently upgrading the lifts, and so only two out of three are operating, which does cause some delays but not too much of an issue. The lifts themselves are surprisingly small and hopefully will be increased in size with the upgrade.
This hotel does not look that great from the outside (it is basically a round concrete building), but the inside is lovely and the rooms are really nice. I would certainly stay here again and would recommend it to other visitors.
Thanks for a memorable stay!
This is a great hotel for the business traveler. The cleanliness and housekeeping is exceptional. The room we stayed in was on the south side of the tower, proffering views of the Thames and the Millennium Eye. There is excellent Wi-Fi connectivity within the hotel. The suite we stayed in had an elegant but contemporary design. I believe my sister used their dry-cleaning service and was very satisfied.
Best of all, the hotel is literally next door to Harvey Nichols and a few blocks from Harrod's, so wives, find and excuse to accompany your hubby on his next business stay here!
The only complaint I will make is that we were misinformed regarding the continental breakfast that is served in the hotel restaurant. At the beginning of our stay we came under the impression that there was no breakfast included. Au contraire! Unfortunately we learned otherwise only the morning of our departure. The spread is standard but generous. In fact, since eating out is so expensive in London, it would have been quite easy to eat a big filling meal every morning for breakfast, with a light lunch and snack for the rest of the day eaten elsewhere.
That's what we'll do when we return!
6 Days In London
"Day 1, May 16 2000"
We arrived at Heathrow uneventfully, after having been evacuated from the Shannon airport prior to our flight. "It's a new building with a twitchy system," they said. At any rate it was enough time to give all the airport employees a quick smoke break before we were all herded back inside.
We took a cab to our hotel, which was being paid for (at least partly with frequent-flier miles, I hope!) by my generous brother-in-law as a wedding gift. Our base for the next six days was the posh Sheraton Park Tower. For those of you who might not know it by name, it's the tall, round tower in Knightsbridge. A bit of an eyesore from the outside, really, but quite nice inside (and it better be, at the likes of $700 per night, rack rate!). I was intimidated, certain that the moment we entered the lobby we would be sussed out as the mid-budget tourists we were and would be unceremoniously ejected onto the sidewalk on our bums! On the contrary, we were greeted warmly by a manager and escorted to our 14th floor "executive" room. Waiting for us there was a chilled bottle of champagne and a congratulatory card. We still giggle over the fact that the card was addressed using my brother-in-law's name and not my husband's. :-) The room was simply splendid, with a king size bed and a couch next to a width-of-the-room-sized picture window. We felt like lords of all we surveyed: in the distance, to the northwest, the white twin towers of Wembley Stadium; to the north, Hyde Park; across the street, the ornate facade of the even-more-posh Mandarin Oriental Hotel; and to the east London. We could see both Big Ben and the London Eye.
That afternoon we took a leisurely stroll around Knightsbridge and Chelsea, marveling at the expensive homes and many gardens and window shopping. When we returned to our room, we found they had turned down the bed and refreshed the ice around the champagne (which we were saving for later). After dinner and a walk around Hyde Park Corner, we returned to the champagne and the view. With a toast to my brother-in-law, we watched London begin to twinkle as if luminescent fairy dust were being scattered across the city.
"Day 2, May 17 2000"
We slept late (relatively speaking) and decided to hop on one of the "Topless Bus" tours, which we could catch just up the road at Hyde Park. This is a great way to get around the city without being underground; the guides are entertaining and you can get the lay of the land. We made our first stop the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. We toured the Tower, saw the ravens, and even had a peek at the Crown Jewels. Then we headed out onto Tower Bridge to take in the view. Everyone was herded off the middle of the bridge, and along came a sailboat with a very tall mast. We watched as they opened the bridge to let the boat pass; it was pretty cool if you like that sort of thing (which I do!). Then we hopped on a boat for a short ride along the Thames, taking along a couple of sandwiches we'd picked up for lunch (the boat ride was included in our Topless Bus ticket). This is a great vantage point for viewing the many bridges, the architecture and historic buildings, and Parliament. We got off near the London Eye--damn if that thing isn't amazingly huge up close! Sadly, we weren't able to get tickets for any of the days we were going to be in London. So it was back on the bus with us and "home" to our swank digs. Dylan napped (if you read my Ireland travelogue, you're familiar with this concept) and I watched the news.
For dinner, we ventured out to find a pub recommended to us by some friends who had spent some time living in London. The hotel concierge was able to point us in exactly the right direction and we found The Swag and Tails without much trouble at all. It was a lovely little place tucked into a residential street and the food was top-notch. And we were able to watch Arsenal lose to Galatassaray on penalties in the UEFA Cup Final.
"Day 3, May 18 2000"
On the agenda for today: tour Wembley Stadium. It was two days before the last FA Cup Final that would ever be played there. We bough one-day Tube passes (cheaper in this case than the usual zone passes, since Wembley lies a bit outside the city) and were on our way. Our tourmates happened to be a large class of school kids from Denmark plus a few other couples and small groups. The tour was wonderful; American stadiums are nothing like this! From the security cameras to the press areas, to the famous tunnel to the Royal Box . . . we saw it all. It poured down rain just after we got inside the stadium, but stopped just as our group emerged from the tunnel onto the area behind the pitch. It was an experience we are both grateful to have had . . . and now Wembley is no more. We headed back downtown and had a quick sandwich in a park between Westminster Abbey & Parliament. We then toured Westminster and it was amazing. Our short US history is nothing compared to the ages that stretch back in England. Westminster is stunning and awe-inspiring and is not to be missed. By this time it was getting late in the day, but we meant to see the Rosetta Stone, if nothing else, at the British Museum. It was shameful how we raced through the Egyptian rooms in the short time we had before the museum closed. Dinner that night merits its own chapter.
"Day 3, Cont'd"
After my husband's nap, we headed out for dinner. We had intended to go to a Lebanese place right next to the hotel, but looking inside it appeared to be a bit stuffier than what we were after. So we hopped the Tube and headed for Leicester Square. We wandered and wandered, looking for a place that wasn't 1) a chain; or 2) Italian (we'd eaten Italian several times already). Finally, as it seemed we had wandered out of the main hustle and bustle of things, we decided we should just go back to the main area and make do. However, at that moment it began to rain. Hard. Then we saw a man leaning out of a doorway with an umbrella, ushering us over. What we were thinking, I will never know. We were not in a clearly commercial area, and yet we obeyed this stranger and followed him inside. He led us up a dark, narrow staircase and I began to think, "This is it. We'll be robbed and killed." But the first landing took us through an empty, but clearly still in use, nighclub. Now my thoughts changed to, "OK, if this place is at all shady-looking up here, we're cutting out--no questions asked and no thought that we are being rude." Up another flight of dingy stairs and . . . surprise! A full, bustling, cosmopolitan-looking Lebanese restaurant called Tarboush. It turned out to be one of the best meals we had the whole trip! *whew* So, after facing certain death (not), we went back out into the city with our bellies full and our senses sated. We walked off dinner by strolling and people watching in Picadilly--a lively and fun place to see at night.
"Day 4, May 19 2000"
This morning, Dylan woke up with the start of a cold . . . so we went back to sleep and got a late start. We did get going in time to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace (along with several thousand of our closest friends). It's an impressive bit of pomp and pageantry and worth seeing. Be prepared to muscle for a good viewing spot.
After that, it was back to Leicester Square where we visited the half-price ticket booth and got tix to see "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)"--which turned out to be very funny, btw. After throwing in the towel over lunch--breaking down and eating at Pizza Hut because it was close and convenient--we spent the afternoon around Covent Garden and the Transport Museum shop. The skies opened up at one point and we sheltered in the covered flea market area--nearly blinded by the array of cheap and cheesy trinkets. Then we window-shopped along Oxford Street, dodging rain showers and spending some money in World of Football (of course!). That night, as I mentioned, we saw a play at the Criterion Theatre near Picadilly.
"Day 5, May 20 2000"
Cup Final Day! Too bad we've not got tickets . . .
It was off to the new Tate Modern on Day 5! The art museum, housed in an old power station, had been open just nine days. Seemed like all of London was out to see it with us. We took the Tube and walked from a nearby station along the Thames' South Bank. The Tate was amazing and I would label it a "can't miss" for anyone with an interest in art or architecture.
From there we decided to go back to the London Eye visitors center to see about tickets for that . . . but it was sold out through the weekend. I was really disappointed. Dylan was beginning to drag, so we headed back to the hotel to watch Chelsea win the FA Cup over Villa 1-nil. After, I headed up to Harrod's for a look around and to do a bit of souvenir shopping. It is a sight to behold and as much of a tourist cliche as it is, you should experience it.
There have been forum threads on VT about seeing movies while you're on vacation. Why would you waste time doing that? many ask. Well, we wanted to experience the Odeon in Leicester Square--the largest theatre in Europe. So we went to see Scream3 that night. The theatre was impressive with its 2,900 seats and assigned seating.
My only other notes from this day are a somewhat strange, "Tube was amazingly crowded on the way home. Our car was full of French people." ??? Who knows.
"Day 6, May 21 2000--The Last Day :-("
We spent most of this day indulging Dylan's love of history--at the Museum of London. We were there for hours and didn't see it all; it is fascinating and definitely worth a visit if your time allows. Outside the building, which is a bit off the beaten track in a more office-environment area of the city, they have excavated a part of the old Roman Wall that once surrounded the city. We then had to run an errand--looking for suitcase locks to replace the ones the airline had broken off on our flight to Shannon. Everyplace seemed to be closed except the Harvey Nichols department store next to the hotel. I'll let my notes tell you my impression of this posh store: "Got two locks and an eyeful of the snooty store with pretty muscle boys giving makeovers." I recall saying to Dylan, "This is clearly the store for 'ladies who lunch'."
Our last hurrah in London was dinner at Belgo Centraal, a Belgian restaurant. Dylan had been to Belgo Nord when he was in the city a few years back. The downtown location we went to was on a very plain-looking office block that seemed deserted when we arrived. After finding the flag that marked the front door and going in, we were met by a host with a walkie-talkie in an empty area. He put us on an industrial-style elevator/dumbwater; it was like something out of a James Bond movie. When the metal door rolled back, we were met with all the sounds and smells of a restaurant--and we could see the kitchen straight ahead. The restaurant was fun--it has a Belgian monastary theme, with the waiters all in monks' robes--and the food was delicious. But the beer was spectacular.
And that should leave a good taste in your mouth about London. Did for us!
I will be visiting Sept. 13-19th last minute. I am seeking general information regarding if it is too late to get an Oyster card, football tickets, or reservations to some great restaurants? Any nice restaurant suggestions would be appreciated. I read that the Ivy (I believe that was the name) is nice. Something maybe along that line, give or take... I am staying at the Sheraton Park Tower. It looks like I can catch the Tube from Heathrow to Knightsbridge. Is this correct? This is last minute and I have never been. I got some tickets for the Globe upper seating, but don't care. I am doing the layering for clothes, but any other help would be great such as closings or things going on I wouldn't be aware of.
RE: General Questions
www.tfl.gov.uk will give you all info on transport within London, including how to get from Heathrow to Knightsbridge. Briefly, not too late to buy Oyster card, no idea about football tickets (depends on what you want to watch and where and when), and one person's idea of a great restaurant is not necessarily another's.
RE: RE: General Questions
Wayhay Jenn, That's most exciting, first trip to London, eh!
Don't worry about reservations, just take it easy. There are lots,and lots of restaurants. Try the Convent Garden area. Porters, Rules, are just two smart restaurants worth a visit.
Just walk around and drink it all in, you've got what, 6 days, wow! Enjoy
RE: RE: General Questions
The Ivy generally has a long waiting list. There are plenty of other nice places though. I'm quite fond of L'Escargot on Greek Street (a Marco Pierre White restaurant) which is pricey but not too bad (particularly if you go pre-theate).
RE: General Questions
This may help
RE: General Questions
The link below is the BBC fixtures for the Premiership, there are also tabs for the other English leagues. If you click on the home team (eg Cartlton, Chelsea, Tottenham or West Ham) it will open the BBC page for that team that will have links to the club website where tickets may be had.
The Chartlon game is televised so that may mean tickets are easier to get, after that I'd look at Tottenham (Spurs) or West Ham as you'll have little chance of getting a ticket for Chelsea v Liverpool. West Ham are also playing Palermo in the UEFA Cup but again tickets will be hard to get.
Hope that helps.