More about Club Quarters, Trafalgar Square
We stayed in the Club Quarters Trafalgar Square in May. It was a lovely hotel with excellent staff and in a great location.
The hotel has no facilities yet for getting breakfast or dinner but as it is London there are lots of options on your doorstep.
The room was clean and serviced daily and there was water and ice on every floor which meant we had drinking water at all times they even provided the bottles to take away, which in London is very rare.
There was attention to detail and the hotel would be excellent for business or pleasure.
The location of the hotel meant we wasted no time or money stuck in the notorious London transport system as everything we wished to see was within walking distance.
The hotel is well worth a visit!
Mediocre and unhygienic
The Club Quarters looked brilliant but it was not.
I arrived at reception. One person was working and five guests were waiting but there were automated check-in booths. Three of us tried to use a booth but it refused to accept any credit cards. We all joined the long queue and checked in at the desk where the receptionist told us that she knew the card reader on that machine was not working -- she had been standing a metre from us as we all fumbled with it! A quick sample of other check-in conversation, (to the man in front of me), "don't worry: the walls at the one at St Pauls are like paper but these are a bit quieter" or (on being asked if the room was far from the lift), "I don't know, the computer assigns them at random" You have the flavour
The room itself looked nice -- lots of browns and greens but well done with decent space. I'd booked an executive with kitchenette (a microwave and a non-functioning refrigerator). But it is obvious where they save the money. The beds are cheap and the linen is worse. The duvet covers are not changed between guests I guessed (from the stains on the quilted material) and confirmed this with reception -- a revolting practice which may be acceptable in America but clearly provokes a lot of complaints here as the receptionist wearily told me that no, there were no cotton duvet covers. New York recently had an outbreak of bed bugs in hotel rooms -- I thought I would rather be cold and uninfested, so slept under just a sheet (which did seem clean). The bed was hard but not in a supportive way.
I was cold because, whatever temperature you enter into the system, the air conditioning pumps out cold air. I turned it off and put on an extra t-shirt. The rooms are quite noisy as the renovation is flimsy and noise from the hallways can be heard starting early
At 9am, housekeeping tried to come into my room. At 9.30, they started drilling in the wall of the adjoining room, next to my bed.
This place is designed for junior employees visiting a London office, often on contracts, who have low hotel travel budgets. The club lounge (with fake panelling and work stations) is probably useful for them. The lack of staff, indifference to guests, low level of facilities, unhygienic bedding and noise make it unsuitable for anyone with serious work to do the next day.
Cheap but not good value. If you really need to pay this little, a Travel Inn costs less and the duvet covers are clean or the Citadines across the street, whilst still lacking luxury, has an adequate level of staffing
We recently stayed at the Grand at Trafalgar Square (listed here as "Club Quarters," the chain who own the hotel). We were happy with our choice, for reasons described below:
We needed was a hotel close to a Tube station since one of us had business elsewhere in the City and the other wanted to sightsee on foot. The Grand it as centrally located as it could be, and it is only some 2.5 blocks from Embankment Station. We could see Big Ben out a window adjacent to the lift, we had an easy walk to St. James Park (at the end of which stands Buckingham Palace) and to Westminster Abbey, and on a sunny day we walked across the bridge to the London Eye and (further up) the Globe and the Tate Modern.
If your goal is to make quick visits to Picadilly, Covent Garden, the British Museum and such, and to return (late) to a location that never lacks for activity, this hotel is a good choice. If you want something cozy or funky, or homey (like a B&B), or of you want to be close to the London club scene or less expensive restaurants, this is not your hotel. The Grand is very corporate in feel. Dependable, I suspect, and a good bet for a first trip. I'd stay there again, unless my goal was to explore for something more clever. That has to do with my own interests, not any failings at The Grand.
The hotel itself was clean and recently refurbished. The room was better appointed and far more spacious than I expected -- though we often stay in NYC hotels, which modifies an American's expansive hotel expectations. Still, I didn't expect as much as we got. We'd heard such horror stories about "London hotels" that I anticipated paying $300 for a closet with outdated furnishings. Neither of these fears proved true. The room rather reminded me of a small "executive" room in Midtown. Bathroom was modern, adequate, clean. Similar to the better bathrooms I've encountered in European hotels -- i.e., economical use of space, no fluff.
Service not very chipper -- sort of, "You want us to do what?" -- but once we clarified, they did everything we asked, by the book. It took some doing, but we did eventually convince them to send up the cereal, milk and yogurt they listed on the in-room price list. (Who can eat English breakfast five days in a row? You'll die of a coronary.)
Great location, new hotel
We stayed here one night after flying in from Australia. We were able
to check in early at a fee of 30 Pounds. The room is smallish, but very comfortable. The bathroom is quite adequate.
The location was good, 3 minute walk to Trafalgar Square, and the tube station. A short 10 minute walk down to the River Thames, where there are some nice restaurants on river boats.
Agree with previous comments about check in and check out, they need more staff, although once explained the automated check in/out is easy to do.
Each floor has an area where to get extra supplies eg soap, shampoo etc, not like a hotel where someone would bring these to you.
Also if you book cheaply ie via the internet you DO NOT get access to the Club Lounge, which is quite nice. Instead you get access to the lounge on the second floor, one computer and a very ordinary coffee machine.
I would stay here again, I felt is was good value, and the bed was comfortable.
Smart hotel and top notch location
I would definately recommend this hotel to anyone planing a short stay in central london. It's near to almost all of the touristy things, no more than two tube stops, if not within walking distance.
The room was really pleasant too. It was smart, modern and very clean. The room didn't have a bath but this meant that the shower space was bigger so the shower curtain didn't stick to you so much.
Good times = )
Great value in the heart of London. Rooms are good and the hotel is very quiet even though Trafalgar Square is on the doorstep. Don't be put off by the lack of restaurant facilities. Who eats in their hotel anyway when there are so many restaurants in London to choose from? Front desk staff are efficient and very courteous. Whether or not they will increase their prices when the hotel renovation is complete remains to be seen but for now it represents great value for a hotel in central London. By the way, the renovation work does not affect the rest of the hotel in any way. You would not know that work was going on. Book with confidence.
Enjoyed our stay
We stayed here 13 July and enjoyed our stay. We booked a deluxe room which had kitchenette facilities. Room is larger than average in central London , was very clean, had aircon. bathroom is small but adequate. Location is great - we could see Nelson from our room and it is literally a minute to Trafalgar Square and 5 minutes walk to Leicester Square. We got a good rate of £110 through Londontown but expect prices will rise once all the facilities are available. Nice hotel of good standard.
Excellent value, and what a location!
Given how last-minute we booked the hotel, we never expected to get anything half as nice for £84! The hotel is new (some facilities 'coming soon') and clearly oriented to guests of 'member clubs' - but neither thing should put you off. The location, 1 minute on foot from Trafalgar Square, is hard to beat, especially if your reason for being in town is the West End or South Bank theatres, clubs, etc.
The room we had was a standard, but better (and less dull) than most chain hotels costing more than we paid. Excellent shower, comfy bed, nice furnishings. No mini-bar though, and the TV system seems too clever for its own good and occasionally cut out for no reason.
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. There is chilled filtered water, and ice, on each level, which is a good idea and I don't know why more places don't do the water too.
Would definitely recommend, especially given the bargain price!
Really pleased with our choice
We stayed here for 2 nights - 6 & 7 July 2007, we were coming to London to see the Tour de France and choose this hotel because of its location being close to Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, The Mall etc and were not disappointed when we found it. The hotel is literally a 5 minute walk from Charing Cross station and 2 minutes from Trafalgar Square. We were really pleased with the hotel, having booked through the LondonTown website at a discounted price, we paid £220 in total for a 'Superior' room with a kitchenette, the room was large and very comfortable and clean. The bathroom was nice and clean and the shower was good. I'm not sure what the full price should be and maybe you could find a cheaper place but we had no complaints whatsoever. There was no breakfast included but we just called into a coffee shop down the road and stocked up with provisions at the Tesco Extra just on the corner before going on our wanders. We would definitely stay here again next time we go to London.
Great hotel, great location
This hotel is in an absolutely great location - practically right on Trafalgar Square, close to Big Ben, House of Parliament, a 10-15 minute walk to Buckingham Palace, very close to the Theater District and Piccadilly Circus. Also, only one block to the footbridge to the South Bank.The rooms were larger than I expected (after staying three days in a smaller hotel in Paris), were updated and very tastefully decorated. They were very comfortable and were quiet. We were able to control the temperature in the room with a very easy to use digital thermostat. The bathroom wasalso a nice size, although the shower curtain allowed water to escape the shower and puddle on the bathroom floor. One very nice amenity was that there were bottles available to fill with cold purified water and take with us as we went about our site seeing. The staff was very professional and pleasant.
I'm not sure this is the place if you have kids (no pool or other such entertainment), but it was perfect for adults.
Apparently, the hotel was recent renovated (about 7 months ago) and the restaurant was not open while we were there. No big loss, though, as the hotel was close to several pubs and other restaurants.
Coach & Horses pub - London
Close-up of the top of the kiosk in 2002
Front of the Museum
London Sept 11, 2009
London Luton to Cardiff
i'll be flying ryanair to London Luton. I want to go to Cardiff from London Luton. Is there a bus or train that i can take directly from London Luton?
I know there a bus from Central London but i'm a bit restricted with time and i'd like to avoid travelling from London Luton to London central.
Re: London Luton to Cardiff
Look at http://www.nationalexpress.com for buses.
There are services via Heathrow bus terminal where you change for the Cardiff bus. Journey takes 5 1/2 hours including wait at Heathrow.
Re: London Luton to Cardiff
I have spotted another possibility.
VIRGIN Trains offer a bus shuttle between the airport and Milton Keynes Central station. From Milton Keynes you should be able to get to Cardiff by train. Look up times on :
and more information about VIRGIN shuttle on:
http://www.london-luton.co.uk/en/content/2/193/by-rail.html (at foot of page)
Re: London Luton to Cardiff
Although I can understand your desire not to go into and out of London, it may well be the fastest way.
Bus travel, whether from Luton or from central London, is slower than using the train.
From Luton Airport Parkway station to Cardiff takes around 3.5 hours, which includes a couple of changes. www.nationalrail.co.uk will give you times, details and fares.
Train from Milton Keynes takes about the same amount of time, still with changes. Adding the bus journey from the airport to this means the into-and-out-of London trip will be faster.
Re: London Luton to Cardiff
Thanks a real lot very helpful - will try and figure out the shortest way from the websites provided