- Reviews: 443
Hundreds of Excellent Hostels Bothies & Bunkhouses: Hostel Acommodation In The UK - Useful Web Links
Read this: www.bootsnall.com/hostels/why
Below are a few useful web links for hostels and quality "budget" accommodation in the UK.
The Hosteworld and BUG Europe sites are good beceause they incluse ratings by guests, giving you some slight hint of what to expect - information to supplement the grading by Tourist Boards ( A very contentious and criticised issue - because the grading is unable to measure or appreciate much that makes a "communal" and unusual / quirky place).
Take the reviews of hostels on these sites (and that includes VT) with a big pinch of salt! The quality and accuracy of ratings is often skewed by those with a vested interest rating or getting friends / staff to rate their own businesses. However, that aside, there are very genuine and helpful comments by previous guests - well worth reading. And remember, everyone has a different perspective and standard. If in doubt - ask me!
Some useful websites:-
BUG Hostel Reviews Scotland
YHA England & Wales
IBHS Independent Hostels Scotland - "Blue Guide"
Scottish Tourist Board Accommodation
- Reviews: 443
Quality Backpacker Hostels and Youth Hostels: "Hostel" Style Accommodation In The UK
Any visitor to the UK will discover accommodation and food (with travel) to be expensive and often poor value for money.
Some excellent places exist, but there is little consistency or guarantee. So no surprise that "tourist style" hostel accommodation, costing only 10 - 15 pounds per night, (with the use of a kitchen), is so popular. Private rooms are rapidly becoming available but book early - or come "off-season".
Warning - Scotland Hostel Reviews Tips - See who has written the hostel review and don't take one review to be true - see the place from different perspectives. Many reviews on the web are being written by hostel staff or by unscrupulous operators. Don't trust overly positive tips and reviews!
Bed & Breakfast
For those of you wanting pampering and high quality without hotel rip-off prices - check out The Best B&Bs Website
It all started in the 1930's.
UK Youth Hostels began - providing cheap accommodation for young people - so they could get to visit countryside, away from their urban homes, which otherwise they could not afford to see. The idea was to discover places, the countryside, history and fresh air, exercise and friends. It grew into a mass activity, with adults too getting out into the countryside, on bikes, foot and hitch hiking, or by bus and train. Later by car.
There were hundreds of hostels, run by a Youth Hostel Association, in Scotland the SYHA, affiliated to an international federation (Hostelling International).
Then Privately owned hostels began to appear, and now they out number the YHA hostels in Scotland. There are hundreds of hostels in the UK, run by either the YHA / SYHA, or by private owners and businesses not affiliated to them - hence being known as "Independents".
Hostels can be small huts, huge city centre "hotels", historic castles and mansions, remote cottages, bizarre wigwams, and other crazy constructions. Standards and facilities are as variable as the people who use them.
They generally use bunk beds (but also increasingly have singles and doubles, private rooms and so on - infact any combination possible - including a shared sleeping platform, "Alpine Style"). This usually means sharing a sleeping room with others - which dramatically reduces costs, whilst giving a reasonable revenue for the room space to the operator.
Toilets and washing facilities are of course there too, in some form, and some sort of kitchen.
The big thing with hostels is an equipped kitchen, where you can cook food, meaning massive cost savings, freedom to eat when and what you choose, and often this is complemented by a budget food service from the operator.
Generally there are also communal lounges, facilities for washing clothes and drying them. In mountain or sports areas, facilities are geared for specialist users, and their equipment.
In cities, the accommodation is heavily biased towards the young backpacker / gap year / student user, with minimal cooking space. Emphasis here is on enjoying the city life, and bars and music are common. They are lively, where as country hostels can be very peaceful.
Every hostel is different - both a blessing and a dilema. But nowadays standards are upheld and enforced to some degree, by compliance with legal and self-regulating bodies. The most powerful tool though remains customer feedback and rating - so use Virtual Tourist to discover the truth about Scottish Hostels.
Don't trust overly positive reviews! Especially for city hostels.
See who has written the review and don't take one review to be true - see the place from different perspectives. Many reviews on the web are being written by staff or by unscrupulous operators.
I have worked in hostels in England, Wales and Scotland, and also hostelled in Europe and Americas. I have no vested interest or connection with any hostel business.
Back to my Scotland Tips or Homepage
- Reviews: 5130
JESMOND DENE HOTEL - LONDON: PUBIC HAIR IN THE SHARED BATHROOM
OK. Let’s get this over quickly. This is my opinion backed up by photos. This is one of the most frustrating, weird and disgusting places I have ever stayed at in London. That says a lot considering I have stayed in over 100 hotels in London over a 30 year period. And the worst part is that this place is highly rated on Trip Advisor. Why? Seriously I have never been 1 ½ late and felt sick trying to get to work form a hotel in London. To be fair I booked this crazy place not realising I was signing up to a room with a shared bathroom. For the price, ratings and advance purchase – I could have stayed at a 4 star hotel with a pool. Yes , I saw the reviews on T.A. and I had no idea they could charge that much for a basic room. And I do mean basic. It was at the top of what seemed like a zillion stairs, was absolutely boiling hot, tiny and seemed to have almost nothing in it. Sitting on the bed revealed no chance of a comfortable sleep. When I mountain climbed back down the many stairs to reception for an ironing board – they gave the world’s smallest (pictured) and the iron was not clean.
Then I had a look in my shared bathroom. Mouldy curtains and the shower and sink looked like the pubic hair fairy had been decorating for a special occasion. I have never seen anything quite like this and yes, I have had shared bathrooms before.
Returning to my room I realised that there were no real amenities at all. It is the first accommodation in London I have ever stayed at where there were no coffee and tea making facilities in the room. In fact there was NO room in the room. I kept falling over everything and my small roller bag. There was a sink bizarrely and that was helpful the next morning. There was also a window and I did contemplate throwing myself out. This place is a joke, but the joke was on me.
The next morning I realised I was competing with 2 French couples from the other 2 rooms sharing my hotel. I could hear them shouting at each other and they went one by one. And they were in no hurry. I had to wait 1 ½ hours to not only shave and shower – but also to use the toilet. 1 ½ hours in the morning. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to wash my hands in that sink in my room. When I did get into the steamy bathroom, the pubic hair fairy had obviously thrown a drunken party for a lot of guests.
The worst was I saw some of the expensive rooms with their own bathrooms – see the last picture and you will see how tiny even the pricey rooms are.
All in all you can do better than this place in terms of a lower price, your own bathroom, a bigger room, a decent bed and some room in your room.
My advice – avoid this place like a contagious plague.
• Tiny rooms and bad beds
• Family run? Since when are foreign students family?
• 20 rooms of varying descriptions
• Walking distance to Kings Cross/St. Pancras
• Seems to attract hairy customers
• Free Wi-Fi
• “…proud of our unparalleled level of cleanliness” –I don’t agree
• Free breakfast if you book on their website
• Dirty steam iron and small ironing board
• Vary steep stairs
• A complete joke in my opinion
- Reviews: 5130
BERJAYA EDEN PARK LONDON HOTEL: NOT FIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION (IMO)
When I arrived at the hotel, I though the lobby looked freshly decorated and very nice. The staff were pleasant and had nice uniforms and seemed very helpful. I had been running late at work and just wanted to put my things in my room and o for a meal. I was given a key and told to go down the stairs. The dark, claustrophobic stairs. Into the damp smelling basement through tiny corridors. So small I thought ‘if there was a fire…’. Then I found my room and made the mistake of opening the door. It was small, in need of redecoration and the bathroom just looked scary. I went back up the stairs to ask for another room immediately. No. There were no rooms left. I was the last to check-in. It’s bad when you know you will hate your stay and not be able to sleep properly before work the next day. When I went back in the room I looked at the mattress. Yep, I would have rings on my back from the springs in the bad mattress. Then the bed frame came apart. Nice. The room was tiny, warm and just not nice. The bathroom was really poor. I had a tiny shower ‘tray’ with a dirty old shower curtain. This nasty thing grabbed me like an octopus when I tried to shower the next day. And the water all over the floor was dangerous. Even my flat-pack closet was falling apart.
I tried to sleep.
I finally fell asleep late into the night. Then:
Bang! Crash! Boom!
Yes they were actually staging a live version of River Dance on the laminated floor above my room! OK, actually it was just breakfasts for the whole hotel. Lots of cutlery is dropped in a breakfast room and a lot of people wear boots I can assure you. I couldn’t wait to leave this nasty place.
I recommend you book into another hotel.
• 112 rooms on 7 floors – all are en-suite and there is an elevator (tiny)
• Free Wi-Fi ‘connection’
• Breakfast is included
• Eden Bar & Restaurant (specialises in Malaysian dishes, not cheap!)
• Foreign Currency exchange (major currencies only)
• Business Centre with Internet & printing services (charge applies)
• Parking bays available at Queensway Car Park, only 3 minutes’ walk
• Room service
• Parking bays available at Queensway Car Park, 3 minutes’ walk, must pre-book
• Room Types: Single, Twin, Double, Deluxe Double, Terrace Suite (1) and Eden Suite (1)
• En-suite with a showers tray
• Coffee/tea making facilities
• Desk, TV (remotes probably broken like mine was) and safe
- Reviews: 914
Do your homework: Hotels, Hostels and B&Bs
Staying in the UK is not cheap and stying in London is even more expensive.
Hostels are an alternative, around 20 GBP a night in a dorm.
If you can go during off season, you can get better rates in some hotels or B&Bs. There is no off-season for London, only a high season and a very high season, around Christmas. Hotel rooms in London are usually very small!!, unless you're prepared to pay a fortune.
In 2003 my son was staying in a hostel in London, he had a bed in a 6 bed dorm and paid 20 GBP. The same year I was staying in a small hotel on the coast in Devon. I had a double,en suite, for single use, with sea view and a full English breakfast and paid 23 GBP.
London is expensive!!
If you think staying outside of London is cheaper, bear in mind that you then will have to pay for transportation. My favourite area in London is Bayswater, hotels there are not too expensive, you're close to the parks and within walking distance of the downtown area.
In Germany, there are package deals from TUI, Neckarmann or ADAC for example, which can be a lot better than booking direct. Do your homework and compare to find a good deal.
This year - 2006 - I've stayed in the best B&B I've ever seen, the Catherine of Aragon Suite in Shrewsbury. It's a historic building and the family are renting just this one suite, consisting of a bedroom and a dining room, plus a bathroom. The combination of modern comfort and history makes this a unique B&B.
I will write more about it on my Shrewsbury page.
- Reviews: 799
B&B's and Small Hotel
There are hotels for all tastes. You can go ultra cheap in hostels and university residences off season or find 5 start world class hotels and everything in between. Hotels in London are expensive, but there are still bargains to be found sometimes. Bed and Breakfast and small hotels are generally good value and include a full English breakfast.
I've also got good deals calling hotels directly and asking for any special offers. Sometimes you can get very good deals that way.
I booked a really cheap room in a tourist hotel in London over the Easter holidays using http://www.londontown.com Some people advise when you see a deal online, and there are restrictions like paying a deposit or booking fee, to call the hotel directly and mention the website. They may match the price and you don't have to pay until you check out. I didn't try that when i booked but when i needed to extend my trip, i called the hotel and they could accomodate me for another night at the same discounted rate.
- Reviews: 5130
COMMODORE HOTEL: GREETED LIKE A BROTHER IN LONDON
When I refused to pay a £20 check-in fee at a bad accommodation – I ended up here at the last minute. I am really glad I did. Despite my accommodation website booking me in here 15 minutes before I arrived, the staff were great. Rather than trying to charge me a late check-in fee like the other place, they upgraded me to a suite. They felt sorry for me checking in late! Now that is how a good hotel should treat paying guests. Great work Commodore Hotel people! And of course I am now going to give you a great review of this little gem of a hotel.
The Commodore is a quiet hotel. Not often done in London, but it is quiet. Located in Lancaster Square, the Commodore is away from busy streets in the area. The main reception area is housed in an interesting and historic old building. The staff greeted me like a brother and made sure I had everything I needed. Iron? No problem. Nice cold beer in the beautiful Red Bar? No problem. My junior suite had a great bathroom, large bed, big towels, Nivea branded toiletries and other nice touches.
The hotel reception area is ornate, has free newspapers and wi-fi. The whole hotel is cosy, especially the really neat Red Bar. Is small, but comfortable and a great place to have a quiet nightcap.
I didn’t choose the Commodore the first time, but I will choose it again. It’s 2 blocks from Lancaster Tube station, across the street almost from Hyde Park and quiet. I had a great nights sleep after having a bad day. They put me in a good mood and made sure I got off to a happy start to work the next day.
• Quiet location
• Great staff
• Mediterranean restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner (including tapas),
• Mini bar
- Reviews: 5130
RADISSON EDWARDIAN NEW PROVIDENCE WHARF: METROSEXUAL IN LONDON
When I arrived at the hotel, it just looked luxurious. And this was just the lobby. I asked for a quiet room and was given a funny look. All their rooms are quiet! My room looked fantastic when I walked in. the first thing I saw was my wet room. Not a bathroom, but a full wet room with heated floors. And huge towels. Get in there! A separate large bath and modern shower will give you a relaxing soak or a brisk wake-up in the morning. My décor was a little metrosexual, but interesting. The best pert was the bed. A quick check of the mattress and I was looking at my diary to see if I could sleep in late the next day. The closet opened up with lights coming on to show the hairdryer and the iron/ironing board. I decided to raid the cold mini-bar while I ironed my shirt for what would now be a late morning. I started making up my excuses why I had an overnight in London, but couldn’t make a 10am meeting. After I went out for dinner I got into my robe and drew myself a nice relaxing bath. With a few suds and a nice gin & tonic from the local booze store – I felt like a million pounds. The second I hit my wonderful bed – I was asleep.
This is a fantastic hotel for business people. It is across the river from the 02 Arena and in a quiet side road. I had a great stay and would happily stay here again.
• 169 individually designed and fully climate controlled bedrooms
• Restaurant, bar & lounge, outdoor terrace bar
• Gym, full SPA
• Complimentary newspaper in the lobby and the restaurant
• Free wireless internet connection throughout the hotel
• 24 hour front desk, room service, currency exchange
• Courtesy Shuttle Bus Service to Tube and DLR stations
• Full business and conference facilities
• Valet car parking £14 per 24 hours or self-parking for £12
• Room types: Superior double/twin, Business Class, deluxe double, Suites, Penthouse luxury suite – all air-conditioned
• Wonderful beds, bedding and décor
• En suite wet rooms (separate bath and shower) with huge towels
• Free Wi-Fi, work spaces, Bang & Olufsen, free printing (i.e. tickets)
• In room laptop safe, tea/coffee, Ipod dock and Iron and ironing board
FOOD & DRINK:
• Scoff & Banter Restaurant (seasonal British cuisine), Alfresco terrace bar, bar & lounge
• East River Spa (firstname.lastname@example.org), modern gym, full business/conference facilities
- Reviews: 5130
BELL COUR HOTEL & SPA: VICTORIAN VALUE(S)
In Victorian times you could expect a large hotel room in a quiet setting and at a good price in London. Sadly that is almost not true in London anymore. Long live Belle Cour! I asked for a quiet non-smoking room at the back of the hotel. What I didn’t realise was that all the rooms seem to fit this description. I had to climb a lot of step, but then I unlocked the door. It looked more like a mini-suite. I had a corridor that open first into my beautiful and brand new bathroom. I could see large white fluffy towels on my large heated towel rack. My modern shower really was awesome in the morning to wake me up. My turn to the left revealed my king sized bed. King sized. And this was just a standard double room. I had a large closet with floor to ceiling mirrored doors. My large flat screen TV was just opposite my bed. A quick check of the mattress and I knew 2 things. One was that I would get a good night’s sleep and the other was that I would go into work later the next morning. I even had a hi-fi, a full ironing board and a steam iron.
I loved my stay at the Belle Cour. This is a hidden gem inside an old (but totally renovated) Victorian building. It is also a 2 minute walk to the massive Victoria train and Tube station. There are plenty of places to eat, drink and late night shop nearby. This is one of the best value for money hotels in London. Absolutely fantastic. Highly recommended by me. By the way – the SPA is a nail spa – so sorry – no sauna. But of you want to get your nails done ladies……
• Quiet, excellent location, great beds and fully renovated in 2012, non-smoking
• Free Wi-Fi
• All rooms have King sized bed, 40 inch TV, DVD/IPod Docking station, ensuite bathrooms
• Superior and Executive 1&2 bedroom Apartment Suites have full kitchens & washers
• Nail Spa offers a wide selection of nail treatments and designs
- Reviews: 5130
MABLEDON COURT: WHEN EVERYWHERE ELSE IS FULL
It’s bad when even their own website can’t make this place look that nice. If you want peeling paint, dirty mattresses, lots of traffic noise, hot rooms and a scary bathroom – you have arrived! Own by some company in India, I can assure you that you would never see a business or tourist class hotel in a large city looking like this. Well I didn’t. This place is a disgrace. They even advertise some of these rooms at £125 (around $200) – per PERSON. No way. When I arrived they tried to trick me into a room facing the busy main road. To keep the room even approaching a habitable temperature, the window was open. I might have just as well sat outside and watched and listed to the traffic go by. I went back to reception and told them they either found me a quiet room or another hotel. 15 minutes after doing nothing except looking at the computer and making calls to India, I was given another key. Oddly this room was on the top floor, at the back and in the corner. I have to say this room was cool, quiet and I got a good night’s sleep on a comfortable mattress.
Did I mention I got drunk first?
The mattress was comfortable. It really was. Unfortunately I looked at the torn bed sheet and pulled it back. Big mistake. The paint looked like it had been peeling for years and the wood underneath was rotten. The bathroom was tiny, dark, slippery and smelled like the drains. The shower had a small tray at the dirty shower curtain grabbed me like an octopus. Nasty. The towels were clean at least.
The room had cigarette burns everywhere. Desk, window, carpet and even on the toilet in the bathroom.
My recommendation – try harder if you can’t find anywhere else.
• Dilapidated and not that clean
• Loud (on the front) and hot. There are fans in the rooms. Very small fans
• Single and double rooms
• Free Wi-Fi
• All rooms - ensuite, TV (old), hairdyer, and tea and coffee making facilities.
• Price includes Full English or Continental Breakfast - not nice
• 33 rooms
• No car parking available
- Reviews: 5130
HENRY VIII HOTEL - LONDON: NO 1 IN MY BOOKS
The Henry the 8th Hotel is a great mid-priced hotel. I enjoyed my stay and even checked-in early to enjoy the heated indoor swimming pool. Set on a quiet street about 5 minutes’ walk form the Tube, the hotel is generally quiet. When I checked in, I immediately went downstairs to the pool. After a long day at work, that nice dip into the water was absolutely magic. They also had a sauna. I really had the place to myself and had a good relaxing soak. Few hotels in London have a pool with prices under $300 a night. If you are trying to keep costs down with a nice swim at the end of your day, consider this very good hotel.
My room had all I needed. There was a comfortable bed, the room was quiet and I had a good night’s sleep. The only thing to mention is that they do not have air-conditioning. I stayed here in June and it was a bit warm. They do provide fans and it was ok. The pool by the way is open year-round, so a great winter time hotel.
My room was not big, but was functional. Same again for the bathroom. It was modern and did the job while providing me with plenty of light and mirrors to shave. And a very good hot shower.
All in all, a very good hotel. The staff were very helpful and the lobby has lots of information on activities and things to see in and around London. They have a nice bar, the décor is pleasant and the hotel itself lends itself to being quiet.
You are a reasonable walk away from dozens of bars and restaurants and even the Portobello Road market.
• 105 rooms in a 6-story Victorian Building
• Indoor heated pool and sauna – open year round
• Free Wi-Fi
• Massages and à-la-carte beauty care treatments
• 2 Meeting rooms - The Anne Boleyn Suite (80 people) and Directors’ Room (small)
• Breakfast buffet
• Room types: Single, double and triple rooms, and one suite
• En-suite with reasonable toiletries
• Good beds
• Coffee/tea making facilities
• Trouser press, safe, writing desk, phone and hairdryer, reasonable closet
• Free Internet
- Reviews: 86
London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
NEAR HOUSES OF PARLIMENT. Within the Georgian exterior of this chain is a modern English hotel with large meeting spaces and guest rooms designed to accommodate business travelers. Offers spacious desks, safes, minibars, and cable TV. The staff is friendly and efficient, and the convenient restaurant serves an excellent English breakfast. The fitness room offers a well-equipped place to burn off calories.
- Reviews: 86
This busy hotel is a top pick for those who want accommodations near the airport. Its festive air includes a sky lit pool in the center of the facility, complete with lush vegetation, bamboo accents, and a swim-up bar popular with vacationers. The lobby and lounges continue the exotic, colorful theme, and guest rooms boast hardwood furniture, irons and ironing boards, and bathrobes. Premium rooms have fax machines and allow you your own phone number. Expansion convention space is available, and service is quick at this fun but efficient hotel.
- Reviews: 5130
HORSLEY PARK: $300 AND $15 FOR A ‘FREE’ TRANSFER?
I thought I was booking a great hotel in a great location. I was half right. Horsley is a wonderful and picturesque village. The Hotel is staffed by a bunch of incompetent liars in my humble opinion. I saw this hotel as being set among historic grounds and that is was normally £200 ($300), but was on sale for just £55 ($80)! OK, repeat after me: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. It was. Not good. It seemed to start ok. I noticed that the hotel was a few miles from the train station, but they advertise a FREE shuttle service between the hotel and the train station. OK, let me repeat this – FREE. So I booked the hotel through hotels.com and I even rang the hotel to confirm they had a free shuttle service. On the day, the hotel actually rang me to ask what time I would be there. I guessed, but told them I would be there on a certain train. They reconfirmed my collection. Later I realised I was running late so I rang them and told them the later train time. No problem! They said they would collect me from the train station. Then the train was delayed. So I finally found a staff member on the train and he gave me the revised time. I rang the hotel – no problem.
So then I found myself at the small and deserted Horsey train station in the dark. Within a few minutes I was the only person there. So I waited. And I waited. Then I rang the hotel and they confirmed that the driver was on the way. So I waited. At some point I am thinking – I have had 4 phone calls with them and still no collection.
Then a young man with large silver Mercedes pulled up and opened the back of the car. I greeted him and checked he was my transport to the hotel. He said yes and off we went down dark roads. As we drove along this guy starts telling me all the repairs he has just had to make on the car. I mean detailed work, parts, and especially the prices. He seems to really want to explain how much money he has spent recently on the car. I found this whole arrangement unsettling.
Finally we arrived at the hotel and the guy doesn’t seem to want to open the back of the car so I can get my suitcase out. I am standing there waiting and he says “That will be £10 ($15) please”. I already found this guy smarmy and I kept thinking this is really not right. I told him that we needed to get the case out of the car and he finally opened the car for me. Then he asked for the money again. I said, let’s go to reception and we will get that settled there. He explained that he was in a hurry and needed the money. I kept thinking this guy is trying to scam me. I told him no, I will sort everything in reception. I went the wrong way at first as he had no intention of telling me where reception was. When I did arrive in reception he was right behind me. I asked to check-in after getting 2 people behind the desk to actually pay attention to me. A lady finally started to take my details when the driver asked for the money again. The lady stopped what she was doing. I explained to the driver that I had booked FREE transport to the hotel and in 4 phone calls no one had ever spoken to me about any changes to this arrangement. I then asked the lady top proceed with my check-in and issue my key. She did nothing of the sort. The driver began to whine and I explained that I had not booked him, or contracted him for work and I had no intention of paying him – or the hotel – for a FREE shuttle service. The receptionist then bizarrely joined in. She said I needed to pay! I told her no way and that I wanted to check-in. She and the driver started again with I needed to pay. I finally told the lady that I wanted my key – NOW. Nothing. I asked her to get a manager and a gentleman appeared. He also said that yes, it was £10. No way. I explained again that no one in 4 phone calls had mentioned that my FREE transport had been withdrawn. The manager then started having a 3 –way conversation with the lady and myself. It transpired that the normal driver (and his van) had fallen ill a few hours before. They also explained that hidden somewhere on their website that the FREE transport was not always available!
I explained to all 3 that I had booked on another website, that my reservation made no mention of possible to changes to a FREE service. I even handed them a printed copy of my reservation. Further I challenged them to show me in the website I used about FREE becoming £10. Still nothing happened and still the driver whined.
Finally after 10 full minutes the driver realised he wasn’t getting money from me and said something bizarre like “I am worried about you” and went to leave. I told him that he had nothing to do with me and he could go whine somewhere else. Did I finally get my key? No – not at first. I started to get the idea that they were not actually let me check in. Finally – after asking for about the 10th time, was I finally given my key.
At £200 a night I expected luxury. What I found inside was a very standard looking room from a 3-star hotel. The mattress was slightly below average when I tried it out and it proved to be so all night. The bathroom had the most damaged toilet bowl I have ever seen in a UK hotel. The tile floor also needed to be replaced.
I quickly changed clothes so I could enjoy their advertised gym and indoor swimming pool. When I finally found the ‘gym’ I found a flooded and nasty changing room and the ‘gym’. It was a large shabby room with threadbare carpet and a mixture of old pieces of equipment. After a run I went for the pool. And it was locked. EARLY. Yes, they had decided to shut it more than 30 minutes early that night. Great! So I went back to change for dinner. But guess what? Yes the Restaurant had also closed EARLY! I could sit in the bar and get bar food. No thanks. So I walked down the road and had a bad meal at the restaurant nearby. There must be something in the water here.
The rest of my stay was actually spent exploring the amazing historical grounds. Horsley Towers were erected by the Earl of Lovelace around 1856. His grand Victoria towers and other smaller buildings on the estate are majestic and full of character. They are definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
When I did check out the next morning, the new staff went stiff the second they heard my accent. Always nice to be talked about behind your back. When I asked about my FREE shuttle – they practically turned white. I was polite and they seemed confused by this, but then an older gentleman arrived in uniform. He was the normal driver. He was great. He told me a lot about the history of the property and the hotel. We had a great conversation and I left him with a tip at the train station.
I can highly recommend that businesses DO NOT use this hotel. With some of their advertised prices and odd behaviours, you can do better elsewhere. The UK is full of great old manors and even castles you can host your business events at. Why take a chance at having things close early with a very large group? This is a large hotel in a small village. The only other options are limited, although the nearby Duke of Wellington Pub is excellent.
* You may be asked to pay for a FREE transfer to the hotel
* Facilities may close well before the official times
* You may question your sanity while here (I did)
- Reviews: 5130
CLUB QUARTERS, ST. PAULS: BUSINESS CLASS
Just imagine that you have a very nice bedroom inside the First Class Lounge of an airport. Then imagine that when you walk out the door you are standing in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Now you don’t have to imagine, you can just stay here and enjoy it like I did. This is one of the best business ‘hotels’ I have ever stayed in within Europe. They are just excellent. You are greeted in an austere and security conscious reception area, but then you are allowed to go inside and the rest if the facilities are fantastic. My room was slightly small, but had absolutely fantastic facilities. A comfortable bed, a desk better than my one at work, an actual closet, an alarm clock radio with iPod docking station, extra chairs and a small refrigerator. There were some great touches like a smoothing iron and full ironing board, real wooden coat hangers, A TV integrated into the desk and even cordless telephones.
For business people, you could actually work in your room. The desk is excellent, has a business type hone with speaker and conferencing facilities, Wi-Fi and wired internet connections and even a dictionary and thesaurus. I wish my desk at work was this nice!
The bathrooms were a bit dated, but have everything you could need. Large fluffy towels, shaving mirror, great shower and lots of excellent toiletries. If you need any more toiletries, even mouthwash, you can get more from housekeeping.
The facilities available are amazing. Near the elevators they have a machine that will fill cold water in a bottle for you and ice. Great touch on a warm day. They also have full laundry rooms so you can wash your clothes and use a steam iron. You can pop downstairs to the lounge and borrow a book, read today’s newspaper or even play one of their board games. This really is a classy place to stay.
In terms of location, this is one of the best in London. You are a stone’s throw from St. Pauls’s Cathedral and you are in the middle of London. You have everything you could ever need nearby including shopping and great restaurants. If you are working in the City of London, you can walk to work easily.
The best thing for me was that I had a great night’s sleep. The beds are comfortable, the rooms have climate control and you have no ‘neighbours’ at night because you are in the ‘City’. This means absolute silence when you want to sleep. I loved staying here.
• Completely secure, quiet and a fantastic location
• Côte Brasserie (“voted Best Value Restaurant in the UK")
• Club Living Room with snacks, refreshments, library and newspapers
• Fitness Room and exercise equipment delivered to room
• Self-serve laundry facilities
• Garment storage between visits
• Guest Request Closet – for things you forget like a razor
• Free Wi-Fi
• Excellent location
• iPads loans
• Free bottled water and ice
• Use of computer/printer and universal Charging Stations
• Car parking is £2.50 an HOUR in the day, but only £2.50 overnight/Sundays
• Climate controlled
• Great beds and bedding
• Awesome work facilities including a desk, business phone and internet
• Bathrooms have great towels, shaving mirror and great toiletries
• Small table and extra chairs
• Full closet with real coat hangers and an ironing board
• Coffee/tea making facilities
• Refrigerator and microwave (just ask reception)
• Kitchenettes available
• Wi-Fi, computer workstations, printing
• Meeting and Event Space up to 110 people and can do full catering
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