We stayed for two nights in Room 309, on a half-price internet deal. At that price, considered it excellent value.
When we arrived we were greeted by two doormen, a concierge and two receptionists. There's a desk in the lobby with what appeared to be an information service offering travel advice to a customer, and with complimentary tea and apples on offer (actually I'm not sure if the apples were meant for decoration or consumption, but I ate several and wasn't told off...). The receptionist checking us in offered hot towels, which was lovely! We were offered help with our luggage, (we were travelling light so couldn't take advantage of that without handing over my handbag) and a guide to show us to our room. A doorman came out with us to help hail a cab when we went out for the evening.
Room: Very good
The room was big and very well appointed; the bed was huge and thankfully did not have the ridiculous profusion of pillows often found in other hotels which stops you getting into bed. There was a light duvet and a thick blanket (a real blanket, not one of those strange bed-covers that only cover the bottom two feet of the bed and can't be used for warming the body), which was perfect as we could remove the blanket to stay cool at night. There was a large table with beautiful period armchairs where we ate breakfast and a large fitted wardrobe in the entryway. There was an umbrella for guests' use in the wardrobe, which (for any foreigners not yet acquainted with British weather) you will need. That was very thoughtful and useful. The carpet was delightfully thick and there were two full-length mirrors, one in the main bedroom area and one inside the wardrobe door. There was a very handy bank of plugs for charging all your devices.
The bathroom was decorated in marble and slate with under-floor heating, and was of very good proportions so that we could walk into it normally without the contortion act we've practiced in many other hotel bathrooms. Perfectly clean.
The room was nice and quiet. We went out to the theatre and came back to find chocolates on the pillow with a weather forecast and the breakfast menu, and slippers by the bed. That was great.
- The view was abominable - a supremely ugly service courtyard with drainage pipes, air vents and a lot of brick wall. I didn't mind this at all but don't get this room if you like looking out the window.
- There was no hand-cream in the bathroom, which is pretty standard among hotel toiletries.
- Again, as in all hotels nowadays apparently, there was only one packet of biscuits in a double room. So cheap! I don't understand why hotels scrimp on biscuits of all things, which must cost about 30p.
- The mini-bar was rather ill-stocked, containing only water, OJ, cola, beer and nuts. I have seen better.
- There were no wine glasses in the room, nor was there a corkscrew.
- There was only one towel rail, so not enough for two bath-towels, two hand towels and two robes.
- The TV didn't work very well. The picture kept freezing and going into little squares for a few seconds.
- Initially there was a kettle in the room - on the second day a man came to remove the kettle and replace it with a Nespresso machine. The instructions provided were for a different model so I could only make the machine function intermittently. I asked for the kettle back, but the replacement was faulty and did not stop boiling once the water was heated, which was a safety hazard and also drenched the contents of the tea area and the adjoining wardrobe (ie, my clothes) with steam, which condensed and poured onto the carpet. The only way to switch it off was to plunge your hand into the steam to reach the plug at the back of the cupboard.
The hotel appeared convinced that there was only one of us, despite the evidence of our physical presence. We rang for wine glasses and only got one; we were only given one pair of slippers and chocolate on one pillow; the barman handed me a drinks menu but not my partner, even though he was sitting right next to me. Weird.
We were asked what paper we wanted when we checked in, then told that it was payable but free if we joined the loyalty program, which also entitled us to a free bottle of water (yay!). We signed up but never saw the water and did not receive the paper. When we rang down for it in the morning, only the news and sports sections of a multi-section paper were delivered, and without the weekend supplements.
Room service was also rather slow and erratic. I waited half an hour for some ice. I ordered ice twice, specifying 'a jug of ice'. The first time I got a glass of ice, the second an ice-bucket.
That said, the staff were brilliantly friendly and had a lovely welcoming attitude. It was definitely a case of poor organisation, rather than poor service ethic.
There's gym, which is great if you've been sitting in a plane and eating dubious airline food, and aren't as lazy as I am.
Two computers are available for patrons' use, in a fairly private place by the lifts.
The downstairs lounge is fantastically sumptuous, beautiful and comfortable; there are two rooms, in which food can be served and which offer newspapers and restful seating. There's an open fire. It really is just wonderful.
We had cocktails and nibbles; the cocktail menu is extensive and inventive, although I'm sure they could sort out a standard martini or a Tom Collins without too much sweat, as well. I had a 'Silver Tire' (gin, Galliano, apple juice, garnished with an apple slice). It was perfectly mixed, if served a little bit warm for me. We didn't go into the bar itself but it looked extremely smart as well. We were too comfortable where we were to explore further! Afternoon teas were being served while we were there and they looked scrumptious. The petits fours were like works of art and came served on very nice silverware.
Little snags: We ordered some snacks and got chilli popcorn, wasabi peas and smoked salted almonds, which were fine but served in risibly small portions, especially for two people. ~4 pieces of popcorn, 12 peas, 7 nuts.
Small snacks aside, I plan on sneaking into this lounge just to hang out next time I'm in London. It is truly a lovely place to be.
We didn't eat at the hotel, so no comments there.
A few minutes' walk from South Kensigton tube station, the Victoria and Albert design museum, the Natural History museum and loads of shops and restaurants. The Anglesea Arms on Selwood Terrace is a great and nearby pub.
Overall opinion: would definitely stay again, but only on another deal.
Room 309 is extremely comfortable but has the ugliest view imaginable (pipes, brick, a tiny square o...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.