I had been invited to a very special friend's birthday party. One of those '0' ones so i knew it would be a late do, so sensible to stay over I thought. Checking around I came across the Portobello, which just happens to be in the next street to where I was going, Have a look on their web-site, I did, it looks great. About 3 weeks before the event I rang to book a room, now I should point out that they aren't cheap £145 (ex VAT) for a single up to £315 (ex VAT) for the best. The cheapest double works out at £234 inc Vat, but the 20% offer mentioned on the website apparently only applies to bookings made on the day, a novel way of pricing thought I! I found another bookings site which actually showed the number of rooms available and tracked that so I did book on the morning of the day I was staying and got the room for £200 inc.
You have to look for it in Stanley Gardens, but the ubiquitous 2 Bay Trees gave it away so I pulled up on the yellow lines outside (it was a Sunday) and went in to check in. The young lady on reception was having a blazing row with some other guests who seemed to be having a row themselves, but that's life, so when she gave me that look which sort of implies that I had no right to be on the same planet as her I put it down to her recent experience. How wrong can you be! The welcome is neither warm or polite, but check in I did and then asked (because it wasn't offered) if someone could help me in with my bags. Someone was (after a very audible tut) summoned. I went up to the room! Small didn't come into it, how 2 people manage I'd love to know, then I looked at the bathroom! Tired would be polite. It had a toilet, facing the shower room with a washbasin in between, not so much a room, more a corridor! Having driven for 2 hours I made use of the facility, but I could not get the flush to work. I knew I had to move my car so I went down to reception and explained about the problem with the flush, only to be told that 'I had to push hard' Not sure she was happy when I said that for £200 per night I didn't push hard on anything, but she said she'd get someone to look at it whilst I sorted my car out. On my return I was assured that someone had been up to the room and was again advised to 'push hard'
On the plus side this Hotel does have complimentary wifi and that was easy enough to get connected too.
Early October this year was unseasonably warm, the hotel doesn't suffer from air conditioning and my little room was getting hotter so I thought I'd have a shower. That was a challenge. Firstly you have to climb into it, secondly to get to the tap you have to close the door, thirdly the cubicle is so small you can't avoid the water, end result you either get very cold water or very hot! Not bad for over £200 eh!
It's impossible to dry yourself off in the bathroom so back into my now even hotter pen where I changed into my party outfit, sweating profusely and I set off for the party. On the way through reception I mentioned the heat and without a smile I was told that they could put an air-conditioner in my room and, fair enough it was there when I got back. These portable units could not be described as quiet and to use it you have to open the window and doing that lets in the loud traffic noise from Kensington Park Road, a bus route and hilly at that point too. So the choice was sleep cool, but be woken by the noise, or sleep warm, I opted for warm, although as they haven't yet found double glazing the noise element is still very much there.
I watched some tv, marveling at the way the wiring to the wall mounted set had been done in black with no effort made to conceal it, sent down for a glass of wine which was served by the same guy as sorted out my luggage so I assume they run the place on 2 people with some chambermaids in the morning.
Continental Breakfast is included in the rate and you can have it served in your room, but as there was nowhere to sit and not being a breakfast fan I skipped it, maneuvering round the shower was challenge enough!
There is a mini-bar, they charge for water which is not stored in the fridge.
Wardrobe space is at a premium, if you are staying more than one night and there are 2 of you, you'll struggle They do use duvets on the beds though which I thoroughly approve of.
Would I go back? No
Would I recommend this hotel, no unless you really do want to be in that particular part of Notting Hill and your stay is short.
The more expensive room might be bigger, I don't know, but the noise problem will be the same as...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.