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“Not what I expected!!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Gainsborough Hotel

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The Gainsborough Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   7 - 11 Queensberry Place | South Kensington, London SW7 2DL, England (South Kensington)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #821 of 1,049 Hotels in London
London
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Not what I expected!!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

I needed a room for the night near to the Science Museum and picked the Gainsborough because of its proximity to the venue. Having paid £69.00 for a single room (normally approx £140.00) i imagined it would be of very good quality. Whilst the hotel itself was very clean, smart and the night staff I met was very polite, when I got to my room, I was expecting a bit more than the shoebox I was presented with!! The bed was comfortable but VERY soft and as for the TV (it must have been installed in the 1980's) and the tiny en-suite was just that ....... TINY and could have done with a bit of an update. A bed was very welcome after working 16 hours overnight and I guess I could've slept on the sofa in Reception but I was expecting a much nicer room considering the area. It seems that as its near to the tourist spots they can charge what they want. I wont be staying there again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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270 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    20
    55
    65
    62
    68
See reviews for
49
72
32
62
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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English first
Sofia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

The location of the hotel is perfect, you are close to Hyde Park, museums and the Royal Albert Hall. The staff were very friendly and always ready to help. Room was reasonable size and the bed comfortable. There are a lot of nice restaurants and coffee shops close by. Considering the expensive area the price is really worth it what you get. We really enjoyed our stay. Thank you

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We spent a weekend with my boyfriend . I could only say - an excellent hotel in great location. So friendly staff, couldn't be more helpful. Immaculate clean rooms and very comfortable beds. Unbeatable price for fantastic weekend!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Crete, Greece
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Although this hotel is advertised as a four star it is not. It is however, a solid three star in a great location for the money. It is in South Kensington and centrally located to most London attractions. There are shops and restaurants nearby and the tube station is a 5 minute walk. Our room was clean but small, and the bathroom was very tiny. Having said that, we did not spend much time in the room. I found the staff to be accomodating and helpful. It was basically what I expected for the money.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Horrendous experience here. I was booked here by a travel agency. This is a 4 star hotel, and I expected it to be presented as such and for me to be treated like I was staying at one. Quite the opposite. When I arrived, I noticed the first hallways smelled like dust and cigarettes. The second hallway out side my room was obviously leaking water through the ceiling, probably through one of the holes where a light should have been. It smelled like urine and mildew, and I could see MOLD. That's right, MOLD. I went into my room and was immediately disappointed. The TV didn't work for a while, and it was severely outdated. There were massive rips, bubbles and holes in the wallpaper. I took a shower, and the light in the bathroom would cut out at random, leaving me in the pitch black. Twice I slipped out of the shower trying to figure out where the light switch was and smacked my head on the tile floor because of this. I asked the staff to fix it, they told me they did, and then IT HAPPENED AGAIN. THEY DIDN'T FIX ANYTHING. The wifi was TEN POUNDS PER DEVICE, PER NIGHT. That is an atrocious scam in the first place, but to make it worse, the only place the wifi worked was in the lobby. I stayed in two different rooms during my stay, and it was the same for both.

I would also like to comment on the staff here. The receptionist first of all spoke very poor english. She refused to allow my sister, who arrived before the rest of my family, to begin her stay because it was booked under my father's name--mind you, we had just stayed at the hotel a week earlier and everyone that was working there knew who she was and that she wasn't lying. I had to take a forty pound taxi across town to get there to pay with a different card because of this woman, who then said it was "my fault" that I chose to come there to help her. She then said that if my sister tried to cancel her stay, it would cost 150 pounds to the card under my father's name. How can she charge that fee to the card if she wouldn't charge the booking fee to it in the first place? She was very rude. The manager then told my father that he PERSONALLY helped my sister with the situation, which is a BLATANT LIE. I was there, and he never once appeared or spoke to her on the phone or sent a damn letter for that matter. But he told us that he did.

I also was not given a "do not disturb" sign and had to hand make one. The housekeeping staff still came in after I told them to not disturb me, and they called me on the phone even after that to see if I wanted my room cleaned. I was repeatedly woken up. There was a loud mechanical screeching every morning somewhere in the building, too. I got terrible sleep, and my arms broke out from the sheets or the detergent they were washed in, which has never happened to me before in my life.

I would never stay here again, and I encourage others to stay the hell away from this establishment.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Mold. Mildew. Broken lamps, appliances, and windows. Noisy beds and doors. Paper thin walls. Bad heating. Horrible experience with a receptionist (Although I was very polite and undemanding). OVERPRICED. Bad wifi reception- it's 10 pounds a day. By a nightclub, so don't expect to sleep. Water damage. Outdated bathrooms.

Spend 10 pounds more a night and stay around the corner in the Ampersand Hotel. Unfortunately, I didn't get to stay there, but I had dinner there and toured th hotel, and it was so, so much nicer than the Gainsborough. I'd be willing to spend 10 pounds more a night to sleep in a room without mildew and have lights that work.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

After traveling extensively through Europe, I confidently say that this is the worst hotel I have stayed in yet. I certainly do not feel entitled to staying in a palace or being treated like royalty, but I do wish to stay in a clean room and be treated with kindness. The following is a list of things I encountered at a five day stay here:
-Very intense smell of mildew in the hall outside my room.
-Bad heating system
- Food was not good. Tolerable, but not good. (I eat almost anything)
-Half the appliances in the room were broken, and the staff never fixed them, although we asked them to fix them on our first day.
-Paper thin walls- bring ear plugs if you stay here
-Water stained walls everywhere
-Wifi is 10 pounds a day (free at most hotels of this caliber)
-Outdated and noisy furnishings and installations (beds, windows, doors, BATHROOM, etc)
-Terrible experience checking in on the first day. I was extremely polite, I assure you, but the receptionist did not offer to help me figure out the situation and was quite antagonistic. I've never, ever seen such poor service- not even at a two star Days Inn in the United States. More importantly, my family and I had stayed there a week before, so the staff knew both me and my parents.
-I will say the butlers who serve breakfast are exceptionally kind, but, unfortunately the other problems overshadowed this.

Spend ten pounds more a night and stay around the corner at The Ampersand Hotel. We toured the hotel there after this horrible experience at the Gainsborough, and the hotel was a refuge.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Gainsborough Hotel

Address: 7 - 11 Queensberry Place | South Kensington, London SW7 2DL, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#366 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gainsborough Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine an English country home magically whisked to the most exclusive London borough, and you have The Gainsborough. Named after the celebrated artist, The Gainsborough combines the attractive style of bygone days with an easy informality. To stay here is to enjoy London of fashionable South Kensington, Harrods, the restaurants and antique markets, pubs and delightful backwaters of Chelsea and Knightsbridge. You are at the heart of the capital's culture too with great museums - Science, Natural History, the Victoria & Albert - nearby; and for music lovers, the glorious Royal Albert Hall is just minutes away. The well-stocked lounge bar is the spot for a leisurely drink or a snack from the light menu. With 24-hour room service, butlers on immediate call and a reception ever ready to meet your needs, nothing is too much for our attentive staff. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gainsborough Hotel London
The Gainsborough Hotel London, England

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