It's hard to imagine a hotel with a better location in London than Le Meridien Piccadilly. It is literally half a block from Piccadilly Circus. West end shows are a five minute walk. The major attractions around the Palace are a fifteen to twenty minute walk. Everything is quickly accessible by a tube station very close by. It is tourist London, to be sure, but for a tourist the location can't be beat.
London hotels are tremendously expensive, so paying more than $300 a night does not mean you get the best room in the best hotel. It is a normal rate, and you get a pretty normal hotel.
In this case, we were lucky enough to have an upgrade, so we got a suite on the top floor made up of a nice, if small, sitting room and a reasonable bedroom. Two bathrooms was an added plus. Normal cost of the room, probably $700 or so. All of the fixtures and accoutrements of the room were very nice, but in an older style. Nothing bad, but typical European hotel style.
Reception is, as with many European hotels, small and crowded, and we were surprised to find that the check-in process took quite a bit longer than we expected. We ultimately had to wait for a couple of hours in the club lounge for our room, despite being told on checkin that it would be ready in 45 minutes. Not to worry. Those things happen, and we did arrive from our flight very early in the day.
In general, service was crisp and knowledgeable. Like many hotels, staff react to their perception of a person. When we came through the lobby dressed like slobs after a day running around town, we were treated with markedly less deference than when we came in after dinner or theatre, dressed to the nines. A little off-putting, but such a small thing that it could be ignored.
The bar in the basement is a pleasant downtown hangout, clearly popular some nights with London professionals before and after theatre. Pricey, but not unreasonable.
Two things I really didn't like.
First, the club lounge is very small, with downscale furniture and clearly insufficient space for the people eligible to use it. The food and beverage service in the club lounge also a little bit limited, plus its location overlooking the lobby is less classy than I have come to expect in Starwood hotels. Service here, as elsewhere, was competent but not really memorable. Don't pay for an upgraded room in order to get club lounge access.
Second, one of the nights we were there we were awakened in the middle of the night by a fire alarm, and had to evacuate to the lobby. That is fine. Good that everyone was brought to safety quickly, and fire alarms are a fact of life in hotels. What was less acceptable was that it took more than ninety minutes to investigate, with everyone cooling their heels in the lobby. Apparently (I'm guessing, in light of the staff and firefighters running around in apparent disarray) the hotel does not have a modern fire control system, where the firefighters can identify the source of the alarm immediately and go there. This is really not acceptable in a first class hotel, and in my view Starwood should require the hotel to rectify this situation.
I read back through this, and it seems like all I am doing is complaining. That would give the wrong impression. This is a reasonable hotel in a great location, and the next time I go to see something in the West End I'll certainly stay there again.
On the other hand, you can sense my lack of enthusiasm. Some hotels I will rave about. Not this one. A decent choice, but not in the same league as some of the others I have stayed in (and reviewed).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Le Meridien Piccadilly is set in the heart of the West End one of London’s most fashionable destination, and only moments away from London’s cultural attractions, including Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden. The hotel features many amenities including meeting facilities and banqueting suites, the Piccadilly Health Club and one of London’s largest indoor swimming pools. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Piccadilly Hotel London
- Le Meridien Hotel London
- Le Meridien London
- London Le Meridien
- Le Meridien Piccadilly London, England