My grandson and I recently spent five days at the hotel and its a beautiful, elegant hotel with touches of bygone eras (fresh floral arrangements and a welcoming fire with comfy seating in the lobby) yet sufficient modernization to satisy the current traveller (adequate lifts, credit card keys, internet access, a wonderful buffet breakfast and a convenient yet quiet location etc)
However, when we arrived (about 11AM) we were told that no room in our price class was currently made up but for 20 more pounds nightly we could immediately occupy a more luxurious room with a river view and an extended 2PM instead of 10AM checkout time. (The complete illogic of this did not at that moment occur to me)
I went for the upgrade and we received a lovely large room with what should have been a stunning view of the Thames and the London Eye except that the entire front of the hotel was covered with scaffolding. While there was much about the hotel that we enjoyed, the irritations and inconveniences were constant. On two of our four nights there, we were awakened by multiple unanswered phone calls after 1AM and despite my repeated instruction to put NO calls through unless they came from the US we never managed an uninterrupted night's sleep until our last night. OurFri. morning 5:45AM wake-up came at 5AM with a reminder at 6 AM (in addition to two other calls that night) and we were, likewise unable to get this taken out of the system until Sunday. At this point, after multiple complaints about these and other problems (I have never stayed at even a budget motel chain where the maids failed to remove the dirty glasses from the room and supply clean ones daily.) I spoke with a member of the managerial staff who profusely apologized and promised to reduce our bill to atone for some of the inconveniences.
Well, the 20 pound upgrade fee was removed and they treated my grandson to a free dessert for his birthday in the lovely lounge restaurant where we had eaten several times. It is important to note however, that while the server was extremely pleasant and polite and the food was well prepared and tasty on two of the three times we ate there we did not get what we ordered. I would expect the staff of what bills itself as a "Four Star Plus" hotel to know the difference between a trifle, a truffle and a beignet. (Note: I ordered the trifle, got the truffle and was billed for the beignet.) However, the promised adjustment was entirely inadequate considering the nature and frequency of the problems.
I would like to point out that the woman who promised to "atone" for our unpleasant experiences told me that the "upgrade charge " would have to be suspended for the duration of the construction but, when we were checking out about 1PM, there was the same desk clerk pushing the same " 20 pound, immediate occupancy, river view upgrade" with STILL no mention of the scaffolding. The thought crossed my mind that perhaps he got a commission for each upgrade that he sold.
This hotel is NOWHERE near deserving of a "Four Star Plus" rating and if it is as I was told "The Flagship of the London Thistle Hotels" I can only conclude that they must all be over-rated and over-priced.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This majestic five-star hotel presides over the River Thames. From glittering chandeliers to contemporary design, this central hotel near the London Eye reflects a proud heritage. Expect more, with free wi-fi throughout the hotel, fully refurbished Victorian splendour, award-winning dining, afternoon tea and sumptuous river view suites. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Royal Horseguards Hotel London
- Royal Horseguards London
- The Royal Horseguards London, England