We recently had the great opportunity to spend 5 days at the Royal Garden Hotel located in the Kensington High Street/Hyde Park area. I will expound later on the epicness of the location. Perfect in pretty much all ways.
Our stay started pretty crappily. We flew in from LAX and had a car service deliver us to the hotel. 9 total people in our group. They had hired a box truck to deliver our luggage. The driver weaved his way up the driveway (not easy with all of the parked taxis and luxury cars in the way) and made it to the front. At this point, we could have dragged our bags out of the back in about 90 seconds. No such luck. Front door guys (dressed silly, but awesome) directed our driver to push it off to the side. Just mostly blocking the exit to their roundabout. This took copious amounts of time. Parked up. Great. Let's grab our bags and get to our rooms! No such luck. Security dude (or someone) wouldn't let us offload our stuff. Pretty boring at this stage of the game. After traveling for about 19 hours, with room keys in hand, it pretty much sucks to be held up by a dude power tripping. I think that we just overruled his reality and grabbed all of our bags (in about 60 seconds). We move stuff around in a very quick and efficient manner for our work. We are good at this.
Up to the room. Wait, no elevators. Oh, the first one is available. Nope, not for you. Velvet rope. Only for the VIP's. Clearly, we are not VIP's. Just look at us! Other guests were even less patient than us and pushed in front of us instead of standing in the rear of the very obvious line. Blimey!
Minutes later, nirvana. In my room. Super tiny. My biggest issue was how to place my bags so as not to trip myself in the middle of the night when I go to pee. I sorted it out pretty quickly. Next task, open the blinds. Ooh, la, la. View of the park. Super stoked!
Next on the agenda, makes some iced tea. Hot water maker. Check. Tea bags. Check. Ice. Wah, wah. Call downstairs, no problem. Bucket of ice to the room within 5 minutes. Pleasantly.
As stated prior, location is key to this property. I have spent an awful lot of time in London. This is my favorite area. Being adjacent to Hyde Park is pretty much the best thing ever. There is so much to see and explore walking throughout the park. We had pretty great weather so it made it even nicer. It never gets boring. For me.
Also, pretty much everything that you need is at your fingertips. Tons of restaurants close by. our favorite ended up being India Kitchen, or something like that. About 5 blocks away and super tasty morsels.
Now the reason for the 1 star deduction. All day long, this is a 5 star hotel. The service was hit and miss throughout our stay. Dumb little stuff that drives us crazy (we travel ALOT). I will spend over 200 nights in hotels this year. When you look at me, you would never guess that over time I would bring an awful lot of money to the travel and hospitality industry. Looks can be deceiving, folks.
Housekeeping: All very nice. All very friendly in the hallways. Very thorough in the rooms. I specifically put my stuff in different spots throughout the room. Places that work for me. Do not take all of my receipts and stuff and move them to a "better" spot. Very annoying. There were multiple complaints from my compadres about housekeeping ignoring the Do Not Disturb light and coming in while we were gone.
Mini Bar stockers. These people need to be talked to. All of us had instances where our Do Not Disturb lights were on and they attempted to come into our rooms. Like they had some sort of Diplomatic Immunity. Let me fill you in on the Royal Garden's Do Not Disturb set up. Pretty much the best ever. Genius. Foolproof. There is a switch by the door. You flip it up, a red light goes on in the hallway that indicates "Do Not Disturb". You flip it down, a red light goes on in the hallway that indicates "Service my room at your leisure". No floppy sign that can fall off of the handle or be stolen. Really NO WAY to be confused about the status of the room. On my last day, I hear a knock at the door. 3 Mini bar folks ready to come in and make sure that I am not stealing their stuff (I am exaggerating here). "Oh, sorry, we didn't see your light". Really? Your face is 2 feet from it. It's right there. On the wall. Light is red. Red means Do Not Disturb. Your code, not mine. Pretty easy one to figure out. This stuff drives us crazy!
Back to the outside greeters in the awesome costumes. Dudes look great. Very regal. You would have thought that each one of us was a carrier of the black plague. They viewed us with such disdain that it was pretty unbelievable. I know that there were no Christmas bonuses being earned off of our stay (9 rooms for about 6 nights), but hey, incoming money is money. Especially in these times. Pretty crappy and uncomfortable. Lame if you ask me. It wasn't just me. Everyone in our group felt the same way. We even walked across the street to meet our car service in the rain so that we wouldn't have to inconvenience the helper dudes. Over it.
Front desk staff was super nice.
I ordered ice from Room Service about 6 times. Each time it was delivered very quickly (within 5 minutes, except for one 30 minute wait). Our very last day I did not receive my order. That was disconcerting but I overlooked it.
Reader's Digest version: Beautiful (yet small) rooms. Great view. Perfect location. Nice hotel. Great staff except for a few.
If you dress nicer than we do, the front guys will probably treat you like royalty. I am not going to change my appearance for them.
Park view is great.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us. I'm glad to know that you had a nice stay overall. I can see why you thought the first lift was a ‘VIP’ lift, but it is in fact our Porter’s lift. We use this so we can transfer guests’ luggage to all floors as quickly as possible, therefore preventing our guests from waiting for their luggage.
I have forwarded your comments regarding the ‘Do not Disturb’ system to our Head Housekeeper and Room Service Manager, who are monitoring our policies closely to be sure that our staff are delivering the five star service that you experienced throughout the hotel.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Royal Garden Hotel
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.