My teenage daughter and I stayed her for a week during the latter part of October. We had a terrific time in London, and really had a good experience in general at the Fielding. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again, with one exception, which I will get to.
The location was fantastic. We were able to walk to many places without exhausting ourselves. We walked across the Waterloo bridge and down the waterfront to both the Tate Modern (in one direction), and to the London Eye (in another direction). We walked to Soho for shops and restaurants, to Leicester Square, to the National Portrait Gallery, to Trafalger Square, and we would have walked to Buckingham Palace if we had gotten around to it. Of course, the Underground is just a block and a half away, and you can get anywhere in London from Covent Garden Station. Buy yourself an Oyster card, you don't have to bother with digging up the fare each time you travel, and a weekly pass is more of a bargain. Children do ride for free on buses.
There were many excellent places to eat, including one tiny take away place on Floral Street, called Kastner & Ovens, which had delicious quiches, pasties, etc. to pack up (or eat on premises if there's room) and take on a picnic. Floral Street also has a good Indian restaurant, and a Thai Fusion place, very stylish, very delicious!-really great places to choose from, all less than a block away!
The staff were wonderful, always able and willing to help. We stowed our luggage before our flight home, while we went out and did some last minute shopping, and had a farewell breakfast. Even though there's no elevator, and many steep and narrow stairs, there was help available to carry my luggage. A lightbulb on a high ceiling fixture burned out, and it was replaced immediately after I let them know about it. One night I had a terrible allergic reaction to a topical arthritis cream, and I was in agony. I finally went downstairs at 5:30 am, and found the desk clerk more than willing to help me-he gathered some milk up for me to make a poultice for my burning skin. (Thank goodness for the free Wi-Fi, so I could look up a remedy!) He looked up the nearest clinic for me, but in the end the milk did the trick (Careful with those creams made from chili peppers. They can be dangerous!). We had a room with two levels, with a writing desk and bathroom downstairs, and our two twin beds upstairs. The writing desk came in very handy, to use our laptop, or to draw, as my daughter likes to do. There was a nice selection of cocoa and tea, as well as still and sparkling water, replenished each day. The shower had plenty of hot water available. We were able to borrow two adaptors for the electrical outlets for free, though it usually requires a 5 pound deposit. The housekeeping staff did a fine job of tidying up our cluttered room and getting around my teen's pile of stuff. A view of some backyards and gardens from the bedroom was nice. We were away from real street noise, because the hotel is on a pedestrian block, which I found to be a real bonus. For the most part we had restful sleep, save for a few late night revelers here and there. It's all part of the fun, anyway...there were quite a few nice looking pubs in the area, if being a late night reveler is your thing too.
Now, there was ONE thing which seriously marred our enjoyment of the Fielding, and that was the fact that come Monday morning (we arrived on a Saturday night), construction on a room not 10 yards from our room began up, and it lasted all week, all day. I'm talking about a full demolition, and a lot of banging, sawing, drilling, hammering, men talking loudly, and dust and debris. It was crazy. I had made it clear in advance that I have some health issues that are aggravated by lack of sleep, so I had requested a quiet room. Grace and I had a few conversations about my need for quiet, so I was very upset about the situation. However, I was in management for 20 years, and I know it was the owner's decision to do this remodel. It was also the owner's decision not to let me know about the issue in advance, and that's what really irritated me. I was put out by the work one day in particular, when my daughter didn't feel well, and there was no possibility of resting in our room due to the noise level. I requested a refund of some type, and the owner eventually agreed to 10% off my total bill, which I thought was insufficient. Had I had the choice, I'd think 20% was more reasonable. That's what I would have offered a customer, had I been in the owner's place. (I'll let you know if I open a hotel). The noise was deafening, and it served as our alarm clock each morning. There was no sleeping past the start of the construction. In the end, we were out of our rooms for most of the day, and the construction had a lot to do with that, for better or worse. The staff were extremely apologetic about the situation, but there was nothing that they could do about it. Since the owner thinks it's fair not to notify people of scheduled construction, I say I would not hesitate to stay at the Fielding again, but only after requiring to be told of any upcoming construction. It's a shame that an owner would get in the way of their own business, but there it is. How could s/he imagine people would be satisfied to put up with such a thing? The staff made every effort to make my stay a pleasant one though, they were delightful. At first I did consider moving to another hotel, but the Fielding is so well located, and the price is very reasonable for the area. I'm not unhappy that I stayed and put up with the noise etc. because I had a great trip overall.
We plan on coming back to London, and I'll plan on staying at the Fielding. I think I'll request the room which was remodeled during my stay-we put up with enough for it, so we probably deserve it!