I stayed at the Apex Temple Court for one night on Saturday September 28th with my mum, as a surprise overnight trip treat for her.
We got a decent rate through a Spanish site at 150 pounds (decent for London, anywhere else I wouldn't pay that much), and I was really looking forward to this hotel after reading all the great reviews.
First impression was good after I contacted them by e-mail and asked for confirmation that we'd get a twin and for directions/ advice on how to best get to the hotel from Victoria station. They were polite, answered quickly and sent us an easy-to-follow map from Temple underground station (7 mins walk). The hotel entrance from the street could be easy to miss when arriving by car/taxi so make sure you ask them for directions before you arrive.
Hotel situation is very good I would say, 10 minutes walk to Covent Garden but in a quieter area (at least during the weekend), and also close to the Embankment. It's easy to get to from the Temple underground as I previously mentioned.
Impression on arrival is that the hotel is completely new and very tastefully decorated in a modern way, not at all the typical rundown classical London hotel.
Check in was fast and we upgraded to the super-late checkout at 17:00 on Sunday without trouble. I did this so we didn't get stressed but actually we don't think it's worth it at 35 pounds extra so we wouldn't do it again, better to bring the bags down in the morning so they keep them at reception.
The room was the best one I've seen at a London hotel so far (for tourism). I haven't been in London for business yet. Super clean, nicely appointed, twin beds, looking over the very nice hotel patio, great bathroom, flat screen, mini-bar, complimentary water, cookies, tea and coffee...
The great disappointment came at sleeping time: this room is very badly isolated for light, and I guess all other rooms are as well since it looked like a general problem. The blackout curtains in the room let in quite some light through the top, even at nighttime since the patio is well lit. The blackout curtain in the bathroom lets in a lot of light as well and the bathroom door has a translucent pane so it doesn't keep the light from entering the room. True, I'm more sensitive than most when it comes to sleeping with light, but being a new hotel they should have been more careful about it. Or at least they could place a complimentary face mask in the rooms to atone for it. I couldn't fall asleep until way past 04:00 so that was quite bad.
We had buffet breakfast (no hot items, only continental-style breakfast) included in our rate. Nothing to write home about, but good enough.
Then came the only problem with hotel staff, but it was a bad one. When we left the hotel in the morning we passed by reception to make sure our keys were well updated to let us in until 17:00, since we knew we'd be in a hurry. Marianela from reception said they weren't coded properly to begin with, coded them correctly (apparently), and assured us it would be fine. We got to the hotel at 16:40 and went straight up to the room, which took like 5 minutes since it's at the end of a maze-like corridor on the 3rd floor. When we got there, the cards didn't work. We went down to reception, found Marianela and told her to please re-code them asap, since we were in a hurry like we'd told her in the morning. She didn't even apologize, just laughed and said: it's ok now! My mum asked her: "are you sure?" and she answered she was. So we did the whole trip up again only to find out the keys were still not working. By now we were starting to run late and quite annoyed. We called down to reception from the phone in the corridor and asked for Marianela, they put us on hold since she was on the phone and the call ended up cutting off, so we had to go down again. She was still on the phone, we told the other receptionists we needed someone up with us immediately to open the room and they sent a guy with us. He was polite and nice, I didn't get his name. We told him the problem in the elevator, he asked who had made the coding mistake, and seemed not surprised at all when we told him it was Marianela.
Check-out was uneventful 10 minutes after that, although they could have waived the late check-out fee or part of it to show they were sorry for the bad service and inconvenience. As it was, no one apologized for the mess up.
The card coding problem, the way they dealt with it badly and without a sigle "I'm sorry", and the light isolation problem in the room are why I took the rating down to 4 stars, and I was close to bringing it down to three since they really made us feel not cared about as clients that afternoon.
- Anja answered my e-mails previous to arrival, nicely and with good information.
- Nagore from reception was great at check-in, making us feel welcome and giving us some advice on what to do in London.
- Marianela from reception was hopeless and rude on top. Try not to request anything from her.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the City, just off Fleet Street and a short walk to Covent Garden this contemporary four star deluxe hotel has 184 stylish en-suite rooms. Designed for comfort, the rooms include LED 3D TV incl.Sky Sports, Bose SoundDock for MP3 players, large desk, Free Wi-Fi internet access and local calls, fridge, safe, water, coffee & tea, luxury toiletries, iron and ironing board. The stylish bathrooms offer bath with separate spacious walk-in showers. Hotel facilities include Chambers Bar and Restaurant and Gym. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Apex Temple Court Hotel London, England