We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“If You Like To Shower In A Closet” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The California

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
Save
You added The California to your Saves list
The California
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   4-8 Belgrove Street | Kings Cross, London WC1H 8AB, England (Bloomsbury)   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Price
Book Direct and Save £10!
Ranked #515 of 1,049 Hotels in London
Sydney
1 review
“If You Like To Shower In A Closet”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2007

Thread bare carpets, dirty, grimey, generally not pleasant. We walked
into our room which was tiny. The double bed took up most of the floor space!! The tiny TV was INSIDE the wardrobe & the reception is so poor you barely get 1 channel!! At first we thought they hadn't given us an ensuite room until we realised what appears to be a built
in wardrobe is actually the shower & toilet!!!! The door to the "en-suite" is a slatted wooden wardrobe door - not exactly private!! The mattress was thin, lumpy & uncomfortable - we had a dreadful nights sleep. The breakfast was awful & they gave us shot glasses for orange
juice!! I wish we had gone somewhere else. A complete rip off for the
£70 they charged us for one night - it will be Travel Lodge for us next time!!!

  • Liked — leaving
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

515 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    90
    208
    130
    49
    38
See reviews for
109
109
62
82
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2007

Thread bare carpets, dirty, grimey, generally not pleasant. We walked into our room which was tiny. The double bed took up most of the floor space!! The tiny TV was INSIDE the wardrobe & the reception is so poor you barely get 1 channel!! At first we thought they hadn't given us an ensuite room until we realised what appears to be a built in wardrobe is actually the shower & toilet!!!! The door to the "en-suite" is a slatted wooden wardrobe door - not exactly private!! The mattress was thin, lumpy & uncomfortable - we had a dreadful nights sleep.The breakfast was awful & they gave us shot glasses for orange juice!! I wish we had gone somewhere else. A complete rip off for the £70 they charged us for one night - it will be Travel Lodge for us next time!!!

  • Liked — NOTHING
  • Disliked — IT'S DREADFUL
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2007

The California is an average B&B, but in a great location for tube travel.
Ok, the rooms are small, but they are clean and light. We booked a twin room, which consisted of 2 single beds, TV, a wash basin, wardrobes, a safe, and a separate bathroom with shower and toilet. There was also tea and coffee making facilities in the room. Bed linen was clean and towels also.
Breakfast, if you are up early enough, (7am-9am!) is not bad, the usual bacon and eggs fry up with tea and juices.
There was a small outdoor courtyard with benches towards the rear of the hotel for smoking or sunbathing.
I found the staff to be friendly and helpful, and we were able to leave our bags in a locked storage on the day of our departure.
We stayed for 2 nights over the weekend for a concert at the o2 arena and a days sightseeing and found this to be an excellent location for getting the tube all over london, and also only one stop from Euston for when we were going home.
I enjoyed my stay here and would stay again.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Size of rooms
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
122 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2007

I have stayed here a few times since i first wrote a review, and my views have changed. Maybe its because i have stayed in a few different rooms, and they all seem small, cramped and a just a little bit too tatty.

For £50/night its OK, and not quite dirty, but doesnt feel like the good value i first thought - maybe its me just changing my views.

Stayed in a Travel Inn as an alternative, much larger room, clean bright etc, but at £100+ per room per night its nearly 2x the price, and you dont get free internet in Travel Inns.

Right now I need to book again for a couple of weeks time, cant decide wether to rebook the California or not? (mind you, its not really my money I am spending, so the cost is less of an issue than it might be.)

Stayed July 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Renfrewshire, Scotland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2007

I'm just back from a 4 night stay at the California Hotel and it was ok.

I had a single room and I was travelling with 3 friends, one of them had a single room and the other 2 had a double.

Location - Excellent, it is directly across the road from Kings Cross tube station. There are cash machines, a post office, various shops and eateries round about the area.

Staff - Were fairly friendly, I didn't interact with them all that much aside from checking in and out and handing in my key and getting
it back when we were going out for the day. They weren't chatty or anything, just done their jobs really.

Foyer/Lobby area - Very clean and nice appearance. There is a computer terminal with internet access but it was out of order during our entire stay. It is possible to get coffee here and they also have a little back garden area. There is also a stand with lots of leaflets for London attractions, check them out because some have discounts on them which is handy.

Getting to the room - this involved climbing up stairs in fairly narrow staircases. This was no problem to me but if stairs are a problem to you I'd see about asking for a room on the lower down floors.

My room - My room was utterly tiny but it wasn't like I was planning on spending a great deal of time there so that was no big deal..The width of the room fit a single bed pushed against a wall with about a 2 foot space from the side of the bed to the other wall. The length
of the room was from the top of the single bed to the bottom with about another 2 foot gap at the bottom.

The 2 foot gap at the bottom had a built in wardrobe/dresser/mirror where there was space for a suitcase, clothes to hang, plenty of hangers, tea and coffee making facilities, a tv and a safe. There were no instructions for use of the safe but I went down to ask and they showed me how to do it.

The side of the room that the bed was pushed against there was a radiator and a window which could be opened easily. Next to the bed there was a little shelf which held an alarm clock that had seen better days and a lamp.

My room was located at the front of the hotel and whilst this is the side nearest to the main road I can't say the noise of traffic bothered me in the slightest.

The bathroom - The bathroom was pretty small but adequate. It has a small bath with a shower, a toilet and a sink. There was extra toilet
paper, 2 little bars of soap and one towel. The towel was the size of
a hand towel so if you prefer a bigger towel either check if they can
provide this or bring your own. Water pressure for the shower was fine and the temperature was good unlike some hotels I've been in.

Cleanliness - General cleanliness of the room seemed ok, the bathroom
was clean apart from the bottom door frame where it looked like coffee had splashed on there at some point. The room carpet looked like it could maybe do with a clean. The curtains smelled a bit foosty and the window was in dire need of a wash. Otherwise the sheets of the bed appeared to be clean and the surfaces were dust free.

Friends single room - he was on the 4th floor above my room and he said his room was ok, his was a little bit larger than mine but his shower room wasn't so great. His shower consisted of walking into a small toilet cubicle with a shower head sticking out of the ceiling meaning everything in the toilet gets soaked. It was a pretty small cramped space too. Although we were aware that this could be the case from reading previous reviews on here.

Friends double room - they say it was small, clean and basic. They were kept awake by some guests who were making noise out the back of the hotel in the early hours of the morning but that was the guests and isn't the hotels fault. In their bathroom the toilet handle fell off but they told the people in reception and it was fixed when we got back later that day and worked better than it had before.

Breakfast - My friends went for breakfast but I didn't go near it as I don't like full english breakfasts but my two friends went and I was told it was very greasy but adequate. I'm told breakfast consisted of cereal, toast, sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatos, tea and coffee.

Price - for a single room I was told £50 a night via email and that is how much it cost. However, it does say on the website that a room with a single bed is £45 and it's one with a double bed that is £50 so they've got a bit of a web discrepancy going on there. The prices
displayed in the hotel match with the £50 a night price though. The double room was £70 per night.

What isn't included - shampoo, hairdryer (but you can borrow one from the desk), telephone, instructions for the safe (but you can go ask how to use it).

What would make it better - the rooms are painted in a nice yellow colour but the curtains, bedspread and carpet are patterned and a bit dowdy looking. It was also terribly hot in my room even with the window open a little fan or some kind of air conditioning would be good. A breakfast with lots of fresh fruit.

Overall impression - I think this hotel made a good base for exploring London and for the money you can't really go wrong. The location was very good, we didn't explore the area very much but it's
great for the tube. Yes the rooms were small but if all you need it for is a place to sleep and get washed then it's fine. It makes a good base and I would go back to the hotel.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — Some cleanliness issues
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincolnshire
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2007

This was one of the most basic hotels we have stayed in. We stayed in Room 302, which was extremely small. When we booked we rang to specifically ask for a room with a bath, but only got a shower. When we complained about this at reception, the response was "well, you're not staying at the Ritz at £500 a night", and we were told that some rooms have a bath, others don't. We were given the impression that it was the luck of the draw to get a room with a bath, so we felt we had been mis-sold on this.

There were no toiletries in the room, not even a bar of soap on the washbasin, and we only had one towel each. The shower needed a good clean, on the bottom of the shower cubicle door there was something brown and gross, and under the basin tap lever it looked pretty manky too. In the shower cubicle there was no shelf on which to put one's toiletries, luckily I found a plastic carrier bag and hung this on the shower control and used this to hold my shampoo and shower gel. The shower itself though was powerful and hot. There was no holder for the toilet roll on the wall, the loo roll had to sit on the floor.

There was no hairdrier in the room - one had to ask for one at reception, and it turned out that there were only 3 in the whole place, so it had to be returned after use. If you are staying here be sure to bring your own toiletries and hairdrier!

The general cleanliness of the room was not great - cleaning seemed to have been skimped upon, the carpet needed a good vacuuming.

The two men on reception were helpful, but did fail to mention available facilities such as internet access in the lounge, and we were not given any instructions about how to use the safe, which was in the wardrobe.

Breakfast was ok for those fond of full English, but limited in other choices. We were ignored by staff at breakfast, not shown to a table, and, as the basement dining area quickly got full, you needed to get down to breakfast early.

Left luggage facilities seemed less than secure, with access to the luggage room being by a communal key.

On the plus side the hotel's location is close to King's Cross/St Pancras/Euston railway stations, and there was a subway to the King's Cross/St Pancras Tube stations at the end of the street. There was a good Italian restaurant, Casa Mamma's, just down the street, in the shadow of King's Cross station.

If you are only staying overnight in London and need to be near King's Cross/St Pancras stations, this hotel is adequate. However, if you are planning on staying longer, we would advise checking out one of the larger, chain-operated hotels in the area, where, for around £10 -20 more, you will get a more comfortable room with better facilities. In London, you get what you pay for.

Stayed June 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, England
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2007

Just got back from a wonderful four day break from London and i have to say i was a bit wary before we went after reading some of the earlier reviews about this hotel, my worries were unfounded as the staff at this hotel were very freindly, the room was very clean and basic, not the ritz i must add but if its only a base you need while your out everyday then this is the place to stay, with the underground just around the corner you cant go wrong, oh and the breakfast was very nice as well.

  • Liked — convenience
  • Disliked — size of room
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to The California? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The California

Address: 4-8 Belgrove Street | Kings Cross, London WC1H 8AB, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury , Euston / Kings Cross /St Pancras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#395 Family Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The California 3*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The California is a charming, modern bed and breakfast, less than a minute's walk away from King's Cross and St. Pancras stations. Our 60 stylishly refurbished rooms, each one cosy and comfortable, are spread over four Georgian townhouses, and we've retained as much of the original architecture as possible; our windows, corridors and staircases are all original. This means that we don't have a lift, but we do keep our reception open 24 hours a day, include breakfast and high speed WiFi in all our rates and have just opened our new bar, lounge and private terrace for our guests to enjoy. Welcome to The California London. Visit anytime, explore every time. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Agoda and Priceline so you can book your The California reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
California Hotel London
The California London, England

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The California, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.