We stayed here for 2 nights during the Olympics, and were charged £760 for 4 of us to stay 2 nights (which we had to pay IN FULL 9 months before!). We were aware that it was a budget hotel and that they'd probably hiked up the prices somewhat because of the Olympics, but we were told that the hotel was being refurbished, and it was opposite Kings Cross Station & St Pancras station with the Javelin train, so, thinking that all the hotels in this area would get booked up quickly, and get even more expensive, we decided to book it. This was a huge mistake, as we were absolutely, truly ripped off. It was easily the worst hotel we've ever stayed in, and the reasons for this statement are:-
Our rooms were NOT refurbished.
In the bathroom the toilet was loosely fitted to the floor, and so close to the wash basin that my knees jammed against it (and I'm only 5'2"), mould was all over the ceiling, the shower curtain was hanging off, the water took 5 minutes to heat up and the bath towels were slightly larger than hand towels.
In the bedroom the double beds were 3/4 beds, and the single was the small 2'6 size, so beware if you are of generous proportions! My bed was old and creaked whenever I moved, with old sheets and hard pillows. Just bare bulbs with no lamp shades, the drawer-front came off when opening a drawer, handles were missing on bedside cupboards, no phone in room, the wardrobe was leaning to one side & didn't shut properly. There's no carpet in the rooms and very thin walls so we were kept awake till after 3am due to other guests coming back at various times during the early hours of the morning (they were not being noisy, we could just hear everything around us, even every footstep!). The triple room was long and thin, like a tunnel (with one bed facing the other, which made watching the TV from both beds impossible). No milk with the tea/coffee, which was on a small old tray attached to the wall, just sachets of powdered whitener. The room was stuffy and stale but we couldn't leave the window open due to the constant, busy traffic (which we HAD expected) outside.
The breakfast area is tiny so we had to wait nearly 10 minutes for seats, then wait to get the table cleaned, then the pots that you get your cutlery from needed filling. The buffet breakfast was appalling, the toast was soft and it felt like we were eating like cotton wool! There was no orange juice - it was orange squash with a powdery texture. The cooked breakfast was kept heated, but it was only lukewarm The only cereal to choose were cornflakes, and the weak tea & coffee were in flasks. The staff looked miserable downbeat (and they were probably miserable and downbeat because of the people that were complaining!)
As for the general areas of the hotel, we could only get wifi in the small lobby, (which the hotel now states) so it was crammed with other guests trying to do the same. This small lobby was also stacked with guests' luggage that was being stored until their rooms were ready. Please note that there is no ticket system (or any system for that matter!) for left luggage so we were VERY wary about leaving our belongings as we felt that anyone could just help themselves!! The lift only takes 2 people, and if you have bags then it can only take 1 person and 1 bag! Therefore as other people were trying to also use the lift, and there were 4 of us, we used the dark miserable tiled winding staircase instead.
During our stay we overheard numerous people complaining, but it seems that there was never a manager about. Therefore because we had a tight schedule and a very busy couple of days we decided that it was just somewhere to rest our heads, so we'd just 'put up & shut up'. Our Olympic trip was not going to be taken over by hanging around the hotel and complaining. However, we have learned a lot from this experience on our return. It seems that because they state that they are a budget hotel, they can get away with all of the above, no matter what they choose to charge. This hotel had absolutely no morals and no shame when it came to ripping off guests like us during the Olympics, so no matter how convenient it is for Kings Cross, or how cheap it is normally, we wouldn't stay there again if THEY paid US.
- Also Known As:
- London Carlton Hotel England
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