This is a review for a stay in May 2011.
I had stumbled across the Malmaison, whilst on a walking tour of 'secret london' a few months ago, and had been instantly been drawn to its white exterior and its position within the pretty Charterhouse square, next to a former mental asylum. I was aware it was a sister to the Hotel Du Vin stable; and i had heard only good things about these so i was looking forward to a nice stay for my birthday. We were taking advantage of a special offer by which one spends £75 in the brasserie and the room is just £42 (including VAT)
We arrived into Moorgate station, which is about a 15 minute walk from the hotel, with Smithfield meat market right next door. In hindsight we should have got the tube to Barbican station, a mere 3 minute hop.
On entry, we were impressed with the sultry décor, deep purple and black dominating, with evocative artwork adorning the walls, which was in stark contrast to the pretty street scene outside. The check-in was excellent, the unobtrusive small talk seemed genuine.
The lift and corridor continued the sultry look, and things were looking positive - until we opened the doors to our standard room. All the good work so far had been washed away in a moment. The scuffed walls and unloved furniture were unexpected, and the rich colours which greeted us in the lobby were replaced with uninspiring white and in the bathroom, a downright nasty red patterned shower curtain. We started to unpack; we were still getting a great deal of course; A nice meal in my favourite part of London.
Then, the noise started - the noise which was to ultimately save our stay. From the bathroom, behind the walls, came a continuous squealing, the water pipes I presume; which lasted for an hour and became impossible to ignore and started to irritate. I popped down to reception to make them aware; and without hesitation or any interrogation, we were promptly upgraded us to a room on the lower floor. It was handled very well by the staff and from that moment our stay was exceptional. The new room was so much better, large and well designed, and a lovely big bath. The rack rate on the new room seems to be only £25 more - it was worth double our original.
The bar and restaurant were fantastic; attentive and knowledgeable staff, and a colour scheme every bit as dramatic as the hotel lobby. The food was very good, the extensive wine and cocktail lists a pleasure to browse though.
A great stay all in all, and at a great price; but would be advised to pay that little extra for a superior room.