I stayed here for five nights in February 2009 with my sister and my 17-year old daughter, and we were quite pleasantly surprised. We had a very reasonable rate of 95 pounds per night, including breakfast, so this really made it a great value.
We had a triple room (three single beds) on the third floor (second floor British), and a larger-than-normal-for-a-British-hotel elevator. Our room had one large window, which was very heavy and hard to open, but we managed just fine. No real view to speak of, but we did look over some rooftops and a little mews, so really, it wasn't bad at all. Our room was very quiet as it overlooked the back part of the hotel. Everything was very clean.
The size of the room was pretty good by European standards, but it would be nice if they provided suitcase stands for luggage. There was really just room enough for one suitcase in the closet, so we ended up keeping our suitcases on the floor and getting clothes as needed. There was a desk in front of the window, tea and coffee making facilities in the room, and a hairdryer. As is common in European hotels, there was no outlet near the electric kettle, so we had to move things around when making tea. The beds were very comfortable, and we slept well.
The bathroom was tiny, but the showerhead was super, and there was lots of hot water. Towels were changed twice during our five-night stay. No wash cloths, but this is normal in non-American chain hotels in Europe as Europeans tend to consider face cloths to be "personal Items," so if this is important to you, pack your own.
Breakfast was served downstairs in the cheery basement dining room. There was a self-serve counter with three or four different kinds of cereals, orange juice, coffee, and hot water for tea. There was no hot chocolate, so my daughter brought her own down each morning.
The English breakfast was very good, but very basic: usually one fried egg with sausage and/or bacon (English bacon is more like salty ham), beans, a potato square, and a canned stewed tomato. It was all delicious, and each day we'd receive a slight variation of these items (sometimes just sausage, sometimes just bacon, sometimes both, sometimes beans, sometimes the potato - we never really knew for sure, but if we made a specific request, it was always honored). I was a little disappointed that the only fruit or vegetable on offer was the canned tomato, but maybe this was because it was winter. A couple of times the dining room got crowded when everyone showed up at the same time, so it might be better to get there a little earlier than 30 minutes before they stop serving. The two women serving breakfast were very friendly.
One nice perk at this hotel was the fact that there was a computer provided free of charge to hotel guests. This made it easy to keep in contact with loved ones at home each day.
The hotel staff was extremely friendly and very helpful. Upon arrival, the man at the front desk went over a map of London wth us and told us where to catch the bus and where the nearest busses go. This was wonderful - previously, we'd always traveled by Underground because it's so simple, but once the desk clerk explained the bus routes to us, we found this to be a much better form of transportation because we could do a lot of sightseeing from the bus.
The hotel was situation near Paddington station to the north, and we could also take the Tube or busses to and from Lancaster Gate to the south. The Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect come into Paddington Station, so this made it very easy to get to and from the airport from the hotel. There were also some good pubs nearby. We especially liked the Victoria just south of the hotel.
All in all, I have to say that this was great value for our money. I've stayed in a lot of budget hotels in London, and I know how the quality of London hotels can vary wildly. I also know that the standards for these types of hotels are very different from what you'd find in a budget hotel in the United States. I read some reviews from travelers who weren't satisfied with this hotel, and I can kind of understand their point, especially if they don't know what to expect in a London hotel. There are American style hotels in London (Marriott, Hilton, etc.), but they will be more expensive.
All in all, this is a great value for your money, and if you are looking for a clean, well-situated typical London B&B hotel, this is definitely an excellent choice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Central London Hotel - Luxury bed and breakfast located in the heart of London. 4 Diamond rating. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hyde Park Radnor Hotel London, England