We stayed at The Soho Hotel twice, in August and November 2011. We had a deluxe room on both occasions, both of which had plenty of space, were beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. The bathrooms were luxurious as well, with Miller Harris toiletries replenished before they were even needed. And, having two complete sets of them in the bathroom is a fantastic touch, as is the travel candle.
We enjoyed Refuel very much, and found the price comparable with the quality of the cuisine, which is very good and varied. Their Sunday Roast lunch is the best I've ever had, and a terrific value. You can even combine it with a film in the hotel's cinema afterwards, which is a fun way to spend a lazy Sunday. Afternoon tea in the drawing room is extremely cozy, and every public area is beautifully decorated, so much so that after our two stays at The Soho, we tried The Crosby St. Hotel in NYC (another part of The Firmdale Group) for Christmas.
We're not too keen on the location. It's Central, but not the prettiest area in London. We like to go for a stroll after dinner and this was not the neighborhood to do that in, and we live in NYC.
I must mention that Sandro at concierge is a true gem, and offsets the remainder of service to average a four. He can do anything and ensures that his team is on top of everything. Dinner at 8PM at The Ivy? No worries, it's booked. His restaurant suggestions hit the mark every time, even securing us hard to get seats at Bocca di Lupo, which has become one of my favorite restaurants in London. He was also fantastic at managing the little things, like advance cinema tickets, and even on-the-day tickets for theatre.
So, what's wrong with the rest of the service? Well, the staff is friendly enough, but check out both times was a nuisance, with so much extra deducted from my debit card that I had to phone several times once back in the states to have the charges cleared from my account. (This happened to me at the Crosby St. too, so not sure if it is a Firmdale thing). I was also told that my card was declined when it already had a pre-authorization deducted from it that kept me waiting at checkout until it was sorted (by me, by the way, who told them that I had arranged a pre-auth so exactly this type of thing wouldn't happen).
There seems to be a tremendous amout of Front of House staff, but not nearly enough in Refuel. The waitstaff in the restaurant at one point was literally running back and forth to take care of the diners. And the room wasn't even completely filled.
I must also remark on one of the hostesses at Refuel, who was surly at best and not in keeping with the demeanor of the rest of the staff. We had booked a table for 8PM, but as it was our first night, and we were jet lagged, I had enquired about coming down at 7PM instead. I was told that they not only didn't have the booking for 8PM, but would have to sort it out with concierge.
This irritated me as I was kept standing at the desk while people went back and forth to the concierge desk. Once we were finally "allowed" to dine at 7, I asked if we could just go over the remainder of our bookings in Refuel, as we had several. She looked extemely put out, and even though they were indeed on the books, she refused to guarantee us a table in the restaurant on Sunday night to eat from the bar menu, even though it had been cleared by the concierge. trust me, our bill ran as high as it would have from the regular menu. This is unfortunate, because, as mentioned before, the quality of the food is really good, and their wine list is well priced and global.
But, in all honesty, I think we would have probably returned had it not been for the Head of Reservations. After Christmas, I had emailed about a potential booking for a long weekend in January. The website clearly stated that the promotion they were having was going on through January 18. I was told that it was only until the 15th, and they couldn't make any exceptions. I wasn't asking for an exception, I was asking to depart on the 19th, which would have made the promotion applicable. Regardless, after several emails, and finally a "concession" being given, I decided to look elsewhere. These holidays are paid for with money I work very hard to earn, and this left a really poor impression with me. I'm in the customer service industry, and what we strive to maintain is our "regular" guest, whom we want to make happy and make them feel valued. I definitely did not, which is a shame since we were really anxious to try as many Firmdale hotels as we could. Although we still want to sample The Haymarket, we won't be doing so until we try many other, non-Firmdale hotels first.
Deluxe rooms are very generously sized. We liked the decor in both, although one had far more sooth...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.