I booked the Kingston Lodge Hotel through a club I belong to .
As I live in North London I travelled to have a look before booking .
There was a birthday party in progress which looked very jolly .
Although I was visiting with a view to booking , I was charged about £2:50
for a quick coffee which seemed a bit mean .
A pleasant lady showed me a couple of rooms and the 1st floor rooms with door , balcony , window box overlooking the garden looked very nice .
I was told I could request one of these rooms within the club allocation .
Anyway I booked the Xmas break and requested the above type of room .
I also phoned a week before speaking to Matt who said the rooms were not yet allocated & he assured me he would make a note of my request .
At no time was there any mention of a supplement for this type of room ,
which I appreciate is the norm with many hotels .
On Christmas eve I arrived a bit stressed after managing to get lost in the dark .
There was no porter available to assist with my bags , so I lugged them to the room as I wanted to change and relax before dinner .
Before I went into my room ( 207 ) the co-ordinator for the weekend saw me at the door and said I had got my request for a garden view room .
I looked at the room which seemed fine and I went out to the balcony .
This was a shock the room actually overlooked the roof , facing a block of flats with noise from the facing road .
Instead of a wooden barrier and window box , there was a concrete barrier all the way around .
It was the scag end of the row of rooms & a periscope would be needed to see the garden .
I was shocked and disappointed and went to reception .
Mairead the General Manager ( rather an imposing and formidable individual )
was at reception .
I explained the situation to her and she kept repeating that the hotel classifies
the room as having a garden view .
I invited her to see the view but she declined .
It was rather like talking to a brick wall .
Certainly not a good start to a relaxing Christmas break .
I felt like going home ( where I do possess a garden view) .
Eventually the co-ordinator for the break suggested I swop with her .
They had arrived the night before and had really settled in .
I felt quite guilty about this but as I was so fed up at this point ,
I moved rooms after a rather rushed clean up before dinner .
Other than the fiasco above , my review of the hotel follows :
My chambermaid pleasant & helpful ( working on Christmas day )
The tall Russian waiter also pleasant and helpful ( most staff did not wear name badges ).
The waitresses & waiters generally good .
The bar staff never seemed to be behind the bar , not hunt the thimble
but hunt the barman ( they did all seem to be male ) .
The London Pride was of poor quality but the lager was O.K.
However the waitresses on the last night appeared to be extras from Twilight ;
one waitress opened the garden door for her friends to go out
( no doubt to commune with fellow vampires ) .
She took great umbridge when I wanted to close the door to prevent the draft .
The easy chairs around the hotel were very old and you would go to sit down expecting a soft landing but unfortunately you would hit wood
because the cushioning was non existent .
The furniture in the room and around the hotel was dark and old with scratches .
The management should really invest in new bright furniture .
I found the food over Christmas was generally rather poor quality :
Although I quite liked the turkey , once I managed to get rid of the first one
with vegetables etc swimming in gravy .
Although Xmas pudding luke warm with hard edges probably the end of tray piece .
Xmas eve fish cakes & chips rather poor and stodgey – they could have stretched to real fish and chips considering the cost of the break .
The buffet Christmas day evening , consisted of cheap greasy stodgey food :
sausage rolls and greasy piazza ( I did not realise that piazza could be that greasy ).
I picked up a sandwich which seemed to just have cranberry sauce in it .
Some salad and fruit would have been welcome .
The Teriyaki salmon on boxing day was dried out with minimal dried out veg.
It certainly bore no resemblance to the delicious version on Saturday Kitchen
this morning .
Instead of the buffet I would have preferred an individually hot cooked breakfast
with for e.g. a couple of fried eggs ; instead of fishing through a mountain of fatty pieces of bacon , scrambled eggs & luke warm tomatoes .
Although I did like that you could actually make yourself hot toast .
The crackers were the cheapest I have ever seen with repeated jokes & tiny plastic contents ; certainly no little games to play with .
The profit mark up on the Christmas break must have been very high .
Obviously I will not be returning to Kingston Lodge with the imposing and formidable Mairead and Twilight extras .
The genuine garden view rooms with balcony are preferable
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Many thanks for your review
I am sorry your did not enjoy your Christmas break , It is such a shame as so many others with in your group did.
In fact we recieved a call for the organiser of your group , telling us how much the group enjoyed their stay.
Mairead and Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.