My wife and I recently made a trip to London, and after a little research, noticed this location had one of the better rates going as far as chain hotels go. That said, we made an online reservation and headed down to London the following weekend...
Upon arrival, I walked into the main lobby, approached the desk, and checked-in in a reasonable amount of time. Sadly, things just seemed to go all downhill from this point forward. Below is my summarization:
ROOMS: Incredibly poor quality by Howard Johnson standards. Deceiving to the eye from the walk down the hallway (which looks fairly clean and reasonable from the outside), upon sliding the key to our room, we were greeted by lots of broken furniture, cigarette burns in the linen, random stains on the ceiling (see photos for evidence) and even found ants crawling in one of the side table drawers! in addition, the A/C/heater wasn't working when we arrived, and as the manager explained, kept tripping the switch every time it was used! Needless to say, this was incredibly frustrating. There was also a VERY pungent odor (smoke we ventured to guess?) that permeated the room. On the plus side, the bathroom was clean and the room had a good wireless internet connection, but not enough to outweigh the laundry list of negatives.
STAFF: Completely indifferent to guests, neither rude nor polite. The front desk was helpful when we asked about fixing the A/C unit, however, completely shot down our request for an extended checkout (we only asked for an extra hour as we accidentally slept in late). Their reasoning? Not because they were expecting to be busy (on the contrary, it was super quiet that day), but rather because the cleaning staff "wanted to go home early that day". You'd think we had asked to stay until the evening and serve us dinner on their finest china, all we'd asked for was an extra hour to get our things together. No dice, they were having none of it, and started knocking on our door 5 minutes past the original checkout. How's that for customer service for first timers?
LOCATION: A bright spot here. Located very close to Highway 401 and the main artery of Wellington that runs through to downtown London.
AMENITIES & OTHER STUFF: Didn't use any, but as aforementioned, the one small postive was their speedy wireless internet access.
THE VERDICT: Some of you may be asking why we didn't complain and air our grievances with the hotel staff, but in my opinion (based on the numerous hotels I've stayed in over the years), I've always ascribed to the philosophy that a customer shouldn't have to complain in order for a hotel to provide the guests with a comfortable stay and quality service. If they can't figure that aspect out themselves, they shouldn't be in the hoteling business. There are lots of places out there that are looking to provide the bare minimum just to get out of spending the money to attract repeat visitors, and rather cater towards the one-timers who come in armed with very little knowledge of the place, lured in by the attractive room rate (like we were), and boot you out with the door hitting you on the way out with no intention of having you back. The Howard Johnson Inn in London is just such an example of this kind of place. Finishing off on a positive note, there was lots of free parkng, but I think I can figure out why...
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- Also Known As:
- Howard Johnson Inn London Hotel London
- Howard Johnson London
- Howard Johnson Hotel London
- Howard Johnson Inn London Ontario