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“Definitely not Luxury apartments!”
Review of The Harrington

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The Harrington
Ranked #89 of 896 Specialty Lodging in London
Reviewed November 11, 2013

I stay in London most weeks due to work, usually staying in 4 or 5 star hotels, so when my usual haunts were fully booked I found myself searching for the nearest available "Luxury" accommodation. Although I normally like my creature comforts of hotels (room service and hotel bars) on this occasion I opted for the Harrington luxury serviced apartments being optimistic that they would live up to their tagline and their 4 star rating.

From the second I walked in the front door I knew I had made a horrible mistake. At no point whilst booking had anywhere mentioned that the Harrington is going through a thorough refurbishment so I was very shocked to find how much work was going on! I heard the hammering and drills before I had even got to the make shift check-in desk (which actually moves around the foyer depending on where the work-men are working at that moment)

After check in, which was surprisingly quick and efficient given the dis-array they had to work in, I was given room 206. With it being such a low floor I would have taken the stairs but I couldn't get passed the few workmen on the stairs tampering with the carpet so I took the tiny dingy lift instead. The lift apparently accommodates a maximum of 3 people OR in actual fact 1 woman her handbag and her case (just about).

When I got to my apartment I found the front door unlocked and left open on the latch, hardly a welcoming site for a lone female traveller in a hotel full of strangers. I almost felt like shouting Hello as I walked through the door.

I had booked a 1 bedroom apartment and I was pleasantly surprised at the size, the room you get here is far more than you would get at an equivalent 4 star hotel for the same price. The bedroom was large and bright and the open plan living room/kitchen was more than big enough for just me. I especially liked the huge floor to ceiling windows that looked over onto Gloucester Road. Obviously, being on a low floor and situated on such a busy street there was street noise but this doesn't actually bother me. I can sleep through anything and I quite like the hustle and bustle of London but travellers who like the peace and quiet should take note of the busy location of this hotel.

The apartment had all the creature comforts I would expect, tea and coffee making facilities, a well equipped kitchen, toiletries and probably the best hair-dryer I have come across in a hotel (women will understand the significance of this). The apartment was also very clean, the shower was powerful and hot and the bed was comfortable even though it was in fact 2 singles pushed together to make a double.

On the down-side the furniture was dated and one of the leather sofas was very ripped and tatty looking, needless to say I didn't sit on this one. The laminate wood floor in the living room was scratched and marked and in dire need of being replaced and the dark brown curtains throughout looked cheap, drab and dingy. Such a shame to have these hanging on such beautiful windows. The television in the bedroom also didn't work.

In the evening I popped out to grab some food and on my return found that my key would not open the front door. I had to ask the man on reception to come and help me with the door and after a few minutes of him fiddling with the lock and throwing himself against it it opened. He then turned to me, handed me back the key and told me next time I should just push it harder! Perhaps this is why they kept the door unlocked for check-in??

All in all, the apartments are in a great location and once inside the room you do have everything you need and expect from a 4 star accommodation. If I were the manager I would seriously consider removing the term luxury apartments from the description as luxury it is not. I would be happy to return here once the refurbishment is fully completed as it does have the potential to be great, just not yet.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Sarah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MatthewBrooks, General Manager at The Harrington, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2013

My thanks to this guest for such a detailed and objective review of her stay. Although the building did not meet her expectations in all respect, I very much appreciate the many positive points made about the apartments and this guest's willingness to return, when we complete the changes currently in progress. It is very welcome to read the comment that "I was pleasantly surprised at the size, the room you get here is far more than you would get at an equivalent 4 star hotel for the same price"

Work in the Lobby involving any noise has only taken place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and is being finished up today (14th November). The remainder is essentially painting and placing new fittings, including new furniture, which will be done with as little disruption as possible and will, obviously, not take much longer. We have already fully completed the repainting and re-carpeting of apartment corridors.

Clearly, the apartment door should not have been open when the guest checked in. The doors of unoccupied apartments are left open during the day, whilst our Housekeeping team are working and I shall speak to our head Housekeeper to ensure that all doors are closed when they are finished.

We agree that some of the apartment furniture and fittings which we have inherited need to be changed and all apartments have been measured up for new carpets today.

I agree with this guest that the word "luxury" has been overused by our industry, sometimes in inappropriate circumstances. We do not use the word on our own web site but the previous owners did use it liberally and I am still finding places where it needs to be changed.

However, it is important to bear in mind that our efforts are mainly focussed on raising the standards of the apartments well above what they were.

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215 - 221 of 284 reviews

Reviewed November 11, 2013

The furniture in the room was dirty, bed is not convertable, the blonde girl in the reception was rude and not helpfull, even that i ask for an extention to check out at 12 noon, she refused while her coleague next to said its ok.
I would never thinj to stay again at this Hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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8  Thank alrashed2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MatthewBrooks, General Manager at The Harrington, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2013

I am sincerely sorry that this guest gained such a poor impression and I do wish that he had spoken to me during his stay, as I would certainly have ensured that the issues were dealt with.

as I do in each case of feedback, I am working to identify the apartment in question, so that I can review it with our Head Housekeeper and ensure that it is brought rapidly up to standard.

Once again, our sincere apologies for the ways in which this guest was let down. We will work as a team to prevent a recurrence.

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Reviewed November 10, 2013

After reading several negative reviews I was quite worried about my stay but have nothing but good things to say.

Easy to find from Gloucester Rd. station, and great location near bars and restaurants. I was staying with 3 friends, and a toddler and a cot was provided free of charge and ready and waiting in the room.

We stayed in 505, a 2 bed apartment. Yes the lobby was undergoing renovation, but the corridors are freshly painted and the carpet was brand new.

Inside our apartment, the lounge was great, lovely view of the rooftops of London, and a dining table and 2 sofas and a pouffe. The shower room and ensuite were clean and the showers were very powerful and hot. Shower gel and hats provided which was a nice touch.

The bedrooms were clean, beds comfy and giant flat screen tvs on the wall. The kitchen was small but had everything needed, brand new oven, microwave, washing up liquid and brush, water jug, plenty of cutlery etc. we stayed in as we had the toddler with us and cooked dinner from Waitrose round the corner.

Slept well, no noise and beds comfy.

Yes it is clear that renovations are ongoing and there was the odd annoyance eg a bulb had gone in the lounge and there was hole on the plasterboard under the sink. But for the price we paid and the location we thought it was brilliant and will definitely return if the standard remains this high.

Room Tip: 505 is lovely, nice views as up high and spacious.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank pinkcatgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MatthewBrooks, General Manager at The Harrington, responded to this reviewResponded November 11, 2013

It is very rewarding for the whole team to read such positive feedback and I am very grateful to this reviewer and guest. Additionally, the review will be extremely helpful to anyone considering staying her,e given all of the specific details about the area.

I am delighted to know that this guest was so happy with her stay and with her apartment. I am sorry for the minor respects in which we let her down and these are being attended to now.

It is a pleasure to read that our renovations of the corridors, only just completed, are already so appreciated and I am absolutely confident that the refurbishment of the Lobby will be similarly welcomed, once complete (soon).

Once again, we are delighted to have so pleased this guest with the standards. Standards will not be remaining this high - standards will rise ! In the meantime, we very much look forward to welcoming this guest back to The Harrington very soon.

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Reviewed November 8, 2013

The apartments can be seen from Gloucester Rd Tube station which makes the Harrington an excellent choice when carrying heavy luggage. We stayed for two nights and found the apartments to be clean and comfortable. In the immediate vicinity there are plenty of bars and restaurants of all kinds. Our one bed apartment was roomy and quiet with a modern fully fitted kitchen. A rollaway bed was provided for the third adult in our party which was adequate but not for a longer stay. A sofa bed would have been a better option. The sofas in the apartment have seen better days but it looks as though the building is undergoing a programme of refurbishment. Price wise it compares favourably with a hotel stay and gives you more flexibility. We will definitely be back soon.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 401 a one bed apartment overlooking the street.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank seonadh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MatthewBrooks, General Manager at The Harrington, responded to this reviewResponded November 11, 2013

Many thanks indeed to this reviewer for very useful and positive feedback, which will be helpful to others considering staying in this area and, specifically, at The Harrington.

As has been noted, we do have a programme of refurbishment and are currently completing the repainting and re carpeting of the apartment corridors, whilst the refurbishment of the Lobby is ongoing to a very much higher standard than when our company took over the property in July. I recently initiated a blog on our web site, which shows some updates on this programme.

I very much appreciate this feedback and we really look forward to welcoming this guest back to The Harrington again soon.

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Reviewed November 4, 2013

The kitchen was clean, but the rest of Apartment 407 was depressing and worn. Outdated and bizarre 1980-type metal and leather furniture in the sitting room; a bare floor and dusty brown curtains. The walls were paper-thin and we could hear our neighbours spending a penny next door. Glass doors had been removed from the corner shower and replaced by a frayed curtain that didn't contain the water. Bedroom was dire: stains on the ceiling, on the leather dressing table, on the mattress, a blood stain on the mattress covers. A dirty aged carpet imparted wafts of foot and air freshener throughout the flat. Opening the window wafted out the foot, but this was replaced by onion smells from the restaurant on street level and traffic noise. The management forgot to book our last day, resulting in our having to move out early: a blessing in disguise, in fact, as we relocated to a genuinely luxurious place nearby. Great area, close to Gloucester Rd Station, with loads of lovely hotels in the vicinity. Review by Barbara

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Kromstok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MatthewBrooks, General Manager at The Harrington, responded to this reviewResponded November 11, 2013

Naturally, we are very sorry to have let this reviewer feel so disappointed with her stay and the apartment.

Whilst I fully accept the validity of some of the points here and deeply regret that the matters were not rectified earlier, the furniture and hard wood floor in the lounge are exactly as displayed in our photographs. It will all be changed in due course.

I have thoroughly reviewed the apartment with my Head Housekeeper and Maintenance man today and we will be acting quickly on the stain on the ceiling in one corner of the bedroom as well as the small mark on the dressing table, which is a spill of a previous guest's nail polish remover. A replacement shower curtain is being tailored to the size and will be installed in the next day or two (I believe that the shower panel was broken under previous ownership) and I am arranging for the carpet to be professionally cleaned.

I have verified that the stay was booked and held precisely as reserved through Booking.com and I believe that it may have been the case that we were not able to extend the guest's stay at her request, as we were fully booked.

I fully acknowledge that this guest experienced shortcomings in this apartment and I apologise sincerely for that. We are moving swiftly to rectify these - in most cases, as soon as the current guest departs after a 2 week stay.

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Reviewed November 1, 2013

Building work in corridors and reception. I was delayed in London due to wind disruption to transport on 28th October, booked Harrington on the day instead of staying with friends to treat myself to a bit of space. Mistake! Most appalling place I've stayed in ages. Really soulless. Really Thad quality decor. Dirty looking plastic sofa that I didn't want to touch. Sheets didn't stay tucked in as ill fitting.matress cover elastic on corners wouldn't stay on so rucked up under ill fitting sheet. Two singles that made up the dble mattress moved apart creating dip.. Just awful overall. Also connecting door into next door bedroom. I could hear people in there. Not even sure I felt safe in this hotel. Also quote from reception for taxi to kings cross £24 when google cab co took me for £11.50. Dire. If this is 4star...I dread to think.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
4  Thank Octavia h H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MatthewBrooks, General Manager at The Harrington, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2013

Naturally, I was very sorry to read of this reviewer's disappointment with The Harrington. Our objective, of course, in decorating and now re-carpeting corridors and in renovating the lobby is to significantly improve our guests' experience.

By chance, and for the same reason of the looming storm, I had slept in the same apartment as this reviewer on the previous night. I entirely agree that the sofa is tired and needs to be replaced, although knowing it to be perfectly clean but just warn, I sat on it happily. A replacement is on order for delivery as early as is possible.

I am urgently investigating the shortcomings with regards to an "ill-fitting" mattress cover with our Housekeeper, as I did not have the same experience as described in the apartment. It may be tempting to assume that "he would say that wouldn't he" but I actually look at an apartment much more objectively with concern to what could be improved. This seems likely to be a one off event but obviously should not have occurred and my concern is to ensure that this is not repeated there, or in any other apartment.

There is a regular cab company which the Reception team call for any requests we get from our guests. We call them because we know them to be reliable with clean cars and trustworthy drivers. Generally, their charges are typical for minicabs but £24 to King Cross does sound high and I am investigating that with the director of that company.

Once again, I am sincerely sorry for this guest's disappointment. Naturally, we would not want any guest to leave with this view of The Harrington and I can only hope that this client might give us a further chance (at a reduced rate) to show that she did not experience our usual high standards.

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Reviewed October 28, 2013

Booked our stay through Central London Apartments and after viewing an impressive array of photographs - albeit understood these are just an idea of what you get - I booked.
Sadly though, the apartment we were given, far from lived up to any of the pictures.

Our first impressions were set by the renovating going on in the lobby which probably set the tone for the visit and once inside our apartment we were left underwhelmed with the decor and furnishings we had. Our wardrobe mirror was smashed a little, the bed squeaked like crazy, the once white sofa had seen better days and certainly not been cleaned in a long time. There was a funny smell on the landing and the lighting buzzed so loudly I had to get the concierge up to turn off the lights in order to get to sleep.

It was just generally shabby and not at all what you expect when you see such great pictures on the website. Add to that the fact that we had paid a little more than standard for a large standard apartment, we felt we were getting a better option, I would have hated to see a 'standard apartment' in that case.

Its only saving grace is the location, but it's not enough for me to ever go back there again.

Room Tip: Book a deluxe. The standard of the basic rooms seems poor!
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank LittlestHobo80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MatthewBrooks, General Manager at The Harrington, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2013

Clearly, I deeply regret the impression this reviewer has of The Harrington. She has separately complained about her stay through Central London Apartments (as she has every right to do) and my immediate investigation showed that an error was made in that the reviewer reserved a Large Studio Apartment but was allocated a standard Studio.

On recognising the error, I have immediately authorised a refund for more than the difference in rate between the two types of apartment and the client has received a response from me via Central London Apartments with my sincere apologies for the mistake and her resulting disappointment.

Some of this guest's comments relate to the programme we currently have in hand to raise the bar in guests' experience at The Harrington. Significant improvements are already apparent. There is minimal disruption to guests from these programmes, designed to make their stay at The Harrington even more enjoyable and guests are already seeing the benefits.

As this guest knows from my reply to her, there are some aspects, such as the buzzing of lights which I have not been able to replicate and she has kindly provided me with further detail relating to that, which I hope will enable our electrician to find the cause on that particular night and floor.

I am glad that I have been able to deal with this error right away but I very much regret that the error was made in the first place, of course, and that the guest got a lesser impression of The Harrington as a consequence.

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Additional Information about The Harrington

Address: 1 Harrington Gardens | South Kensington, London SW7 4JJ, England (Formerly Avni Luxury Serviced Apartments)
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington , Earls Court
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #89 of 896 Specialty Lodging in London
Price Range: $158 - $344 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Harrington 4*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in chic South Kensington, just two minutes' walk from Gloucester Road station and with many shops and a wide variety of restaurants in the immediate vicinity, The Harrington - 1 Harrington Gardens is a collection of spacious serviced apartments including studio apartments, one bedroom apartments and two bedroom apartments. Designed and furnished in a contemporary style, your serviced apartment provides much more space and many more facilities than a London hotel room at excellent value in one of the best central London locations. Travel direct to other parts of central London as well as from London Heathrow and from the Gatwick Express at Victoria Station. Most of London's main museums, the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and exclusive shopping in Knightsbridge are all within walking distance. Your apartment is air conditioned and has a comfortable lounge and dining area, a well equipped kitchen or kitchenette and has flat screen TV with satellite channels and newly boosted free Wifi. Make The Harrington - 1 Harrington Gardens your London address. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Avni Luxury Serviced Apartments Hotel London
The Harrington London, England

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