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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Avni Luxury Serviced Apartments Hotel London
- The Harrington London, England