I booked two days at the end of a long trip at the Pestana Chelsea, and I wish I hadn't.
I was dead tired and I picked it because it seemed to be:
* a spa
* close to city-life, but just far enough away to be quiet
* near a train line
It is none of these things for a leisure traveller.
First, the spa. It's useless. There isn't a real spa, just a few chairs set out next to the pool, and it's barely ever open. I'd intended to book a spa-day at this hotel, and it wasn't possible at all.
Second, close to any city-life at all. Look at a map, and you might be fooled into thinking that it's right in Chelsea/Kensington. But it's not, really. I asked at the front desk about how long it'd take to walk to a place to get dinner (other than the in-hotel restaurant) and was told, "about 10 minutes; just cross the bridge". No. I'm a darn fast walker, and we're talking more like 25 minutes. Which is a nice walk, but not when you're expecting half that. Nor when you're hoping to get to an underground station at a reasonable time in order to meet friends elsewhere in the city.
Third, near a train line. Oh, foolish me. I thought I could get to this hotel easily from QRB. I'd taken the train down from Edinburgh, you see, and am a huge fan of public transportation. Where better to enjoy public transport than in London?, I thought. Wrong. The Pestana Chelsea is perhaps farther away from the rail than it is from the tube, and through a sketchy-looking, nearly-abandoned neighborhood. Did you know that Chelsea/Kensington even had sketchy neighborhoods? I didn't before I stayed here.
Fourth, plushness. No. This is a large-ish room done up in the style of a cookie-cutter econohotel. Two beds, a pleather couch, and a tiny TV on a place to put your clothes. There's nothing special about a single amenity in the rooms. Except, perhaps, for the bathroom.
Two special things about the bathroom:
1) Con: The blinds obscuring a view from the main room...are on the room-side, rather than the bathroom-side. So much for privacy!
2) Pro: This hotel has the best shower pressure I've been lucky to encounter in ages.
I'd recommend the Pestana Chelsea for Londonites who want to get away from it all without actually leaving the city (because it's so hard to get there), or to business travellers who aren't there for the amenities but for the ease-of-use. Also, to people who have cars.
For vactioners, leisure travellers, or anyone interested in a spa getaway, though, this isn't your hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay at the 4* luxury Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel & SPA and enjoy London's trendy development, Chelsea Wharf, nestled between scenic Battersea Park, the river Thames and iconic Battersea Power Station. 217 Spacious modern bedrooms all equipped with individual bath and shower facilities, including one and two bedroom suites and a private Club Lounge are located on the 11th floor. Our designer SPA offers guests a tranquil relaxation area including heated indoor pool, sauna and steam room with beauty treatment rooms for bespoke professional therapy. The Atlantico Restaurant & BAR and coffee lounge, provides guests with perfect menu options of light meals, speciality coffees, high tea & the popular "tapas buffet" table with Chef's menu choices for dinner. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel And Spa London
- Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel & Spa London England