Been going to London, almost every year, for the last 15 years with only few exceptions, and have tried several hotels in that period. Also, let it be noted that though in the first few years I was partly burdened with sightseeing, now, my main focus is shopping, fun and friends, as hardly any sightseeing crops up and if it does it is bound to be stress-free and always in a relaxed fashion.
Facts: Its location is so perfect (for downtown London) that you can hardly tell which station of the two (Leicester sq or Piccadilly Circus) is closer. Just off china town, the W is constructed in an incongruous fashion (ie: hardly harmonious with the surrounding buildings), but by being so, one might say that it at least manages to convey an honest hint of what exactly it is: a good (niche) hotel, in the heart of London, aimed at the very particular consumer groups of the younger (only in the heart included or agewise as well) and richer (in the literal sense of the word, I am afraid). Classy, beaty music audible across its halls and public spaces almost on a 24/7 basis, courteous young people at the ground floor door (reception being on the first floor) making sure, as they should, you realize that you are entering a private place (nothing rude or snotty - it would be unfair to say that), dim lighting along the corridors all throughout the hotel promoting relaxation and an uplifting sense of clubbing mood (occasionally enhanced by scattered disco balls of all sizes, hanging from the ceiling as part of the overall decor) meandering throughout the premises, the W boasts (and indeed manages to provide) glam (whatever that may be) and the chance to see and be seen in an open-minded, gay friendly (as their in-room TV commercial suggests), VIP environment!!!
General personal comments: Please note that much as I was going to it rather biased against it (having read all this negative-ish input, to do with the W, I was happy to see that in the end the hotel managed to win me over. Clearly, it is a unique hotel (for the so far London standards), though it is rather likely to be more appealing to the younger guests or at least to those who are open to new ideas and will not mind a soft beat (loud would only be an exaggeration - and I am trying to avoid that) as a background to their thoughts and privacy! I found it pleasing and it never stopped me - throughout my 3 night stay with the W - sleeping, enjoying my serenity, privacy and company, in general, (being on the third floor as I was - only two floors up from the reception and main lounge/club), for it was simply not audible!
Room personal comments: Being in a 'Wonderful' (as it is wittily categorized) room looking onto Wardour str. (room 324), for three nights, I found it, stylishly decorated, in a 2012-like manner, with clean surfaces, reflective materials and a fashion-oriented concept design (understandably easy though it can be, still, slightly bordering on exaggeration, sometimes) prevailing. Spacious enough, with an inviting king size bed and a corian (in the shade of beige/off-white) countertop featuring the vanity area (sink, big cleverly lit face mirror) clean and stripped of all loud attempts to decorate, displaying an outstanding sense of space awareness (featuring an iron, iron-board, a spacious wardrobe with a sliding door that would easily keep your room from sight while receiving an order, in the case of in-room dining, a safe, handy sockets in the right places with adaptors provided - if needed at all.) I suppose the lack of the elsewhere easily found (in almost all the other hotels) tea making facilities, within the room, is to be put down to the fact that the hotel is aimed at the rich and therefore the 4,5 quid for a mere cup of tea would be immaterial. I said niche hotel, didn't I? (that, in itself, should cover it). Glam costs, guys!!!
The toilet seat and the shower are in two separate booths within the room which is quite convenient but if one is a reader when one sits on the toilet seat then one is bound to find it difficult to read, for, minute/(s) after you walk into the toilet, all the lights go out but one blue light – rendering your Al Bundy/married with children kind of sport outdated. So, if you stubbornly insist on indulging, you will only find yourself all too often practicing halting the traffic better than a traffic policeman does (for you will have developed a way of doing it while being sitted), by raising your arm every now and then in an upright manner so that the movement detector will put the light back on!!! (You see what I mean by “…bordering on a slight exaggeration”, now?). As to the shower, it is really good, effective and uplifting to practically have rain fall on you in a spacious booth and in always dim purple-blue lighting, this time welcome, especially if you’ve put on a few pounds after your summer holidays and will rather choose not to see them until you decide to do something about them (the mirrors surrounding you mist out so they should not be a problem – don’t worry!)!!!
Last but not least comes…service: In-room dining service was effective and on time every time I used it, but, I am afraid this ‘whatever…whenever…’ kind of slogan should be ditched for a) there were times when I called and got no answer and b) twice, when I did get an answer the receiver of my call could not speak English very well (in fact, one might even say there was a problem of accuracy in the communication unacceptable for a 5* hotel and for 400 quid per night). Still, when they understood what I wanted, I must give them credit for providing a prompt enough service.
There was also an issue with cleanliness. The room is not cleaned enough! By the bedside table there were pieces of rubbish (left from previous guests – obviously, and who knows for how long) and too much dust, a sign of poor quality hovering and two or three times the housekeeper didn’t replenish our toiletries and we had to ask for them (if there was an answer!!!) It goes without saying that there was no turn-down service, either! Sorry guys, but truth should be told! A 5* hotel should be a 5* hotel! You can ask the earth for your service, but, when one buys it, you should honor your part of the deal!!!
On the good side, now, the 1st floor lounge bar, seating arrangement and general décor is really great, promoting fun and a chatty/absolutely friendly atmosphere with an excellent choice/repertoire of sound/music played by a DJ and fire-lit décor. The bar tender and waiters/waitresses were cutely prompt and eager to make you pleased with their service! The whatever…whenever guys though, I am sorry to say didn’t even ask me to sit down WHENEVER I approached them, for one reason or another!
Also, make sure you tell them what time exactly you will be leaving the room, upon your check-out, as our five star room door was locked three quarters of an hour before 12:00 o'clock when the check-out time customarily is. We had to get in through the maid's key to get our luggage, in order to go downstairs to officially check out at the reception area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sophisticated and quirky, glamorous and decadent, W London - Leicester Square crystallizes the quintessential dual personality of the British soul. Located steps away from theatre land, the catwalks of Brewer Street and Soho’s electric nightlife, the hotel - like the city itself - is a bold contrast of themes, colors, textures and characters. Experience luxury comfort and the vibrant decor of our rooms and suites, your ultimate pit stop. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- w London Leicester Square Hotel London
- W London Leicester Square England