Hopefully this is a definitive review as I stay at this hotel all the time - in fact I think I may have reviewed it once before, but a new review is in order,
I stay here on business about once a month - sometimes for whole weeks at a time. I have just stayed during most of the week for the last two weeks.
The hotel is good overall [compared with many of the hotels in London], and the public rooms are smart and clean. However, the bedrooms are becoming *very* tired, so the refurbishment will be welcome. The problem with the bedrooms is that maintenance has adopted very much a 'minimum intervention' approach. Hence some recent problems I have encountered in practically all the many rooms I have stayed in include:
1. The toilets spit [soiled] water onto the floor when flushed [All the toilets in ALL the rooms do this - quite how this got past commissioning tests, I don't know]. Not very hygienic.
2. The bathroom sink overflow pipework systems practically all leak onto the shelf underneath - which stores the spare towels and tissues.
3. All the showers leak.
4. The aircon units are getting rather noisy and not very effective.
5. The last room I was in had a rocking toilet, where the toilet was not mounted properly. Looking behind the toilet at the soil pipe I was rather distressed at the 'inelagent appearance' of arrangements back there.
6. When you flush the toilet the flush button pops out and hits the toilet seat/cover knocking it shut - perhaps this is a design feature, but its a very annoying one.
7. Practically all the adjustable massage shower heads are seized shut [limescale?] so that the massage does not work - trivial I know, but if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.
8. Lots of broken tiles and poor mastic repair work in the bathrooms.
In essence, reading back the list I have just written, most of the problems are in the bathroom and toilet [which, bizarrely, and inconveniently, are separate].
Having said all that, the rooms are large and comfortable and, generally clean and tidy.
The whole hotel is substantial concrete construction, so rooms tend to be nice and quiet, so sleeping is easy.
As others have commented, the hot food at breakfast is dire. bacon is bad early morning, but gets better towards the end of service as it gets browned more. The scrambled eggs are appalling - among the worst I have ever seen served after thirty years of UK and international business travel. The fried eggs aren't too good either, a kind of over-cooked and under-cooked [stringy white gel] amalgam. The potato rosti(s) [I think] have recently replaced hash browns [I may be wrong, as I don't eat a lot of breakfast]] and they are very good. The cold buffet is very good, though, A new 'conveyor belt' toaster has recently been provided, to replace the two Dualit-type toasters that were previously provided. This is good news as trying to compete to toast on a virtually domestic toaster was a nightmare. However, the new toaster is not set up right - one pass = too light [not toasted at all] and two passes = cremated. I used to think the restaurant staff were very attentive, but I think they now look bored, tired and browbeaten. Even though the tea and coffee tastes weird, and often you have to ask a few times for it, I dont feel like complaining, as I seem to feel sorry for the staff. In short I think the restaurant service staff should be re-motivated somehow [or more of them employed] and the chef retrained or re-deployed.
The bar staff in the evening are exceptionally friendly and attentive, and the bar has a great ambiance in the evening.
The strange thing about this hotel is that, even though I have been staying here for a couple of years now, each time i turn up its like they don't know who I am. They don't know my room preferences [a quiet room, as I am working the next day]. I don't get any special attention, upgrades, or anything, in fact. I am treated exactly the same as someone who stays one night and they will never see again.
You might ask, why do I stay here, well.....
1. It is a good hotel, more good than bad
2. It used to be very good, and has only recently started to decline
3. It is in a quite area, which I like,
4. It is a short stroll to Lambeth North Tube, at which there are some pubs, restaurants, shops etc.
I only ended up at this hotel a couple of years ago after the same sort of gradual degradation of service happened at the previous hotel I stayed at. And the same at the one before that. And the same before that,
I hope that the refurbishment goes well, I am going to persevere at the Novotel Lambeth for the time being because I genuinely like the hotel and its staff, and the area of Lambeth.
I also trust that the maintenance regime becomes rather more proactive once the refurbishment is complete.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just one step away from the River Thames, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and minutes away from the London Eye. Enjoy a fantastic stay in our spacious air-conditioned bedrooms, with an exceptionally comfortable Queen size bed, en-suite facilities, LCD TV, large desk and a laptop size safe. Some rooms offer amazing views of the London skyline. Be tempted by our varied buffet breakfast and our tasty international cuisine served in our Elements Restaurant. Sit back and relax with a cocktail in our Elements Bar. Up to 2 children (under 16 years) can stay free (with breakfast) when sharing a room with adults. Access to kid’s play corner, an Xbox console, Vauxhall City Farm and other family friendly activities mins away. Unwind in our In Balance Fitness and Wellbeing centre, complementary for our guests. Convenient links to the heart of the city within walking distance to underground stations, bus stops and city rental bikes. On site paying car park. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
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- London Novotel Waterloo
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