In my search for accommodation near Hyde Park my mind was focused on clean, safe and budget Bed and Breakfast accommodation. My purpose for being in London was to attend an intensive seminar during the day and later into the evening. I knew this would leave me tired and ready for bed when I returned. It being my first visit to this area I thought it best to pre book accommodation. So before I left home in Ireland I booked a B/B from the internet that reviewed and looked OK.(sadly not tripadviser.ie) Luckily, I didn’t give a deposit because I ran from there as quickly as I arrived, it really was a kip.
I walked a short distance down the street to Whiteleaf. The reception area seemed nice and the receptionist was friendly. Although I didn’t see the room because it was not ready the receptionist showed me a look alike. Happy with the value I made the booking with full payment. I trusted the receptionist enough to leave my bag in his safe keeping until my return in the evening. Whiteleaf was perfect walking distance to the venue where the seminar was being held.
Returning at approximately 8pm I was disappointed with my assigned 10foot by 8foot box room, not at all like the room I was shown and not en-suite. Being tired and exhausted I was happy that the bed had spotless clean sheets. A smell of dirty feet filled the air every now and again. Making myself comfortable I checked if it was safe to leave the window open, which I did and got into bed and fell asleep only later to be awoken with noise that I thought was outside my door but was in fact the noise and breath of a man with his head in my window. Jumping up and shouting at him to “get out” he let go of the window sill that he was hanging on by and disappeared making a soft thud noise as he landed on the flat roof below. I sat on the bed for a moment in disbelief. When I got courage I looked out the window and saw the man crawling in a window to the hotel, that window lead on to a stairs landing below my room. Looking down from my room window the flat roof and window was approximately 15 to 20 foot drop. Before going to sleep I had checked this and presumed it was safe to leave the window open.
In shock, bemused and in disbelief I got the courage to leave the room and report to reception. Not alone was I in shock, bemused and nervously looking for support I was further shocked that I was laughed at and made to feel I was dreaming. I was also told that it was my imagination.
My inner strength is not quick to fear or am I easily alarmed, in fact in the immediate aftermath I laughed at the incident to family and friends. Proof of my strength, some would say foolishness, is that I stayed a further two nights in Whiteleaf much against my husband, son’s and daughter’s orders to get out. Twelve months on the joke has become fear and has changed my attitude to sleeping with the window open or the light off. I realized my fear of sleeping with the light off and or the window open when on my own. Yes I am now scared and I know this could happen in other hotels; however, I would never stay or recommend Whiteleaf to others. To this day I am left wondering was the thief known to those in charge, with their flippant response I intuitively felt this happened before.
I think if I had to get support at the time and if responsible people in charge of Whiteleaf had to show concern this incident would not have left its mark so deeply embedded in my psychic. The message I take from this is that irresponsible ownership and workers of Whiteleaf do not care for their customer’s health but are happy to take their money.
Beware of the thief who may visit you if you stay at Whiteleaf.
• Stayed 2010, travelled solo
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- WHITELEAF HOTEL HAS BEEN COMPLETELY REFURBISHED IN SEPTEMBER 2011. Offering free Wi-Fi, this central London hotel is just 2 minutes’ walk from Hyde Park and 50 yards from Queens Way Bayswater Tube Station. With its own restaurant, it is just a minute's walk from shopping centres, traditional cafes and English pub. Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus are within a 5-minute tube ride. Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the shops and theatres of the West End are all a short tube ride away. Each room at this Grade I listed building features a TV, telephone and tea/coffee facilities. All rooms have a private bathroom including a hairdryer. The Whiteleaf Hotel serves a traditional breakfast every morning, and also features a TV lounge, a 24-hour reception and a luggage storage facility. The many shops, restaurants and bars of Queensway and Bayswater are just around the corner, including the well-known Whiteley's shopping mall. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Whiteleaf Hotel London, England