We had booked this hotel for a one night's stay in London -- mainly because we had trusted the overall decent TripAdvisor reviews. As it turned out, something is wrong either with my personal experience of this place or the more recent reasonable reviews. But I leave that to you to judge.
Both when we arrived early evening and left at around 7.30am in the morning, the reception was not open. In fact, the counter was literally shut by a roller shutter. On both occasions, we had to ring a bell a couple of times until someone turned up. The person who finally appeared seemed pretty relaxed and happy with the world although they barely looked at us or said "hello". Overall, I found it hard to strike a conversation or ask a question because they were either of a very quiet nature or (more likely) barely spoke English.
The wireless two-word password was scribbled among lots of numbers and half-written guest names in a tattered notebook. (I assume it's guest names since also ours was among them, although misspelled at least twice despite online booking). The clerk could not help us finding out how (and in which order!) the two words actually fit together, but we eventually found out ourselves after a bit of experimentation.
The room was OK, although the furniture and interior design reminded me more of a scrappy yard sale collection. But that is probably my own bad taste, so no worries about that. The bathroom seems to have been recently renovated so that was very good, except for a layer of dust on some of the appliances, although I admit that might be regarded nit-picking, given the bigger picture.
What I ultimately blew it for me personally was the strange smell in the hallway and room. I am not an expert, so I might well be wrong, but to me the room smalled damp and kind of musty. Maybe it's in the carpet, maybe it's in the walls. I simply don't know. We kept the window open all night, but it did not go away.
Unfortunately, the smell in the hallway was not much better. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of freshly cooked and spicy food, but somehow this smell was penetrant when we arrived in the evening and still there when we left in the morning. My first thought was that there must be a restaurant kitchen in the same building, but I could not find one.
We did not have a chance to try the breakfast. It is from 8-9 am only, and if you have to leave only a bit earlier, you will have to leave without it (if you can find someone to return your keys to, that is). I guess that most travellers will be in a similar situation with such a short time slot so it might be more honest for the owner to not offer an "alibi breakfast" to justify higher prices at.
PS: When you look up "Barry House" on Google Maps, you easily find it in the right position -- but surprisingly with the URL "lindenhousehotel.com" attached to it. Turns out that "Linden House Hotel" is right next to "Barry House Hotel". Since it is hard to imagine that anyone would link to their competitor on a search engine, I assume that both "Linden House" and "Barry House" are run by the same owner. Now have a look at the "Linden House Hotel" reviews. Surprised? As I said, I may get it completely wrong here, but please make up your own mind.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Family friendly bed and breakfast offering warm hospitality in an 1850s Victorian Townhouse; situated near Hyde Park and Marble Arch. Just minutes away from Paddington Station. Ideally located close to many famous London sights. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Barry House London, England