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“The smallest room but then only £70 in central London”

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The Gainsborough Hotel
Ranked #830 of 1,069 Hotels in London
London
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“The smallest room but then only £70 in central London”
Reviewed September 5, 2013

I guess that you get what you pay for but I still feel very let down by this hotel. I booked a room at short notice on www.laterooms.co.uk and found a "special deal" at the Gainsborough near to South Kensington Tube. It was described as 4* with a room reduced from £220 to £70 excluding breakfast. It sounded too good to be true....

Firstly the good points:
The Location

And now some of the bad ones:
The room (no 308) was only about 6'6" x 11' (2m x 3.4m) plus the tiniest bathroom I have ever seen. The bathroom door would not fully open because it banged against the bed..
Decoration was very poor with mould in the shower, door knob falling off the bathroom, filthy windows, paint falling off and strange circular stains on the walls.
The temperature in the room at midnight was 89 deg F (30 Deg C) with no air con and only a portable fan to try and keep cool.
The shower door was a corner unit where I had to squeeze my body through the opening (No, I am not an obese person!). I had to run the water for 10 minutes to get warm water. There was no indication of how to work the shower controls with no H or C labels.
The window overlooked aircon units on the roof of the next office block and had windows from another building looking straight inside my room. This meant that i had to make the choice of opening the window and curtains to get some airflow and being overlooked lying on top of my bed, naked directly in front of the fan trying to cool off. It did not bother me unduly but I imagine that this would be a big problem for any ladies staying here.
I DID NOT SLEEP A WINK ALL NIGHT.
This was a horrid little room and I advise anyone reading this to check the room size before booking. There is no way that this is a 4*hotel!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bertybign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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454 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Me and my partner normally celebrate our birthday in a nice hotel in this area of Kensington/Chelsea. I got there first to realised the room was dark and the only view was to some building black pipes. Immediately ask the reception for a better room as I would be very claustrophobic in this one. Well the other 2 choices wasn't much better, but I took the the one that had window to more scaffoldings, but I guess it was better then the then worse ones. The aircon was very week, the PILLOWS ARE TERRIBLE, I was chocked with the poor qualities and we both have terrible aching necks today. Not to mention that we told them the flash for the Loo wasn't working proper and they told us when we returned that it just need to push very hard and several times...imagine an older person trying to flash?? To last disappointment was the Continental breakfast with burned small croissants and hardly any food. We will never go back there. They must rise their standards as it's not 4 stars!!

Room Tip: Look at the reviews before you book any place, I regret I didn't leave immediately!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank MariParker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these London hotels

London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 15, 2013

150 € for a double per night and we got a Room underground full of mould and Smell. We have been moved but only after a nerve crisis.
Breakfast in the average.
Maybe the only 4 star hotel in London Without a free wi-fi connection.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Galahotels.com

Helpful?
1 Thank Massimo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2013

The standard double room has a standard double bed (UK size) which means one only 2ms long x 1.27m wide. The bed was also very hard, and pillows were flat. No duvet, only sheets and a blanket. No spare pillows. Our room was on the ground floor at the back , so had no view. It was cramped, and hot, with furniture which was way out of date. A room deodoriser was plugged into one of the sockets. I wonder what smell it was trying to cover-up!

The bathroom was very small in deed. The pipes made a terrible noise when the loo was flushed and the noise of loos flushing in adjacent rooms was enough to wake one.
However is is a great location for the Albert Hall, the major museums and South Kensington generally.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms on the upper floors
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nodutchdolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arreton, null, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 7, 2013

We stayed for one night, we were very impressed with the hotel, our room was beautiful, very clean and decorated beautifully, it was so so hot and humid in London that day but we were so relieved to find we had air con which was very welcome. The location is perfect for everything we wanted to do, i only wish we were able to stay longer. Thank you so much we shall come again, ps the complimentary iced tea was the best i have ever had!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ruthy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 27, 2013

I recently just returned from a 2 week vacation with my brother in which we toured several European cities. Being that he just graduated from college, we were trying to keep to a strict budget. It happened that The Gainsborough Hotel was running a "Stay 3 Nights, Pay for 2" Deal. It seemed like a good deal, particularly since every other hotel we were considering was much more expensive. I read the reviews and while some of them were alarming, I figured we just needed a place to shower and sleep.
Pros
- South Kensington was a beautiful location
- Tube stop was less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel (easily accessible)
- The street the hotel was on was beautiful and from the outside, everything looked impeccable
- The room was tiny, but it is Europe, so I expected nothing less
- Our bathroom had been refinished, so it was clean
- Towels were clean

Cons
- The beds were HORRIBLE. We were touring from 10am to probably 10pm each night. We did not come back to the hotel once during the day; although, we could very well have as it was not far from any of the hot spots in London. However, the point I want to make is that we were exhausted and so we should have been able to fall asleep instantly. The beds were so badly worn and imprinted that any way I turned, I thought a spring was going to pop through the mattress. I did not sleep at all. The pillows and sheets were also very worn only making the issue worse.
- The AC was available through a portable AC Unit. It was connected to a hose that was loosely duct taped to the window. I happened to move it in the middle of the night so that we could have better air circulation and the hose came out of the window.

Overall, would I stay there again? Probably not. I was warned that a 3 or 4 star hotel would most likely be a 1 or 2 star hotel by American standards. Since we weren't planning on being in the room, we didn't need something that was fancy. The beds though really ruined this hotel for me. I would certainly look to stay in the South Kensington area again though.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Megan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 6 Contributor
514 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 318 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

This is a so-called 'boutique', and four star hotel. Do not be taken in. It looks OK from the website and from outside, but it is not anywhere near four star and is very poor indeed inside. Be warned, it is cramped, uncomfortable, the beds are truly awful, and your money is much better spent elsewhere then completely wasted here. However good a deal you think you've got it will still be far too much to pay to 'sleep' here. Anywhere that makes so much of a point of its location and little of the state of its rooms and service is best avoided.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nimitta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Gainsborough Hotel

Property: The Gainsborough Hotel
Address: 7-11 Queensberry Place | South Kensington, London SW7 2DW, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#397 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gainsborough Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine an English country home magically whisked to the most exclusive London borough, and you have The Gainsborough. Named after the celebrated artist, The Gainsborough combines the attractive style of bygone days with an easy informality. To stay here is to enjoy London of fashionable South Kensington, Harrods, the restaurants and antique markets, pubs and delightful backwaters of Chelsea and Knightsbridge. You are at the heart of the capital's culture too with great museums - Science, Natural History, the Victoria & Albert - nearby; and for music lovers, the glorious Royal Albert Hall is just minutes away. The well-stocked lounge bar is the spot for a leisurely drink or a snack from the light menu. With 24-hour room service, butlers on immediate call and a reception ever ready to meet your needs, nothing is too much for our attentive staff. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gainsborough Hotel London
The Gainsborough Hotel London, England

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