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“Beware of overbookings!”

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Somerset Roland Gardens
Ranked #295 of 824 Specialty Lodging in London
rh52
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beware of overbookings!”
Reviewed March 4, 2010

Our experience would suggest that they are enticing people to make bookings and advance payments in full for their SW7 apartments, and then on arrival telling them there are no apartments available, and trying to palm them off with alternative accommodation in Bayswater, ie miles away from the museums, the Albert Hall and other SW7 attractions. We stood our ground, reminded them that they had entered into a contract, and eventually after an hour of unpleasantness they reluctantly gave our party of 3 adults and 3 children/teenagers our apartment. However, several overseas guests with limited English who tried booking in at the same time were given the same story and then shuttled by taxi to Bayswater. This seems to be a systematic and dishonest, or at best dubious business practice that needs stamping out to protect London's reputation as a tourist location.

The rooms were shabby, and the window fasteners were broken. We also experienced problems in trying to use the gym. We were first told that young teenagers could use it only if supervised by an adult. Then, we were told they couldn't use it even with adult supervision. The advertising we had seen makes a big thing of the gym, and it was one of the factors in choosing the apartment hotel. We offered to take the matter up with the manager, but was told he/she wasn't there. We used the gym with the teenagers supervised, but the episode left a bad taste.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rh52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2010

We booked at the Roland House after a considerable amount of time searching for well priced and highly rated (tripadvisor) short-term accommodation for our move to London. We booked in September for our December 2009 arrival. The reservation was made for Dec 16- Jan 2 with a credit card number given at the time of booking for £550/week (decent price for the area and time of year).

The hotel is in a great area (South Kensington), walking distance to 2 tube stations and 3 tube lines (including the Piccadilly line to Heathrow). It also includes a small gym and sauna area that are free for guests.
Issues:
1) On arrival, we were told that payment was required before we could see the room. Fine – it was a long tripWe were then told that a payment by credit card would take 20 minutes to process (as they don’t have a machine on site -who doesn’t have a machine on site in 2010?) and we’d have to fill out another form with the required information even though the same information was given at the time of booking. Our other option was to pay by cash. , but who carries that much cash? We opted to wait it out in the lobby.
2) I have to say that the staff was not friendly at all - no apologies were made for having to wait 20 minutes to pay (as if this should be expected and not out of the ordinary). I was surprised to see other tripadvisor posting note how friendly the staff was. We didn’t find ANY of the staff friendly in our time there.
3) The room was modern and clean, and included a small kitchen area with 2 burners and enough dishes and cutlery. The room did not include dish soap or dish cloths, which I find standard in other short-term accommodations. Per our booking, the room included wi-fi internet, but we later found out wi-fi was not available (only wired) – a bit of an inconvenience with 2 people in the room sharing one line.
4) After a few nights we decided we could no longer stay at Roland House due to lack of sleep. The mattress and pillows were horrible (see attached pictures – if you need more than a few inches of depth in your mattress and pillow, don’t count on sleeping… think of sleeping on the floor with a book under your head). We even tried the pull-out couch, which was no better.

We reviewed the Roland House website and found the cancellation policy (refund pro-rated for length of stay less a £25 administration free + 3% of original booking). We notified the front desk that we intended to leave early but were informed that there was no policy for this. I was forced to prove it to management (including completing the calculation for them). Throughout this process, the front desk staff was rude and unhelpful – like leaving was a personal affront. We finally signed the papers and left for better accommodation on December 21. We waited until January 23 for the refund cheque and even then I had to call 3 times when I was told it would be mailed the first week of January.

Great location, decent cost but the negatives far outweighed any positives (and the major positive – location – is unrelated to any service provided by the hotel) and we won’t be back.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Travelkidd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these London hotels

Brighton
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2009

I stayed here in Sep 09 and the apartment itself was fine, reasonable for the price. However I made the booking about a month in advance for a 2 bedroom apartment for 6 people (friends and couples) and when i turned up they had made a mistake and tried to get me to accept 2 x studio rooms. 45 mins of argueing later and a refund for my trouble we HAD to accept 3 x studio rooms all located on different floors. Not good when we had gone there to celebrate a friends birthday. Just be carefull and argue your points if they try to fob you off! The apartments themselves were OK, a bit grubby but generally 3* standard.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kepea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkcudbright, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2009

We stayed for 4 nights. When we arrived, the lift was broken and we had to carry our bags up 3 flights of stairs. The room had a dirty floor and window ledges, scuffed walls, broken safe, stuff left in drawers, dirty shower head, no hairdryer, stained bedding and one thin pillow each . There wasn't enough cockery/cutlery for 4 people and the kitchen had a grimy/greasy sheen to it. We asked for extra pillows but none arrived although they did provide a hairdryer and a key for the safe. The lift seemed to fix itself. There were no facilities for cleaning provided i.e. no fairy liquid, dish scourer, tea towels, floor mop and brush. When we ran out of toilet paper, we had to fight for a replacement. Most of the windows could open fully so are unsafe for familes with small children. The apartments are in dire need of refurbishing and their general maintenance is very poor i.e. wobbly tables, wobbly bed legs, broken window panes, broken window child locks, flat batteries on (dirty/cover missing) remote control. The only good thing about this place is it is fairly close to the tube!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ejo3125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 5, 2009

This is absolutely rubbish!!! A massive rip off!!! Stay away!!! The previous glowing reviews of this hotel are several years old and it would appear the management have very much changed for the worse. The website photos look way better than reality. Everything is much more tired and worn now.

We arrived with our 3 year old and 5 year old daughters at 11pm on a Saturday night. Our room was filthy. There was hair on the floor, old clothes tags in the wardrobes, rubbish in the bedside table drawers, the kitchen utensils were in need of washing, and the inside of the kettle was corroded. We had to chase up sheets for the kid's sofa bed and were given linen of questionable cleanliness (black marks on the doona, tears in the sheet, and a couple of blood spots on the sheet). At midnight I asked for toilet paper and was told that there was none and that I would have to go to the convenience store 5 minutes walk away to buy some.

On the plus side, the location is great, the curtains are great for shutting out the light, the high speed internet is good (but bring your own ethernet cable).

This hotel would be okay with a change in management and an upgrade in cleanliness standards. The current managers/owners appear to be taking a very cheap approach to how they run their hotel.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GlobetrottingAndKids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Hollywood, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2006

stayed here with my parents and sibs - six in total. very comfortable, clean and well located near shops and restaurants in chelsea and south ken. a waitrose nearby so you can cook for yourself and save some money off expensive london restaurants. i'd like to go back with a group of friends. nice place.

  • Stayed November 2003, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Jason A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 5, 2006

I have to say, that this hotel is already closed – they sold it to some company, and Somerset Roland Gardens Serviced Apartments – no more. It’s not even a hotel anymore. It was nice to see you all in Roland Gardens, as I was one of the x-staff (Eastern European) :) night shift :)
And it’s true that this hotel was more like 3* not 4* star like some WebPages stated. However, if you liked this Serviced Apartments, try Somerset Queansgate Gardens Serviced Apartments near by.
And about the windows - its health and safety restrictions, that’s why you could not fully open any windows above ground flor.

  • Stayed April 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Somerset Roland Gardens

Property: Somerset Roland Gardens
Address: 121 Old Brompton Road | South Kensington, London SW7 3RX, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #295 of 824 Specialty Lodging in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Somerset Roland Gardens 4*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Contemporary Apartment Hotel with modern amenities; situated in residential area of South Kensington, short walk to museums. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Somerset Roland Gardens Hotel London
Somerset Roland Gardens London, England

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