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Reviewed July 31, 2013

I spent 8 days at the hotel with my husband during the last week of April. My husband has spent over 45 days at this hotel over the last year as he travels often for business and it is his company's preferred hotel for business travel (he doesn't have the option to change hotels)--he confirmed that our stay was fairly representative of his experience alone as well.

During the London Marathon, the hotel was poorly managed and swarmed "day guests". The hallway outside of our room was filled with marathon runners waiting in lines to take showers, with high piles of dirty towels on the hallway floors (my toddler son tripped over a pile as we were on our way out), and ripped pieces of paper taped to the doorways and hallway walls. I don't understand why they didn't at least keep the dirty towels in the rooms. It was really quite disgusting.

The food is severely disappointing. The breakfast consists of stale pastry items, a disappointing selection of English breakfast items, and suboptimal (under/over ripe) fruit. We had breakfast across the bridge at the London Mariott County Hall (right near Big Ben) and it blew the Royal Horseguards breakfast out of the water--fresher items, greater selection, more appetizing presentation, and it was half the price. Don't waste your money on the breakfast buffet here.

This hotel is NOT easy for someone using a stroller--there are about 4 stairs to get up to the elevator bank. Although several of the bellman were very proactive in helping us get up and down with my 2 year old son (I was 6 months pregnant at the time), there were also several that were less than helpful and would watch as we struggled up and down multiple times a day.

The rooms are tiny and cramped, although decorated nicely with very comfortable beds. I ordered room service often, and specifically requested that they leave the food outside of the door because my toddler son would be sleeping, but they continuously ignored this request and would loudly knock or ring resulting in waking him up and severely inconveniencing our evening routine.

The location is convenient as it is just a block or so from the Embankment tube station and within walking distance to many restaurants, shops, parks, and sights.

On two occasions, the housekeepers managed to ruin our laundry. On the first occasion, they destroyed several children's items. On the second occasion they shrank something that I specifically asked to be cleaned with cold water and not put in the dryer. The housekeeper was extremely apologetic and even went so far as to go out and spend her own money to replace the initial childrens items that were damage. She was very nice I felt bad reporting it, so I didn't, but this type of thing should not happen at a five star hotel, especially when you are paying upwards of 5-7GBP PER LAUNDRY ITEM. It's just unacceptable.

Lastly, but probably most importantly to note, during our stay our IPad was stolen from our room. Although we contacted the hotel management immediately about the issue, it took over a week for the management to conduct an "investigation" (we would have called police immediately had we known their efforts would have been so delayed, but over one week later this option seemed less than useful). Of course, no one who went into our room admitted to taking the IPad and it never turned up. It had invaluable video of our son taking his first steps which we will never recover. I understand it is ultimately our fault for leaving an unlocked IPad in our room, but when staying in what is supposedly a 5 star hotel in a city as great as London, stealing is not an issue that someone frequently worries about. Lesson learned: lock up your valuables if you are staying here.

Bottom line is this is not a 5 star hotel. We travel frequently and have been to many 5 stars and this just doesn't compare. Maybe 4 star, but that is questionable. I would recommend looking into the Marriot County Hall as an alternative for a similar level of service/quality of stay, but lower price.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank afetherston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelLondon, Manager at The Royal Horseguards, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor.

I am sorry to read that you and your family did not enjoy your stay with us. I was aware of some of the issues you experienced, but unfortunately not all. But of course I would like to extend my apologies for all the problems you encountered during your time with us.

I was aware that you contacted us regarding your iPad which you believe you left in your room following your departure. I would like assure you that a thorough investigation did take place, and all the documentation was passed to our Head of Security for him to review.

I am sorry that our Valet ruined 2 of your baby’s bibs when washing them. She is extremely sorry, and as you say went out and purchased replacements by way of an apology. It was a genuine error and we are all sorry that this occurred.

It is also disappointing to hear that Room Service did not follow your instruction to leave the tray outside the room. I can understand your frustration and I will ensure your feedback it shared and learned from by the team.

I agree there are a number of stairs within the building it can be hard to move around with a stroller or buggy. Although it is great to hear that some of the Concierge and porters assisted you, I was sorry to read that it was not all. Please be assured that the necessary training will take place to ensure this is not case in the future.

I hope you will stay with us again, as we would love the opportunity to restore your faith in us and our hotel. If you choose to come back, please let me know.

Once again, I am sorry for the poor experience that you had with us.

Kind regards,

Victoria Tidboald
Rooms Division Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013 via mobile

This was our 2nd visit. I was interested to see if the first stay was a fluke or that it really is a fantastic hotel. Iam very pleased to say that it really is a great place to stay. The service from the moment we walked in to the moment we left was superb. Ok we went on a deal and may look at things differently if we paid the full rate, but for us it was a perfect location and place to stay for a break in London.
Thank-you to all who looked after us so well

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank nick H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelLondon, Manager at The Royal Horseguards, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2013

Thank you for your kind words, and I am delighted that we met all the expectations of a sequel!!! As you say the return can scarier than an initial experience as an expectation has already been set and a dream made. It is great to hear that we did not fail.

We look forward to welcoming you back for your 3rd visit.

Kind regards,

Victoria Tidboald
Rooms Division Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Service at breakfast was pathetic...15 minutes for a cappuccino. Thermostat in room didn't work properly, thus room was hot and uncomfortable until repairs on our second day. Bedside telephone was broken. Laundry was not delivered by 7:00 pm as promised...finally arrived at 10:30 pm after two phone calls to reception. Insisted on an adjustment to the bill at checkout. It took 35 minutes to get resolution nearly making us late for our train. Very disappointing experience!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Vance W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelLondon, Manager at The Royal Horseguards, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor.

Please let me add my apologies to Aleksandra’s, who is the Guest Relations Manager who dealt with your concerns upon your departed from the hotel, and your subsequent email. I am sorry for the disappointment you experienced and I hope the gestures of goodwill we have made will go some way to restoring your faith in our hotel.

We do hope you will choose to return to us, there by allowing us the opportunity to demonstrate the 5 star service we are so well know for..

Kind regards,

Victoria Tidboald
Rooms Division Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

We stayed here as part of a wedding party on 27th July. The hotel was completely full. We arrived early as we had travelled to help set up wedding. I asked if a room would be available as I had 3 children to prepare. There was a mix up with my reservation as we booked through travel republic (much cheaper to do it this way then direct) however the booking wasn't visible. It took about 10 mins to rectify. This was no problem though, the gentleman at reception was very helpful and polite.

We were upgraded to an executive room. A lovely spacious room, exceptionally clean and a nice view. Although only here for 1 night it was the best sleep I have had in a while as the bed mattress and pillows were so comfy. We actually asked for the mattress details when we left!

The only small negative which didn't make this 5 stars for me was the wait to get into breakfast in the morning. We waiting 15mins for a table to be ready. The restaurant and seating are not big enough for the number of guests. Having said that once in the food was very lovely, with plenty to choose from.
i would say that staying in this hotel is a real treat, and I will be going back.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Lauren N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelLondon, Manager at The Royal Horseguards, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2013

What a great reason to have to stay – a wedding is always a wonderful occasion. I was sorry to read that we did not have your reservation in the system when you arrived, but that the issue was quickly handled and resolved.

Our beds are extremely popular, and we are often asked for the details of them by departing guests. A good night’s sleep is essential, but especially after a fabulous party!

I sorry that you were kept waiting for a table at breakfast. On a Sunday morning we can struggle a bit, as obviously everyone comes down late and wants to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. We are in the process of trying different solutions, to help the situation for our guests.

We are delighted to hear you will be back, and we look forward to it.

Kind regards,

Victoria Tidboald
Rooms Division Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

We spent Friday & Saturday night at this hotel for my husbands birthday & the hotel is a great place and in a quite location in London. Rooms are spacious with cotton sheets and nice plumb pillows, also had big fluffy dressing gowns & slippers and bath towels that were very large - Lots of complimentry toiletries - Room service is available & also a mini bar (that is if you want to pay £8 for a minuature drink) Staff are most helpful and will try to accommadate whenever they can.
Breakfast is huge and the choice is vast, freshly cooked if required and there is also a buffet, the breakfast caters for everyone and you cna eat as much as you like.
Staying in the Whitehall location is very quite and very pleasant, not tourists, plus you can walk to so many places, St Pauls, The Strand, Trafelgar Square. Our room faced onto the gardens but as the trees were rather fast we could not see much, but the London eye is in view and we were on the 5th floor but would say the higher the room the better the view,

Room Tip: The higher the room the better the view
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jj1955_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelLondon, Guest Relations Manager at The Royal Horseguards, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2013

I was delighted to read that we were able to make your husbands’ birthday a memorable one and that you felt the location was very pleasant and enabled you to make the most of your time in London.

As you said the view from your room faced onto the Embankment Gardens which are managed by the City of Westminster Parks Service, with whom we are currently working with to address the fact that some of the rooms on the lower floors now have obscured views.

I will ensure that your kind comments regarding the Reception team will be passed onto them also that your fantastic comments regarding the breakfast gets relayed to the entire Food & Beverage team.

We hope that we will be able to welcome both you and your husband back to the hotel in the very near future.

Kind Regards

Toby Phillips
Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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