The England team celebrated its world cup win at the hotel and whilst it may be unkind to suggest that nothing much has changed, it's not took far from the truth. This is the second time I've stayed here, my boss is a creature of habit and has stayed here 4 times. Selecting a business hotel from Australia has it's perils and the main advantage of the hotel is it's location on High St Kensington on the fringes of Kensington Gardens.
You enter the hotel into a pretty soulless lobby area with a choice of 3 desks. The concierge seems to be the most heavily populated and engaged but check in is a purely transactional affair which, given the price of the rooms and the supposed 5 star status, is disappointing. The rooms are tiny and lack modern facilities such as USB charger ports - the clock radio is quaint. The bathroom is in perfect proportion to the room - positively Lilliputian.
There is nowhere to store any luggage but there is, in addition to the writing desk, a completely useless armchair and occasional table which would make navigation to the bathroom in the middle of the night a hazardous experience were in not for the strategically placed searchlights which are clearly designed to replicate a Norwegian summer evening. The wardrobe and minibar cupboard have an automatic lighting system that operates when the doors are opened. The catches on these cupboards are not the best and consequently the lights sometimes come on during the night. Happily the abundance of furniture in the room provides a fulsome source of objects to prop them shut.
The bar opening hours are bizarre and you are regularly shunted from one to another. Fortunately the nightclub next door is always open and the in-room light show allied to the regular outpouring of revellers is a constant reminder of this fact.
In keeping with many hotel of this ilk wifi charges are outrageous but these charges are in keeping with the breakfast charges - 50 dollars?
The gym - don't bother, run in Kensington Gardens instead - who wants to descend a crappy lift into a dungeon with the same proportions as the rooms. There is no sitting area, just a number of alcoves in the windows off the lobby.
The published cost is about 450 a night which is frankly taking the proverbial. Prepayment usually halves this. The staff costs of running this hotel must be horrendous - permanent housekeeping trolley presence on each floor, and don't try reading a newspaper at breakfast - you are interrupted all the time.
Finally a bit like hospitals, hotels are impossible to refurbish, especially 5 star ones. Detonate and rebuild.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in fashionable Kensington adjacent to the lush open spaces of Hyde Park and Kensington Palace, the five star Royal Garden Hotel is the perfect place to stay whether on business or exploring London. The hotel has 394 beautifully appointed bedrooms, 3 bars, 2 restaurant, including our award winning authentic Chinese restaurant Min Jiang, 10 conference & meeting rooms, a gym and 24 hour business centre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Garden London
- Hotel Royal Garden
- Royal Garden Hotel London, England