My husband and I booked our stay at the Millennium Gloucester through Priceline at $100 per night. We were happy with this booking and looked forward to staying at the hotel.
When we arrived at the hotel we found a courteous bellman who took our luggage and gave us a receipt which was to be given to the front desk when we checked in. The hotel lobby was attractively furnished, though very smokey. At the desk we encountered staff that was likewise courteous and professional. They did not have our room ready when we first arrived at the hotel (we arrived at about 1:30 in the afternoon), but a room was ready for us by 3:00pm (normal check-in time).
The room was on the first floor of the hotel and was somewhat small, but well-equipped and attractively decorated. Our bed was a king-size bed, which was a pleasant surprise, and our bathroom boasted a very large bathtub/shower. Less pleasant were the orange stains on the carpet and the warping of the wallpaper due to water damage. These issues were easily overlooked, however, as I did not expect the hotel to give a Priceline customer one of its better rooms. However, we could not overlook the fact that NONE of the lamps in the room were working. I made a quick call to housekeeping who did send someone by, though this meant that my husband and I could not take our desperately needed showers as the room was full of people trying to figure out the lamp problem and, for some strange reason, replacing items in our (very expensive) minibar.
After the initial hubub (it turned out that water leaking from a second floor toilet was shorting out the wiring in our room), we were finally able to shower, dress, and leave the room to explore our neighborhood. We found that the hotel was in an EXCELLENT location for tourists: We were quite literally across the street from the Gloucester Road tube stop, there were two grocery stores right next to and across the street from the tube stop. There was also a bank, a travel supply store, and a wide variety of restaurants and pubs within a one-block radius of the hotel. The hotel also boasted several restaurants, a bar, a business center, and other facilities.
We were very satisfied with our choice of lodging until a few days after our arrival. We were out in Hampstead when I went to an ATM to withdraw some cash. My request was rejected and a bit of investigation showed that there were no funds available in my account! We immediately made our way back to the hotel and after several phone calls I realized that the hotel had frozen *twice* the amount of money that they were supposed on my card when I checked in!
As you may know, most hotels request a credit/debit card when you check into the hotel in order to cover any incidental charges (i.e. phone, restaurant, etc). The hotel will then "freeze" funds on your account so that the hotel can be assured of collecting these funds when you check out. Knowing this, I had contacted the hotel well before our arrival to find out how much they would be freezing. I was told that they would freeze 50 pounds per night. Given the current exchange rate, this would come in at a little less than $700 for the trip, which was no problem for us. However, the hotel clerk, for some reason, froze 100 pounds per night, which, as you can imagine, took out a serious chunk of our budget!
When I complained to the hotel staff, they at first couldn't see what the problem was. Finally they agreed to reverse the errant charges, but told me that it would take 5 business days for the charges to go through. I explained that this was unacceptable as we were only in town for a week. I communicated with my bank, and my bank was willing to release the hold if the hotel would fax my bank with instructions to do so. After a bit of wrangling, the hotel did fax my bank. However, the hotel never apologized for their serious error, nor did they ever offer any sort of compensation or an offer of assistance if the funds were not going to be released quickly.
I have to concur with many of the reviewers here when I note that the Millenium Gloucester has many things to recommend it as a place to stay, but that its staff and management are completely unconcerned with their customers should a problem arise.
We will not be staying at this hotel again.
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- Also Known As:
- Millennium Gloucester London
- Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington England