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“Great staff covering up unacceptable management decision and poor housekeeping”

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London Marriott Hotel County Hall
Ranked #157 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 12, 2013

Arrived on a Sunday for a few days stay at this Marriott located in front of the Parliament, in part of the former County Hall building. So it is great for tourism, but much less for shopping as Oxford and Bond Street are 20 minutes away by taxi or by Tube. And for some reason, the landlord is forbidding hotel guests to use any other door than the main one, which forces the guest to walk much more to get to London Eye or to Waterloo Station.
Booked a room with a view on River Thames. Got one on London Eye, with people passing right in front of the room (charged GPB 300 or about USD 500). Complained and got one a bit further away, still facing the river, the Parliament and Big Ben! Quite nice!
The room was pleasant. But:
- wifi is charged at GBP 15 a day (about USD 25 - it is free in the lobby)
- bathroom amenities are minimal
- the large bed was actually two assembled single beds: quite uncomfortable!
Housekeeping was minimal (bathrobe left by the bed, empty bottles of water on the table, ...) and the turndown service non existent (asked for it once and found just a bed open with two little chocolates on it - nothing else such as little carpets by the bed or curtains closed).
There is only one restaurant in the hotel, and one bar open (while the hotel was full during the peak Christmas shopping season). What is hardly acceptable is to see them occupied by private functions. During my short stay, one evening hotel guests were asked to go to the library for dinner (with a very limited menu choice and a slow service - 90 minutes to have a "quick" dinner). Worse, the evening after, we were asked to go to a meeting room on the 5th floor, with only room service being offered! And no bar was available for the guests! It seems this is normal practice in this property! Also, staff told me they hardly got the service that is retained by the hotel on every bill (so do refuse the 12.5% and tip in cash)!
Staff though was great and efficient, and did their utmost to cover up poor management decisions!
All together, for GBP 300 a night, you can find many great hotels in London where the management would respect their clients!

Room Tip: If you have to stay in this hotel, ask for a Thames River view, as far as possible from London Eye
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Swissdiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 12, 2013

This hotel is in a perfect location for visiting London. It is very close to the Westminster Underground and Waterloo stations so it is easy to get to. It is also located at one of the stops for the BigBus and Original Bus open top bus tours.
We arrived from Heathrow at 6:30am and took the tube to Westminster and walked across the bridge. We arrived very early and our rooms were not yet ready but our luggage was checked and they offered us free breakfast in the library. I'm pretty sure that is because I'm a Marriott Platinum, not because we were early. Still, the food was good, with a good variety. Would I pay 20 pounds for it, no, but free it was fantastic. The check in staff was very friendly and helpful.
We then got bus tickets from the Concierge and went out for the day. We we came back our rooms were ready. The Hotel is very large and our rooms were at the far end so after a day of site seeing its a long walk from the lifts to our rooms. That really was our only complaint.
The rooms we got overlooked the Thames and the London Eye. Not a bad view. They were very spacious and comfortable. Very well taken care of and clean. The internet was very expensive, so I was thankful for the Platinum benefit of free internet here. I don't get why hotels continue to charge for something that is so common and expected, if McDonald's can provide it free why can't a hotel.
The executive lounge is located on the 4th floor and it was never open for breakfast during our stay but was open for snacks, drinks and desserts in the evening. I would put it at about average for a Marriott lounge, I've had better and I've had worse.
We stayed 2 nights and when I go back to London, this is where I will stay. It was a bit pricey but all of London is and this is a fantastic hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a river view, they may not have one but if in a low season like we were the staf...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank swpsacs1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

This was the second visit to this hotel. Once again, they kindly gave a nice room with a view of the London Eye and the Clock with Big Ben. We had two windows, they open partially so you can take in the atmosphere.
The standard amenities are fine. More than fine actually. The room was spacious. The TV works well. There's a good desk. They have 110V and 220v outlets. The internet was pretty awesome actually. I was watching my slingbox with no issues, and simultaneously did a speed test where I got 40 megs down and 30 up. Certainly fantastic for a hotel, it is about time.

The location is pretty good. The staff is friendly. The breakfast is in the library for elite members, beautiful view with breakfast and the food was good too. They have ice machines (something I wish every UK Marriott had). There was an issue with the taps. The concierge lounge...well something made it mediocre. But it has a nespresso machine. They need to do a bit of work on the plumbing. But all in all, it was a nice stay.

By the way, the bed was very comfortable. Slept well. Able to get work done. Nice location. Food decent. What more could you ask for?

Room Tip: I've only stayed twice, both times a room overlooking the Thames and the London Eye. Those are...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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Thank guy_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Great hotel with great service....excellent concierge guys who know london as back of their hand. I stayed here for 5 nights last month and enjoyed the hospitality. Location of the Hotel is awesome and every interesting places in London is closeby. rooms in the Hotel are nice but their lay out is such that if you dont get the right room, you may have walk a fair bit before you reach the elevator.

Rooms with a London eye and River thames view ads to the overall charm. Though, Hotel is a bit expensive and front office can be a bit more service oriented.

Room Tip: Dont take a room which is around 501, 601, and serial 1 is very far from elevator.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank YuvarajSrivastava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful hotel! Gotta love a Marriott. This particular hotel was located at the London eye, the bridge, a major hospital, and along the bus route. Lots of vendors selling souvenirs around the hotel. As far as the hotel.. The rooms are a bit small but very clean! The gym is awesomely huge! Lots of hi tech equipment! The spa is so relaxing w/ lots of room & mellow music. Gillray's steakhouse & bar is a very nice place to eat. The steak was tender & the spirits are deliciously appropriate.. Not to strong and not to weak. The stay here in London was a worthwhile visit!

  • Stayed: December 2013
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1  Thank Tamieko B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2013

If you are looking for a hotel that is super centrally located and you can walk to all the main sights, this is it. Warning though.....it is a super historic and old building. They have retrofitted a couple of hotels, restaurants, and some other offices into this old County Hall building. It is odd shaped, and not easy to find the entrance, down a little alleyway, with a sign about the size of a plaque. The hallways to get to the rooms, well....expect about a 3 minute walk once you step off the elevator. They are long and winding, took us 6 turns to get to ours.
Location - Literally could have touched the London Eye from my room. It is on the South Bank where there are a few decent restaurants. Also the Thames is right there, where they load and unload for some day cruises. Venturing out, you have the Westminster Bridge....probably one of the most iconic in the world for its views of Big Ben, Parliament, Wetminster Abbey, and the London Eye. All of those, literally right outside your door. Expect this bridge to be insanely busy if you plan to walk or roll your luggage through here. Evenings and weekend days are ridiculous. The Westminster underground station is on the other side of the bridge from the hotel which was our jumping off point for all things London. In minutes you can be in Traflagar Square, Piccadilly Circus, British Museum, Harrods, Buckingham, Kensington, and all the wonderful places you are there to see. Couldnt have asked for a better location.
Now, onto the other.... The entrance is just off the Westminster bridge, walk until you see and alleyway.....yep, thats it. Turn left and keep walking past all those retrofitted offices and it will open up to a courtyard (more like a circular drive). There were no less that 4 doorman at any given time which surprised me. Up the stairs and straightaway si a lounge like area and conference rooms. To the left and another left you will find reception and the concierge tucked into what looked lie a study. Back out of the study and to the left with a sharp right is the elevators. Around the corner to the left from the elevators and reception is a library, where you will have breakfast and Gillray's steakhouse and Leader's Bar. up to our floor, where the executive lounge was, down long hallways and 6 turns, was our room. The rooms are not European small, actually quite like American sized with a desk, vanity, stocked mini fridge, closet, tub and shower bathroom. The executive lounge was a disappointment. 2 of the 3 times I was in there, the machine was out of coffee to make espresso, cappucino, and the like. All I ever got in there was water from the mini fridges, hidden in cabinets below. Once I stopped in after the daily evening reception and the place was a disaster, with nothing left. The breakfast was in the library...yep, thats right. In big fluffy lounge chairs at low tables where there is very limited seating so expect to wait during the busy times. Cool Library, but not for breakfast, especially when you have a restaurant and a bar on premisis. Had to wait 1 of the 3 mornings I was there. Another complaint I had was multiple times there were people in our room. I have never experienced this before. When I checked in, got up to my room, and opened the door, there was an employee in there. Both of us were startled and she said she was just checking things over. She left right after that. Weird, but okay. Then, 4pm, both of us taking a snooze before dinner after walking the city, and another employee lets herself into the room. I think she was starlted....handed my boyfriend chocolates and walked out. Weirder. Then, coming back from the daily excursion, ready to relax, and a employee follows us from the elevator all the way to our room (through 6 turns), and stops at our door when we stopped. He says, oh, I accidentally left a package in your room that was supposed to go to someone else. Okayyy, so we enter, with him in tow and there is a package sitting on the TV stand that he promptly picks up and takes out. At this point, we are discussing how many people are in our room when we are not. Also, the shower/tub water handles took us three days to figure out. When taking a shower, dont bother with the cold and hot handles, just move the shower handle, it wont fill up the tub that way and potentially overflow.
Leader's Bar is a nice set up, but we were never able to sit down and have a drink. They werent open the hours we were wanting to go in there. The Steakhouse has a bar/lounge attached and is very nice. Had drinks here two of the nights. Very intimate atmosphere. At an angle is the steakhouse. Nice presentation but the food was not worth the money in my opinion.
I think that next time I go, I will stay up by Hyde Park or Marble Arches.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank storm0926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2013

If fact the London Eye ferris wheel is just outside the door. This is an historic building turned into a luxury and delightfully old fashioned hotel with most rooms having an amazing view. The room was large with a desk and plenty of closet space. We were there for a week on business in the neighborhood, but it is a great location for tourists too. Personally I would not recommend it for young children. It is just across the bridge from Parliament and a few blocks to Waterloo Station and a nice walk over the bridge to Covent Garden. Taxis had trouble fining the entrance and often left us at the London Eye which is not a big deal. Sadly, there is hardly any lobby and it is at the front door which is cold and drafty. There is no welcoming place for guests to sit and read anywhere or have a quick meeting. The restaurant/bar is very expensive and is all about meat--no real vegetarian or healthy options. They gave us the dinner menu for lunch in error and we did not know there was another menu. Breakfast was included in our room but when we checked in and asked they told us it was not. That was not corrected until the last day and room service breakfast was almost $50/day. There are plenty of inexpensive ethnic places to eat nearby and a lovely pastry shop around the corner. There is a spa which is separate from the health club with a great lap pool with children not welcome most of the time. They do not have access to each other without going into the hallway. It is not a luxurious spa experience and needs attention. The steam room, showers and teeny sauna were not well maintained and the hot tub was closed. But I definitely would stay here again knowing what I know now--great location and great views and large rooms.

Room Tip: You must face the river and/or the London Eye.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Lizznyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about London Marriott Hotel County Hall

Address: Westminster Bridge Road | Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB, England (Formerly Marriott London County Hall)
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Southbank
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#124 Luxury Hotel in London
#206 Romantic Hotel in London
#230 Family Hotel in London
#243 Business Hotel in London
Price Range: $273 - $672 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — London Marriott Hotel County Hall 5*
Number of rooms: 206
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Painted with a signature backdrop, the historic London Marriott Hotel County Hall offers proximity to our city's main attractions. With views of Big Ben, the banks of the River Thames and overlooked by the London Eye, landmarks are a short stroll away from the front doors of our hotel in London, England. Stay with us and hold your events here, as we feature distinctive venues that can accommodate every occasion. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott London County Hall Hotel London
London Marriott Hotel County Hall England

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