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“Over-priced and over-rated”

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Grange Holborn Hotel
Ranked #416 of 1,081 Hotels in London
Reviewed September 23, 2013

Having previously used Top Secret Hotels I was fairly confident this hotel would be of the same standard as previous places I have stayed. I have been reading reviews on here leading up to my stay and was a tad nervous but have stayed in hotel before which had received bad reviews and conckuded they were just one offs. Unfortunately it was a massive disappointment. I had booked the Friday and Saturday night about 6 weeks in advance. A close friend of mine passed away in between that time and her funeral was on the Friday in Liverpool, I was staying with the family on the Friday night so I wouldn't be able to check in until the Saturday. My boyfriend called up in the week leading up to our hotel stay to let the hotel know that while we understand we would be charged for both nights, we could only stay for the Saturday due to a close friend passing away. He was greeted by a very rude receptionist who said that we 'will be checking out on the Sunday morning full stop'.. as a human being I would have offered my condolences and perhaps explained in a more sympathetic tone the terms and conditions, but then we can't all be the same! She said she would put a note on the system. On the Saturday morning at 10am I received a call from the hotel asking if we were checking in at all, I did explain we would be arriving later that evening. When we arrived at the hotel, and every occasion entering and leaving the hotel thereafter, we always reached the doors before the doormen, who seemed to rush over at the last second. Don't get me wrong, I am quite happy to open the door myself! But it was always a bit awkward when my boyfriend was holding the door open for me and the doormen almost insisted on moving him on for the split second it took for me to walk through the door. I also thought the whole layout of the hotel was quite strange, usually you can see the reception as soon as you walk through but the conceirge and reception were separated, we weren't really sure where to go to check in. And on the Saturday evening after a meal out, we returned about 11.15pm to find the front door closed with a sign saying, 'please use the rear entrance'.. I wasn't really sure why they did this but having to walk past bins to enter the building doesnt exactly scream 4* hotel. The room itself was incredibly dated, I felt overcharged as soon as we walked in. It wasn't big but that wasnt a problem as there were just 2 of us. The bathroom was tiny, but clean which I suppose is the main thing. If you wanted to use the complimentary robes, you had to call reception, we didn't do this but seeing as you had use of the spa, it surprised me they didnt provide this in the room. When I needed to use the hairdryer, I lifted it out of the drawer, this made the TV turn off. We didn't bother trying to find the plug to try and switch it back on. The bed was smaller than my one at home, it was a small (quite uncomfortable) double bed and the only lighting surrounding the bed was very harsh. We also put the air-con on as the room was quite stuffy, this was very loud, so we didn't really get a good nights sleep. We didn't use the spa so cannot comment on that or breakfast, I think we just wanted to check out as soon as possible, which to be fair was effortless. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this hotel, you can do a lot better for a lot less money elsewhere. This is definately not a 4* hotel and will make me rethink about using top secret deals again.

Room Tip: Do not book through top secret hotels if you can avoid it
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sunseeker141
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2013

me and my partner stayed here last night and when we arrived all seemed very nice. However it all went down hill when the lady behind the reception looked at me in disguse when i refused to leave my card details. I wanted to pay everthing by cash and thats how i like it. when i also asked her for a decent bar and restaurant locally she replied your in london they are everywhere, in her eastern european accent. When we arrived in our we were amazed with the and the first impressions of the room were great but however when we took time in there we soon found tiles lose, faulty television and the wrong room numbered phone. if you need a plug then i wish you the best of luck finding one there is no plugs in the room????!!!!
we orded room service and the phone operator was very polite and proffesional but does need to work on his time of delivery 1hour is not 10-15mins. the bed was very comfortable however i know its central london and sirens are very regular but 8 stories high it still felt you were on top of the local police cars! overall very average but know way a 5star rating hotel ive stayed in a travelodge and had a better experience!!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mike b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013 via mobile

First room was located in a service atrium, and thus was both dark and extremely noise with garbage disposal. The second room was larger and quieter.

The spa was undergoing some deep cleaning process. I was expected to change in an area with three cleaning women were 'working' before being chased out 1/2 dressed as they screamed 'this area closed'.

What should have been a relaxing though not cheep massage ended up being an embarrassing, even humiliating experience.

Is it that single man are not supposed to book spa treatments here?



  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank Nigel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

I was in town for business and this is exactly what I wanted for business travel. Depending on your priorities, it may or may not work for a leisure traveller.

Best part: My favorite part about the hotel is the amazing fitness facility (for a London hotel). They had several cardio equipment, including treadmill, row machine and elliptical. They also had free weights and weight machines. The MOST AMAZING part is that they had a lap pool. I did not expect that in London at all.

Location: Very short walking distance from Holborn tube station

Rooms: Rooms fit my needs. It was a basic room - clean and functional.

Service: Staff were all very friendly and helpful

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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5  Thank Cecilia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

A totally unsatisfactory stay at the Grange Holborn hotel via Last Minute.com Top Secret Hotels. I am truly amazed by other people’s high star ratings. This is a 3* or pushing it a 4* at most.
Having not booked a blind hotel before, I was somewhat anxious that the hotel would not be a true 5* but the Last Minute customer service representative assured me I would not be disappointed with the hotel. I was told the usual room rate was £250 but this deal was £179 with a 10% additional discount for booking that day, my total payment was £161.

Upon arrival, the door men were excellent, courteous and opened doors immediately for us. When we got to the reception desk, a less than welcoming faced receptionist greeted us. We handed over our booking form and explained that it was my birthday and could we please have the best room available as it was a special weekend. She didn’t even respond to this, acknowledge or as one would expect in a 5* hotel at the least congratulate me. She then said (still with a sour face) that we had an upgrade, which we thanked her for as we were very appreciative. I also asked if there was a nail file in the room and the receptionist didn’t know, nor did she make any effort to find out. I asked if one could be sent to the room. She informed that if there wasn’t one I could ring down reception then.

When we opened the door to room 621, it was a huge disappointment. The decor was tired and dated, shades of brown with a style that couldn’t be identified as either chic, modern or traditional. Certainly not 5* styling. The suspended ceiling in the entrance area of the room had months’ worth of dirt, dust and fluff hanging down from between the panels (picture attached of the panel slightly lifted to see the dust). The hairdryer was bolted down – not a mark of a stylish establishment, rather a budget hotel. The bed sheets had a waterproof cover underneath the sheets, appreciate this is to protect the mattresses but again it gives a budget hotel feel as you can hear the plastic creaking as you move in bed. The pillows were cheap and small, again not what you would expect of a 5* establishment. There was only one power socket by the main mirror, so I had to unplug the iPod when I wanted to use the hairdryer or charge my phone. The receptionist told us she had given us an upgrade, but I fail to see how any other room could be smaller or considered as a lower grade than room 621. I suspect that Lastminute.com customers that have paid lower than the room rate get assigned an inferior room, as according the room plan on the inside of the room door, room 621 was the smallest room by far on that floor (picture attached).

The bathroom was tiny, we had to shut the door to get to the basin. The plastic/perspex shower screen over the bath was less than substantial. I thought it would break every time I slid the screen to use it. The grout was quite frankly hideous, discoloured and filthy (picture attached). The architrave around the door frame was unkempt (picture attached). This shabbiness extended to many areas of the bathroom and the bedroom.

The room only had one robe in the room and as we wanted to use the spa immediately we rang to reception to ask for another, stating we were waiting to go to the spa immediately, we were told 10 minutes and it would be brought to our room. 30 minutes later no robes arrived, so I rang housekeeping directly and the phone did not answer. We found a maid in the corridor and eventually got one. When we got back after our spa visit there were two fresh ones there, but I do not know how long they took to come.

We had asked for a 12pm checkout and at 11.45am we had a maid asking when we would be finished. There was no nail file in the room, but I didn’t call reception. However, in all 5*hotels I have stayed in there will always be a small kit containing a nail file or emery board and most certainly one should have been delivered after I had mentioned it in the reception area.

The spa staff greeted us with a smile and attentive service asking us to fill in health forms. However I thought the comment that accompanied the forms was unprofessional and unacceptable. She asked us to fill in the form “to ensure we weren’t likely to die or anything like that whilst in the spa”. There were only 3 or so steamer chairs in the spa, which were upholstered, hardly suitable for repeated customers sitting on them when wet. At least half a dozen waterproof steamer chairs in pairs where one can recline would be suitable.
To summarise, Lastminute.com cannot categorise the Grange Holborn as a 5* hotel. I have stayed in cleaner and more spacious Travelodge’s for a fraction of the price. Their responsibility to ensure delivery of a product that is identifiable with the marketing has not been fulfilled on this occasion

Last Minute’s attitude to my complaint is unacceptable. They blame the hotel and say any ‘contract’ is between me and hotel . I said that they cannot market the Grange Holborn as a 5* knowing this, reading other TA reviews of the hotel and also seeing my photographs. My complaint to Grange Holborn directly was equally as fruitless. They say they will make special terms on my next (full cost) booking with them. When I asked what terms they may be they could not say, and admitted when pressed it may be a free bottle of house wine. A £5 bottle of plonk acceptable to me? No thank you, I shall never again use Last Minute.com or the Grange group of hotels.

Room Tip: Book another hotel!
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Groovytravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

We absolutely loved this hotel. The staff are exceptional, friendly and attentive. We arrived the night before my birthday and at exactly midnight they delivered a cheesecake to our room, having just arrived back from a late night stroll and dinner! The room was immaculate and large! The location was perfect, 10 minute walk to Covent Garden, which is incredible. 5 mins to Holborn tube station. We only ate breakfast once but it was very good, first morning we slept in due to the very comfortable bed and quietness of the room and the long flight the day before. Location, friendly staff, super clean, this is a great hotel!

Room Tip: Our room was 910, it was fantastic!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank Jennifer_S2013437
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Any kind of service at Grange Holborn hotel is fantastic and on high-level! It has really excellent location and is also near to Oxford street. My room was clean every day. I loved swimming pool that is great way to have a good rest after hard day of work. Breakfast is fantastic and delicious!

Room Tip: Any room is a good one I think. I have lived on the 2nd floor, it was really nice!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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19  Thank Nazira_Bishkek_1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grange Holborn Hotel

Address: 50-60 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AR, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#69 Spa Hotel in London
#267 Business Hotel in London
#292 Luxury Hotel in London
#343 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range: $159 - $407 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Grange Holborn Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The elegantly composed Grange Holborn Hotel is uniquely placed to satisfy the most discerning visitors to the capital; whether enjoying the local theatres, shops, museums, galleries and parks or maximizing time in the financial heart of the City, the Grange Holborn Hotel, provides the perfect location for any visit to the Capital. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grange Holborn London
Hotel Grange Holborn
Grange Holborn Hotel London, England

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