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“Most basic hotel we've stayed in”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of The California

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The California
Ranked #367 of 1,089 Hotels in London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Most basic hotel we've stayed in”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2007

This was one of the most basic hotels we have stayed in. We stayed in Room 302, which was extremely small. When we booked we rang to specifically ask for a room with a bath, but only got a shower. When we complained about this at reception, the response was "well, you're not staying at the Ritz at £500 a night", and we were told that some rooms have a bath, others don't. We were given the impression that it was the luck of the draw to get a room with a bath, so we felt we had been mis-sold on this.

There were no toiletries in the room, not even a bar of soap on the washbasin, and we only had one towel each. The shower needed a good clean, on the bottom of the shower cubicle door there was something brown and gross, and under the basin tap lever it looked pretty manky too. In the shower cubicle there was no shelf on which to put one's toiletries, luckily I found a plastic carrier bag and hung this on the shower control and used this to hold my shampoo and shower gel. The shower itself though was powerful and hot. There was no holder for the toilet roll on the wall, the loo roll had to sit on the floor.

There was no hairdrier in the room - one had to ask for one at reception, and it turned out that there were only 3 in the whole place, so it had to be returned after use. If you are staying here be sure to bring your own toiletries and hairdrier!

The general cleanliness of the room was not great - cleaning seemed to have been skimped upon, the carpet needed a good vacuuming.

The two men on reception were helpful, but did fail to mention available facilities such as internet access in the lounge, and we were not given any instructions about how to use the safe, which was in the wardrobe.

Breakfast was ok for those fond of full English, but limited in other choices. We were ignored by staff at breakfast, not shown to a table, and, as the basement dining area quickly got full, you needed to get down to breakfast early.

Left luggage facilities seemed less than secure, with access to the luggage room being by a communal key.

On the plus side the hotel's location is close to King's Cross/St Pancras/Euston railway stations, and there was a subway to the King's Cross/St Pancras Tube stations at the end of the street. There was a good Italian restaurant, Casa Mamma's, just down the street, in the shadow of King's Cross station.

If you are only staying overnight in London and need to be near King's Cross/St Pancras stations, this hotel is adequate. However, if you are planning on staying longer, we would advise checking out one of the larger, chain-operated hotels in the area, where, for around £10 -20 more, you will get a more comfortable room with better facilities. In London, you get what you pay for.

Stayed June 2007
11 Thank Mauretania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Manchester, England
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2007

Just got back from a wonderful four day break from London and i have to say i was a bit wary before we went after reading some of the earlier reviews about this hotel, my worries were unfounded as the staff at this hotel were very freindly, the room was very clean and basic, not the ritz i must add but if its only a base you need while your out everyday then this is the place to stay, with the underground just around the corner you cant go wrong, oh and the breakfast was very nice as well.

  • Liked — convenience
  • Disliked — size of room
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Connie18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2007

I spent five day on this hotel and considering the London standards and the relatively low rate they asked me I was very worried about it but it turned out to be a nice surprise. The room was very small and so was the ensuite facility but everything was clean and the room was serviced every day. Breakfast was in a nice room painted in pastel colours and there was plenty of food each morning. The staff was very polite and helpful. In addition the hotel is just a few steps away one of the King's Cross station entrances from which you can go everywhere you like in London. So if you are looking for a cheap but nice accommodation in a strategic location and you are not the Ritz type I definitively recommend this hotel.

Stayed May 2007
Thank ItalianBari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2007

I stayed at this hotel recently, the worst in my world travels, first - the room was not serviced, I mean the beds were not dressed, the towels were not changed or the bin emptied. There were no handtowels,or bath mat, no shampoo, soaps that had been used by others, and a safe that did not work, but worst of all no telephone, so I had to go all the way down the stairs to complain. There was no manager present. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone. I must say that the staff at breakfast were really nice and friendly, and the breakfast was adequate for me but no choice.

Stayed April 2007
4 Thank grannymo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2007

I stayed here for 5 nights while on a course in London. The hotel was booked by my company and I wasn't expecting much as:

1. They are a bit stingy
2. The hotel is in Kings Cross

The hotel is about 200m from the train station, i'll let you decide if thats a good thing, but apparently KX is on the way up, and is nowhere near as bad as it used to be.

I was pleasantly surprised to be honest, the outside of the hotel is well presented and the front desk staff were very helpful.

I was in a twin with a double bed and a single bed, a decent sized bathroom with a bath and shower over. The room was cleaned every morning and the towels replaced. There was a safe in the room along with a wardrobe. There is free wifi which was a life saver!

One thing to note is that other than soap there was no shampoo or shower gel etc (I travel prepared so was ok)

From what I can work out the rooms are all being done up as there were some matresses and bed frames around. My room is one to still be done, it looked a bit tired, but was clean, which was the main thing!

The lounge was nice, tastefully decorated, leading out to a well kept terrace area and there is a pc there for those without laptops.

Breakfast is between 7-9 and is buffet style with mountains of toast, bacon, sausages as well as poached eggs, beans and tomatoes. There was some cerial as well and juice, tea and coffee. The room where breakfast is served is really nice and bright and with plenty of room.

Overall I was pretty impressed with my stop here, it would have been nice to be in one of the newer rooms, but I imagine in a year or so once everything is finished it will be a really good hotel.
The owner is really trying to make an effort with the hotel, and being in Kings Cross there is every type of food available close by.

  • Liked — It was a lot better than I thought it would be, free wifi and a great breakfast were a bonus!
  • Disliked — My room wasn't one of the renvated ones
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank Jase_Cambs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The California

Property: The California
Address: 4 - 8 Belgrove Street, London E1 0NS, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury , Regent's Park / Kings Cross
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#353 Family Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The California 3*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The California is a charming, modern bed and breakfast, less than a minute's walk away from King's Cross and St. Pancras stations. Our 60 stylishly refurbished rooms, each one cosy and comfortable, are spread over four Georgian townhouses, and we've retained as much of the original architecture as possible; our windows, corridors and staircases are all original. This means that we don't have a lift, but we do keep our reception open 24 hours a day, include breakfast and high speed WiFi in all our rates and have just opened our new bar, lounge and private terrace for our guests to enjoy. Welcome to The California London. Visit anytime, explore every time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
California Hotel London
The California London, England

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