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.
- 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