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“Shabby Chic? Dirty and Shabby More Like!”
Review of The Main House

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The Main House
Ranked #61 of 563 London B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 26, 2006

This hotel has had some first class reviews which I find a bit bewildering! Firstly everyone raves about it's quaint shabby -chic style.Sure, i'm all for this over a bland, corporate type establishment but in this case shabby chic means filth, dirt and generally poorly kept rooms. The rooms need a proper deep clean not just a quick sweep up after eack guest. Hotel is in a great location and could be fantastic but the poor cleanliness lets this place down. The owners need to stop resting on their laurels just because they have had some good reviews in a few publications, word soon gets round when standards start to slip!

  • Stayed: March 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
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29  Thank Nippy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 - 193 of 231 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Southern California
135
Reviewed March 24, 2006

Let me begin this review by stating that the owner and her assistant are nice people and this is in no way meant to hurt or offend them....however. I sincerely hope they take this review as constructive criticism and make the necessary changes to improve the situation at The Main House.

I will now list (in outline form) my experience and observations from the moment I entered the house.

1- Opening the door we were accosted with the smell of strong incenses (Nag Champa to be exact). I thought to myself – what “scent” are they trying to hide. Then I saw the “reason”…. a rather large yet friendly dog. Although this dog stays inside the downstairs apartment – her “scent” occupies the entire entryway.

2- Entrance can be best described as dingy and having not seen the likes of a vacuum/mop or any cleansers for the past 10 years.

3- Walking up the stairs to our room(s) carpet was very worn and dirty. First landing seemed to be a random storage area for unused furniture and rather large “art” braced up against the wall. Very messy.

4- Community room with dorm room type refrigerator is nothing more than a dirty laundry room.

5- Entering our rooms we noticed that they were just “ok” and that the floors were simply filthy. There were two enormous mystery skin rugs on each floor. We immediately rolled them up and put them away – due to the fact that they looked WORSE than the actual carpet (hard to do).

6 – Furniture was below par – but “ok”. Not dusted or regularly maintained.

7 – White telephone receiver and headset was BROWN…you do the math.

8 – Bathroom – size is irrelevant what matters are the “extras”…. NONE. One – I repeat ONE small bottle of bargain liquid hand soap is what is available for shampoo, bathing, and hand cleaning. We ended up going to the market and buying shower bar soap, shampoo and conditioner.

9- Towels…2 bath towels, 2 hand towels…0 face towels….therefore, they expected you to wash your body w/ your hands and the slimy bargain hand soap provided. We asked the assistant for face towels and were met with an uncomprehending trout stare – then notified that those types of towels did not exist in The Main House. We ended up borrowing towels from our friends who were staying at a nearby hotel….SAD.

10 – After 2 days I put our towels on the nasty floor so that in the remote chance our room was serviced we would receive another set of non-absorbent, skin irritating towel like products. Caroline came upstairs and.. I kid you not… picked the towels up off of the FILTHY never cleaned floor and informed us that if we wanted new towels it would cost EXTRA!!!!!!! She proceeded to re-hang the towels on the racks…..at that point we borrowed towels (as stated above).

11- We requested- several times that the carpet receive a good vacuuming….I even asked that a vacuum get delivered so that I could do the job myself. I waited 3 days…….only to receive a partial vacuum done so with a hand held Dust Buster type product….the kind used to clean out cars!!!!!

12 – Tea Service…Don’t waste your time…go to Starbucks.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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35  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2006

After reading a similarly excellent review in the Evening Standard, I booked a weekend at the Main House for my birthday in October 2004. We had such a magical stay that we have been there several times since, either for a weekend or a midweek treat - and we can now claim to have slept in every one of the different bedrooms! The house itself is in a perfect location - easy to get to if you want to tour around London but absolutely no need to go further than the surrounding neighbourhood for fabulous meals/pubs/delis/markets/shops etc if you just feel like staying "at home". Each of the rooms has been decorated with such style and have a marvellous feeling of luxury in a simple, minimalist way : a unique combination and not always easy to get right. The owner, Caroline, is the most wonderful hostess and has always made us feel very special - and she is happy to loan her freezer for impromptu bottles of anniversary champagne or the like! A truly special place to stay, not too far from the madding crowd but far enough that sometimes when you wake in the lovely crisp white cotton sheets you wonder if you might have strayed further .......

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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8  Thank MRSFISH22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2006

I wish I could write a more positive review, considering I never even actually STAYED with Caroline at the Main House... however, I wouldn't wish my worst enemy the treatment I have received by this "business owner" since my trip in February.

In my last trip to London, a group of four of us travelled for my 30th birthday. 2 of my friends stayed at the main house from the beginning, and the other 2 of us were to move into the main house during the latter part of our trip. Well, upon visiting the main house, and hearing less than thrilled reviews from my friends who were already staying there, I chose to cancel my reservation with Caroline WELL WITHIN the requisite cancellation period.

Since then, I have received nothing but threatening emails from Caroline and Beata, telling me to pay them the "money I owe them", and then today, the 4th email received since my journey, stated that I was to be "black listed" through a supposed website, and to quote Caroline herself, "(I) will NO LONGER be welcome in Britain". Her harrassment, and (empty) threats alone tell me this is a person I would never want to do business with and would never want any one else to have to endure either.

I will leave it at that, there is a lot more I would like to say, but buyer beware, a stay with the Main House (or worse yet, a cancellation of a stay with the Main House) could result in similar harassment, threats, and just plain annoyances like those mentioned above.

Stayed: February 2006
34  Thank ianmspag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Zürich, Switzerland
14
Reviewed March 2, 2006

Finding a good place to stay in London is a difficult business. Both my girlfriend and I have had our share of uncomfortable nights in terrible youth hostels, greasy hotels and middle class hotels, whose 4 stars would earn 2 at the most in other towns. More often than not the best thing about London hotels is that you don't spend too much time in them! And the prices...

But this time, our expectations were very high after a very friendly email exchange with the owner of The Main House in Notting Hill and some really good reviews we'd read. It was arranged that we were going to be picked up by a driver from Heathrow, an offer we were glad to accept.

As soon as we arrived at the Main House we felt that this place is special indeed. We received a very warm welcome from Beata who showed us round the place. The room was enormous and tastefully furnished. We immediately felt at home.

Tea was brought to our room in the morning and breakfast could be had at a reduced rate in a lovely deli just around the corner.

Caroline, the owner, whom we met shortly afterwards, gave us some tips as to what to see and do in the neighbourhood. We tried out some of them and can fully recommend them.

We spent 5 days in London and each evening we were looking forward to this cosy place in one of the most charing areas of London. In fact, in the end we almost regretted having spent so little time in our room but this city is just too exciting for this!

We can warmly recommend The Main House to every visitor to London, whatever their reason of travel may be.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2006

I stayed at the Main House on my first visit to London while on vacation with good friends. We spent our days wandering through antique markets, enjoying a few pints at local pubs, sightseeing, shopping, and dining on tasty ethnic cuisine. At night, we came back to what felt like home at the Main House in Notting Hill. We had our own key to the house (and our room), as well as a private phone and doorbell for our guests. The beds were warm and cozy, the bathroom was very clean, and the service was excellent. Caroline arranged for our transportation from the airport, we were greeted cheerfully each morning with a silver tray of coffee and tea at the time of our choosing, and we got expert advice on the best restaurants to try around the neighborhood. The location of the Main House was also very convenient; it’s around the corner from a perfect breakfast spot, a minute away from the famous Portobello Road market, and just a short walk from the Notting Hill Gate tube stop, local dining, and cozy pubs. I can’t imagine staying anywhere else when I return to London!

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank RedSparks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
542
Reviewed January 28, 2006

During a business trip, I opted to stay for three nights at this bed and breakfast after reading about glowing articles in travel magazines, rather than at our usual 4-star hotel. I like the simple, sparse furnishings and the massive bathroom in my second floor room. The owner and staff were largely absent, so no cafettiere was left outside my room. One evening, I became ill and accidentally soiled the linens. Nothing that would not have come out of the normal wash cycle, but the owner charged me an absurd fee of 50 quid cleaning fee. Isn't it routine to change and wash linens after each guest has vacated the room? Rather unsympathetic and downright greedy...

  • Stayed: August 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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20  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Main House

Address: 6 Colville Road | Notting Hill, London W11 2BP, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Notting Hill
Hotel Style:
Ranked #61 of 563 B&Bs / Inns in London
Price Range: $149 - $203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
The Main House Hotel London
The Main House London, England

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