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“Don't give these people your credit card details. Is this a scam they use a lot?”

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Dolphin House Serviced Apartments
Ranked #320 of 1,076 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 7, 2013

I'm really sorry to report a very poor experience with this hotel.

The first thing I should say is that there was nothing wrong with the hotel, my apartment was great, it was clean, the welcome I received was professional and curious albeit missing a vitial piece of information and if it wasn't for the fact that they took an extra £250 out of my account without asking or even advising me I would not be writing this now.

Some might think my complaint trivial, but its not, it strikes at the very core of the honesty of the business and their staff. Let me explain:

I travel extensively with my business and stay in hotels all over the place. I usually book the rooms myself as I want to know where I'm going to be.

I smoke, I know that makes me a leper and somewhat of a lesser being and I'm ashamed of it and myself, but I do. It is rare these days to find a hotel that has smoking rooms so when one is offered I usually take it, as I did on this particular occasion.

I booked and paid for the room via my usual online company who confirmed. I received the booking confirmation immediately that confirmed that I booked what I had ordered and shortly after this received a confirmation from the hotel that I I was booked into a smoking apartment on the night required etc.

I arrived was greeted in the usual way, signed in and shown to my apartment. At no time was I advised that the room i had booked and had confirmed twice was a no smoking room. There were no signs anywhere in the apartment so I assumed that as I had booked a smoking room and receive two confirmation that I had a smoking room and that there were no signs saying that I could smoke that I was okay to smoke. I think even the non smokers amongst you would tend to agree that that was a fair assumption to make.

The online booking agent i use pays for the hotel up front, I don’t usually have breakfast so don’t normally sign out in the morning from hotels choosing to use the fast check out and not booking anything to my room.

Unfortunately the signal for my laptops 3G connection was poor so i signed up to the hotels broadband at the cost of £11 for the night, even though this would mean I would have to check out in the morning.

Upon checking out for some strange reason I handed over my Company credit card, I could have and should have paid with cash, but I was on autopilot and to be honest didn’t think there was anything wrong or risky paying an £11 bill on my card.

Several weeks later I received an email from my accounts department enquiring why there was a £250 transaction on my card. After some investigation through the online agent it transpired that it was a fined for smoking in a non smoking room. The Hotel had simply ran my credit card details again and deducted £250 for cleaning the room.

I find this unbelievable, unprofessional, probably illegal and dishonest to the enth degree. So my recommendation would be to avoid this hotel, they lie about their bookings and then take money out of your account without permission. If anyone else has experienced this I would like to hear from you. I think it may be a well used scam they’ve played many times before and since.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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7  Thank rmguk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WayneMortensen, Front of House Manager at Dolphin House Serviced Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2013

Dear rmuk, I was most disappointed to read your comments regarding your recent stay in November; and somewhat saddened to note a number of factually incorrect assertions contained within your review. Dolphin House does not offer any smoking apartments – the entire building is non-smoking and has been registered as such with the authorities. I must say I am most baffled with respect to you comments about receiving a confirmation stating we offered a smoking apartment. In point of fact all confirmations issued by Dolphin House contain the following notification: “Please note that for our guests comfort, Dolphin House operates a strict non smoking policy. And smoking is strictly prohibited in all areas.”

Every effort is made to inform our guests of the non-smoking policy, this includes: informing guest’s on arrival; the key card wallet clearly states our non-smoking policy – this includes the minimum recovery fee of two hundred and fifty pounds; outside all doors there are large, universal non-smoking signs; inside the apartments placed on the coffee table are small plastic stands stating the non-smoking policy, again this includes notice of the apartment recovery fee.

The two hundred and fifty pound apartment charge is not a penalty or arbitrary imposition imposed by Dolphin House; but rather this is the minimum fee we can charge that enables us to return the apartment to a condition were it can be used again.

As a rule we do not charge guests without first advising them; in this instance I believe we communicated with you with a telephone call. I do take exception to your statement we “lie, scam” or behave in a “dishonest” manner. By you own admission you have smoked in a non-smoking apartment, in a building that is registered as non-smoking, as such, we are obligated to return it to the same condition it enjoyed prior to your smoking.
Sincerely, Wayne Mortensen

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Reviewed February 6, 2013

Booked for 3 nights in a 2 bedroom apartment.
Everything was clean, beds comfortable and heating nice during the cold nights. However, there were a few things to mention:

1 - I booked the car park from Thursday to Sunday which meant it should be 35 pounds on Thursday and then 20 pounds on Fri and Sat. However, they charged me 35 pounds everyday. They wouldn't back down
2 - in one of the bathrooms, the shower did not work. Didn't bother to get it fixed otherwise they would have caused a mess
3 - the bathrooms are freezing in the winter due to no heaters
4 - the frying pan was so pitted it should be replaced.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Dun8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MsRitaFerreira, Assistant Front Office Manager at Dolphin House Serviced Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

Thank you for your recent review following your stay with us. Whilst I am pleased to note that you enjoyed our comfortable beds and the cleanliness of our apartments I am most concerned to read of the issues you experienced during your stay. Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused with respect, there are a few points regarding our product that I feel need clarifying: you mentioned that in one of the bathrooms of your two bedroom apartment the shower did not work, we do have a dedicated facilities team to deal with any maintenance issues that may arise, would the issue been brought to our attention and we would have certainly resolved it for you; "the bathrooms are freezing in the winter due to no heaters" please note that all our bathrooms are equiped with towel rails which can be switched on/off from the apartment, in order to save energy you would find them switched off when you check-in to the apartment, I am sorry if we failed to explain this to you upon arrival; "the frying pan was so pitted it should be replaced" I apologise if we have provided you with an item that was not in an appropriate condition to be used it is certainly not up to the standards that we pride ourselves, I can ensure you that your feedback has been escalated to our Housekeeping Manager and will be dealt with accordingly. Finally I would like to personally investigate your car parking fee and would appreciate if you could contact me directly.
I do hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future and restore your good faith.
Yours Sincerely, Rita Ferreira

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Reviewed February 4, 2013

Stayed in January and found these apartments to be clean and well appointed - but nothing flash. Location is ideal for visitors to London - easy access to Tube and all the touristy bits. Staff in restaurant were a little disappointing - fought about who was clearing the most breakfast dishes on our first morning! But front desk staff were great.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank DwyerMandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MsRitaFerreira, Assistant Front Office Manager at Dolphin House Serviced Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2013

Thank you for your recent review following your stay with us. We are glad to know that you have enjoyed our location and our apartments. I am sorry that you left disappointed with the service in our restaurant, I would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention, your comments have already been escalated to the Food & Beverage Manager and will be addressed accordingly. We are delighted to know that you found our reception staff helpful.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon. Sincerely, Rita Ferreira

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Reviewed February 4, 2013

First of all, this is not a hotel. It is serviced apartments. However, other than the fact it has no room service, you would scarcely notice the difference.

I have stayed here several times. The reception area has recently been renovated and is very open plan and stylish. The rooms are very large, with a double bed, lounge area, well equipped high spec kitchen (fridge, microwave) and a lovely bathroom. The rooms are immaculately clean. You can open the windows! There is a lovely bar and grill which serves tasty food and has very friendly staff. There is a pool, a spa, a shopping arcade with everything from dry cleaners to groceries. What more could you want? Much better than a hotel if you are staying for a few days.

The only downside is they charge for wifi - £10 for 24 hrs - which is VERY naughty of them. It should be free.

Otherwise give it a go!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank PAP71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MsRitaFerreira, Manager at Dolphin House Serviced Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to recommend our property and to review your stay. We are delighted to know you had an enjoyable time, and that you found our facilities and accomodation so pleasant; it is especially pleasing to receive positive feedback about our staffs efforts and friendliness. I am sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the charges that we apply for Internet service nevertheless I would like to stress that we do offer a free wi-fi access in our common areas (Reception/Lobby area, Club Lounge, Bar and Grill, Fitness Club and Spa) and alternatively we also offer wi-fi inclusive packages on our rates which can be discussed with our reservations team on the time of booking. I do apologise if we have not made this options clear to you upon arrival.
We look forward to welcome you back very soon, in the meantime please do contact us if we can help you further.
Sincerely, Rita Ferreira

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Reviewed February 3, 2013 via mobile

Great place to stay as long as you are prepared for it not to be a hotel. Upgraded to a two bed apartment on arrival. Staff very friendly and checked us in without a problem. Location suited us well and the apartment gives you more freedom than a hotel.

We booked through a discount website and at full price I think it is slightly over priced but if you can book on a deal then its well worth it especially if you have children or there are three of you looking for somewhere to stay.

Would go back!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank Lmcmenemy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MsRitaFerreira, Assistant Front Office Manager at Dolphin House Serviced Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to recommend our property, we are delighted you had such an enjoyable stay. We are pleased you enjoyed your upgrade to a two bedroom apartment, our wonderful facilities and found the staff very friendly and efficient. Please note that besides the online agents with whom we have rates we also have our own website where you can book directly, we often have excellent offers too.
We hope to welcome you back very soon, in the meantime please do contact us if we can help you further. Sincerely, Rita Ferreira

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Reviewed January 30, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay at the Dolphin House. The staff was pleasant. The room was spacious and the kitchenette was a welcome surprise. The bed and linens were very nice quality and, although we didn't get a chance to partake in them, the amenities were a nice addition. Having a mini-market on site was super convenient also. The breakfast was lovely and had plenty of choices.
The only down-side is that there was free and fee-based wifi and the access procedures weren't explained unless you inquired specifically about it.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank marpienut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MsRitaFerreira, Assistant Front Office Manager at Dolphin House Serviced Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay at Dolphin House, and for taking the time to write your wonderful and instructive review. We are delighted you and your family had such an enjoyable trip to London, and that you found our facilities and accomadation so pleasing; it is especially pleasing to receive positive feedback about our staffs efforts. Thank you for bringing to our attention the difficulties that you have experienced with the wi-fi service that we offer, it is from valuable feedback from our guests that we can improve and deliver a consistent service. We hope to welcome you back very soon, in the meantime please do contact us if we can help you further. Sincerely, Rita Ferreira

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Reviewed January 27, 2013

We booked on line through bookings.com at a comparatively good price for London. Checking in was quick and we were upgraded to a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment. Our apartment was fantastic, really well furnished, large and very comfortable. The room was serviced each day and we were given fresh milk, which is a nice extra. The staff were very friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble. Wifi is free in the lobby but we paid £35 to get it in the room. While this is on the high side it is the fastest connection we have experienced.

The hotel is a 15 to 20 minute walk to the centre of Westminster and in a nice area. There isn't much close to the hotel - a deli, a tesco express and we were told there is a pub close by but we didn't visit. It is a £10 cab fare to regent street which we thought ok for a family of four.

We had dinner in the hotel's bar and grill which was ok. We were there after a busy day and they had sold out of many dishes. It may be better on other days.

We would stay again and recommend it to others.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Blue1201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WayneMortensen, Front of House Manager at Dolphin House Serviced Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we are delighted you and your family had such an enjoyable trip to London and are delighted you enjoyed the upgrade to one of our two bedroom apartments. We hope to welcome you back very soon, in the meantime please do contact us if we can help you further.
Sincerely, Wayne Mortensen

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin House Serviced Apartments

Address: Serviced Apartments Dolphin Square, London SW1V 3LX, England (Formerly Dolphin Square Hotel)
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Pimlico
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#61 Spa Hotel in London
#227 Luxury Hotel in London
#282 Romantic Hotel in London
#347 Family Hotel in London
Price Range: $162 - $315 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Dolphin House Serviced Apartments 4*
Number of rooms: 165
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dolphin House offers a range of contemporary serviced apartments in a quiet residential area. Set around three and a half acres of idyllic gardens along the River Thames, just a short distance from Central London. A selection of apartments are available from economy singles to 1bed 2 bed and 3 bed apartments. Dolphin House is on the north side of Dolphin Square Village with its 1069 residential apartments, Bar and Grill, Lounge Bar Sports and Fitness Club and brand new Moroccan Inspired Spa, The Spa in Dolphin Square. The facilities are open to all.All Just 5 mins walk from the nearby Pimlico tube, just 3 stops (7 mins) on the Victoria line to Oxford Circus. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin House Hotel London
Dolphin Hotel London
Dolphin House Serviced Apartments London, England

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