We booked this apartment via London Choice back in February (before I read all the reviews...) for a week long family vacation. After reading the reviews, I got very nervous about arriving and not having our reservation available. Several calls and emails to London Choice went unanswered (confirming their bad reviews). A note to the landlord at Lancaster Gate was quickly returned confirming our stay... Still I was a bit nervous when we got off the plane from the US. Dorothy did, however, answer the phone right away which was good. We had booked Apartment 4, but on the phone Dorothy asked if we would accept Apartment 3 (which is bigger and more expensive) to allow a family with a disabled child to have our original flat because of elevator access (which does not go to the first floor for #3). I told her that was fine, since it was a better apartment. Anyway, not sure if that was the truth since we never saw the people with the child, but we didn't really see any of the other folks staying there anyway. Dorothy met us at the door promptly, gave us the keys, and showed us around.
Now, first off, the location is awesome! Literally steps from Hyde Park Lancaster gate and 5 min walk to the tube (which we used every day). On the first day we waked through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace and all the way to Trafalgar. Kensington Palace is a 20 min walk through the beautiful Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The building is on a very quiet street across from an old steeple and church that has been converted to an apartment building. For shopping you can get most of what you need at the WaitRose gas station just around the corner or the Sainsbury on Queensway (10 min walk).
The apartment was spacious with at least 20ft ceilings and a loft in the main room where my 16 yr old son slept. The flat itself has some minor "fixer upper" issues like a leaking faucet on the towel warmer, etc... And could probably use a weeks worth of a handy man doing minor repairs. For the price you pay and given the location, do not expect the Taj Mahal. I have stayed in many short-stay apartments and this is about the same as all of them. The master bedroom and ensuite master bath have just been nicely remodeled and there is tons of closet space. The second bedroom is smaller but still nice, though the sheets did have an old ink spot on them. The kitchen is small, but who is cooking dinners with all the great restaurants around anyway? The kitchen is fully stocked with all dishes, pots/pans, utensils, a dishwasher, water heater, granite counters, and washer/dryer. Note, the washer does not wash very well....but is enough to get by,
The main room is very big and airy with big 20ft windows and a walkout balcony that overlooks the street. There is a flat screen TV with Hd channels. There is no air conditioning, but we never really needed it even in mid summer and open windows were fine.
Now, a couple issues. One day there was no hot water. A call to Dorothy and she quickly came to the apartment and got the boiler started again (she was very concerned and acted promptly). I guess in 100 yr old plus buildings, this is not uncommon. Also, the wifi only works in the back bedroom (which Dorothy told us about) due to the old solid plaster and wood walls. Right next door is the Commodore Hotel which did have wifi, so we asked them at the front desk and purchased wifi passwords from the hotel (15 pound for 7 days for one device) and it worked brilliantly. The flat is short on light bulbs and there are many fixtures that don't have bulbs in them and some power outlets that don't work. There is working halogen recessed lighting in the main room and master bedroom, but I think the landlord needs to invest in bulbs for many of the other wall fixtures. We almost bought them ourselves, but then figured we had enough light for our stay...
A comment on Dorothy. She was always very helpful and prompt. She answered her phone right away. She gave us extra towels when requested and came in every day for maid service, which included washing our dishes. I can't say enough about how nice and helpful she was and she made sure we were always comfortable.
One last comment, because there are short stay apartments next door, we did encounter some noise in the back courtyard at night. Sometimes just the sounds of someone cooking a late night dinner... But other times there was some music, talking, etc... Good thing the windows are thick, because when closed, we heard nothing.
In all, I think the reviews here are off base. As for lost reservations online, I'm not sure what that's about, but it can be a deal killer for most people since nobody wants to travel thousands of miles and not have a place to stay (in fact, I almost cancelled at the last minute because of that). The landlord and/or London Choice needs to address this or risk losing business. In terms of the quality of the apartment; sure it has some minor issues but for this price you should not be picky. Given the awesome location, the age of the building, and the price we could not have asked for more. By the end of the week we all agreed that it was a wonderful apartment and we had an awesome time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A modern purpose built property, situated in the heart of London's West End, adjacent to Connaught Village, Marble Arch, Edgware Road and Oxford Street, overlooking a garden square with restaurants and shops nearby. All of the apartments are self-contained and have a sitting area and work table. Studios have the choice of king size or twin beds. A very warm and welcoming environment makes this property ideal for both the business and leisure traveller. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lancaster Gate Hyde Park Apartments Hotel London
- Lancaster Gate Hyde Park Apartments London, England