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“SO-SO with a bad smell”

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The Lancaster Hotel
Ranked #2 of 518 Hotels in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 1, 2010

The Lancaster s a faded vintage hotel in downtown Houston It's at best a 3 star hotel and no more.

Upon arrival, the first thing that hits you is the swamp/mold/septic tank odor that permeates the lobby. It is seriously foul and apparently the stench has been there for years. Lord knows its cause.

The good: The rooms are spacious and clean. The bed is firm, the pillows comfortable and the bathroom is more than adequate. Free wifi is good, too.

The no so good. Aside from the aforementioned stench, the TV set is from the Reagan era but there's plenty of cable choices and 2 out of the three phones in the room didn't work. The hotel cafe is pretty mediocre, too, best to eat out.

The Lancaster could be a terrific hotel if the owners cared to put a little more time and money info the place. It's not bad, but could be oh so fine. Stay there if the price is right (less than $100) but go with your eyes open and your nostrils held tight.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled on business
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Thank tobeginwith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 22, 2010

I booked the Lancaster on the advise of a colleague, and then regretted it after reading some of the negative comments here about the staff. I am glad I didn't change my plans. I found the hotel to be charming, if a little aging. Spotlessly clean, above all, with turn down service as well. I used the town car service and found the drivers very accommodating and the rest of the staff the same. Everyone at the hotel seemed entirely devoted to making sure I had a good stay. I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled on business
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2  Thank Marmar22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2010

The Lancaster, where I usually stay when visiting Houston for business in the downtown area, is still a bargain at the $140-ish rates that they usually charge. However, offering such rates for a nice historic hotel in a prime location, with a nicer British decor has to have a catch. And it does.

PROS:
Location-location-location. Hotel historic building is by far the most beautiful in downtown. Decor is classy and elegant, very British country-side. Very comfortable bed!!

CONS:
The room's televisions are a joke. They were probably installed sometime in the late '80s and never replaced, seriously. In fact, the rooms still have a VHS!! (talk about retro) and stereo player with cassette!! No mini-bar, sorry. Wi-fi is free, but can be clocked at 256kbps (are you kidding me?). Business center: Well, how about a desk with a computer in the lobby, with a faulty printer and no privacy? Oh, and how to forget: The gym!!! Another trip to the '70s.

Front-desk staff (both morning (all shifts) and evening are clue-less, under-trained. I have heard that the manager, who is never visible, is Eastern European, and you could tell that many of the junior staff is also Polish or Russian. They could care less about your needs, however simple (adjusting a hotel bill) or complex the need may be.

No shampoo in 5 days?? No ice in 5 days??

This hotel is so ideally located and the building is so beautiful that it is unforgivable that the owner(s) are not paying attention to the facilities. They should really invest in improving the amenities: Buy proper flat-screen TVs and an on-demand video system (which will make money for you) and DVD/Blue Ray players. Install a truly high-speed wireless system and backbone to match, buy new phones for the rooms (including decent cordless), get some high-power flushing toiltets from this century, completely re-do the gym and for God's sake, build a true business center. THEN, raise your daily rate to $200 (which will still be a bargain in that neighborhood). FINALLY: HIRE BETTER STAFF!!!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank Ultraplur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2010

My sister and I visited Houston for one night and wanted to stay somewhere in the downtown area. Not knowing the city we just gambled and selected the Lancaster. It was a very unpleasant experience.

This is the first time I am writing a review of anything. There are so many other hotels in the area that we could have stayed at but we got to town to late to try to look around plus. There is no where to park in the Theater district of Houston. The hotel changes $30 to valet your car and when ask about other places to park over night they were very vague and unhelpful.

The rooms are very very small. The bed was ok. This is not a place to stay if your are staying more then one night. Luckily we are only there for the night but I would not stay there there again or recommend it.

The staff was either very pleasant or very unpleasant there did not seem to be any middle ground at all in the service. The room rates are not unreasonable but everything else is over priced.

My recommendation is if you are visiting downtown Houston there are several hotels around that area to stay in take some more time researching and pick a different one.

  • Stayed: March 2010
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1  Thank jdsmart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2010

I had the misfortune of an extended stay at the Lancaster, and encountered mostly incompetence. I have to say that many of the staff seemed friendly and tried their best to be helpful, but it was apparent they suffered from insufficient (or zero) training. Such as the waiter who kept spilling coffee on our table. Other staff at the front desk were completely unhelpful and unconcerned. Simple things like coffee in the front lobby in the morning (which was always empty) or ice that was supposed to be delivered each night but never was. I never saw a manager, or got the impression that anyone was in charge of anything.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled on business
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Thank AnneKay9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2010

We stayed in the Lancaster for Valentine's weekend. My husband called way in advance and was promised a room with a good view and was even given the number of the room that we would be staying in. When we checked in that room was not available and they said he should not have been promised a room. The room we got was okay but the view out of the largest window was of an air conditioning unit that had seen better days. Think that it what that pile of junk was. Anyway, it wasn't the pleasant or romantic view that he had been promised. The bed was not comfortable and neither were the pillows. But the room was pretty and and seemed to be clean. The staff at the front didn't really seem to care that we were disappointed. I heard other guest complaining also and were treated with nonchalance also. We ate breakfast in the restaurant Sunday morning only because we couldn't find any place else to eat. They wanted $5.00 for half a grapefruit and $6.00 for a bowl of oatmeal. Instead of giving us a cozy window view that we asked for and was given to someone right after us, we were crowded in next to another table so we felt like we almost had to whisper to have any privacy. There is a restaurant right by the Lancaster called Pad Thai that was really nice and cozy and had great food. The Lancaster is a charming older hotel which we prefer. I would just like to see the front desk care a little more about making sure the guests are happy with their stay. They seem to be lacking in that area.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MapsR4losers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2010

You know, I've read negative reviews and felt like those people were just looking for stuff to complain about. I never knew that I would have the occasion to write one of those bad reviews. Now is just such the occasion!

I wanted to like this place, but the service kept throwing up road blocks.

They offer fruit and cheese plates, along with other items that should be made available shortly after arrival. Ours was not there until right before we had to leave for the show (it is a Theater district hotel).

When it finally did arrive, the plate was very small. I knew, okay, *knew* that I was paying too much for it, but it is valentine's weekend! So let's remember the fact that the dish was overpriced.

The fruit and cheese tasted fine, but the serving was smaller than a regular sized dish, and was meant for two.

We call down to the desk to ask if the complementary shuttle will take us to a restaurant 2 miles away and they say, "Yes, I think they can do that."

We find out that the complementary car does not do that, and the restaurant is not downtown which was what the car service covered. How are we supposed to know this place was not downtown? We're not from Houston.

Finally, we check out, and it turns out that they are charging us for a 'dinner' rather than the fruit and cheese. I mention this to the front desk- my complaint yielded no sympathy. Remember, how I knew the dish was expensive? The place had the audacity to charge us even more money for the tiny fruit and cheese plate!

The Lancaster does have the advantage of being located in the Theater/Financial district of Houston, which is quite convenient for events in that area. The room slept well. No complaints about room comfort.

However, the service was lacking. The fruit/cheese plate was priced over what was quoted in the email. They could have told us that the car service does not go so far. All they had to do was let us know in advance, and we probably would've had a better experience. Just let us know the deal and we probably would've been happy campers.

Again, I hate writing a negative review about such an apparently interesting hotel, but I felt that our experience warranted this.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank cooljwn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lancaster Hotel

Address: 701 Texas St, Houston, TX 77002-2712
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > Houston > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Houston
#1 Luxury Hotel in Houston
#4 Business Hotel in Houston
#5 Family Hotel in Houston
Price Range: $241 - $386 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Lancaster Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 93
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Recently accepted into the Historic Hotels of America with Stately elegance and Outstanding service in a Historic Downtown location with Luxurious accommodations. These are the hallmarks of The Lancaster hotel. Here at The Lancaster Hotel in Downtown Houston, Texas, classic luxury and a grand tradition of hospitality blend perfectly with modern technology and warm, personalized service. Our stylish boutique hotel combines classic modern design, pampering services, amenities and superior comfort to exceed the expectations of the discriminating business or leisure traveler. The Lancaster is perfectly situated in Houston’s theater district near all the entertainment in downtown Houston, including Houston’s finest culinary, cultural and entertainment destinations. Experience luxurious comfort in our 93 tastefully appointed guest rooms and suites designed with the amenities and ambiance you have come to expect from a luxury boutique hotel. Unwind in the plush comfort of down duvets and feather pillows, Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries, plush bathrobes; complimentary wireless high-speed Internet, complimentary courtesy car service to nearby attractions and businesses and much more. Relax with the knowledge that we are completely at your service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lancaster Hotel Houston
Lancaster Hotel Houston
Lancaster Houston

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