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“Awful”
Review of The Lancaster

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The Lancaster
Ranked #1 of 511 Hotels in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
Boston
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Awful”
Reviewed March 27, 2007

Stayed here 4 years ago; now it is a total dump. Ripped fabrics in room furniture, torn carpets, mold in shower, stinks everywhere from mildew. Not even a 2 star hotel, obvious they have not put a dime into this place in years. Waited 30 minutes for a $10 pot of tea from room service. Stench is really awful - staff told me it's an old building, so there will be a lot of mildew! I will never stay here again and am really sorry I am here now! Avoid this place even if it's the last hotel room in town!

  • Liked — Not a single thing
  • Disliked — the filthy condition of the property and the pretending that it's a good hotel
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank JMCRutland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chicago
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2007

I have had a terrible experience with the Lancaster's reservation system. I called their number and was assured that I and a business collague would have a room. Then the reservation person called me later in the day to ask what date I needed. After that a person at the hotel desk called me to tell me that they were over-booked on my date and that they would need to send us to the Magnolia instead. Today I called and was told that the Magnolia was also over-booked and was told that they were sending us to the Inn at the Ballpark instead. When I asked what they could do to provide me with some compensation for the experience, I was told that the "next time" I stayed with them I would get a complementary upgrade. Since that is not likely to happen in my lifetime, the offer really amounted to zero. They clearly have serious operations problems. Stay away.

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank ChicagoTraveler41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston Suburb
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2007

We had tickets to a show and decided to stay in town rather than drive home. We had stayed at the Hotel Icon before and loved it but wanted to try a different downtown hotel. There was no bell service at check-in we unloaded our own bags since there is no driveway and we were blocking traffic while waiting. After check in a bellhop appeared with a cart for our one bag. The elevators are small so we had to wait 3 times because there wasn't enough room for the bellhop, the cart, and us - if anyone else needed a ride up. The room was small. There were no drawers to unload our clothes into. The closet was SO small that we couldn't unload our hanging clothes and hang the hanging bag - and this was for a one night stay. The furniture was threadbare, not charming antiques but garage sale castoffs. The bathroom was stark and uncomfortable I didn't like being in it. It didn't look or feel clean. I sent in the comment card but with mildly stated details of my disappointment and no one has ever called to discuss. Also, small uncomfortable bed. No coffee maker in room or morning coffee in lobby. There wasn't a trashcan in the room or bathroom - I had to call to get one brought up and she told me she had to get it from another room (uh- I didn't want to know that!) We paid more to stay here than at the Hotel Icon - please no one else make the same mistake.

  • Liked — within walking distance to concert
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kathy/HoustonSuburb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morristown, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2007

We stopped staying at the Lancaster about 3 years ago because we thought it was getting run-down. This weekend we decided to try the Lancaster again for a weekend stay in the hopes that its owners (the Valencia Group) would have refurbished it. Bad news: they haven't. The upholstery on the couch in our room was stained and ripped, with the stuffing showing; the bed's mattress was lumpy and uncomfortable; the carpet was really grimy; the hallway smelled; the phone handset never worked and never was repaired (though we notified management); and the bathroom sink ran rusty water the first two times we turned it on. The tragedy is that in the mid-1990s, this was a lovely small hotel The hotel has a killer location (which is perfect for travelers who are in Houston for the opera, ballet, symphony or Alley Theater ), a nice staff (who despite failing to fix our phone problem are friendly, caring and attentive) and free wireless Internet access throughout the property. But for their rack room rate, one can do much better in downtown Houston and in locations that are still quite convenient to all the best cultural activities. We won't stay here again until there's evidence that it has been completely renovated and refurbished.

  • Liked — Its perfect location for opera-goers, symphony-goers and theater-goers.
  • Disliked — The sad condition of our room
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MisterTravelFella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2007

This hotel was atrocious. The furniture was stained and worn. The room was dirty and tiny. The telephone did not work, and there was no coffee maker or cd player as advertised. The tv was an antique. The closet was inconveniently located inside the undersized bathroom. Throughout the night, I could hear the flush of toilets in neighboring rooms.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank hbhil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2006

Very, very poor and disappointing. Not a 5 star hotel. Old and worn and tired. Very disappointing that many of the features mentioned in the Expedia advert were simply not in my room. No VCR, no CDS, no coffee maker. Following a late dinner on my evening of arrival, I noticed absence of coffee maker and reception told me that room service would make me one for 'couple of bucks'. A phone call to housekeeping revealed 'a couple of bucks' = $8.34. Having spent over $40 on room service such a large extra charge for a cup of coffee seems kind of excessive. A call to the manager gave me a promise of a coffee maker for the following day. Returning to my room late the following evening, I was pleased to see the promise fulfilled - except there was no tea or coffee! Give me a break, at these sort of prices in Houston I expect better. On a three day business trip staying in an allegedly 5* hotel I don't expect to have to carry my own drinks supplies with me. The following day I returned to my room in the late afternoon to find my door open. No maid or anyone else nearby. Bear in mind no in-room safes, so not a happy discovery.
Lots of potentially nice touches but the establishment can't carry them off. For example, no ice machines, instead ice is delivered to your room during afternoon. Could be nice idea if it had actually arrived. Both days had to ring to have it delivered. For goodness sake, stick an ice machine on the floor and let folk get their own.

Only upside was that the staff working in the hotel were very pleasant and tried to be helpful. Especially, the chaps running the house car and working the door. Thanks, guys.
Lancaster needs some new administration that knows how to run a hotel properly. It's the ambience that's supposed to be 'olde-worlde' not your facilities.

  • Stayed November 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank visitorX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2006

My stay at the Lancaster did not start out too well. When I checked in I was told I had been upgraded to a suite. Great! But when I went to the room it was a smoking room and the smell was very strong. It was a suite so it was a small bedroom and a separate room with a dining table, a bar area with a sink and a fridge, sofa, second tv, etc. If you don't need a separate area I would go for a normal room. My friend had a normal room and it was bigger and seemed nicer. I did not ask to be moved so I don't know how they would have reacted. The room itself has not been updated in a while, the rug was worn out and did not appear to be very clean (maybe because it was a smoking room). The furnishings are very dark: dark green rug, dark green walls, unfortunate curtains which clashed with the unfortunate bed skirt. The bathroom has very low ceilings and the shower head was broken. However, the bed was awesome. Down blanket, awesome down pillows - very very comfortable.

Nice touches include turn down service with chocolate, they place the tv guide on the bed for you and leave a paper outside your door. Nice bath products, live plants. A ton of cable channels, and it does not have that annoying hotel channel - it stays on the chanel you had it when you shut it off (channel 5 tells you what all the stations are). The AC control is old but works awesome. I wanted it cold and it got there very fast. When I turned it up it warmed up fast. Nice robes in closet. They have free car service downtown but when we called to be picked up later from a restaurant not that far away they said the car was on it's way. After waiting 25 minutes we gave up and took a cab.

Negatives are a very sad gym with only one treadmill that is very old. It is a guest room converted. No free coffee set up like other hotels (to find Starbucks, leave hotel, turn left, walk 2 blocks across the street to the Chase building, go in revolving door, down escalator and it's on the right - there is no signage).

In sum, this hotel is very quaint but it shows it's age. (it even has the huge keys that you leave at the desk). The people are extremely nice and very helpful. I would say the service is 5 star but the accomodations are 3-4 stars. I would not stay here again but I am used to new updated hotels and I am admittedly not the type to appreciate the "charm" and "history". Next time I am going to check out the Four Seasons or the Magnolia.

  • Liked — The bed, the people
  • Disliked — Old hotel and you can tell
  • Tips/Secrets — Starbucks in Chase building down the street
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank too-honest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lancaster

Property: The Lancaster
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 Luxury Hotel in Houston
#1 Romantic Hotel in Houston
#4 Business Hotel in Houston
#6 Family Hotel in Houston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Lancaster 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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