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A Sampling of London Hotels – Part 2

April 19, 2012

My review of London Hotels continues ….

Kensington Gardens Hotel

Ooops, stayed a bit too cheap on this one as well. The hotel is similar in condition to the Wigmore Court so nothing special to write about there.

The Kensington Gardens is owned by the same people who own the neighbouring Phoenix, which means that costs are cut by sharing services. I didn’t particularly mind this to be honest and it wasn’t much of an inconvenience. When going out in the evening, keys had to be left and collected next door and a buzzer on the door enabled the Phoenix reception to let you in. Leave before 9am and you need to leave the keys with the Phoenix reception as well.

The room, like the Wigmore, was functional but not special and the shower was the worst one yet with practically no worthwhile pressure at all. Lack of a mixer tap was disappointing, but at least there was no issue with having no hot water.

Breakfast is served at the Phoenix as well. This week I avoided cooked English and stayed with the supplied continental, which meant lots of fruit and Alpen were consumed. Sadly, the coffee was the bitter poor standard I’ve become accustomed to. The last morning I was a little later than usual (blame an evening out the night before) and found the breakfast room full of people. So full I had to wait a few moments for a table to be made up. The room was so stuffy and the continental buffet so depleted that I gave up and had a latte and toasted sandwich at my desk instead.

Kensington House Hotel

Hurrah! Money well spent at last.

A small mishap with my booking meant I was assigned a single room rather than the booked double. However, a quick word with reception and the booked double was confirmed and a new room assigned; all is sorted pleasantly and without fuss.

The hotel seems to have several sets of stairs to choose from when navigating between floors and it’s easy to imagine kids having a good fun time exploring. It all adds to the impression of a very charming place to stay.

The room was a wonderful sight, especially after the Hotels of the last three weeks. A scented freshener in the wall socket made itself known very obviously upon walking in. The room is neat, well furnished, and clean and is more than worth the small nightly increase in price compared with past weeks. There was a minor inconvenience regarding the bed, my particular room had a high windows to wall space ratio which meant the bad, by necessity, had to be under a window. Combine that with a low headboard and it makes leaning against the headboard to read or use a laptop uncomfortable and a sore neck soon makes itself known. I fully expect that not all rooms here suffer the same way. Its far more likely to be related to the shape and location of my room, which is at the front of the hotel.

No restaurant though, only breakfast is served so it’s out onto the London streets to find somewhere again. As always, this is not hard as there is plenty of choice nearby and the Kensington House Hotel is very well located, being close to the main road than runs alongside Hyde Park.

Of the Hotels stayed in so far, this is the one I would most happily return to; and a few weeks later I did just that. The second stay being just as enjoyable as the first, it was also nice to be welcomed back.

Maranton House Hotel

Another building with features that reminded me of the Wigmore of a few weeks ago.

Lots of stairs and yes I was on the top floor again. The staircase is wide with a deep pile carpet and wasn’t unpleasant to climb. The building itself is in good condition and in a reasonable location.

My top floor room was modestly and sparsely decorated, with a decent bed. The big surprise however, was the size of the onsuite, it was huge and tiled floor to ceiling with a drain hole in the middle and bidet (yes really) in the corner. I can probably count on one hand how many of these I’ve seen in my life. It was quite a surreal moment.

The shower was utterly pathetic though. It struggled to provide a decent flow of water and getting it at a nice temperature was almost as hard. Shame really as with all that space a properly decent shower would easily fit.

The biggest disappointment however was the breakfast; quite simply the worst breakfast so far. So bad that I declined to take it again after the first morning and instead opted for a coffee and pastry on the way to the office.

Mabledon Court Hotel

London does seem to be utterly packed with 3 and 4 storey hotels offering medium priced accommodation in an acceptable environment. They are all very similar in the sense that the buildings are tall and narrow, with only a few rooms on each floor. Many lack a lift. Décor is typically okay but in need to touching up.

Mable Court, like several others I’ve reviewed in in this series, is just such an Hotel. There is a lift at the Mabledon, through it’s a double sliding manual door operation; which means fingers need to be watched, especially with the inner scissor door.

With this hotel, I’d left my booking too late and so I was unable to get a double room within a decent distance of my place of work and even with the Mabledon, the distance was too far to walk each day. So I suffered with my first single bed and sequence of tube journeys.

The room was comfortable enough, but small. The shower was very small and it was disappointing to find that the showerhead was actually lower than the top of my head. This made showering awkward; but at least there was no shortage of hot water.

Cooked breakfast was included in the price and cooked fresh; it tasted great and my egg yolks were runny, so no disappointment there. The rest of the breakfast buffet was basic so not up to the standard of other hotels; but for the price this worked; I shan’t be going back though.

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