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A Sampling of London Hotels – Part 3

April 24, 2012

My review of London Hotels continues ….

Reem Crystal Hotel

Yet another four floor hotel with averagely clean rooms and averagely clean hotel lobby and stairs.

Do you get the impression that hotels are starting to blur into a single barely acceptable entity? It feels like it to me at the moment.

The room itself was reasonable, with a comfortable bed. The shower was a major disappointment; water barely dribbled out of it and the knobs were very difficult to turn once wet, or handles with wet hands. This combined to give a very poor shower experience.

Breakfast was decent enough and cooked to order, so at least it was hot. The fruit juice has suffered from a surfeit of ice and tasted watered down. The coffee was also poor; though being served with a small jug of warm milk made this hotel unique. Fresh fruit at the buffet was a choice of one, a very poor show there.

The Commodore Hotel

Hurrah! A quality hotel!

The Commodore sits very close to Kensington Park and the Diana Memorial Playground. This is a beautiful part of London and walking through the park to and from the Hotel each day was a genuine pleasure. Especially with the glorious weather experienced that week.

The hotel is very smart and everywhere looks well cleaned and cared for. My room was a generously sized double room with a wonderful dinner plate sized shower head in the shower. I would enjoy my showers that week.

The lift is a tad pokey and the suggestion of four occupants max is a little ambitious. Getting to my fifth floor room was a bit of an adventure too, it meant getting the lift to the sixth floor and then walking along a corridor and back down a flight of stairs. I guess this is what happens when several adjacent buildings are merged into a single hotel.

I decided against full English breakfast and had the included continental each day instead. There was nothing special about it, it wasn’t bad and it served its purpose, but it wasn’t great. The jugs of fresh fruit juice did look enormous and some guests seemed to struggle a little to lift them one handed. The fruit on offer was the usual, citrus, soft and prune, which has got quite boring now. I do wish hotels would offer a wider selection. One nice touch is that there is a toaster in the corner and customers are invited to toast their own bread as they want it. This makes a nice change from having toast triangles delivered to the table, most of which get consumed cold, if they get consumed at all.

All in, this is a place I would return to.

The Gainsborough Hotel

Another decent hotel, clean and well looked after.

The double bed was comfortable, though the room was not quite as large as I had in the Commodore. The shower was over a bath, not always a bad thing as many people do prefer a bath. Many of the past hotels have only offered a shower cubicle. The shower gave great pressure and getting it to a good temperature was also very easy, so no complaints there at all.

Continental breakfast was what I have come to expect. A small selection of fruit juices, cereals, tinned fruit and yoghurt, bread and bakery tit bits, and cheese and sliced meats. The Gainsborough makes a unique offering with some herb infused betters. Cold meat and cheese slices doesn’t inspire me for breakfast, so sampling the butters wasn’t a priority. What did please me was the peanut butter on offer, peanut butter with jam on toast, yum!

English breakfast was cooked to order and while welcome and pleasant, was certainly not the best I’ve had. The poached egg looked like it had been done in swirling water, rather than the cheats way of in a small dish; the yolk was bright yellow and runny so top marks for the egg anyway. The leaf of salad sitting under the cooked tomato made the breakfast dish unique, but did look a little surreal and I’d have rather done without it.

This is another place worth returning too.

Hotel 82

A fancy name for a bland hotel, the 82 comes from the address number. The hotel is best described as functional rather than comfortable.

The room had few comforts and looked tired. The carpet could have done with being replaced and the paint and cupboards needed refreshing too. By contrast the utilities in the bathroom had been chosen as to impress. They were expensive and quality items. The shower was a very fancy multi head unit that looked out of place with the  rest of the room. Sadly there simply wasn’t enough water pressure to enjoy the shower to its greatest potential. Another failing in the bathroom was the sink plug; the first morning I suffered from water continually draining around the plug. The second morning extra pressure applied to the plug meant I was unable to release it again and left the room with the sink still containing my shaving water. Lovely.

Breakfast was poor. It wasn’t clear if there was any cooked option available and I didn’t ask, I simply made do with what was there. The fruit juice jug dribbled on the table and floor, one to be replaced I think. It wasn’t all bad though, in addition to cold sliced meat and cheese, there was also salmon available, yum!

Coffee was a surprise; when it arrived the look and taste made me think it was from a Nespresso machine. When the next guests arrived for breakfast the tell-tale sound of a Nespresso machine whirring in the background confirmed my suspicion.

 

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