Cozy and efficient Victorian space, inside and outside my room. It might get a bit unventilated and sticky in a heat wave, but it's fine in late winter. I still remember the red tullip stained glass pattern in the one window in the room (excluding the one in the shower). The location is perfect--reasonably central and you can easily walk to Chelsea, Golborne Road, Gloucester Road, Earl's Court, and simply stumble into Kensington Gardens or Portobello Road.
The moment I entered the reception area inside a building 'supported' by scaffolding around the 'HOTEL' sign I had a bad feeling about this. The plastic card key with the room number taped on it only confirmed it's going to be a very interesting night...
My room was in the basement. To get there, I had to crawl through paper rolls, bedsheets and towels that the cleaning staff left in those super narrow corridors, probably to be taken away at a later stage.
The room was tiny but clean. I'd say if you're only after a place to sleep, it's probably ok. Well, provided you're not as tall as I am. The 'door' (more like a wall opening) was so low I hit my head several times.
As a means of heating, there was this electric oil heater in the room. Unplugged. With outside temperatures around freezing this was a very unpleasant surprise.
A friend of mine, who travelled with me, had a double room on the fourth floor. Just to climb the steep stairs almost killed him. The stains on curtains and some unidentifiable stuff on the walls made him real worried too...
The fact that I could hear some spanish girl talking behind my window (which was located just at the emergency exit of the hotel was something I couldn't cope with. She kept waking me up until about 4am...
Quite honestly, I am not sure how this hotel got such high rating on Venere.com (where I booked the room).
Before I criticize it, let me admit that there are some good, "larger scale" points about this hotel. Location close to the tube. Nice selection of restaurants in the area. Close to the city center. Affordable, modern and chic.
Now to the less glamorous details. My boyfriend and I fondly referred to our room here as the "love shack", since the room is just a bed and minimal space to walk around it. At least they put effort into the bed; it was soft and had nice sheets, but everything else about the place wasn't so great. Firstly, getting into the room with luggage requires expert maneuvers to get past the two doors and into the room itself. I suppose this provides added privacy and noise buffering from the corridor, but it can be inconvenient, even without luggage. It'd be better to knock down the walls and extend the front desk/morning breakfast area, but maybe the night staff enjoys overhearing the nookie that is the likely purpose of this room.
Next, the shower. Awkward shower knob and door placement made it impossible for me to turn on the water without getting my arm wet with cold water. It was one of those that rains down on you from above, so I couldnt turn the head away from me. Luckily I was planning to wash my hair too. If I hadn't been there was no shower cap to prevent my hair from getting wet. At least they provide a hair dryer as compensation. Once I finished bathing I couldn't get out of the shower. There wasn't really a handle and I couldn't pull in hard enough. After some slippery struggles I escaped, unharmed.
After breakfast in an equally cramped breakfast area, we asked to leave our luggage at the hotel for a few more hours and noticed other pieces of luggage loitering in the corridor. We were told it'd cost 5 pounds to let them sit there amongst the others. If there's going to be a charge, at least have a proper luggage room!
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