“Room 314. The new Room 101!”
I had liked this hotel in it's previous incarnation, The McCausland, and was really looking forward to our stay on a Sunday night, (10th June 2012). Malmaison came highly recommended and had won Hotel of the Year 2008 to boot, so it is hardly surprising that our expectations were high.
Unfortunately, Malmaison proved to be that which is all too familiar these days, the greatly anticipated, but terribly disappointing meal, in a beautiful restaurant. And Malmaison IS a lovely hotel; dark and sexy and Gothic-chic.
The receptionist was pleasant enough if a little taciturn. We enquired about an upgrade but were told flatly: 'Afraid not. None available'. Fair enough, but say it with a smile next time.
The room we did get, 314, was compact, stylish, and very clean. However, it was too small to command the £100+ charge that you might expect to pay on a Saturday night.
That said, for a small room, it was well equipped with a rich-sounding CD-Radio system, and decent TV. Malmaison trusts it's guests enough to stock a mini-bar and leave a well-stocked snack basket. However, with a standard packet of Tayto Cheese and Onion Crisps costing £1.50, it must also trust heavily in the proposition that: 'A fool and his money are easily parted'. Disgraceful!
Malmaison is in a great location, although parking isn't ideal. The lane in front of the hotel is a bus lane, so don't think about double-parking for set-down or drop-off. The bus drivers seem to be very protective of their lane and will urge you back into the one-way system with great vigour.
Once you've found a place to park, you'll find that Malmaison affords easy access to the coolest parts of the city on foot.
Back to the room that night, and it was a little warm. After showering, it was stuffy and uncomfortably hot. There was a fan to blow the hot air around, and someone helpful at reception suggested turning off the radiator! On a still night, opening the window a couple of inches wasn't going to provide much relief, but what it did do was permit a heavy and acrid smell which pervaded the room and kept us company all night. The beer and the heat sent me off to sleep eventually. Not so my wife, who didn't sleep...AT ALL!!
I had to go down early in the morning to put more coins in the parking meter and quickly discovered that Room 314 faces onto the street above the bay where the hotel refuse bins are kept. Hence the disgusting smell wafting into our room all night.
We mentioned the heat to our serious receptionist at check-out: 'Oh yes! We're getting that complaint. Next time, ask for one of our portable air-con units'.
How about letting everyone, including all the staff, know that you have them? We might never have opened the window, and our much-anticipated stay might not have been ruined by the heat and the awful stench of garbage.
We can't speak for other rooms in different parts of the hotel; and there's no question that Malmaison has a reputation for being a great hotel but...too much apathy and not enough smiles.
We were expecting a warm embrace from this gorgeous actress. What we got was a hot, foul-smelling belch!
Avoid rooms overlooking Marlborough Street where the garbage is handled.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC