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“Don't stay here”
Review of Janet Poole House

Janet Poole House
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Janet Poole House
Ranked #482 of 571 London B&B and Inns
Reviewed 14 September 2010

We needed a place near to UCL on Gower St. London and the pics looked fine so we made a booking through Acorn Estates on the web page. We were not told until after we booked that we would have to walk for 10 minutes from their office (that's where the keys are kept) to the actual building on Gower St. This wasn't good after a long flight as all we wanted to do was rest. We took our cases and walked there only to find a very tatty and unkempt place. The wallpaper was peeling off, the carpets on the staircase were old and shabby and the lock on our door looked as though it had been broken and fixed quickly. The air con had been on and dripped onto the carpet soaking one side of the room. The shower was not working properly and we almost burnt ourselves as it went form boiling to cold on its own. There was no toaster in the kitchenette area and the blinds and windows were falling to bits. The studio room we were givem had a good size bed in it but it wa a very small space and we had to step over our suitcases to get to the door. Due to a confusion of dates we ended up paying for 3 nights when we only stayed for two. We would not recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank teresalegg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 - 24 of 26 reviews

Reviewed 16 August 2010

These efficiency apartments were provided by an NYU program. I was pleased with the central location and privacy they afforded. The bathroom and kitchenette were remarkably and reassuringly clean, despite the general run-down feeling of the building.

Unfortunately my room was quite small and smelled of pickle juice. I made the mistaken assumption that all the rooms would be similar. I saw others and they were much nicer. So my advice would be to make an advance request for a large room with some separation between the bed and kitchenette (I believe 10 and 27 were bigger and did not smell, though they may have had their own drawbacks). Don't settle for a lesser room like I did.

I had a maintenance request (to fix the shower, which was too hot) and that was taken care of immediately. My linens and towels were changed thrice in 2 weeks, which worked fine for me. I hand washed my clothes in lieu of using the provided laundry machines, but did use the ironing room in the bowels of the building once.

Another issue was the mattress, which felt like a bed of springs. Sensitive sleepers may want to bring a pad for the bed. Finally, be prepared to climb stairs, which can be troublesome if you have limited mobility or heavy luggage.

  • Stayed: August 2010
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1  Thank privacyplease2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2010

Stayed here for a week with a large group of students. Service is nonexistent. They only provide you with linens and towels. No cleaning service. But for the price - cannot beat it considering the location, size of the room, full kitchen, and the level of privacy.

  • Stayed: March 2010
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Thank stanberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2010

Rented a ground floor studio apartment for a long weekend. On the plus side the location of the apartment is great, but that's really its only redeeming feature.
The apartment was clean but very basic. Don't believe the soft focus photos on acorns website, there was nothing 'home from home' about the room we stayed in. Although huge, the room had no sofa, no curtains (just useless panels either side of the window), broken blinds and windows that didn't shut and were taped semi closed with gaffa tape. Being on the ground floor this meant we spent most of the nights awake, the room lit by street lamps, listening to the cars, buses and people passing by. The room was filled with the smell of other people's cooking and strangely the hot water had a sweet, pungent and unpleasant smell which transferred to us when we had a shower and crockery when we washed up.
A horrible experience, especially with children.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank ESLIA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2009

Trying to tighten our belts with our budget, we decided we would treat ourselves to a weekend in London. We decided to go for an apartment instead of a hotel so that we could save money by making our own breakfast (and sandwiches for lunch!) so we could splurge a bit for dinner. So, we picked up our keys, grabbed some supplies from the shops (cereal, eggs, bacon etc) and off we went to the Janet Poole House. The building is a lovely old townhouse from the front and inside it looks cosy and inviting. Our apartment was on the second floor and there isn't a lift so perhaps for people that cant handle stairs easily you should ask for a low floor. We found the apartment had lovely high ceilings, a kitchen which was separated from the bedroom area with a divider and there was a table and chairs there too. It was all a fairly basic standard but very clean and tidy and so all we needed for our weekend, as we didn't spend much time in the room. There is loads to see and do in the area; we walked to the British Museum and could easily have walked to Covent Garden, only we hopped on a bus as we saw one coming. We went out in the West End for dinner one night and when we returned to our apartment quite late at night we felt it was a safe area, so would definitely recommend these apartments and we would book them again, as we paid no more than the price of a hotel room but did then save money by self-catering, which also made us feel a bit like we were 'living' in London. We got talking to some Canadian people that were also staying in the same building who were travelling around England and going to a concert in town that night and they had stayed at the apartments before when they came to England a few years ago, so they must be alright!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mamma_Zed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2009

My wife and I have been staying at the JPH for several months. When we first booked our stay, it seemed like a good deal to find something in Zone 1, centrally located, furnished, that was available for a four month stay. My how we were wrong. First of all, when we picked up the keys the lady was rude and sullen to say the least. Eager to start our trip we brushed it off- at least until we got to the apartment. The building itself is shabby (think old dirty carpet, smelly hallways, drafts, dust everywhere) and the doors, floors, ceilings, and windows are not soundproofed at all. Thus, if someone is staying next to you, you hear everything going on in their life (repeat experience for the creaking of floorboards or the sound of the numerous undergraduate college students who stay there screaming in the downstairs room or in the "courtyard" (which is more of a dark alleyway). Moving on, the heater has stopped working 5 seperate times. I say seperate becuase each time was punctuated by no less than a week,and sometimes up to a month with NO HEAT. This of course was blamed on the availability of an "engineer" to deal with the complex machinery that is a heater. After threatening a ton we finally got a space heater that shorted out every other hour (this is all during the biggest snowstorm london had faced in years). Moving on to the blinds, or a lack thereof. About a month ago the blinds in the windows simply snapped off and fell down when my wife was opening them one morning. After calling maintenance, they promised new blinds...in ONE WEEK. How it takes that long to buy the cheapest available blinds on the market in one of the world's largest cities is beyond me. However, after waiting one week they came back, only to say that the blinds were the wrong size and that they would order them AGAIN. Fast forward THREE more weeks and we are still living in a place with no blinds. We reverted to pinning up a sheet. Next, the phone line has not worked since we arrived. We have reported this and been told that the line would be checked, which it hasen't, resulting in us having to use cell-phones for communication at our own expense. On to the cleanliness- the apartment was pretty clean on our arrival- saving of course the dust covering all of the walls in clumps. However, each week there is a "cleaning" that is supposed to occur. This entails several sullen women coming at whenever time they please, and if you happen to be in the room at the time they refuse to come back stating, in broken english that they havent got the time (this happens every week, even though we hear them laughing and talking on their cellphones for the rest of the day- see above comments one soundproofing). And if you finally do get your place cleaned by the grace of god, then expect rudimentary wiping of surfaces, leaving all dust in place. Also, the windows to our ground floor room did not even have locks on them, even though anyone could have easily reached over and opened them (after another week wait this too was sorted out). Finally, to add insult to injury, we furnished a credit card number to them (after strict assurances that the number would be destroyed after use) to secure the booking by paying half off in advance. After about a week of being here, despite having paid for 2 months of accomodations, we went to use that card only to have it declined. Lo and behold, they had charged another 2 months of accomodations on our card without our permission, putting us over the limit and necessitating several frantic and costly calls to the US credit card company. When we tried repeatedly to contact JPH regarding this unauthorized transaction and requesting a refund, we were given the usual response- that is NO ANSWER AT ALL. Yes, thats right- in the face of criminal allegations of credit card fraud they would not even return phone calls or e-mails. So, in short if you want to pay the equivalent of $600+ dollars a week to be inconvenienced, unsafe, angry, uncomfortable, cheated, and ignored then this is your place.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank climber04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2008

I stayed at Janet Poole House for three weeks in November and December 2008. It was in a great location, on Gower Street, walking distance to Soho, the West End, Trafalgar Square and most of central London.

Overall, the room was small, but clean, comfortable and warm (I could control my own thermostat, which was great given the time of year). I was on my own in a small studio. They said it was suitable for 1-2 people, but I imagine that it soon would have started to feel very small for two. However, based on my last visit to London, it was actually comparable to the hotel room my boyfriend and I shared then - so perhaps small rooms are just the norm in London.

The studio featured a double bed (two singles pushed together), a kitchenette (with stove, oven, microwave, sink, fridge, kettle, utensils), private bathroom (shower stall, no bath) and satellite television. They cleaned the room once per week, changing the sheets and providing fresh towels.

For my purposes, this studio was ideal. At the price - approx. 80GBP per night - it was a better deal than a hotel and the kitchen meant that I didn't have to eat out, which also helped to save money.

It's worth noting that many of the rooms are rented to students. While I was there, the students were just leaving for the semester, so it was actually very quiet, but before they left there was some noise in the halls near the shared kitchens and bathrooms, and you could hear some noise through the walls - though it's not as if you don't hear noise in a hotel.

Also, because it's not a hotel it doesn't offer some basic amenities. There is no soap or shampoo in the bathroom, no kleenex and the telephones don't work for outgoing phone calls without a calling card. Also, although the kitchen is fully equipped they didn't provide paper towels or dish soap. On the plus side, it does have laundry facilities in the basement, so once you have detergent you can do laundry free of charge.

The building has no lifts, and my room was on the 4th floor which meant climbing quite a few stairs, but it wasn't a problem. The room also had quite low ceilings, so for a tall person it may not have worked. Rooms on lower floors seem to have higher ceilings based on the ceiling heights in the halls.

I booked this studio directly through Acorn, the property management company that owns this property as well as several others. I had seen a few comments about Janet Poole House posted on the Trip Advisor forum and based on that decided to take a chance on them. (Note: some people on the forum commented that the beds were lumpy but mine wasn't). Everything worked fine in terms of the key pick up and drop off and overall the people at Acorn were very pleasant to deal with for making the arrangements.

I would definitely stay at Janet Poole House again and recommend it to friends and family. It's basic but good value and the location is ideal.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled solo
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Thank seas2see
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Janet Poole House

Address: Mansion Bloomsbury House 105 Gower Street, London WC1E 6AA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Hotel Style:
Ranked #482 of 571 B&Bs / Inns in London
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Janet Poole House Hotel London

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