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“Nice stay - shame about the bed”
Review of The Old Ship Inn

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The Old Ship Inn
Ranked #143 of 579 London B&B and Inns
Reviewed 15 September 2013

I was a little uneasy about having booked at the Old Ship as, having made my booking, an e-mail I sent asking about booking for dinner went unanswered. However, My initial impressions of the Old Ship, when I arrived in Hackney, were very positive - it's close to Hackney Central station, easy to find, the staff were very friendly when I checked it, and while I quickly found there was no milk with the tea and coffee, and no bag in the bin, staff were happy to provide both when I asked.

The room I had was a single - it was small, but perfectly adequate (although like so many hotel rooms, the wiring is not well thought out. The only power points are at the foot of the bed, so although the tea & coffee making stuff is all laid on on a shelf you have to put the kettle on the floor to boil it, and have similar problems if you want to plug in a phone or other item.)

The complimentary toiletries in the shower room were nicely presented and good quality, and it was very nice to have leaf tea and ground coffee available rather than sachets of instant.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the room rate included a complimentary drink, and was able to book a table for dinner when I checked in so the fact that my e-mail had not received a response didn't cause any problems.

Both beer and, when i came to eat, food, were good (and good value, for London) and although the bar became very busy during the evening , the staff all remained very cheerful, polite and helpful.

Unfortunately I wasn't given any information about when breakfast was served (and no information is available either in the rooms, or on the Inn's website) so I came done too early, but once it was available, breakfast was very good - cereal, fruit and yoghurt, freshly baked bread, and cooked breakfast - sausages, bacon, eggs, mushroom and tomato, although these did not seem to be replenished as they were used, and I am not sure that those coming down a little later got the full selection of hot food.

However, despite all the (very) good points, there was one major problem - the bed was the most uncomfortable one I've (tried to) sleep in for a very long time - the mattress was obviously past it's sell by date as every single spring could be individually felt. Fortunately it was a warm night, so I ended up using the duvet as a mattress topper and sleeping under the throw, instead. The sheet seemed to be directly on top of the mattress with no mattress topper or underblanket, which no doubt made the problem worse.

There was also a lot of noise from rats or pigeons - very disconcerting as it sounded as though there was something scrabbling around under the bed. I think it must have really been in the walls or somewhere, but it was very disconcerting. In the morning when I wanted to check the news I discovered that the remote control for the TV didn't work properly - it turned the TV on, but didn't alter the volume or channel at all , so was a bit of a dead loss.

The Inn is VERY convenient if you are seeing a show at the Hackney Empire, and the Bar and food are great, as are the staff, and I could see this as being a good place to stay if it were not for the bed, but as that's such an essential part of a hotel stay I have to rate it 'Poor' on this occasion.

Unfortunately by the time I went to bed and found how bad the mattress was it was too late to speak to anyone about changing to a different room, so I don't know whether this is a one-off problem (I was in room 7) I wound up only getting about 3 hours sleep.

I'd be happy to eat here, or hang out in the bar, but I'd be reluctant to stay again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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Thank tbagpuss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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88 - 94 of 172 reviews

Reviewed 11 September 2013

We would have given this hotel three stars based on the quality of the room and convenient location but after the experience we have had over the last three months we are loathe to give them even one star. Basically, what happened after checking our credit card statement we realised the hotel had charged us twice. Okay, that is fair enough, we thought, mistakes do happen. We rang the hotel, no problem, this would be refunded. This was in June - now, in September, over three months later, after numerous phone calls, emails, a recorded delivery letter to head office, they have still not refunded us! They have even stopped answering our emails and fob us off when we ring. Absolutely unbelievable!! We have had to pursue the matter through citizens advice, trading standards and our credit card company to try and get a refund. We are busy, hardworking people and this has caused us a lot of unnecessary hassle and stress and expensive phone calls and correspondence. For some people an extra £100 taken incorrectly out of their budget for over three months can be a difficult thing to manage. Our advice is do not stay at this hotel - we certainly won't be doing so again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 123Kath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Another trip back this place never fails, great new british spirits list this time, cows milk vodka who would have thought. I never used the rooms but the new refit looks cool, dig the black and white images of local london.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
Thank josh a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

I stay in London quite a lot and was fortunate to come across this gem via google. £84 for a spacious (for London) double room is certainly impressive. The staff were very friendly and efficient from the moment I checked in...3 hours early but no problem. Food is great and a large selection of drinks are available at the bar. Ideally placed for public transport in to the City-it is no surprise that it recently was awarded 4 stars by 'Enjoy England'. The Old Ship is highly recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Greg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2013

After staying here for a few nights, we couldn't take it any more and went somewhere else. The bedroom was extremely hot, stuffy, noisy, claustrophobic and uncomfortable. The windows are opaque and cannot be opened more than a crack. This was the only time I have ever forfeited £120 for cancelling a stay. Earlier, it had started badly when they told me I couldn't have the room I had booked because it was still being renovated. I later found out that they had actually double booked the room and didn't have the decency to tell me, so they made up the renovation nonsense. That hotel hasn't seen a renovator for decades. To be fair, they did put me in another hotel for that particular night. There were a whole host of other negatives as well, but there isn't much point in describing each one in detail.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank FelixNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DJC2, Manager at The Old Ship Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2013

Dear Felix,
Its shame that you feel we have mislead you in this way. The property was completely refurbished in 2007 and again is, and was during your stay, undergoing a refit.
Regarding the heat, is is unfortunate that you did stay with us during the exceptionally hot and humid few weeks during the recent summer months. Your problem, as with many travelers to London at this time had to experience.
Should you have pointed out your issue to us during your stay we would have worked our hardest to assist you with your issues. This sadly is the first we have heard from you.
Should you wish to contact us to discuss this please feel free so we may prove further to you why we are rated with an excellence award by Trip advisor.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2013

I stayed there for three nights over a weekend and was really impressed.
The staff in particular were terrific. There was a problem with my single room and even though I'm not the complaining kind, I mentioned it to the guy in charge. He moved me without fuss or delay to a better room on the second floor. The TV remote control was missing from this room but one was found for me when I asked about it the next morning. Plus, the free beer on arrival the first night was very welcome.
The room itself was fine. It had everything I needed. The bed was comfy, the bathroom was nice and the shower worked without problems.
I paid a tiny bit extra for the dinner, bed and breakfast option. I'd recommend it. I only ate there for two of the three nights but the food was terrific. The roast baby chicken and all the trimmings I had on the Saturday night was sensational. The only slight downside was the breakfast. It's probably excellent first thing but I went down close to the end of service. The first day the bacon was a long way from crispy and on the third day there was none left at all. Plus, the beans had gone a bit hard left under the hot lights. However, I ate so much of their lovely artisan bread that it wasn't a problem. Their loose tea was lovely too although while topping up on the first day, I forgot to put the wee sieve over the cup and had to try to fish the tea leaves out.
Others have mentioned the tight stairs and creaky floorboards upstairs but, to be honest, it wasn't a problem for me.
I was staying in London for a friend's wedding in Stoke Newington and found the Old Ship by chance. I was glad I did as other pals' hotels weren't as nice or in as good a location. I really liked Hackney and the Old Ship in particular. I'll definitely go back.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank MikeyC78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

I stayed here for a night as part of a party of three in April (one single room and one double). We stumbled upon the hotel whilst looking online for somewhere to stay close to the Hackney Empire Theatre as we were going to a concert there. We got a lovely deal on the rooms, dinner and breakfast.

We arrived somewhere around 2:30pm, check in was nice and efficient and the free drink for each member of our party was very welcome as it was a fairly warm day (which it wasn’t when we left Wales so we were rather overdressed) and we’d had a bit of a frantic dash across London. The bar actually closed for staff training whilst we were sat having our drinks but they were perfectly happy for us to continue to sit in the corner and relax after our journey.

As others have said the stairs aren’t any good for anyone with mobility issues but it’s an old building so what else do you expect?

The rooms were what you expect for London – small but adequate. Let’s face it, how much time do you spend in your room anyway? They were perfectly clean and modern looking. I’ve paid more for bigger rooms that weren’t anywhere near as clean or modern – I’d much rather small and clean.

We ate in the restaurant – the food was lovely and the service was very efficient as they knew we were heading on out to the concert. It was very busy due to the concert and so people were being turned away – including people who were staying at the hotel who hadn’t thought to book a table. I don’t know if it is that busy every night but if there is a concert on at the Empire Theatre you do need to book. There was a good selection for breakfast the following morning.

I only have one negative – the floorboards. I know it’s a very old building but they are a bit of a problem – and I work in an old building myself and we’ve had the floorboards sorted for the same reason. It wasn’t because someone else was keeping me awake but because I was the one making the noise - the ones under my single room were the worst out of our two rooms – I felt awful whenever I moved around even a tiny bit because it made such a massive noise (even when I turned over in bed). I had to be annoying other guests whilst I was getting ready for bed at 1am.

Other than that quibble I can’t recommend this place enough – great value for money with lovely, helpful staff. A hidden gem.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Eirlys2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Old Ship Inn

Address: 2 Sylvester Path | Hackney, London E8 1EN, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > East End / East London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #143 of 579 B&Bs / Inns in London
Price Range: £72 - £115 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Old Ship Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Above is our ten bedroom hotel A stylish British inn set above a pub in East London's trendy Hackney neighbourhood. ROOMS All rooms have free WiFi and are ensuite. There are complimentary tea and coffee making facilities in all rooms. There is also an option to add a cooked breakfast to your stay. Accommodation has 24 hour access with the bar opening until 1am on weekends. Downstairs you can grab 241 burgers on Mondays and Tuesdays and we have an excellent range of craft beers and ales. TRANSPORTATION Getting here couldn't be easier with Hackney Central a 2 minute walk away. From there, you can catch trains to Stratford (Westfield shopping centre) and Dalston Kingsland in around 10 minutes. If you want to venture further into Central London you can do so by heading to Highbury & Islington to switch on to the Victoria Line which goes straight into Soho. Alternatively, you can hop on the 55 bus to Oxford Circus via Shoreditch. London Fields station is also around a 5 minute walk away and takes you straight into Liverpool Street (The City). AROUND US Daytime The ongoing developments in Hackney Walk provides the opportunity to visit a number of designer outlets less than 5 minutes walk away. Shops that can be found there include Burberry, Nike, Aquascutum & Pringle with many more on the way. Locally, there is an abundance of small shops and restaurants all within short walking distance — in particular we recommend heading to Broadway Market, which has a varied selection of boutique cafes, restaurants, pubs/bars, as well as the renowned Food market on Saturdays. Take a picturesque stroll through London Fields Park on your way to this local gem. If your stay falls on a Sunday morning there is also the ever-popular Columbia Road flower market. Here you can find a global range of flowers and plants as well as vintage shops for furniture and clothes. Fancy a stroll through one of London's biggest Park? Head further East towards Victoria Park and enjoy a picturesque stroll. Here you can rent pedalos and there's plenty of room for sports activities. The area also hosts the annual Lovebox, Field Day and Citadel music festivals in the summer and Winterville in the months leading up to Christmas. Nightlife Looking for a lively late night bar, trendy speakeasy or perhaps you want to experience a club until the early hours? East London nightlife can cater for all needs. Hackney contains a number of venues with DJs and live music running in to the early hours. Dalston has a larger selection of restaurants, bars and clubs and is a quick 10 minute train journey, or 15 minutes on the bus. Bethnal Green Road (train and bus, 15min), Shoreditch/Old Street (train, 20min; bus, 25min) and Angel (train, 30min; bus, 40min) all have a great selection of pubs, eateries and vibrant nightlife on offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Old Ship Hotel London

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