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.
- 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