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“Reality check is in order - this is not the real deal!”
Review of Hotel 41

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Hotel 41
Ranked #1 of 1,063 Hotels in London
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Reality check is in order - this is not the real deal!”
Reviewed 21 May 2012

When you’re top of the pile on a global site like Trip Advisor, you get the privilege of charging premium rates on the basis that people will be willing to pay more for the perception of a superior offering. That weight of expectation can be a burden and may result in far more thorough analysis than would otherwise be necessary. In other words, discerning travellers will expect you to deliver.

The overwhelmingly positive reviews persuaded me to stay here for 3 nights. For just about £400 per night, I was paying the same that could have got me into the Ritz, Savoy, Langham or Claridges. Was it going to be worth it and what would the experience be like?

First Impressions: There is no entrance area or lobby. In fact there is nothing but a passage to a lift which takes you up to the 5th floor. There you are met by very charming staff, like Frederic and Monica, who take care of the formalities of checking you in. The lounge area includes the check-in desk area. It is cosy but small and therefore not very private.

The Rooms: I had booked a split level Junior Suite. I got into this room and immediately had a sense of disappointment:
1. The lower level was very small with a desk area, Nesprssso machine, 2 tub chairs facing the entrance and a TV/bar cabinet. The problem was that the space was so tight that the tub chairs could not actually face the TV, so was angled. I could see no possible reason why anyone would spend time in this lower level, save for a businessman perhaps, who needed to work at a desk while his wife was sleeping. Its utility has been poorly thought out.
2. Upstairs, the sleeping area was over furnished, taking up all the space. Yet another desk could be found. The TV was on a cabinet which was simply too big for that area. I could not believe that so much of useful space could be taken up by this unnecessarily large cabinet.
3. The TVs, both downstairs and upstairs were too small for a suite and seemed quite outdated. In this day, anything less than a HDTV with a minimum screen size of 40 inches is unworthy of a top hotel, let alone a premium suite.
4. The bed and bedding was of great quality. However, the foot of the bed 4 poster bed was very loose and looked like it was about to fall over at any moment.
5. Dark wood furnishing is a risk in any establishment because there is a high maintenance obligation. It is either going to look immaculate or it is going to look bad. Here, the marks and scuffs were visible and I would have to say it did not look like a 5 star presentation.
6. The bathroom was exceptionally large, with a Jacuzzi and I found this to be the best feature of this particular suite.

Anyway, on emerging from my room, which happened to be right next to the lounge area, I was asked by Frederic how I found the room. I mentioned that I was not a fan of this split level as I did not believe it worked. He immediately asked for some time and then got back to me saying that he had found me an alternative, which would only be available the next day. Long story short, the staff took my comments (which were really a matter of fact observation rather than a complaint) seriously and offered me an alternative suite, which at that time turned out to be the Master Suite. This was again a split level, but a lot bigger. It has this incredible glass conservatory style ceiling which could be quite a unique feature in any room, giving you some unusual options for daytime or night time enjoyment. In this suite, I again found the lower level furnishing to be poorly thought out. The entrance area is dominated by a large square table, so large that you could barely walk around it. There is a TV and drinks cabinet downstairs but with little thought given to how a guest might choose to spend a few moments of relaxation down there. I mean you have a TV, you have a drinks cabinet yet if you wanted to have a drink and watch TV, you couldn’t really do it in comfort, let alone in the manner one accustomed to luxury would expect. A smaller round table plus a couch and ottoman might be a far superior arrangement. Again, a poorly thought out layout. Upstairs, in spite of the space, there is no full length mirror. The couch in front of the bed didn’t quite work, having a high back which negatively altered the perception of the space. I had to conclude that overall the place lacked design integrity - it looked like a collection of random furniture as opposed to the meticulous attention to function and detail at a place like the Savoy. The bathroom in this suite is very large and totally satisfying, with a superb Jacuzzi.

With regards to the day to day amenities, I found the snacks on offer after 8pm a good gesture. If you were out very late, you would find the entrance locked and you had to go through the Rubens hotel to get in. If you had any really late night requests, you were not likely to find anyone to satisfy them – the place is deserted and inhospitable after 0100. My requested newspaper only arrived one day out of 3. Basic useful amenities like the shoe shine were not diligently replaced and had to be requested. As it has this awkward 5th floor layout, on my final day, I advised the doorman that I was expecting an airport limo whilst I waited upstairs. Half an hour overdue, I had to frantically call to find out why it had not arrived. It turns out that it was waiting for me downstairs for 45 minutes – the doorman had simply not spotted it, even though it had a sign on the window!

My impression at the end of it all was that this hotel does not deserve to be rated at number 1. Quite frankly, it should not even be in the top 10 – not at the prices it charges. The top level staff are exceptionally attentive and I found Frederic to be extremely personable and pleasant. If you stripped this out, however, the place itself simply would not rate alongside London’s grander and swankier establishments. Physically and aesthetically it is very, very ordinary. Quite frankly, I’m not even sure it can be called a hotel, lacking as it does a lobby to define its ambience & character. There are also no bars, restaurants, spa etc. It looked and felt like a superb bed and breakfast albeit one that was charging 5 star hotel rates. My conclusion is that Trip Advisor reviewers must be swayed by the top level service and in doing so are forgiving of the physical shortcomings of the place. However, if your circumstances do not call for exceptionally attentive service, you would be justified in wondering what on earth the fuss is all about, particularly if your entry rate would get you into far grander establishments like the Savoy, One Aldwych, Claridges, the Langham or even St Ermins.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
19 Thank Max2502
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalcolmHendry, General Manager at Hotel 41, responded to this review, 24 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post your review of 41 on Tripadvisor. I am most grateful for your feedback, which is such a valuable source of information for me, regardless of whether it is good or bad, and helps me monitor the service we provide.

I really am very sorry that you did not enjoy your most recent stay with us and that you found the boutique character of 41 and the experience it provides not to be to your liking. It is true that 41 by nature differs in some ways from many of the much larger more established 5 star hotels in London, some of which you did mention in your review. At 41 we and many of our regular guests feel this to be one of the charms of 41 and our ability to provide something very unique in the London 5 star marketplace has won us many fans and regular guests over the years that 41 has opened its doors as a hotel.

Please be assured that I have taken on board your service comments and preferences and reviewed each point with my team, looking to find any experience improvements wherever possible.

Thank you for recognising the positive features in our split level suites, but I am sorry that some of their layouts were not to your liking. I am sure that you would have preferred to experience one of our suites that are offered on one level rather than being split level. We find it a positive to be able to offer both as a choice, as many guests do have a preference for either one type or the other.
I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed and were impressed by Frederic and his team, many of whom have been with us for some time. Their passion to deliver above and beyond and to exceed guest expectations at every encounter is what we pride ourselves on and what makes an experience at 41 as memorable as many others on this site and others have described it to be.

Thank you for being our guest and for taking the time to post this review of your stay.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Hendry
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2012

We have just returned from our second stay at 41. Everything about the hotel is absolutely perfect. I almost don't want to give them another good review as it'll be impossible to get reservations if everybody finds out how fabulous this place is!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Megan396
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2012

believe all the good reviews! Stayed here for our wedding anniversary and were completely blown away by the service, luxury and location.
Frederik and all the staff were beyond brilliant. Cannot think of anything that would improve this hotel apart from the few things I mentioned to Frederik which were rectified immidiately.
I you want something special, this is the place to go!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank 4181jay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2012

Another lovely stay at 41, and this time we were on a tight schedule. We were guests at a formal occasion nearby, during which there was an interlude. 41 is for residents only, but we had asked if we could invite our hosts to visit us briefly and privately in our suite for refreshments as this was a special day. We arranged for champagne, fruit and snacks to be left in our suite for our mid-event half hour. When we arrived, the whole suite had been serviced, although we were checking out that day, so our friends were able to freshen up in a gleaming bathroom free of our used towels and soap and without passing a rumpled bed. The requested refreshments were beautifully presented (berries of superb quality alongside the famous home- toasted nuts) in the downstairs sitting area, and the chairs pre-arranged for a gathering of four. After 30 mins, we had to leave promptly for the remaining time at our event. Following a lovely experience, we bade farewell to our hosts, and walked back to 41 for the second time. The room had been tidied again, and the debris removed. We were able to freshen up and change for travel in the privacy of our suite prior to checking out. All the arrangements we asked for, and more, were carried out with the style, attentive care and genuine interest in our enjoyment that we have come to expect from the team at 41. This is a boutique 5* and as such, promises the best. We have consistently found that whatever we ask of 41, they deliver, and the team is pro-active in offering alternatives and extra measure. Our friends said at the time, and have followed it up in a letter to us, how much the immaculately-managed interval contributed to the enjoyment of the morning. 41's relaxed private club atmosphere suits our style and we return time and again with confidence.

Room Tip: Discuss your requirements for a suitable room with reception staff by telephone or email.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Baggysmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2012

This place is ranked #1 in London on TripAdvisor for good reason - I've never felt more welcome at a hotel. The accommodations, service, food and staff were impeccable. Every details is well thought out, from the champagne reception to the late-night snack bar. I highly recommend this beautiful hotel for any special occasion.

Room Tip: There is just one floor - I don't see how you can go wrong.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank kellykellykelly43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chappaqua, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2012

Frederic Dallot, resident manager and his assistant Monica are the dynamic duo! Their attention to detail and friendly caring attitude made our stay at 41 memorable. Their level of service is exemplary. Having stayed at some of the finest hotels in the world, we can say with confidence that you can not be treated better anywhere. The rooms are charming and romantic; we celebrated our 40th anniversary in style. Next year, we plan on celebrating our 41st at 41.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank richardhk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hastings, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2012

My husband and I enjoyed yet another stay at 41. Frederic and his staff go to great lenghts to ensure that everything is perfect.
Do try the romantic turndown and the Butlers pantry.

Room Tip: King rooms very spacious with wonderful bathrooms.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Deborah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel 41

Property: Hotel 41
Address: 41 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0PS, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Westminster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in London
#1 Romantic Hotel in London
#1 Family Hotel in London
#6 Business Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel 41 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury hotel with club like atmosphere & 21st century business technology; near Buckingham Palace & Westend theatre. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
41 Hotel London

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