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“Extremely Disappointed”
Review of Hotel 41

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Hotel 41
Ranked #1 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Reviewed 28 March 2014

Re: Hotel 41, 41 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1WOPS.
My wife and I stayed in “Hotel 41” for three nights in January 2014
I purposely booked Trip Advisor’s No.1 Luxury 5 Star Hotel in London. We had previously stayed in the No. 4 rated hotel, the Corinthia, which was excellent but as this was a special occasion I thought I would go better and go to the best – how disappointing.
In no way does this hotel live up to the standard of a 5 star hotel. My wife described it as a luxury
B &B and we are dumbfounded as to how it achieved its rating from Trip Advisor as being the No. 1, 5 star luxury hotel in London.
Here are our comments:-
If this is the best 5 star Luxury Hotel in London it must cast a shadow on all other 5 star hotels in the city. Our experience of the 41 would lead us to question all of Trip Advisors Ratings and how they are computed. We would also question the standards necessary to obtain a 5 star hotel rating.
In our opinion this is simply not a 5 star hotel. That said we would not in any way fault the staff who were exemplary.
We also note that the Red Carnation Group has managed to obtain the 1st, 2nd and 3rd rating on Trip Advisor for luxury hotels in London. Can this be correct? Have other hotels noting to say as to how the ratings are computed.
The Hotel is actually the 5th Floor of the Rubens Hotel as we discovered by taking the wrong lift and arriving in the reception area of the Reubens. Why the owners wish the 41 to be billed as a separate hotel from the Rubens we do not understand.
Arrival & Location
We arrived at London City Airport and our taxi driver had never heard of the hotel. However when we finally located the hotel and my wife saw the unimposing entrance her heart sank – a side entrance to Rubens Hotel!
During our stay we always had to ask our Taxi driver to take us to the Rubens as they had no knowledge of Hotel 41.
The small entrance had a desk and armchair – we then had to walk a short corridor and up 4 steps to take a lift to the 5th Floor as this, as was explained to us, was the hotel. In our opinion no possibility for wheelchair access.
On the 5th Floor we exited on to a number of corridors passing 12 doors and turning 4 corridors before arriving at the Executive Lounge which was describe by the staff as “the heart of the hotel”
This executive lounge was impressively and comfortably furnished in mahogany, heavy drapes and customised furniture with a lighting gas fire.
This lounge served so many purposes -- it was the main business area for check in, restaurant, lounge and snack room. Unfortunately there was little privacy here when dealing with the staff, either from the point of view of seeking advice, checking-in or checking out etc. --- the business of guests could be heard by all – “Would you like champagne, did you enjoy the show, was the Restaurant satisfactory etc.”?
It reminded my wife of our kitchen at home or maybe even a train station. Indeed the lounge also served as the main restaurant. There appeared to be no other restaurant in the “hotel” as this was where breakfast was served.
Our room – The Executive King Room
Small, overcrowded with furniture but no wardrobe space. Even for a short stay we could barely fit our clothes in the wardrobe; it had a hanging rail a metre long. We had to squash our clothes together and we were only there for 3 nights. The length of the hanging space was too short for my wife’s coat.
In spite of this the room contained a large desk, a central table with 4 chairs, a side table with 2 chairs, a 6ft bed with side cabinets – all of this but no adequate wardrobe space.
The Bathroom
Also on the very small scale for a 5 star hotel. It had a shower cum bath, a small hand basin and no bidet.
Both bedroom and bathroom were laden with toiletries, sets of slippers, beautiful gowns, umbrellas, shoe shine ,fresh fruit basket,, water rose petals, candles etc.
Because of our special occasion we asked to be recommended to a restaurant of Michelin star quality. The restaurant recommended was certainly not of that standard and disappointingly we left, luckily to be accommodated in Scotts.
Through reception we booked tickets for Billy Elliot and were surprised to learn that each £65 ticket cost a £19 booking fee. The Theatre was far from full and our row of seats was completely empty.
The Staff
We felt that the staff were so anxious to please in any way but because of the position of the Customers desk in the executive Lounge it was not comfortable to make any negative comments as they could be overhear by any other guests.
We felt truly deceived by this Hotels 5 star luxury rating and cannot understand how it was rated as the No. 1 trip advisor Luxury Hotel.

All in all, a most disappointing stay in London which up to now has always been so enjoyable.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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65  Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalcolmHendry, General Manager at Hotel 41, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2014

I was really sorry to read of your disappointment following your stay with us and am especially sorry not to have known of the elements of disappointment during your time with us.

Being a smaller Boutique hotel, 41 is very different in its style to that of the larger mentioned hotel that you previously stayed at. Since opening as a hotel in 1999, we have found that many of our guests have enjoyed our style of property and service levels that we are able to provide as a result many of which have shared their positive experiences and recommendations with others on Tripadvisor. We do share the same building with The Rubens Hotel, as we do with a number of the properties, but as 41 Buckingham Palace Road, we are actually next door to The Rubens (number 39). Being on the top floor of the building, however, I can understand why this may be the impression that you were given.

I think your expectations of a larger hotel may have added to your disappointment and in reading your reference to your previous larger hotel stay, this being your hotel preference, the size of 41 may have counted against us. None the less, I am sorry that 41 was not a match.

I was really pleased to read your praise of our staff here and enjoyed knowing that you were well looked after over the 3 days of your stay.

Once again, my sincere apologies for your disappointment and hope that your next visit to London finds a more satisfying experience.

Kind Regards

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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Reviewed 28 March 2014

Let me start by saying we normally stay in 5 star hotels. We have stayed at the Ritz, Mandarin and many other high end 5 star hotels around the world.

This was without a doubt the best.

The hotel itself only has 29 rooms/suites. There is a lovely reading room you walk into, this is the place you dine and sit while you wait for your room.

Upon checking in we where presented with four different choices of champagne. Not just the cheap stuff either. We had a choice from 4 great brands. We both opted for the Veuve clique (one of our favourites). Two large glasses of free champagne later we were lead to our room.

The room itself was lovely large, spacious. Great views.

The room itself had sky TV in, this is a first for any hotel we have stayed in.

The shower was nothing short of incredible. A great power shower.
The bed was the most comfortable and largest bed we have ever experienced. Compare this to the bed we had at the Mandarin, which was like sleeping on a hard wood floor!

The staff are some of the nicest staff we have ever experienced. They know you on a first name basis, always there having unforced natural conversations with the guests.

The breakfasts are brilliant. We were presented with a menu with over 10 major choices. The first morning I opted for the cooked breakfast, second morning the eggs benedict. Everything cooked perfectly. Pair this with the continental breakfast bar that has a wide choice of things from Yogurts, cereals, different meats (parma ham, smoked salmon etc).

They have an area in the reading room where you can help yourself to free treats throughout your stay, including sweets, ice cream and many other canapes. This is a great touch. Normally for this type of service we would have to pay a lot more to go club level.

We got a deal including two nights in an upgraded room, breakfast and a romantic turn down service (including chocolate covered strawberry, chocolates, bottle of Louis Rodera champagne) for £700. We stayed in an upgraded room at the mandarin, without breakfast and that cost us £640 for one night! so this is by far a bargain in comparison. We will never stay anywhere in London again, this place cannot be beaten in our opinion. The little touches are the things that count and really make an experience memorable.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank serial45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2014

Certainly the best choice in London. Excellent location, near some of the most attractive points. The best of all is a higher level of service from the hotel management and staff. I had the great pleasure of staying at the Hotel 41 and would recommend it to anyone without reservation.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank almf06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2014

Perfect and very comfortable exclusive hotel.
Loads of freebies, one needn't venture out really.
Will stay longer next time.
No grumbles what so ever.
Highly recommended.
Some rooms are better than others.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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2  Thank MahoganyPole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

What a top notch hotel. I am not even done with our stay and am compelled to write a review based on the level of service from the hotel management and staff.

When we arrived we were greeted and given champagne. After all the paperwork we were shown around the hotel and went to our room. When we arrived there were a few issues with the room (TV didn't work properly, shower handle broke, and the toilette made a lot of noise). We brought it to managements attention and they took care of it the next morning while we were out.

Once we got back everything was fixed. In addition, we were given an upgraded room with complimentary champagne. Based on our current experiences I would give six out of five stars.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2014

I had the great pleasure of staying at the Hotel 41 for a short 3 day holiday with my husband to celebrate my 35th birthday. I have stayed at some beautiful hotels around the world, including in London, but there was something special about Hotel 41.

The hotel is very small - just one floor - but it feels very exclusive and private feel. The main lounge/library is absolutely gorgeous, and is the center of activity at the hotel -- it's where you check in, have breakfast, and can lounge around with a drink or cup of tea after a day of sightseeing. It has a lovely fireplace, and my only complaint about my visit was that every time I went to the lounge, the spots next to the fireplace were always taken! It's the kind of space you don't want to leave.

The rooms are gorgeously appointed. Our bedroom was very quaint with a small gas fireplace, and an extremely luxurious bed. I slept better at the Hotel 41 than I had slept in years.

What makes the hotel unique from other beautiful hotels is the level of personalized service. By the time you leave, it feels like you are friends with every member on the staff. The staff are always helpful and attentive, but not in a way that invades your privacy. As some of the other reviews have noted, the phone in the room has a "Whatever, Whenever" button and it is truly that - no request is too large or too small.

I give my highest praise to this hotel and would recommend it to anyone without reservation.

Room Tip: Executive King Room with Fireplace
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Kavi1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Recently spent 4 nights in London at Hotel 41. This is the best kept secret in London. It is a great location within walking distance of many attractions. The service from the moment we walked in the door was nothing short of superb. The amenities and service of a 5 star hotel with the cozy feel and intimacy of a B&B is the best way I can describe the experience. We will definitely stay here on our next visit to London.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Sean G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel 41

Address: 41 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0PS, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Westminster
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in London
#1 Luxury Hotel in London
#1 Romantic Hotel in London
#6 Business Hotel in London
Price Range: £319 - £976 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
41 Hotel London

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