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“Good staff, small rooms”
Review of Dukes Hotel

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Dukes Hotel
Ranked #135 of 1,072 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 January 2014

It's tough to be too critical of a hotel that actually delivered to our room a cake on the eve of my birthday. But if you think this hotel is worthy of five stars, I would respectfully suggest that you don't get out enough. Dukes has been called by some reviewers the best hotel in London. I don't agree, but it’s not that they don't try. We checked into what we thought was a superior room...it was tiny. Within two minutes, the phone rang and the manager asked if all was well with the room...it's a bit small, we said, do you have anything larger? Let me see, madam, was the reply, but we did already automatically upgrade you on a complimentary basis by one category, (which I had not asked them to do, but I hate to think what the smaller room looked like.) So for an additional 150 pounds a night, bringing our tariff to about 510 pounds per night, we were upgraded to a junior suite, which was STILL small. Worse, it looked into the office block across the way...it was so close, I could almost read what the workers keyed in on their computer screens. I figured if we could see them, they could see us, so we kept our curtains closed most of the time. The twin beds in the room, which had been pushed together to form a king, were reasonably comfortable...except for the ridge down the middle where the two beds were joined. The bathroom had no electric sockets (that I could find) for a hair dryer. The bathroom was fairly tight...you could not sit on the loo with the door open, not that you should anyway, I suppose. The wifi was the most annoying aspect...it took a number of steps to log in every time we used it, which they blamed on UK law, but it was a mystery to us, as we used wifi easily everywhere in London but here.

Now for the property at large. It's fine. It's clean. It's quaint. The public spaces are really not great and the “garden” is silly. All are scaled for very little people. The Friday night we tried to have drinks in the tiny, overly warm bar, it was jammed with locals, and the head waiter directed us to sit in an empty salon elsewhere in the hotel where it took 20 minutes to get drinks. Three of us had sparkling water and one had wine...not very exciting, but the bill presented for my signature was 55 pounds, obviously a mistake that I had to rectify. Mistakes happen, but sloppiness like that was not an exception. An outside caller was told twice that we weren't registered. We were handed the wrong room key, which we discovered only when we got upstairs when we could not use it in the lock in our door. The old-fashioned elevator didn't work very well...if the gate wasn't firmly closed, it didn't move, so to summon it the staff had to run to another floor to firmly close the gate and send it on its way. We were never told at check-in that breakfast was included in our rate, so we ate in twice and then ate out. The local map created and provided by the hotel was actually inaccurate (one of the Japanese restaurants was in the wrong place on the map), resulting in some difficulties in finding our restaurant, which was a terrible choice anyway—it was an expensive version of a Benihana.

All this being said, there were also efforts quite worthy of praise at Dukes. Front desk staff was always polite and greeted us by name. Doormen were always willing to get us a taxi when we needed one. Desk staff knew when we were departing and had a checklist of things to ask us...from wake-up calls to a time for the taxi to the airport. They never missed a wake-up call. Housekeeping was excellent. Staff was always very quick to answer a request for ice. The concierge patiently tried to accommodate our multiple requests for assistance...he was not very successful, but in all fairness, we left our own planning too late. The health club was adequate.

To be honest, I am not fond of these little London hotels (the Egerton is an exception) that are like rabbit warrens...narrow little hallways leading to tiny rooms. Some people like the charm factor. I just find them uncomfortable. I didn’t do my research carefully enough, so I take the blame on that count. Most of my negative comments have to do with the property. The staff members really had their hearts in the right place.

In closing, lest you think that the tariff for such an experience is high at 510 pounds a night...which, with the exchange rate, is pricy...it was, on a comparative basis, a pretty good deal. We checked the rack rates at some other local hotels in St James and Mayfair, and Dukes was the best rate of them all for a room of this size. So if you like the incredibly convenient location, a tiny/small hotel doesn't bother you, you like sometimes flawed personal attention, and you don't want to spend a fortune, Dukes might work well for you. I don’t think we would stay there, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank Lucinda00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debrah_Dhugga, General Manager at Dukes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2014

Thank you for taking your time to share your recent experience of DUKES LONDON. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the location, small personal touches provided to you during your stay and the excellent personalised service provided by our team.

I was highly disappointed to hear that you were not pleased with your room, view and facilities offered. As we are a Small Boutique hotel and a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World we endeavour to keep our guests happy. I understand the fact that perhaps Small Boutique hotels such as Dukes Hotel and some of our neighbours are not to your liking. We do however have a variety of different room types and styles from Dukes Rooms through to our Penthouse, traditional through to contemporary. Perhaps on a future stay you would prefer our Penthouse or Deluxe Suites which range from 60 – 72 metres squared. Concerning our complimentary internet service regarding the password it is a safety protocol introduced in order to ensure compliance with UK law. I have discussed your requests with our Concierge department and I have been informed that the only requests they were unable to fulfil were tickets to The Duchess of Malfi which had a high demand over the period of time you were staying with us but we understand that you mentioned more of your plans could have been done in advance so we are grateful for your understanding and are sorry. In reference to the bar it is highly popular however we do endeavour to seat as many of our guests as possible with little delay.

As a direct result of your comments our Operations Manager, Emilie Polastron, emiliepolastron@dukeshotel.com, would really like to discuss your experience with you and rectify any issues you may still have. If you could please provide us with a telephone number and we will be in touch.

Kind Regards

Debrah Dhugga
General Manager

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946 - 952 of 1,467 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2014

This Hotel is now the only one we would stay in, when in London.
We have stayed in small luxury hotels before and we loved it here, you really feel at home but totally looked after by the wonderful staff.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Clive A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debrah_Dhugga, General Manager at Dukes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2014

Thank you very much. We always aim to provide a home from home for all of our guests and to exceed expectations. We are all delighted to hear that we succeeded! I look forward to welcoming you back to DUKES LONDON in the near future.

Warmest Regards,

Debrah Dhugga
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2014

My husband and I stayed at Dukes Hotel for five days Dec. 29, 2013 - Jan. 3, 2014. We thoroughly enjoyed everything about the hotel. The room was very comfortable and attractive, and the public rooms are especially charming. The service was especially outstanding and personalized. The staff all remembered us each time we saw them and made it a priority to make us feel like special guests. We also enjoyed the pleasant location in Mayfair which allowed us to get to many of the sites, restaurants, theatres, and shops either by walking or through easy access to buses or the underground.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank JaneFL2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debrah_Dhugga, General Manager at Dukes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 January 2014

Thank for you taking the time to share your views. It’s lovely to hear the team looked after you so well. Their dedication to you, the guest, makes me extremely proud to be part of such a wonderful team. I look forward to welcoming you back to Dukes London in the near future.

Kind Regards,

Debrah Dhugga
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2013

Having lived in England for three years and travelled the USA for more than 20 years there is one thing that still annoys me in the anglo-american world like on the very first day: the omni-present noise of electrical fans in hotels. You cannot find a room in urban surroundings that is not polluted with the shrieking, humming, throbbing and rattling sound of air conditioning devices and other gadgets of this kind. The Dukes, alas, is no exception. We first had been assigned a room that made my noise-sensitive ears cringe and beg for mercy - and the wonderful staff found me (at midnight!) a room more to my liking (not as quiet as you would expect on the European mainland, but for anglo-american standards it was quite ok). Apart from this hiccup (and I hope it is obvious by now that I might be more noise-conscious than most of my fellow travellers) the Dukes is a superb place to stay. Perfect location, immaculately clean rooms and the most pleasant and helpful members of staff you could think of. If you want to stay in London, try the Dukes!

Room Tip: Do not stay in room 302, if you don't like the noise from fans. Room 505 and 305 are not as nois...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank anwalt1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debrah_Dhugga, General Manager at Dukes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2014

Thank you for taking you time to provide your feedback regarding our lovely boutique hotel.
I was pleased to hear that the Front Desk Staff have looked after you so well and once you mentioned that you had a sensitivity to noise the team managed to allocate you a quieter room with less electrical noise.

I was thrilled to read that the staff had looked after you so well, you loved the location, superb housekeeping team and lovely rooms. .

We look forward to welcoming you back to DUKES LONDON in the future.

Kind Regards

Debrah Dhugga
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2013

My husband and I have stayed at Dukes 3 years in a row when visiting London and we are always impressed by the lovely quiet ambiance combined with the upmarket hotel experience. It's in a great location in Mayfair with brilliant shopping and restaurants all close by. Tucked out of the way behind St James Palace it's no wonder it's a favourite haunt of celebrities wanting privacy and luxury without all the show and pomp. The beds are comfortable and we usually stay in a suite which has heaps of room. The room service food is not the greatest but that would be our only complaint. The concierge staff are able to get the best theatre tickets at the drop of a hat, and all the staff are polite, courteous, attentive and make us very welcome. It's so nice to have excellent British hospitality and service, and to be made to feel very special indeed! Love the bar! It's cosy and the martini making is a delight to watch.

Room Tip: The suites are the best and try to get one overlooking the courtyard.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Michele S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debrah_Dhugga, General Manager at Dukes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 December 2013

Thank for you taking the time to share your views. It’s lovely to hear the team looked after you so well. Their dedication to you, the guest, makes me extremely proud to be part of such a wonderful team. I look forward to welcoming you back to Dukes London in the near future.

Warmest Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2013

I recently visited the Dukes Hotel for pre-dinner drinks with some London based friends. Having been to the hotel a number of months ago and been disappointed with the service we received in the bar, I thought things would have improved. Sadly they have not. The hotel is small as is the bar and quite naturally there tables reserved for hotel guests; I have no problem at all with this. What annoyed me again was the way the staff treat non-guests - with distain rather than a pleasant welcome. It costs nothing to be nice to someone and treat they well given drinks are upwards of £15 a piece. Sadly my love affair with the Dukes Hotel is well and truly over which is a great shame as the main reason for going - the drinks - are great!!

Room Tip: Let me k ow if you find a better place for a seriously good Martini in London as there has to be som...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Brock B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debrah_Dhugga, General Manager at Dukes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 December 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience with us at DUKES LONDON. I am glad to hear that you enjoy our superbly made martini’s at the bar and the atmosphere at DUKES LONDON.

However myself and my Bar Manager Alessandro Palazzi were all disappointed to learn that you were not satisfied with the service in the bar as we aim to provide a friendly, personalised service for all of our guests throughout the year ensuring we do all in our power to give our guests an experience that is enjoyable, we can sometimes become very busy as the bar is small and we ask our guests to wait for an available table. We do hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back on your next visit to LONDON.

We thank you sincerely for your comments.

Debrah Dhugga
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

Our Christmas cocktails & canapés evening was held as a surprise for our staff at the wonderful Dukes Hotel. Debrah Dhugga could not have done more to make us all feel welcome and Alessandro made us all fabulous cocktails. A genuinely wonderful experience that I'd recommend to anyone.

Room Tip: Room rating are not applicable as we didn't stay at the hotel on this occasion.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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Thank donna l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debrah_Dhugga, General Manager at Dukes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2013

Thank you for such a lovely post. It is fantastic to hear that you had such a special and memorable time with us. Our team here at Dukes London is so pleased with your comments and support. We look forward to welcoming you back to Dukes London in the near future.

Warmest regards,

Debrah Dhugga
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dukes Hotel

Address: 35 St. James's Place, London SW1A 1NY, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > St. James's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Spa Hotel in London
#96 Romantic Hotel in London
#109 Family Hotel in London
#115 Luxury Hotel in London
#134 Business Hotel in London
Price Range: £270 - £528 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Dukes Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Awarded “Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel” and the “World’s Leading Classic Boutique Hotel”, DUKES LONDON is a hidden gem in the heart of St. James Mayfair, where quintessential British charm and the finest luxury mix together to create a timeless atmosphere. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dukes Hotel London

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