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“Nowt to shout about...”

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The Gainsborough Hotel
Ranked #830 of 1,072 Hotels in London
Reviewed 7 November 2011

This was a Late Rooms booking and therefore a fraction of the full price - just as well! A brilliant location for our do at the V&A but we were a little nervous when even our London cabbie had never heard of the hotel! Perfectly serviceable and fine for a night but The Gainsborough is a rather tired and tatty establishment with something of a cold war feel about the place! Dusty plastic aspidistras and winding corridors with odd half staircases and faded wallpaper leant it an out of season quality, but our room was comfortable, if small and dated. Wild swagging and dim lighting did not disguise the tired decor, but the bed was comfy. Our tiny balcony was out of reach due to a chain on the French windows....probably just as well as we discovered, on going to bed, that directly below the hotel is....A NIGHT CLUB! Not a very relaxing or quiet night's sleep was had. Breakfast was extra and avoided. Most of the staff were Eastern European and were friendly in a low key kind of way. We did get a complimentary cup of tea on arrival. No biscuits though.......

Room Tip: Ask for a window, a bathroom with bath, and avoid 108 as it's opposite the lift and above the ni...
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BarnacleBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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259 - 265 of 461 reviews

Reviewed 7 November 2011

As I was going to a performance at the Royal Albert Hall, I was in a hurry to find an affordable and close hotel that my husband and I could crash in before going home the next morning. I booked our room at the Gainsborough Hotel through Late Rooms for £89. I was quite happy with this, especially considering it was meant to be a four star hotel... And then I read the reviews!

Well, after staying for only one night (on a Saturday), I can safely say that most of my fears were unfounded, and our stay was pleasant, barring a strange wake up call.

Reception was well decorated and we felt very under-dressed in jeans and t-shirts! We were greeted by a friendly woman at the counter who gave me the appropriate paperwork before the manager came and finished checking us in. I have read many things about staff speaking sub-par English, and while it wasn't perfect, I could easily understand what they were saying and so check-in went smoothly. The first lady to greet us showed us to our room which was number 23 in the basement.

I was a bit frightened by the prospect of a basement room, after the reviews I had read; however, we were pleasantly surprised. The room was well decorated, and besides a little peeled wallpaper by the window and some stains on the bathroom floor, it wasn't anything like the horror stories painted by the reviews I had read. The room was situated with its windows facing up into the street. Besides a few loud groups of people who passed while we were resting, the noise level was tolerable.

The strangest thing about our stay happened in the night. I was woken up at around 3:30 in the morning by my husband, who was in a bit of a panic after a loud alarm had woken him up. I had heard it in my dreams and didn't think much of it; however, my husband was deeply disturbed for at least an hour, thinking there might have been a fire or something similar. I should also add that it was about this time that we heard loud music begin to play, as has been mentioned before in many reviews. Perhaps it was because of how close to the street we were, but the music was no where near loud enough to disturb us and so we eventually fell back to sleep.

It is a very convenient location, with the National History Museum within a two minute walk of the hotel. If you can book through a discount travel agent, then I'd recommend it for a convenient alternative to the more expensive hotels around. I would say that for the price we paid at such short notice, we received our money's worth; however, I would definitely go with caution as I'm sure not everyone will be as lucky as we were.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BelindaLocke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2011

this is not a luxury boutique hotel. It is an old tatty two star establishment .The basement standard rooms are dark and really unacceptable. There are many other far superior hotels nearby many of which are actually less expensive

Room Tip: avoid hotel completely
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank shane b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

Thank goodness this was only a one night business trip stay! I would not like to stay here again to be honest. On arrival at the hotel the reception area was very inviting. I was a little early for my check in (12.10pm) check in is from 1.00pm so I took a seat in reception. Despite rooms being ready to occupy I was left to wait there for 50 exact minutes. The receptionist checked her watch at 3 minutes to 1.00pm and would still not give me a room - how ridiculous. At exactly 1.00pm I was checked in and told that I had been up-graded to a "delux" room (this I thought would compensate for my long wait) No help was offered with my baggage either, One entering the room I was almost horrified to see a "delux" room - What a joke!!! Behind the nice reception area lies a very tired & shabby hotel with an un-clean feel. My "delux" room was old, shabby and in much need of redecoration & re-fitting! My window opened to a 6x6ft sunken vent area so the only thing that I could see was vents & pipes & 3 walls. The bathroom was horrid. Loose fittings, old units & shower etc. The "single" bed felt un-clean and every time I moved it squeeked it was that old, no sleep on that night for sure. I didn't even go down for breakfast so I cannot comment on that. I chose to take breakfast elsewere. This hotel is cheap by London prices but at just short of £100 per night excluding breakfast I would at least expect some level of cleanliness & comfort. Will never be returning thats for sure.

Room Tip: Old, shabby & in dire need of refurb
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank welltravelled1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2011

Although this hotel is nothing special there are many far worse options in London and the rate was acceptable. It's located in a quiet street in the pleasant neighbourhood of South Kensington. The room and breakfast were fine.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Viajantes-75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2011

I felt that we were put in the worst room because I had a child. We were put in the far depths of a dark basement room. My child is very quiet and causes less noise than most adults.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with OctopusTravel
1  Thank UkDiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2011

We stayed here for one night with friends. On arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff and complimentary tea, beautifully served in the elegant lounge area of the hotel reception. Our room (2nd floor on the front of the hotel) was pleasant and benefitted from large windows which opened - great if you want fresh air. Beds were comfy with two pillows each and crisp white cotton sheets. Bathroom was spotless with excellent and powerful shower and I liked the little basket with shower gel, shampoo, body lotion etc. There was an air-conditioning unit in the room which unfortunately, only worked intermittently and was rather noisy. Our friends (whose room was on the back of the hotel) could also hear a dull rythmic thud until the early hours from the nighclub nearby, so you might like to invest in earplugs if you are a light sleeper. Hotel is well placed for museums just a few minutes walk away and South Kensington tube station about five minutes. As breakfast was not included in the price, we chose to eat out so unable to comment on the food. Overall, we had a very pleasant stay in this comfortable hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a room as far away as possible from the nearby nightclub.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Northwoodlass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Gainsborough Hotel

Address: 7-11 Queensberry Place | South Kensington, London SW7 2DW, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#398 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range: £92 - £183 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gainsborough Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine an English country home magically whisked to the most exclusive London borough, and you have The Gainsborough. Named after the celebrated artist, The Gainsborough combines the attractive style of bygone days with an easy informality. To stay here is to enjoy London of fashionable South Kensington, Harrods, the restaurants and antique markets, pubs and delightful backwaters of Chelsea and Knightsbridge. You are at the heart of the capital's culture too with great museums - Science, Natural History, the Victoria & Albert - nearby; and for music lovers, the glorious Royal Albert Hall is just minutes away. The well-stocked lounge bar is the spot for a leisurely drink or a snack from the light menu. With 24-hour room service, butlers on immediate call and a reception ever ready to meet your needs, nothing is too much for our attentive staff. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gainsborough Hotel London

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