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“Very Disappointig Hotel”

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Strand Palace Hotel
Ranked #390 of 1,088 Hotels in London
GreenLeadersGold level
Prestwick, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very Disappointig Hotel”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2010

I had booked this hotel as it is very central in London. Unfortunately, it was otherwise very disappointing. There is no air conditioning in bedrooms which makes the room stifling-the bedroom was basic and bathroom was mouldy and not cleaned to a high standard. Our first night was a nightmare as there were road works throughout the night. I would not stay in this hotel again or recommend it.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank helendurks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2010

My husband and I stayed in a Club King room at the Strand Palace for five nights in late May 2010. We generally try to avoid large generic hotels, but our trip to London was rather last-minute, and the smaller hotels/inns within our planned budget and top choice locations did not have any rooms available. In retrospect, we probably would have preferred to spend a bit more to stay at a more charming property, but the Strand Palace was ultimately acceptable for our needs.

I booked our room online directly through the hotel because we wanted an uncomplicated cancellation process if the still-sputtering Iceland volcano impacted our travel plans. Our flight was not due to arrive at LHR until 8:30 pm, so I emailed the hotel the week prior to our arrival to notify them that we would not be checking in until approximately 11 pm. I received a confirmatory response indicating that a Club King room would be held for us.

The hotel is very well-located for inexpensive access from LHR. We took the Piccadilly line to Leicester Square (no train changes required) and then walked an easy 0.4 miles to the hotel. As it was a Saturday night, the tube and streets were absolutely packed with people, but the streets between the station and the hotel were still navigable with luggage.

We entered the hotel lobby and were immediately struck by worn carpets and the smell of stale cigarette smoke. There was no line at check-in, and we confirmed with the reception staff that the room on the second floor to which we were assigned was a Club King. Upon reaching our room, however, we found two twin beds separated by a table and promptly dragged our luggage back down to reception.

The staff member we’d checked in with kept insisting that the room was in fact a Club King (I did present a copy of my reservation as well as my communication with the hotel confirming the category of room I had reserved). We asked to speak with a manager and were told there were none available given that it was late. The staff member continued with his insistence for quite some time that this was a Club King room and then suggested we just push the beds together. We asked that housekeeping address this since there was a table between the beds (that appeared to be attached to the wall when we’d briefly been inside the room) and since we didn’t want to try to make twin bed linens somehow work for this. We were assured this would be done in 5-10 minutes and directed to wait in the lobby. I won’t go into all the gory details, but the reception staff member was clearly unable to reach anyone by phone and then forgot about us. We repeatedly had to return to the desk to remind him we were waiting, and it took a full hour before we were told the room was ready. Never once did he apologize to us; he was the most unpleasant hotel staff member we’ve ever encountered in all of our travels.

We never did determine if the room was actually a Club King, but we didn’t want to deal with relocating. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the room. The bed, desk area, and sitting area (with two chairs) by no means filled the room, and we had plenty of space to spread out. There were virtually no drawers, but the closet was a good size and included numerous shelves and a safe that accommodated several cameras and a netbook without difficulty. The bathroom was also not terribly cramped, and the ledge running along the wall provided good space for toiletries. European-scale hotel rooms don’t bother us since we use hotel rooms solely for sleeping and are otherwise out exploring, but it was a bit of a luxury to have more space than anticipated since we were staying for five nights. The bed was quite comfortable. Décor was vaguely modern (though blah), and our room was clean. Tap water was some of the most disgusting I’ve ever tasted, but the complimentary bottled water in the rooms wasn’t much better.

We had a problem with our shower drain (it drained so slowly that water occasionally overflowed onto the bathroom floor), but we never bothered to take the time to report this until checking out because we didn’t want to waste vacation time waiting in the lines we found at reception every time we happened to actually be in the hotel – there seemed to be a lot of large groups checking in and out whenever we passed through the lobby. Lighting over the bathroom mirror was poor, so those who care about this kind of thing might want to consider bringing a small light of their own. We did not purchase in-room internet access, but those in club rooms can ask at the club desk for a free code for 30 minutes of access in the lobby (the code does not work in the rooms).

Our room was in the interior of the building, with the opaque bedroom and bathroom windows facing open HVAC space running up through the center of the building. During our stay, London experienced unusually warm weather (reaching into the upper 80s/lower 90s F). Our bedroom windows and one bathroom window did open (although the latter was actually STUCK open despite a sign saying it was never to be opened), and the hotel provided a small fan; with this arrangement, we were only mildly uncomfortable without air conditioning. However, it did get a fair amount cooler during the night still, so I’m not sure the room temperature would have been tolerable during more traditional summer heat, when it stays hotter overnight. The interior room location combined with the fan’s background noise made for peaceful sleep – light sleepers like me might want to request an interior room if the weather is warm enough that the windows will need to be open.

We chose this hotel because it had the most central location relative to a map we created marking all of the sites we wanted to see. It proved to be somewhat convenient to be near an array of restaurants and some key tube stations - including Charing Cross rail station to obtain the “paper” tickets necessary for the 2-for-1 TravelCard deals - but London is so spread out that we nonetheless spent endless amounts of time walking (e.g., to Globe Theatre, Tower of London, Harrods, Russell Square, etc.) and occasionally using the tube (e.g., to Notting Hill and Regent’s Open Air Theatre) to reach desired sites. We realized this would have been the case no matter where we stayed. So for those considering this hotel solely for its location, the location didn’t prove to be as special as it seemed when looking at a city map, unless you’re attending a lot of shows nearby. We would’ve been just as happy staying anywhere on the Piccadilly line for easy LHR access (especially since we also returned to the airport mid-trip to rent a car for a day).

Ultimately, it was a bit frustrating to pay 150 pounds per night for someplace so mediocre and characterless, but the Strand seemed representative of what we would have encountered at other London establishments in this price range (aside from the smaller inns that unfortunately had no vacancies for our dates). The Strand Palace front desk staff, however, would definitely benefit from some customer service training.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank EricaLynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
France
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2010

The hotel was very clean, staff all very helpful, brilliant location, good overall value for money , but on a very hot week in July, having no air-conditioning was unbearable. I asked to be moved or upgraded, but was told that none of the rooms have air-conditioning, and on the 7th floor, the windows only opened a crack and even though they supplied a fan, it was still BOILING. We stayed 2 nights, but had I booked for longer, I would seriously have considered changing hotels; we were red in the face and sweaty 10 minutes after a shower, before going out. The communal areas were much cooler, but the room was awful. We woke up with headaches both mornings.

  • Stayed July 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank catwoman59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2010

Had booked a Club Room and having seen the photos on the web thought it would be ok.
The room was clean, but was tiny and had no air conditioning albeit there was a fan.
Would only stay here again if for one night and not in the summer.
On the upside the hotel is in a great loctaion for Central London

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NewcastleTraveller67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2010

This hotel has all the basics right: it's clean, our room was spacious, the staff were friendly(especially the concierge desk) and everything simply functioned. Our room wasn't air-conditioned, but we were provided with a little fan that gave some relief to the heat. The front desk manager was also very understanding when our check-out was delayed(he kindly held the room for us for an additional six hours). The only real down-side was that everything cost. A map of the city or adapter for you phone battery charger usually come with the room, but not at the Strand. Also, the WiFi at the hotel didn't function with Apple-products. I would still warmly recommend this hotel. Oh, and the location is excellent.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Saranna00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2010

This hotel has very small rooms . My friends that live in London stopped in and even they thought it was small . I stayed in 2 different rooms on the same trip and both were tiny. I was a single traveler so the bed was a single. Not super comfy but I slept ok. The sheets were a bit rough.

The walls are very thin and you can hear the people next to you- especially (as was the case on one night) they are ... being very vocal about enjoying themselves.At 1 am. In fact an elderly couple were so upset the left their room complaining they wouldn't stay with THAT going on.

It feels more like you are in a room in someone's house as opposed to a hotel.

The windows are a bit drafty and you can hear the noise on the busy streets but that doesn't seem uncommon in older British hotels. the rooms are heated by radiators and in my first room they placed a desk in front so the desk was warm but the room was ice.

If you can get a discount to stay here it is a decent choice. No frills but a fair hotel. I would not stay here at the full asking price though.

The one thing it had going for it was location. So many wonderful things within walking distance. Easy to get to the tube station and that line goes straight to heathrow so for convenience and location alone I recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank knitkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
moonrakerproud
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2010

We recently stayed at The Strand Palace in late July 2010.We had to book somewhere to stay last minute.We made a reservation,and caught the train from Bath to Paddington.Easy tube from Paddington,take the northern line to Charing Cross.Found the hotel easy,went to check in to find our reservation had'nt actually been taken!The staff though were excellent in finding us another room at short notice.We paid £160 for the night.We were quite surprised to find the room was very small,I guess for the price we were expecting it to be more spacious!However this hotel is in a fantastic location,and most of the londlon attractions are within easy walking distance.The room was very clean,and had a nice bathroom.The bed was very comfortable,although as our room was facing the road,the windows had no double glazing so was fairly noisy during the night.We popped into the Mask Bar(within the hotel)for a quick drink,and was horrified to be charged nearly £20 for 2 drinks!!!Much cheaper elsewhere!The breakfast was really nice,plenty of everything,with excellent service.The staff in all were fantastic and friendly.On leaving for Paddington to get the train home we caught the Number 15 bus,£2 each single fare which dropped us right outside the train station.Great trip too through Regent Street,Picadilly circus,Oxford Street ect.In all a great stay and we would probably consider staying in this hotel again.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank moonrakerproud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Strand Palace Hotel

Property: Strand Palace Hotel
Address: 372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Covent Garden
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#13 Green Hotel in London
#232 Family Hotel in London
#261 Romantic Hotel in London
#274 Luxury Hotel in London
#347 Business Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Strand Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 785
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic four star Strand Palace Hotel stands with true grandeur in the heart of London's West End, on the doorstep of Covent Garden, Soho and Leicester Square. Since opening its doors in 1909, the hotel has remained a landmark in the area. With 785 guest rooms ranging from Cosy singles to larger Executive rooms, complimentary WiFi throughout, a well equipped gym, two restaurants, a destination Gin bar, a sports bar and a vast meeting space the hotel is ideal for business and leisure travellers alike. Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Embankment underground stations are also within easy reach as well as main line over ground train stations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Strand Palace Hotel London
Hotel Strand Palace
Strand Palace London
Strand Hotel London

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