The hotel is a charming attractive building in an excellent location immediately behind The Wallace Collection and only a short brisk walk to St. Christopher's Place and Oxford Street, with many restaurants and all necessary amenities within a few paces from the door.
My first impression of the hotel was very favourable. On the ground floor there is a cosy little bar, shame that on the two occasions I went in it was staffed by someone so unfriendly and aloof. The lounge is pretty and bright as are all the other public areas and the restaurant looked lovely though I didn't dine there.
When I booked on the hotel website breakfast was not offered, and it transpires it is only available a la carte, but on looking at the menu I decided not to eat there because the prices were so ludicrous: £4.50 for a pot of tea. £3.95 for a croissant, about £4 for a portion of toast etc.
My heart sank on being shown to my room however. Dark and dismal with dreadful dated decor, it is in need of refurbishment, though I was told at one point that it had been refurbished, surely not!
The windows were so badly insulated that I slept badly due to the cold wind blowing through directly onto my bed. There was no curtain to keep out the draughts, only a fiddly blind and the heating was not switched on despite it being particularly chilly weather. After the second night of discomfort I asked the kindly concierge, Clive, if it was possible to have a heater in my room, whereupon he immediately enquired at reception if there was an alternative room available. I was duly moved upstairs and honestly felt as if I had been moved to another hotel! The bright, attractive room with marble bathroom was so superior to my previous one, though the furniture still looked as if it had seen better days. I felt quite annoyed about it, my stay could have been so much more enjoyable had I been in this room all along and why put a guest in such a poor room when you have better available? Best not to use such rooms as they deter repeat visits.
There are, unusually for Britain, no tea making facilities in the rooms, thankfully thanks to you dear people on Trip Advisor I was aware of this before my visit so took a travel kettle and tea bags with me! Seems a tad ridiculous to need to do that though when paying the best part of £200 per night!
As a guest at Durrants one only deals with the concierge and bell boys once checked in, the reception staff remain firmly behind a glass partition and only re-appear to take your money at the end of your stay.
Overall I would say I enjoyed returning to the hotel each day, the public areas are very lovely but I would feel hesitant about booking again incase I was unlucky with the room allocated. Maybe I'll wait 'til the refurbishment programme is complete.
The hotel may wish to note that the online booking form is poor, there is no facility to make requests (or even to be titled anything other than a Mr or Mrs!) and no information on restaurant pricing, also when I rang up to make my booking I was quoted a price of £30 more than on the website.
My rating would have been higher if I'd had the better room all along.
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- Also Known As:
- Durrants Hotel London