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The Columbia
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Reviewed 2 March 2014

We have just returned from a four-night stay at the Columbia, and were really impressed. We've stayed in a few other budget hotels in this part of London over the years, but this is one of the best, and certainly the most attractive. The building itself and the public areas are beautiful, spacious and well maintained. Our twin room, 403, was on the top floor facing Kensington Gardens. There was a certain amount of road noise, as we faced direcly on the the busy Bayswater Road, but we always bring earplugs when staying in hotels, so it wasn't a problem.

The room was large and comfortable, with loads of storage space - plenty of drawers and 10 coat hangers in the wardrobe. Beds and pillows were really comfy and sheets were spotlessly clean, as was everything else. The bathroom decor was old fashioned, but it was great to have both a bath and a shower in a lovely large room, rather than just a cramped shower cubicle. Toiletries and biscuits were replenished each day, and the hairdryer was reasonably powerful. No safe in the room, but you could leave valuables at reception if required.

The only problem we had was when the toilet handle broke. The plastic cistern had had a large jagged hole around the handle when we arrived, and sure enough, on the second day, even though we were very careful when using the flush so as not to cause further damage, the whole mechanism inside snapped off. I reported this at reception on our way out with some trepidation, thinking we may be accused of causing damage and perhaps charged, but when we returned from our day out, a brand new cistern had been fitted with no fuss or further comment from the staff. There was also an issue with our room security card not working on our penultimate day, but this was quickly and apologetically sorted out by the receptionist.

Breakfast was fine, we had booked our stay through Alpharooms and got a really cheap price which included just continental breakfast but it was good that you could choose to buy extra items depending on what you fancied. We had a couple of hard boiled eggs - £1.50 for two - to top up the delicious rolls, croissants and cereal. There was proper orange and apple juice included too - usually it's some vile powdered stuff, but this was really nice. The cooked breakfast looked good, from what we could see. The breakfast room is lovely, with high ceilings, chandeliers and great views of the trees in Kensington Gardens. It was very warm, as were all the public areas, perhaps a litlle too warm to be honest. The staff were very busy, but pleasant and efficient, as were the receptionists and everyone else we encountered. We didn't spend much time in the hotel, as we were out sightseeing, but did have a couple of drinks at the bar, which were reasonably priced and the red wine was perfectly drinkable. We also had a couple of drinks in the lovely old Swan pub just down the road, which would be handy for evening meals too, if you wanted somewhere to eat nearby.

The location of this hotel is so convenient for all the main tourist areas of London, with a bus stop right outside - the number 94 will take you to Picadilly Circus - and two tube stations a short walk away, and with access to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, for a bit of nature on your doorstep. We spent an hour feeding the birds and squirrels every morning and being amused by the antics of all the dogs romping around in the park, before heading off for our day's sightseeing - it is really beautiful and peaceful here and must be even lovelier in the warmer weather.

We would certainly recommend the Columbia and hope to stay there again one day. The beautiful high ceilings and interesting period architecture make a welcome change from the bland modern surroundings of some other similarly priced budget hotels and it is clean, comfortable and welcoming.

Room Tip: Rooms at the front facing Kensington Gardens will get more road noise, but have great views.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank myra07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

Even though the decor of the hotel has seen better days, the hotel and rooms were spotless and somehow the somewhat shabbiness added charm to the hotel. The room was huge by london standards which made it extremely comfortable. The heating in the room was just right, I often find that the central heating in London rooms too hot. The breakfast was freshly cooked, not just stuck on a buffet to go cold. My porridge was fab, the cooked breakfast great quality and tea and coffee served to you in abundance. What stood out more than anything was the service. The staff, ALL the staff were helpful, polite, professional and all quite charming to both me and my son. There was a family ambience to the hotel which is unusual in a capital city and I can honestly say our stay in the hotel made our mini break that much more special. Both buses and tubes were very close by, we had a lovely view of Hyde park. I have already recommended the hotel to friends and family and will continue to sing its praises. The best thing...I no longer have to trawl the net looking for reviews for value for money London hotels, we will definately be back. Thanks to you all for a lovely stay.

Room Tip: Once booked call the hotel, they are extremely helpful and gave me some great tips on public transport which saved me a considerable amount of money...great in London as everything is so expensive, with money we saved on taxis and bookings I took my son to any extra show. We saw billy Elliot and wicked, both fab, both worth seeing.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Sally G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

We stayed at The Columbia Hotel for three nights for a busy long weekend in London visiting family and sight seeing etc. We paid £50 a night which we think is very good value for money.

Positives:
-friendly staff
-free wifi in communal areas
-spacious room / bathroom for London (3rd floor)
-clean room
-powerful hot shower :)
-breakfast room quite nice compared to others we looked at for same price
-food itself fine for free continental breakfast that was included in price (croissants/toast/cereal/tea & coffee)
-Able to keep our bags there before & after checking in / out
-Excellent location - being next to Hyde park was great and Lancaster Gate tube station was a two minute walk from the hotel. Paddington station is also really close and the main road is well connected by bus. Area felt safe, little shop one minute away for drinks / snacks
-Tea / Coffee biscuits given in room each day

Negatives - Tiny points that didn't affect our stay but may affect others

-room was a smoking room, which we weren't told about and being non-smokers it was a bit smelly (but opening the window for a day helped)
-Boyfriend had to crouch to have a shower as the head is quite low, he is only 5ft 9
-room a bit dated (we didn't mind when you pay £50)

Overall very pleasant stay here 4.5 / 5 for value for money.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Aleisha D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2014

We went to London ft a few days and stayed in the dolphin hotel. The rooms were super warm which was nice since the usually british weather is cold. The first room we were in there was many things missing like the towel rack and some sockets were lose. But we told the receptionist and they moved us to a Better room. The hotel overall is in a great location, literally next to padding ton station and the staff were superb. The breakfast was not welcoming but overall it was a quite good stay.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank Dejomony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2014

Six years after my first stay at this hotel, I still think it's one of the best choices among London hotels, especially in terms of price and location. I will definitely come back to this hotel. I recommend you to give it a try as well.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with Galahotels.com
Thank Ionela S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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