We took our 3 sons to London for 8 nights over spring break. My husband and I have been to London before having stayed on Hyde Park Corner at Four Seasons Inn on the Park (closed for renovations) and The Lanesborough (Perhaps the finest city hotel in Europe). You can in no way compare the Marriott to these true 5 star hotels. The prices, decor, service, security and clientele are of a completely different class.
The Marriott is a good 4 star hotel. We used points for the boys room and we got a good deal on our Thames/Big Ben view room on the Marriott website. Both rooms were large for European standards. I had expected them to put the boys in "a closet" with no view for a redemption room, but their room was much larger than ours, had a queen pull out sofa bed and had the side view of the park, the Thames and the Eye. The decor is standard Marriott and the real king beds are a definite plus. Each room has double sets of windows to muffle the outside noise. We had specifically requested to be very close to the boys (we gladly would have paid to upgrade them) and they ended up 20 rooms down the hall and around the corner from us. This was a huge problem the first morning when the fire alarm went off at 7:15am and my husband had to get through the 2 sets of fire doors to reach their room. We experienced some irritating problems such as the 5 brass carpet strips on the 2nd floor hall carpets outside our room. Every room service and housekeeping cart sounded like they were going over speedbumps. It woke us up every morning. Not every floor has these irritating brass strips. There were none on the 4th or 5th floor en route to the pool. In order to use the pool you must stop and register at the health club on 4, take the elevator back up to 5 and go down the hall. We were not allowed to change in the main club with the boys, but were directed to 2 very small changing room inside of the pool area. There was only 1 locker free each visit ( cost 1 pound but will be refunded after each use)and each time we saw staff stuffing their personal belongings into the other lockers.
Housekeeping was great in the boys room. Housekeeping in our room was a different story. Our bathroom trash was overflowing and went unemptied for 2 days. On our 2nd day the maid took away the mini bar beer opener. We had to go down the hall and borrow the boys opener. The opener again disappeared on day 3. We left the maid a note and a tip asking her to return it. It showed up only to be taken away again the next day! Very frustrating! Prices for the mini bar were very fair for a big city hotel. On our last night we returned after 11pm to find turndown had come but they had removed all of our towels. No one answered at housekeeping and it took the concierge over an hour to show up with towels!
Concierge service was a huge disappointment. European concierges are usually the best, but were were given incorrect closing time for numerous attractions as well as wrong line and station stops for restaurants and shops.
The biggest issue I have with this hotel is its location. Yes it is close to the tube and walking distance to many attractions. BUT...it is the most touristy place in London. The aquarium, Dali Museum, Namco station arcade and a Mc Donald's are all located on the lower level of the building with no security. The river walk outside the hotel is crowded 24/7 with street entertainers, street people etc. Safety?? The hotel usually, but not always had a person right inside the front door, but we were never asked if we were guests. You could come in the back door by Waterloo and never pass an employee before getting on the elevator. I would have felt much safer if they had installed an elevator that you needed to access with your key or even a code like the pool. Keep in mind the London Eye is right outside and they sweep the pods for bombs after each group exits. The staff had left the door to the office in the reception area open our last evening and one of our sons could clearly see a clipboard with bomb threat information printed on it in big letters!!!??? Needless to say I did not sleep that night. There had been demonstrations going on all week on Westminster bridge and parliment square with police in full riot gear. I know London is a big city, but this was not a location I would ever return to. I wish I would have spent the $1,000 per room per night and stayed at The Lanesborough.
When we checked out, our bill was debited to our VISA in pounds. We did not notice until we got home that the boys bill, which included 1 night for their room and all our hotel meals and drinks was converted and charged to our VISA in dollars using an unfavorable rate??! This makes no sense?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Painted with a signature backdrop, the historic London Marriott Hotel County Hall is in close proximity to our city's main attractions. With views of Big Ben, the banks of the River Thames and overlooked by the London Eye, landmarks are a short stroll away from our hotel's doors. Our hotel boasts distinctive venues that can accommodate for every occasion. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott London County Hall Hotel London
- London Marriott