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The Rubens at the Palace
Ranked #73 of 1,075 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 21 July 2013

We took our 16 year old daughters to London for their birthday from Texas and from the moment we arrived everything was perfect. The Rubens has the perfect location, close to everything, the staff was friendly and attentive, especially Dave Brown, Marta Miziolek and the manager of the hotel Malcolm Hendry. We had afternoon tea and it was also perfect and I would highly recommend it. Great restaurants close by (all recommended by Dave), try the Quilon for Southwest Indian cuisine which is walking distance and was amazing. Perfect hotel not to big and not to small. Thank you Rubens for a wonderful stay!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Akcay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,331 - 2,337 of 4,249 reviews

Reviewed 19 July 2013

My friend and I spent the week end in London, arriving friday and leaving sunday, to assist to the Coronation Festival in Buckingham Palace.
There was no refrigerator in the room which was quite on the smaller side, just enough space to go around the bed and had to move an armchair form the window side to have a little more space, compared to the last time we were at the Rubens in september 2012. I have to conceed that we were then spoiled, receving a upgraded room in the "Royal Wing"... which was impossible this time I presume, the hotel being fully booked.
Otherwise, English brekfeast perfect, the staff were as usual always ready to help and answer any question.
Anyway, we will come back soon, The Rubens being a must when spending some holyday in London

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Erikiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2013

From the incredibly friendly staff to the wonderfully comfy room, the Rubens was an absolute delight. If you check out their website, the photo shown for the Executive King room is the exact room we had - beautiful and plenty of room for us and our teen daughter. The only, and very minor, disappointment was that it was and inward facing room, but I understand that room and view requests can't always be accommodated. My husband and daughter didn't care at all, but I like a nice view. Maybe next time. I would actually prefer to pay a bit extra to be assured of my preferred view.

On our second day there, there was a burst water pipe in the very near vicinity of the hotel. It took the water company a day and a half to fix it, during which we had no cold water at first, then no water at all. We returned to our rooms mid-afternoon, not knowing the situation, to find a letter from the manager, along with two huge bottles of water and a pack of antibacterial wipes - so helpful!

Anyway, the included breakfast buffet was plentiful and tasty, and the dinner we had in the more formal of their restaurants, the Library, was delicious. Everyone on the staff made us feel like family and are actually some of the nicest, most helpful hotel staff members we have ever met! The location was spectacular - we were across the street from the Royal Mews and about a block and a half from Buckingham Palace.

We had such a wonderful time that we will certainly return to the Rubens some day in the not-too-distant future. Cheers!

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the Royal Mews, then cross your fingers...we tried and got an interior-facing, but...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank phyllis1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2013

I really don't know what to think of this hotel.

I booked it on short notice, for a business trip. I booked directly through the hotel website.

When I walked in, I loved the classic feel about it. It's exactly how you expect a London hotel with a history to be. Dark wood, thick carpets. A great bar. Good feeling about the whole place. The people working here are doing a brilliant job, providing good service. An old school type of service, and yes, I mean that in the most positive of ways.

Yet, at the same time, they gave me a room that was, to be frank, an insult. Tucked into a corner between the hallways on the third floor, it only had a view on the dark courtyard where the hotel's noisy airconditioning fans are. You had to lean out of the window to see the sky. It was an extremely small and dark room as well, claustrophobic even. Mind you: the website doesn't show this!

The furniture was visibly worn, the tv set 15 years old, the bathroom ventilation did not work, bathroom tiles were mouldy... the circuit breaker tripped while I was showering, so I had to find my way out in the dark and call reception to have the electricity fixed (which they did within 10 minutes, fair enough).

I had only one small suitcase with me, yet you couldn't put it into the closet because it was already full of stuff: ironing board, safe, etcetera.

It all just added up and made it a very depressing place to stay.

I felt cheated, since I know that for that price, there are far, far, far, far better hotel rooms in the same area. And I felt annoyed, because, had I known this, I'd booked one of those better hotels. I felt ripped off at the same time, since the hotel's website is deliberately made in such a way that you DON'T see what the rooms really look like. And I felt insulted, since other reviews on Tripadvisor show that guests have had the same experience since 2005.

It was obviously one of the very worst rooms in the hotel, and that's exactly the point: a hotel in this class shouldn't HAVE a worst room. It is just not done. Come on, folks at the Ruben. You know that some of your rooms are far to small, far too old, far too dark. Even when we all know that London is an expensive city: asking 215 pounds as your 'best available rate' for that room is considered a ripoff even in this city.

I did mention this on checkout, and got told that they know about the room size and usually give upgrades to guests staying there, but unfortunately weren't able to do this for me, since the hotel was filled to capacity that night. That might be true, although I'm not sure, since I actually checked the hotel website during the evening after I had checked in and found a number of more expensive rooms still available on the website.

I didn't want to get into an argument over this, and left the hotel feeling knowing that I won't return there.

So, my fair recommendation: yes, it is a nice hotel, you can stay here, but make really sure the hotel doesn't put you in one of those closet rooms, because if it does, it's going to make you quite miserable. And if the Rubens cannot guarantee that to you, book somewhere else.

Room Tip: Stay clear of the rooms viewing the inner courtyard.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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8  Thank brun_71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalcolmHendry, General Manager at The Rubens at the Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on Tripadvisor. I am most grateful for your feedback, which is such a valuable source of information for me, regardless of whether it is good or bad, and helps me monitor the service we provide.

With the hotel being located in a historic building, we do offer to move guests whenever possible if they are not satisfied with the room they have been given upon arrival. I am sorry that we were unable to move you to a more suitable room during your time with us and that you did not like the decor of and view from your room. I have conveyed your dissatisfaction to my Front Office Manager, as it is our standard to courtesy call all guests to ensure they are happy with the room they have been given, and have reiterated to her the importance of ensuring these standards are maintained at all times. Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Thank you for the kind words regarding my team and the service they provide. This is such a wonderful comment to hear, as it helps me keep them motivated to provide the best service possible.

I am very sorry that overall your experience was not as positive as that of others on this site, but would once again like to thank you for sharing this with us and for highlighting areas where improvement may be found.

I hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to The Rubens in the not too distant future and to restore your faith in the hotel and us.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Hendry
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 July 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Rubens for 1 night at the weekend to attend the Coronation Concert at Buckingham Palace. If this is 4 star I am not sure what more they need to do to be 5 Star. The staff were wonderful, everyone made eye contact and spoke to you, and spoke to you with genuine sincerity.
We stayed in the Royal Wing where each room is dedicated to one of the monarchs from our History. We were concerned about the size of the room, but there was no need, comfortable bed and great pillows, full air conditioning, and interesting décor with every amenity you would expect. The bathroom was fab with 2 showers,very clean with nice toiletries. With a view of the Palace from the window of our room, and 10 minutes walk from Victoria Station it could not be in a better position for the sites of London.
We enjoyed a light meal in the afternoon and had several drinks in the bar accompanied by complimentary olives and nuts.
Breakfast on Sunday goes on until 12 noon so no rushing around, also vacating the room is 12 noon which is great. Your eggs cooked while you wait, and a great selection of continental breakfast as well as the traditional English breakfast.
We can't praise this Hotel enough, when we initially tried to book there was no availability but we kept trying and eventually a couple of days before our trip we managed to get a room. So pleased that we waited, it was so worth it. Staying here made the weekend really special and we will definitely return.
Thank you to all the staff for making our visit so memorable.

Room Tip: Book the best room you can afford and ask the staff if you have a particular requirement they are ve...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Lanidoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

I stayed at Rubens at the Palace on 12 - 14 July to attend the Coronation festival and gala and the Hotel made us feel so welcome. Everyone was so courteous and helpful. Breakfast was excellent and bar snack in the evening very good. I will certainly return

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank ANZ8740
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

booked as a special treat for my partners birthday. initially disappointed with allocated room which was at best, a single room with a double bed squeezed in, and with the air con units immediately outside our room. i made enquiries at the desk and was shown to 2 alternate rooms one of which we moved to immediately.
the staff here are very accommodating and provide excellent customer service (in the main ..... however would question the bar staff in the cavalry bar who tend to be a bit selective about if they are going to attend to you or not !) however, the concierge staff are a delight, the reception staff equally so, especially the duty manager who is a lovely sweet girl who makes time for engaging in conversation with all guests and making them feel like old friends excellent management skills. the only problem with the trip was out of the hotels control and we were kept well informed in that the mains water burst outside the hotel had left us without cold water (thus a shower) from the wednesday we arrived until the friday teatime, which in the blistering heat, and lots of walking, made for a bad combination. bottles of water were delivered to our room so we had to resort to strip washes in the WHB in order not to offend our fellow restaurant / theater goers! i appreciate this is not the hotels fault, but i would have expected some reduction in the bill for the inconvenience. maybe i am too british and didnt complain enough, but paying nearly £300 per night for which we only had running water for one of them i felt was a bit of a poor show.

Room Tip: luck of the draw i'm afraid ....... if you're not happy with the room then please inform rec...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Val_steve_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalcolmHendry, General Manager at The Rubens at the Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 17 July 2013

Thank you for posting your review, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us.

I was most concerned to read that you were so dissatisfied with elements of your stay and that you were disappointed with the size and view of the room you were initially allocated. As a slightly older building, we do have a wide cross section of shapes and sizes of accommodation, but I was glad to learn that my team were able to more you to a more suitable room once you had made them aware of this.

Thank you for your kind words about my Front of House team. It is concerning to hear that you did not feel that the service in the bar lived up to the same standard. Be assured that I have discussed your comment with my Food & Beverage Manager, who in turn has taken this back to his team.

I am very sorry to hear that your experience was impacted by the temporary lack of water we experienced at the hotel for 24 hours last week. This is a highly unusual occurrence, which was completely out of our control and caused significant disruption to the hotel’s normal service. It was due to a ruptured water mains on Buckingham Palace Road, which occurred on Wednesday evening. We did everything possible under these exceptional circumstances to make our guests at that time as comfortable as possible and to speak to everyone in order to ensure they were satisfied with our efforts. We have since received a number of guest compliments regarding how well the situation was handled. Thames Water have, following this day’s temporary disruption, now overcome the issues related to the burst mains, and I am pleased to say that normal service has been restored, as it was the day after the 24-hour disruption. Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Thank you again for sharing your experience with us.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Hendry
General Manager

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Additional Information about The Rubens at the Palace

Address: 39 Buckingham Palace Road | Victoria, London SW1W 0PS, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Westminster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#26 Family Hotel in London
#40 Green Hotel in London
#64 Romantic Hotel in London
#70 Luxury Hotel in London
#106 Business Hotel in London
Price Range: £160 - £300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Rubens at the Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 173
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Traditional, Edwardian-era hotel, originally built as a debutante hostel for nearby Buckingham Palace. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Rubens At The Palace Hotel London
Rubens At The Palace London
Rubens Palace

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