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“Wouldn't ever stay in this hotel again”

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The Rubens at the Palace
Ranked #74 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 19 July 2010

We arrived to the hotel and were advised that we were staying in the Royal Wing! Sounded great. THAT was the highlight!

Our faces dropped as we were brought through the dated, mirrored corridor to our room. (they refer to this as an exclusive wing!) We were then brought to our room which was shabby, dark and overdecorated. Later on that evening we asked if it was possible to move. The staff kindly moved us to another room - it was going to be smaller but we thought it couldn't be as bad as the room we had left. And it was. There was just enough space to move around the room. The decor was hideous. They have mirrored walls in the rooms and bathrooms to give an illusion of space - instead they reflect the poor decor.
This is what I would imagine a 2 star hotel looks like.

We left the hotel after one night and found a nicer hotel for a much reduced rate at an even better location. Shop around. You will find much better.

On a good note - the staff were exceptionally helpful & friendly. They helped us to move rooms. We were charged for our one night stay only.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank EUCitybreaker
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 28 July 2010

Thank you for taking the time to post your review of The Rubens at the Palace on Tripadvisor. I am most grateful for your feedback, albeit disappointed not to read of a more positive experience.

My Guest Services Team were aware that you were not satisfied with the size and decor of your room and have informed me that they did try to move you to a more suitable room, despite being restricted in choice by high occupancies. As a slightly older building, we do have a wide cross section of styles, shapes and sizes of accommodation, but I am sorry that you felt the need to move to another hotel.

On a more positive note, I was glad to read that you found my staff exceptionally helpful and friendly.

I am very sorry that your overall experience was not as positive as that of others on this site and would ask you to please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Hendry
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,429 - 3,435 of 4,340 reviews

Reviewed 18 July 2010

I have stayed in hotels and Bed and Breakfasts throughout the USA, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, and Scotland, and Rubens at the Palace by far and away is the best hotel I've had the pleasure of visiting. Its location across from Buckingham Palace and its close proximity to train, bus, tube stations, great restaurants, and souvenir shopping was ideal for my friends and me, who only had two days to spend in London. The hotel itself-inside and out-was beautiful, and our room was a great and unusual combination of elegance and coziness, AND spotlessly clean. The buffet breakfasts were superb, even by my German friend's standards, where breakfast is practically an art form. But it s Rubens' staff that put it over the top. When I booked our room I was a little concerned that a 4 Star hotel so close to Buckingham Palace might be a little stuffy and snooty, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. From the minute we walked up and were greeted by the handsome and friendly doorman, to working with the concierge team, who were not only helpful and friendly, but had the answer to every question we asked, to the front desk, restaurant, and even the cleaning staff, we felt as though we were staying with dear friends whose only goal was to make our visit a happy one. I can not think of even one thing that needed improvement, and I truly look forward to returning to London and staying once more with my "friends" at Rubens at the Palace.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Robin412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2010

Just spent 5 nights at the Rubens in two rooms with my wife and kids. I've had great luck with hotels recommended by other TripAdvisor travellers but this time I just don't get it. There is not a single way in which I would rate this ahead of any Courtyard by Marriott that I have ever stayed in.

The rooms were decent sized, and the wifi worked, and the location was fine, but not great.

On the other hand.... the rooms were aging, there was bird poop dripping down the
windows, we had various small issues with housekeeping and electricity that were frustrating at best to resolve, and the attitude of the staff was usually disinterested. Most
annoying was the fact that we booked rooms on-line with free breakfast, but when we
arrived they said that the computer should not have allowed us to do that, it should have said " Sunday only." We showed them the print out, which clearly stated "Daily English Breakfast" and they agreed it was their mistake, but would not budge. Honestly, the "Full
English Breakfast" that we'd been promised on-line was not very good, and I would have
been happy with a free continental breakfast (which probably would have amounted to them springing for two boxes of cereal, some juice and tea for the four days) and I am completely amazed that any hotel would decline to even offer that small bit. Although we did end up eating way better breakfasts elsewhere.

By the way, the day we did eat breakfast in the dining room, we watched the egg cook start a small fire by trying to clean the grill with paper napkins. When other staff rushed over he said that one of the customers had left the napkins on the stove.

Again, there were some positives, but I am finding it hard to understand what folks are seeing to give this hotel such a lofty rating. They mentioned at one point that they try to cultivate high ratings on Tripadvisor, so maybe there's some sort of selection bias. The rooms are fine, but a bit worn; the service and amenities are all below almost any hotel I've stayed in in the past 10 years.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank Novangelus
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 28 July 2010

Thank you for taking the time to post your review of The Rubens at the Palace 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.

I was most concerned to read that you were so dissatisfied with your experience and hope that you have by now received my response to the e-mail you sent, giving me the opportunity to address the issues of your stay with you personally.

I did want to reiterate my surprise at reading that you were not impressed with our breakfast offering. We receive so many positive comments on the standard of our breakfasts, that it is very unusual to hear such negative feedback. Many of our guests praise the variety and choices offered, from the free-range eggs, full English breakfast, omelettes, pancakes and waffles cooked to order, to the large selection of cereals, fruits, yoghurts and pastries offered in our Continental breakfast selection. In addition to this and as part of our Continental and full breakfast selection, we also offer a selection of organic, dietary specific and healthy items. I am sorry that you felt that the variety of this selection did not meet your expectations.

Here at The Rubens we pride ourselves on the high quality of product and service for which we receive so many compliments, it is therefore all the more disappointing to read that we have let ourselves down on this occasion. I have discussed your feedback with my team, who are equally disappointed and have in turn taken each point back to their own teams for review.

I am very sorry that your experience was not as positive as that of others on this site and would ask you to please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Hendry
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2010

My wife and I spent two weeks at the Rubens in a Superior King room in late June/early July. The location is fantastic; the service outstanding; and the restaurant/bar a perfect place to unwind after a long day. Booking directly with the hotel months in advance led to a significant discount on the room fees relative to what was offered at various websites (although our room did not overlook the Royal Mews, but who goes to London to look out their hotel window?). Any minor difficulties were dealt with immediately (faucet handle became wobbly) and the Manager was quick to remove restaurant charges after learning our food was a bit cool (on the final night of our stay, which coincided with the final game in the World Cup - cook must have been watching the match!). When returning to London, there's no other place we'll stay.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank stannum1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2010

I stayed at this hotel and loved almost everything about it. Mainly I thought the service was amazing, better than any other four star hotel I've stayed in. Everyone I encountered (reception, the restaurant, maintenance, doormen) were friendly, polite and efficient. They seemed to genuinely want to make your stay special. The library restaurant is fabulous, had a truly beautiful meal - the honeycombe icecream is to die for.
I have just one grumble - like another traveller room 333 is just not of a good standard for the price - the size was ok as I was only staying one night as a single traveller, but the air con didn't seem to work and it was very dark. Bathroom & accessories were great though, I think it had been recently refurbished and there was a bathrobe which was nice. To be fair I didn't report the aircon until I left, so they didn't have chance to fix it,and they were genuinely concerned about it, but I wouldn't choose that room again, I wish I'd read the review before I went! I would stay there again though, as everything else about the hotel is lovely. Hope to try the restaurant again and maybe afternoon tea in the lounge.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled on business
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Thank Valerie480
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2010

I stayed here 3 nights a week for 6 months and found Rubens to be a delightful little hotel. Although the rooms were small they had everything I needed from free internet to a decent sized bath, something lacking in many hotels these days. The location, a 5 minute walk from Victoria, made Rubens very easy to get to and for those going for pleasure, the parks and THE Palace next door is ideal. The rooms are small but well serviced and furnished. Only thing I would say is to book in advance to try and get a decent rate, shame there wasn't any gym or pool (there is a fitness centre round the corner but a charge applies, £5 per day I think).

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled on business
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Thank RikTNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2010

Our family stayed at the hotel in June. The staff was very accommodating and helpful. We did have a problem as there was a water leak in the room next to us and the repairmen were there to fix it but they were very noisy and kept slamming the door all night long. Then we received a phone call at 5AM to ask us if we were going to use the water. Needless to say we were very upset and tired. When we went to check out, I spoke with the manager who was very nice and explained the circumstances and he took care of the bill for the night. We also received a letter stating how sorry everyone was and they would assure us our next stay would be better. I feel they handled everything very professionally and would stay there again when I go to England.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank salaung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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:
#18 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: £131 - £321 (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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