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“definitely don't go out of your way - your complaint may be fair but we've got your cash, so tough..”

CheckMate Bar, Lounge and Restaurant
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Ranked #5,211 of 23,592 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$35
Cuisines: Asian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Business meetings
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: South Kensington
Description: CheckMate Bar, Lounge and Restaurant occupies the ground floor of Kensington���s Park International Hotel. Its location in chichi southwest London makes this an ideal stop off after a visit to the area���s many museums and attractions, or for guests at the hotel. The d��cor follows a unique black and white chess theme, making this a glamorous place to kick back and relax. The raison d'��tre at CheckMate Bar, Lounge and Restaurant is cocktails ��� well-trained staff are skilled at preparing a wide range of delicious drinks. The menu features both pan Asian and traditional British pub dishes, meaning you can enjoy anything from a fragrant pad Thai to a hearty burger and chips, depending on your mood. The menu changes regularly and there are also daily specials, and a range of bar snacks.
Reviewed 9 August 2014

My partner and I had a voucher for "tea and champagne" bought as a present. She duly booked the date, I took a day's leave, we travelled up to London (British rail - no small cost), arrived at the appointed time, hungry and thirsty. Surprise! No tea and champagne, the kitchen was being deep cleaned (wonder why?). Presumably at short notice.

They said they had tried to ring us a number of times they day before. My partner had actually received 2 calls in a minute, from an unknown number, with no message left. I can't think why they didn't have the imagination to send a text message. Their efforts and competence at avoiding the situation that arose were poor. And they had no plan for what to do with us when we arrived.

As we;d been travelling for 2 hours on a hot day, they offered us a cup of tea, which we had in the checkmate bar, which frankly was playing music far too loud for the number of people in there - namely, us 2.

Cost to us in fares £50, plus annual leave 1 day, plus the cost of the present itself. Result - a cup of tea each. And the chance to come back for tea in September (we had to negotiate to get the eligible period extended and to get this confirmed in writing.)

Rather than resort to Trip Advisor public rebuke, I thought it would be best to lodge my views on their "contact us" web page. This brought another phone call the following day. Lots of apologies, plus we could get a refund - BUT Not from them - we could try getting a refund from Amazon Local. Like, as if this was Amazon's fault??

In simple terms, the waiter who dealt with us was apologetic, but the tea experience wasn't nice, and the attitude of the company appears to be "if it goes wrong, we can offer lots of aplogies at least we've got their money."

I don't doubt they were sorry at the junior level, As far as I'm concerned they've now had their chance to put it right as an organisation and decided that they won't or can't, so maybe if their senior management sees this for the first time on Trip Advisor it might make them think a bit more about their company culture. Not that I guess they care very much as long as they've got the cash.

My advice to others - if you are walking past, look in, but definitely don't go out of your way.

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    • Food
Thank Tad37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (111)
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54 - 58 of 111 reviews

Reviewed 4 August 2014

I would strongly recommend no one to pay money for the afternoon tea available at park international hotel.

I went here to celebrate my birthday with a couple of cousins, the location and the room is beautiful, can't fault that. However, it took them 30 minutes to even come and address us at our table, once we were seen to we then were given champagne. The champagne which was in wine glasses, I had a look around to see if that was the 'norm' for the hotel, but no we were the only ones with wine glasses for champagne. After waiting another 45 minutes we were then given our afternoon tea. Halfway through, we realised that we were never given tea which is just shocking. I went to the waitress to ask (the same waitress which I had to ask for sandwiches and scones, the normal things you expect from afternoon tea), she then rudely rolled her eyes and said she'll be with me shortly. Then a couple of minutes later she arrived at our table asking if we wanted tea, once our food was finished. We then had to ask her which teas were available, which we shouldn't have to ask. 5 minutes later we were then given the tea.

Throughout this whole experience we were faced with rude waiters and waitresses, this was only when they were around as each time I needed something I had to get up and find them, which is not what you expect when you pay such high prices. I've been to many places for afternoon tea, prices ranging from £7-£55 pp and I can confidently say I wouldn't even pay £0.10 for afternoon tea at this location.

    • Service
Thank Salonee J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Went there last week around 6pm, and got to enjoy best happy hour in London. Prices were extremely affordable, plus we got to enjoy quality live piano music and very friendly, smiling staff. Also we had a sharing platter to have with our drinks and were not left disappointed. Food was very delicious.
Don't understand previous comment about unused piano, as professional pianist was playing all night, and we sure stayed late. Also he takes song requests that made our night special. Would recommend this bar to anyone who enjoys good drinks, great music, quality atmosphere.

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Thank Sophie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014 via mobile

I have arranged a few work drinks here and it never disappoints. Staff are helpful and nice. Great to be able to sit down in London at peak hours on comfortable sofas and enjoy happy hour prices on a good quality very drinkable Spanish white wine! Love the decor and flooring. The piano playing is a nice touch but can be a little loud if you are looking for an intimate chatty evening. But I certainly reccommend checking this bar out.

1  Thank Jenny W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2014

Ok, I just gave them one start because i had no option,but they don't even deserve it.

This is not a bar, its a beautiful room with an alcohol licence and laud music depending of how "happy" the staff are, such potencial being wasted here because the place its actually wonderful for a coctkail bar, severely under trained staff.
I went 5/6 times and i saw a mouse every single day running under the beautiful un-used piano,it wouldn't be a problem for me if I have a good drink in my hand, but they have not clue about classic cocktails.

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Thank Heisenberg233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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