I booked this hotel within fairly tight timescales so didn't read the reviews until after I paid for the 2 nights upfront. Later, speaking on the telephone with a member of staff, I felt a little more relaxed when she told me the bad reviews related to an annexe down the road. That said, I made sure booking in and checking the room were my first port of call!
On first glance, all was okay and I felt relaxed enough to go and fulfil my day's activities. The carpet was a bit stained but the bed had clean white linen, the bath and toilet was clean and all seemed in order.
No towels though. So I mentioned it to an assistant as I was going out again. She spoke to the maid while I was there and cue everyone smiling. (They were all very friendly though none were indigenous.)
Unfortunately, when I got back much later there were no towels. But a quick call down to reception and some were promptly brought up along with a hair dryer (also asked for while on phone).
Feeling a bit tired from the travelling and day's activities I thought I'd grab something in the hotel. Unfortunately, it was either peanuts and crisps or sandwiches. All on my verboten menu.
Fine. I had had a big meal at lunch but could manage a nice glass of red wine pre-bed.
The girl looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language. After waiting (and, it seemed, more waiting) someone else came to tell me she hadn't understood me and that there was no wine, only Becks' beer.
Great. Not. I decided to go to bed without vittels or anything to drink when another assistant said why not have a vodka and tonic?
I agreed and she brought up a rather tiny glass of vodka and tonic with no nibbles or finesse. That little added description is because that tiny glass of vodka and tonic ended up costing me £12.50!!!
And you'd think they'd have read the multiple reviews and actually bought in some red wine for non-beer drinkers!
So, the initial higher points got systematically reduced by the lack of towels and having to ask twice for them, the humongous cost of a teensy glass of vodka with or without nibble, the hairdryer conking out after it dried just the top of my head and the TV having a mind of its own.
Oh and yes, on my last night I woke to the really vile smell of someone smoking really vile cigarettes.
PS I only had the included breakfast on one day as 'continental' consisted of pastries and fruit salad (and possibly cereal). As I don't eat pastries (or cereal) that was a minute bowl of not particularly exciting fruit salad and coffee.
Seems a bit mean not to feed a guest with the things they actually CAN eat but I think the waitresses have had it drummed into them to be sparing.
Didn't bother insulting my palate on the second morning and treated myself to a delicious cooked breakfast in one of the many cafes in Westminster. At a fraction of the horrendous prices in this hotel.
PPS But at least the bed was clean and so was the bathroom and it was easy to get to my conference and back at night.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the few remaining independent, boutique hotels, modern burlesque in style across five elegant stucco Victorian buildings. The 50 bedroom luxury hotel situated in the heart of Belgravia, one of the most exclusive and historic residential areas in London, is just minutes away from Victoria Station. Close to Buckingham Palace among many other top attractions, and with many restaurants and great shopping areas nearby, Tophams is London's best kept secret. Our breakfast room offers a selection of ham, cheese, breads and croissant, yoghurts, fresh fruit and a selection of fruit juices in a relaxing setting, which benefits from air conditioning and natural daylight; a perfect way to start your day in the City. Renowned for an excellent setting for a traditional English afternoon tea, we have a warm and welcoming, highly personalised style of service, in one of the very finest locations in London. We enjoy a truly international business and leisure clientele. Indeed, with a number of public transport services available close by, from double decker buses to Victoria tube/subway, travel arrangements literally open up the City for trips to the City centre, Theatreland and top tourist attractions. Open top bus tours can be arranged to thirty two tourist attractions and we highly recommend touring by cruising the River Thames along to The Tower of London and Greenwich. International visitors will be pleased to note Victoria station for connections to London Gatwick is just a few minutes' walk away and we are well positioned for car transfers to London Heathrow International airport. Our team can also readily assist with your transport arrangements to London City, London Luton and London Stansted airports, as well as anything else to ensure you the most pleasant stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tophams Hotel London