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6 - 11 of 393 reviews
Reviewed 11 September 2017

After a recent one night stay at The Paddington, I was reminded that sometimes we must make a leap of faith when chosing a hotel online, particularly when that choice is affected by issues of time or money.

While we can limit the potential for true disaster with the assistance of helpful websites such as this one, in the end we make a decision that is often guided more by gut instinct than anything else.

When I recently booked one of the 19 rooms in this 3 star hotel, I did so with less than one hour’s notice, as I had been let down by another hotel that I had intended to stay at. My necessarily quick scan of what was available in my price range did include a quick scan of comments provided by previous guests, the description provided by a few different sources (primarily to confirm that what the hotel said about its facilities was not entirely self-serving) and a quick look through whatever photos I could find on-line.

So, having done a little bit of quick research, I was reasonably confident with my very low budget choice, as the hotel was in a nice area I knew reasonably well so I wouldn’t struggle to find it.

Or so I thought anyway.

When I got off the tube I started what I expected to be the short walk to where I thought the hotel was. The hotel is an area of large Edwardian terraced homes, so I was looking out for an awning or sign which are often seen in areas where such houses have been converted into hotels. However, when I didn’t spot anything and was also sure I had been walking longer than I should have, I checked the address again and realised I had walked past my destination without spotting it.

My slight concern about how I had walked past the hotel without noticing it increased to something approaching alarm when I walked back to the hotel’s address, as the building I then stood in front of looked nothing like a hotel and at first glance looked completely abandoned.

Looking closer, I did spot a small sign with the hotel name, which is found amongst a number of notices that had been taped to the window of the front door.

As I got closer to the door to read the notices, I was startled when the door opened just a bit and a woman who I hadn’t noticed standing behind the door in the dark hallway, called out to me and said “go to the hotel across the street”.

As I wasn’t sure if she was intending to give me instructions advice or even possibly a warning, I called back through the now closed door and said I couldn’t hear her clearly. In response, she knocked on the window of the door and pointed to one of the signs, which I then noticed said that reception and check in for The Paddington was at The Westbourne, which I saw was a hotel across and down the street a bit.

I could see on arriving that The Westbourne is a lovely hotel, where rooms are almost certainly in a very different price bracket than what I had paid for a room at The Paddington. However, as I waited to speak to someone I let myself enjoy a flicker of tiny hope that perhaps something may have happened at The Paddington and I might be staying at the Westbourne instead.

This faint hope was dashed when I was told that I was in the right place and they did look after the check in and reception functions for The Paddington.

I was quickly checked in and given a key that I was told would open the door to my room as well as the front door of the building. The key came with an enormous key chain to which it was attached, as well as a slightly ominously spoken warning that if I needed to leave the hotel for any reason that I was to leave the key back with The Westbourne desk and “under no circumstances” should I “risk” taking the key with me.

I returned somewhat hesitantly to The Paddington, wondering if my choice had been too hasty, while also taking the time to compare the picture of the well maintained exterior of the hotel on the hotel website with the very tired building with peeling paint and dark windows that I was walking up to.

I got the front door open without trouble and walked in to find what was clearly once an elegant foyer. There was not a sign of the woman who had sent me across the street, or anyone else actually.

As I then climbed the stairs to my room on the first floor I could see that while the exterior may have been ominously shabby, the interior was that of an elegant faded beauty of building which still had hints of what must have been its former glory.

My room continued this impression. It was adequate in size with a small ensuite with a shower. There were French doors that led to a small terrace, however these were chained so that they opened only part way, and there was an appropriate warning posted on the doors that guests were not to step onto the terrace which was clearly not safe to use. I would have been unlikely to want to linger and enjoy the terrace even if I could, as my room was at the back of the building and had only a view of the back of other buildings.

I then settled in to do some work, which required me to sit on the bed, as the room’s furniture didn’t include a desk (nor was there really space enough to fit one). In doing so, I opened the drawer to the bedside table and noticed the manufacturers label inside. When I read the label I had to laugh, as I realised that I had found the theme for my visit, and quite possibly a marketing idea for the owners of the hotel.

The label told me that the bedside table, and the rest of the furniture are part of the “Solid and Basic” line, which is a perfect description of what I got for the choice I made and what guests at The Paddington should expect.

I looked at what I got for the very low price I paid when I chose The Paddington.

The bed which I enjoyed using to work, relax and sleep on was comfortable and tidy. The internet worked. The hotel was quiet and clean. The water pressure in the shower was strong, and there was plenty of hot water.

In the morning, there was breakfast provided which was also adequate but basic.

Going to breakfast also gave me the opportunity to see that despite the fact that I had not heard a sound or seen anything to indicate that there was anyone else staying at the hotel, it must have been booked solid as the breakfast room was packed with other hotel guests.

Unfortunately, the breakfast buffet did include the curious staple found at so many lower price hotels.

I am referring to the packaged croissant shaped bread product which would cause either outrage or astonishment should the hotel ever welcome guests from France (or anyone else who has ever enjoyed the delicious original version of the imposters that are served at The Paddington and many other budget range hotels).

There don’t appear to be any staff on site at The Paddington other than for the purposes of setting out the breakfast buffet and cleaning the rooms. However, the telephones are connected to The Westbourne front desk should any help be required.
This, and the fact that the hotel does not have an elevator might be a point to be considered for anyone who would need to consider either of these 2 points for health or any other reasons.

All things being considered, and having decided to treat the memory of standing in front of the hotel for the first as a moment of comedy rather than tragedy, I enjoyed my one night stay at The Paddington.

That being said, I don’t know what I would have felt if my stay was longer, and I probably won’t take the opportunity to ever find out.

But would I recommend it to others who are looking for an inexpensive, well located “Solid and Basic” hotel in London?

Absolutely!

Room Tip: The lower the floor level the better. The upper floor rooms would be a cardiovascular experience but not a treat to get to.
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JRBrookes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2017 via mobile

We decided to extend our stay in London for 1 more day (wish I could stay forever), but the hotel we were originally staying at was going to charge way too much than we paid. So I looked around and found this place. It was one of the cheapest places in the area and since we were going to spend most of our time outside, we decided to book it. And then my nightmare begins!
Not sure where I should start but I promised myself I'll NEVER try to downgrade just to save some money. When the taxi dropped us off, we tried to open the front door but it was locked and we had to drag our luggage across the street to check in. The reception area looked quite nice so I was happy but our hotel liked nothing like that. The girl at the front was nice enough and let us check in early. She gave us one key to open the front door and our room! So that means any guest could open our room because they have the front door key!!! She also said that we have to leave the key with the front desk every time we leave (for what reason, I don't know). I was already upset by that point and just wanted to get to the room and drop off our luggage. When we opened the front door, there was this really bad smell of old carpet and mold. We then had to drag our luggage up 3 floors since there's no elevator. The room also had that awful smell. There was no ac and the furniture and the bathroom were very dated and dirty.
I feel bad for any negative comments I made about hotels I stayed at previously because this place does not compare to anywhere else.
I had such a great time in London and this place just ruined it for me! So do yourself a favor and pay a bit more and stay somewhere else.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Cimi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2017 via mobile

I like my stay here but I am not the fittest of people and we were on the 3rd floor. Check in was easy and they were very accommodating. It is nicely located close to Paddington station. The rooms are rather warm and they do provide a fan. Keep in mind that they are not allowed to alter the outside of the building so no A.C.. The price was affordable.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Derick D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2017

We stayed here for one night. You have to check in at the nice hotel room across the street. The girl who checked us in was very nice. You do have to return your key to them every time you leave.

The hotel is pretty typical of all the budget to midrange hotel in the Paddington area- historic and quaint, but also kinda gross. Dirty carpets, peeling paint, smells like mildew. But the bed was comfy and if you just need somewhere to sleep it's fine.

We happened to come during a big heat wave, so the lack of air conditioner and ventilation was a bummer. We had to sleep with the fan directly on us because it was so hot! We also felt weird about leaving our window open because we shared a (unusable) balcony with the room next to us.

The free breakfast wasn't great, but at least they provided something. It was yogurt, toast, and hard boiled eggs.

No elevator/lift, as others have mentioned.

The area is great- close to Paddington station and all the cute restaurants and gardens in the neighborhood.

The most annoying thing about the whole visit is that we were going to a wedding in the countryside for 1 day and they wouldn't let us leave our bags in their baggage storage when we checked out! We wanted to leave our bags until we returned the next morning, but apparently you aren't allowed to leave anything overnight. We even offered to pay, and they wouldn't budge. We ended up having to carry all our luggage to the wedding, which was very inconvenient! It seems like something the hotel easily could have accommodated, so we were frustrated.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank uclatraveler9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2017

Note to self, always read small print. After a holiday abroad we had booked a room here prior to our holiday near to Paddington station for our journey home. We had not noticed the note about the lack of a lift and were concerned when we were given a room on the fourth floor. To be fair we were offered a porter to carry our luggage up to our room which we accepted, and to our amazement (our two suitcases were very heavy) he carried them up to our room with no trouble , about 8 flights of stairs. Our room was spacious and clean, but very tired looking and would not have been very warm in winter due to the fact that the Windows did not close properly. We are both fairly fit and having to climb this many stairs was not too much of an issue, except when carrying our cases back down again when we left the next day. Breakfast was in a room in the basement and there was a reasonable amount of choice for a continental breakfast. However the item that let it down was the fact that there was no coffee maker, just instant coffee. Not what I expect from a continental breakfast. I felt that this hotel was very expensive for the facilities offered.

Stayed: August 2017
Thank Esperanzakins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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