This hotel had many pros but also quite a few cons that would make me hesitate in staying here again.
Let me start with the pros:
• All day access to fruits, coffee, and tea. The fruit variety is quite impressive. They had bananas, apples, oranges, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, peaches, mangoes, and berries. Being a huge fruit eater, I was very appreciative of the selection, and they seemed to be refreshing the fruits daily from the market.
• Kind staff and nice customer service. The front desk is manned pretty much all day up until midnight though they have to hop away at different points during the day to take care of things. (staff seems quite lean; the same staff that prepares your breakfast is the same ones that do all the housekeeping chores all day so you may want to forgive them if they aren’t the most chipper in the mornings). We had a very early morning flight to catch and the night before, we told the receptionist so he could take our key. He mentioned that since we were definitely going to be missing breakfast, we could take as much fruit from their downstairs stock as we like. This was much appreciated as we had something to munch on while heading out to the airport. Another quick story to share on good customer service. I asked for ice cubes for my juice. While they don’t have ice cubes, the hotel staff went to the kitchen freezer and retrieved a Tupperware filled with frozen water and proceeded to use a knife to cut me off some ice chips. Though this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, she managed to still fulfill my request for ice and I was very appreciate of her creativity and efforts.
• Amazing location in the beautiful Kensington neighborhood. Many tourist attractions are very easy to get to from this hotel, including the Natural History Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Harrod’s, etc. It is right near 2 Tube stations -- Earl’s Court and Gloucester Road, with Gloucester Road tube station being the closest one but you may want to consider taking Earl’s Court (not too much farther of a walk) to save money on transportation as it is not in the central zone, or zone 1. (which has higher fares) Tip: Note that until December 2014, the Piccadilly line to Gloucester Road is closed for maintenance so you will need to take the Central and District lines instead.
• Nice neighborhood with plenty of restaurants and pubs around, Paul’s bakery, and a 24 hour supermarket (Tesco Express)
• Full English breakfast that is made fresh every morning. It is quite delicious and includes eggs, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, sausage, cheese, cucumbers, and of course – plenty of fruit. Drinks include coffee, tea, and blueberry or orange juice (Don’t have high expectations when it comes to juice. It is definitely not fresh squeezed juice; it is artificially flavored juice diluted with 2/3 water. We watched her make it). Please note that you should arrive there before 8:30 AM for less crowds and better service (Breakfast is served from 7:30 AM – 9:30 AM)
• Good price (via hotels.com) especially for this expensive, posh part of town. I also really liked the flexible cancellation policy which really helped ease the stress of booking a last minute hotel.
And here are the cons which makes me hesitant to book here again:
• Horrible night’s sleep unfortunately. This was due to some inconsiderate and noisy neighbors, (which I know isn’t the hotel’s fault) but they essentially kept my family and I up all night. The hotel walls are VERY thin. You can hear everything (and I mean, EVERYTHING) so it’s not so pleasant when you’re trying to get some rest or just want some peace and quiet after a busy and tiring day. The hotel is also very close quarters to some other residences (or perhaps businesses) and if we had the window open, we could hear everyone’s conversations very clearly.
• Beware if you’re going in the summertime – NO AIR CONDITIONING or fans! The lack of A/C was also a contributing factor to our poor night’s rest. There was a lone window we could crack open in the room, but that did not provide much relief. We spent the entire few nights we stayed at this hotel drenched in sweat. This was probably the worst part of our stay.
• A few items in the room were not working, such as our night stand lamp. Also, some of the power outlets in our room were not functional.
• There is no safe at this hotel; however, you can keep your valuables with the front desk and they will issue a “ticket” for you to use to claim later. However, it’s a good idea just to take all valuables with you wherever you go
• Space won’t be your best friend here. Even for a triple room, there is barely any room to move at all. The bathroom is very small as well. The mirrors were clearly made for tall people (or is this a British thing?) as my family and I could only see our top of head and eyes when using the mirror.
• I had read about previous reviewers warning the community not to stay in Room #3 in the basement. Now I see what they are talking about. Try to request another room if they try to give you that room. It is located downstairs where they prepare breakfast and there is a general common eating area which can become very noisy. So unless you don’t plan on sleeping in, your sleep will for sure be disrupted given how thin the walls are here. Plus it really does seem kind of like punishment to be banished to the basement!
• Hotel doesn’t provide any toiletries automatically in the room. You must ask for it. You should probably bring your own.
• The towels are quite aged and very rough. I would suggest bringing your own towel from home. You might just be thrilled that you did.
• Terrible and weak wifi signal. Though wifi is provided free of charge, half the time, I spent trying to establish a connection. It was incredibly spotty and inconsistent. I spoke to the receptionist about it and he had to reset it.
This hotel is in an amazing, convenient location and if it weren’t for the good price to go along with it, I wouldn’t have chosen this spot. In the end, I was on a budget and it fit my needs financially. I likely won’t stay here again in the future, but I wanted to share my experience with everyone.
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- Also Known As:
- Saint Simeon London
- Saint Simeon Hotel London