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“Some problems, good points, bad points and a comparison”

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The Union Jack Club
Ranked #3 of 896 Speciality Lodging in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 December 2013

I stayed here over the weekend. I had previously a lot of problems trying to get a room here over many years; it was only through the very kind intervention of Barbara that I managed to get a room. Thank you, however the fundamental problem still exists of the place being over subscribed, I'll explore this later but on to the good and bad points of the UJC.

Ok, it is very well situated next to Waterloo and on the south bank, it is an easy walk to the Houses of Parliament the theatre area, trafalgar square etc. It is better situated than the victory the other service persons club in London to visit the very center of London. However the victory is probably better for shopping being situated near the top of Oxford street.

The foyer of the UJC seems nicer with military art everywhere and a coffee shop. The UJC has a small parking area with truly tiny parking places requiring some skill in reversing to get into the tiny space I was allocated. The cost was £15 per night for parking. Prior to arrival I rang the UJC asking what I needed to do to park, I was told nothing just drive down the underground car park. Ok, so on arrival we drive to the gate and .....it's locked! So we ring the number on the gate and are told some one will be there in two mins.....ten mins later we are still sat there....so I walk to the UJC where I dutifully state to the lady at reception I am trying to park and the gate is locked. "Yes yes she says, just drive to the second gate" I replied, "I can't as the first gate is locked.".....no no " she says "drive to the second gate",...I replied "..no you don't understand the gate at the road is locked so I can't drive anywhere"......"yes yes (in Eastern European accent?) just drive down into the car park to second gate".......(face palm) "no you don't understand the first gate is locked"..."yes yes the man will be down to open second gate just drive down"....I left,....this lady obviously could not understand that the first gate at the roadside was locked....so I get back to the car look down and confirm there are three gates.....then the security man comes and asks me to drive down the exit ramp into the car park.....and not through all the gates.

We get to the room and the room is very small probably just enough room to walk around the bed. The rooms were not really modern even though I had been told they were modernised and hence the popularity of the UJC. My room was a bit tatty looking for example the bathroom door was broken underneath. The tv was ok and there was a kettle. However room service didn't renew some of the toiletries. The major problem however was the bed it was on castors and so just touching the bed slightly would move it. The prospect of sitting up in bed surfing the net or watching tv was absolutely impossible as the headboard was on the wall and so as soon as you rested your back against the wall the bed skidded across the bedroom! The view across London however was spectacular!

Breakfast was ok but I never saw any fruit or dried fruit to add to cereal. Coffee wasn't forthcoming until you virtually had to grab the waiter...

Ok, still with me? Good, getting a room here is problematic. I did obviously manage to get a room after the very very kind intervention of a member of staff. However, the UJC was set up and still is a charity serving the armed forces and it is very very difficult without giving massive notice to get a room. So it is a surprise that the fire brigade are allowed to stay as are the police the ambulance service other emergency services , nurses and retired officers .....my point is when does sheer running a business for profit over ride the original founding principles? Why should I not get a room but a fireman can, when this place was specifically set up for service personnel? Also, I seem to remember when joining the UJC having a conversation on the phone about no officers able to stay, why do I then meet a rather pompous retired officer lording it about in an other ranks club? No, the fundamental founding principles have gone astray, a few years ago I couldn't get a room because French train drivers from Eurostar were billeted at the UJC ...so what's changed ..... nothing it's now firemen nurses ambulance men police retired officers etc.

In summary, great location. Poor quality room, restricted parking and very poor service in relation to being able to book.

Room Tip: Higher floors facing parliament have a great view
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank JohnSunderlandUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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526 - 532 of 628 reviews

Reviewed 10 December 2013

I stay here often. I know exactly what to expect, it is not 5* but I would say it's 4*. Rooms are now great, not a bad room for about 3 years now, the bar is always good and the food is very well priced and excellent quality. The general facilities are good and the management always looking to improve. A veritable home from home.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank andy0870
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2013

Just got back from a nights stay.
Staff wonderful, downstairs area and bar very good.
Room extremely clean but basic (Had fun with the shower temp!)
Breakfast very good!
Location couldn't be better.
So, if you can stay there, do so!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Geoff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

I LOVE THIS PLACE

Great staff and tidy, clean little rooms. Ideal for a bed for the night after a night out.

So easy to get anywhere with the Jubilee line out of Waterloo just a 5 minute walk away.

Stay here if you want great value in a fabulous location

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Oooerrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

This is the second time we have taken advantage of membership to stay at this hotel. Whilst we were thoroughly impressed with our first stay, the second time around lacked a little of the gloss.

On entry to the UJC we were harassed by the concierge for our membership; this is despite being pre-booked. We were rescued from ongoing harassment by another staff member who ushered us in to book in. I remember thoroughly delicious meals at the UJC restaurant previously, and only a change of chef could result in the lack lustre meals we were served during our most recent stay. There is a distinct lessening in service and quality and I cannot attribute this to any one particular thing, but the increase in price does not make for value for money that we have previously experienced here.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank JafaAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Lobby and reception looks great, staff explain facilities ie breakfast and were very polite and helpful. Room was basic but very clean it was a cosy room. Breakfast was very good with plenty of choice and staff were very helpful. Lovely place to stay with great location aswell. Will defo stay again.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
3  Thank kennedypinky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2013

Room as always clean and tidy, and for once I was on a higher floor on the eastern side of the towwer block, with superb views. Bed very comfortable and because of the height also fairly quiet without the train and traffic noise I've experienced before. As always, the self serve breakfast was superb, eggs cooked fresh for me, and fried bread, good quality bacon and sausage. I've never been able to fault the UJC for its food, the beer's reasonably priced and staff always very helpful and polite, although very few British. 10/10

Room Tip: If you like it quiet, try to get as high as possible.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank jonl53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Union Jack Club

Address: Sandell Street, London SE1 8UJ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 896 Speciality Lodging in London
Number of rooms: 290
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Union Jack Club is a Service charity for serving and former non-commissioned members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces and their families and provides a comfortable and friendly base from which to explore London. Versatile accommodation for individuals,couples, families and groups and fully accessible. Come and experience the Union Jack Club yourself. ... more   less 

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