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“Nice hotel but service could be better”

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Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences
Ranked #4 of 1,073 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 March 2011

This is the second time for us to go to London. We booked the 51 Hamleys package and our 5 years old boy absolutely loves it. After staying at 51 Buckingham Gate for 3 nights, we feel that it is a nice hotel but there are things that they could have worked on.

Pros:
1. Their suite is very spacious and well equipped.
2. Room service food is delicious.
3. Location is not bad and very convenience. We took taxi most of the time and all the taxi drivers have no problem locating the hotel. There are also convenience store and supermarket close to the hotel so it is easy to get what you need.
4. Most of the staffs are being very friendly and helpful during our stay.
5. The package that we booked is very good for family with children. The private cooking lesson conducted in our suite is the most fun thing to do. Our son enjoyed so much and he is so happy to have his own chef jacket to bring home with.

Cons:
1. With 5 stars hotel and stay in their suite, you would expect Wi-fi service to be a standard service. However we're disappointed to find out that we have to pay extra for the Wi-fi service. Besides, if you have more than one devices, you will need to purchase Wi-fi service for each of the devices! We purchased one for 24 hours but are most shocked to find out that their service is not even stable. We kept being cut off from their connection and have to re-login every 5 mins or so. The speed of their Wi-fi connection is fast but staying connected has been a problem. This happens even when we stay still in one spot in our suite so it is frustrated to find out we lost the connection so often, although we haven't been moving around. We called their reception for help and the way the staff handle it was just to tell us that it is normal when you move around the suite the connection may drop. At one point, he sounds like it is our fault when the connection is bad which we think is not professional at all. At the end, we never purchase the service again.
2. Breakfast at the hotel can be a bit of hectic. There are obviously not enough seats or tables at the breakfast area so if you go in late, you may have to wait. We tried the food in the hotel and love it except for their breakfast. Their coffee is not hot and they are quite slow in terms of service.
3. The second day we have booked the Hamleys tour which is included in the package. They were a bit unorganized in terms of giving us information on who to contact with at the toy shop. The concierge has been trying his best to help but we still ended up waiting for over 15 mins before we could leave the hotel.
4. The day we left the hotel, their water boiler broken so we had no hot water for shower that morning. It took a while for them to finally figure out what went wrong. They offered another suite for us to have shower but it has been quite inconvenience especially when you have to rush and check out by 12pm.

51 Buckingham Gate is a lovely hotel. We believe that their intention is to provide good service to their guests but unfortunately, the service is still not up to the 5 stars standard. We would recommend their Hamleys package to friends with young children but would love to see them to be more thoughtful when it comes to service.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank angieyca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Araceli-London, Manager at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2011

Dear Angieyca,

Thank you very much for your review and for listing those things that you enjoyed the most and those that did not fulfill your expectations.

First of all I am delighted that you enjoyed many of the services at the hotel and you found the quaility and size of the suite and the service and location to your satisfaction.

The Hamleys package is really fun for young children and getting to bake like a grown up and at the same time getting to learn something can really be lovely and I am glad to know that your young boy enjoyed it. Unfortunately on the day of your visit to Hamleys we had to make you wait for a few minutes whilst we coordinated with the store those little things that make the visit extra special. Normally we are able to coordinate this fast and efficiently once we know the exact time and date when you would be going to the store but on this particular occassion we experienced certain delays and I am sorry for that.

You also mentioned your experience with the Internet as something that was not to your satisfaction, I would like to let you know that thanks to your comments we have modified the way we charge for WIFI and I hope you will be happy to know that from now on we will be makeing those charges per suite rather than per devise, also, during the next few months we will be upgrading the WIFI system to erradicate the black spots that due to the size of the walls in some suites can be at times troublesome. 51 Buckingham Gate currently offers you a very fast and efficient wired Internet connection and you can also enjoy complimentary use of the Internet via the PCs in the E-Centre.

Thank you once again for your superb feedback and I hope we can see you and your family soon again at 51 Buckingham Gate.

Warm regards

Araceli Rius-Perez
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 9 March 2011

The most memorable aspect of our stay at Buckingham Gate was the staff. We travelled with three small children (all under 5 including a 6 month old baby) and the staff were amazing. Doors were opened for us before we even realised that we needed to open them! This is possibly the best service we have experienced anywhere. A particular mention goes to Sergio who was incredibly warm and attentive with the children and Cristina in Housekeeping. The place itself was beautiful. We were given an upgrade and the three bedroom suite was just stunning with the most beautiful kitchen. Room service was swift and delicious. I cannot recommend this place enough to families with children. I will only stay here when in London and will certainly recommend Buckingham Gate to all my friends. One reviewer suggested that this hotel was not up to the same standard as the other Taj hotels. I would say that if any of the other Taj hotels are of the same standard as Buckingham Gate then i want to try them all. Next stop The pierre in New York!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Loren75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Araceli-London, Manager at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2011

Dear Loren75,

Thank you very much for your most amazing review, I am delighted to know that you and your family had a wonderful stay with us and that you will stay with again when you return to the city.

I guess one can truly say that we love to have families staying with us and as you know now, having a two or a three bedroom suite gives you all the comforts of a home while experiencing all the services of a fine 5 star hotel.

I am also very grateful for your mention of my colleagues, they do work very hard to ensure our guests enjoy their stay but they also genuine, warm and very caring specially when young children are around.

Please do continue using our Taj Hotels around the world and if you are going to New York we will be delighted to assist you to stay at The Pierre, look out for the Petit Pierre childrens program, you will love it.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write about us and we look forward to welcoming you back soon again.

Best wishes

Araceli Rius-Perez
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 3 March 2011

On the positive
The location of the hotel is fantastic. We came with the children to do the main tourist sites and it was a great base for the Museums, Buckingham Palace, House of Parliament, London eye etc.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite and for a family the accommodation was perfect. Compact bedrooms but well provisioned kitchen and good size living room.
Room service was also great and decent value with especially good food from Quilon.
The Hamley's package we'd booked had great "party" bags for the children and the cot we'd pre-arranged was nicely set up and included a lovely teddy bear for our daughter
Generally fast, friendly service

The slight negatives ( and I do mean slight) are with regard to service, nothing major but a few niggles that you don't expect from a hotel positioning itself as 5* luxury. Few examples are;
The hotel is promoting a "butler" concept. From previous experience you would expect the butler to be your liaison with everything at the hotel and look after all aspects of your stay this didn't really work out.
Each morning we came down for breakfast it seemed to be a surprise and a table had to be put together especially for us ( party of 4 + baby).
One morning there were problems in the restaurant which meant breakfast wasn't served, easy solution would have been for the butler to contact us and offer room service but again our arrival was a surprise and it took quite a while to find us a table at the adjoining hotel.
We'd booked a package which included a trip to Hamleys but transport hadn't been arranged. The solution was to take a taxi and get receipts for a refund. No problem with this but you expect it to have been organised.
Also can’t believe that a hotel of this standard feels it necessary to charge for Wifi

Would definitely stay again as the positives far outweighed the negatives but be interesting to see if the execution gets slicker

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank lolmarlor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2011

We stayed at this hotel on Saturday night. It was ideal as it was only a ten minute walk to the Apollo Victoria Theatre. I highly recommend 51 Buckingham Gate for it's outstanding staff and attention to detail. Nothing is too much trouble for them.

We received a warm welcome and a smooth check in upon arrival. James showed us around our suite, which was well appointed and helpfully pointed out it's features. We ordered a free DVD (£20 deposit refunded on departure) from the vast library that they have and both the DVD an complimentary popcorn and soft drinks were delivered directly to our room. I ordered some ice on a separate occasion and it was delivered within minutes. Before leaving for the theatre in the evening, we were invited to enjoy complimentary drinks in the library which offered a very cozy setting in which to relax. Upon our return from the theatre, the staff were in the lobby to great us and enquired as to whether we had enjoyed a pleasant evening.

Thank you to all staff a 51 Buckingham Gate for providing us with such a pleasant stay. We plan to stay with you again when we plan another trip to London.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank VanDwaas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2011

Just had a one night stay at this hotel. The service was out of this world and the attention to detail is stunning. I have never felt so valued as a guest anywhere in my life, nothing was too much trouble and we even got a complimentary upgrade.

To every other hotel out there.... This is the benchmark, awesome. If I could give it more than five stars I would!

  • Stayed: February 2011
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Thank WTFdoIknow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2011

I booked in for a Saturday night stay for two at 51 Buckingham Gate on their Valentine package. This was after spending a truly inordinate period of time searching for a hotel which was able to offer a decent spa (for the lady), luxurious accommodation and high quality cuisine. Whilst there seemed to be many options for this in and around London, I found (at least from their Trip Advisor reviews) that nearly all of them failed to deliver the consistently high level of service which they promised. When I came across the reviews of 51 Buckingham Gate I was cautiously optimistic but also deeply suspicious. However, I decided to take the plunge based on the fact that at least 90% of Trip Advisor reviewers rated it as Very Good or Excellent. In reality though, I suspected that the reviews would be “too good to be true” and was managing my expectations to avoid being disappointed.

Thankfully, I can say that our stay not only met, but far exceeded our expectations. The service truly was 5 star in all respects. The room (a junior suite – the standard room) was very spacious and tastefully decorated. It didn't have much of a view but if that was important to us I'm sure we could have changed rooms. Of particular note was the willingness of the hotel to accommodate a very early check-in (10.30am) and a late check-out (2pm) without any fuss whatsoever which I was particularly pleased with. Also, the personal “butler” who was on hand to welcome us to our room was sincere and warm in her hospitality. My other half made use of various spa treatments and I am told they were of a very good quality for London standards. As for the Valentine package we were on – all elements of this were delivered in a suitably tasteful manner – champagne on arrival, afternoon cocktails and sandwiches, an absolutely fantastic dinner at the Michelin starred Quilon restaurant next door and a “romantic” turndown! I can absolutely recommend the authentic cuisine at Quilon and will most definitely return there. The hotel also offers complimentary drinks and canapés for all residents each evening which is a nice touch and a great way to work up to dinner.

All in all, the stay left us feeling relaxed, refreshed and very sad to leave. And that was only after one day and night! This reflects the fact that all hotel staff we met maintained the very highest levels of customer service, something which I am discovering is a feature of the Taj brand.

A very happy customer indeed.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lonereviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2011

Henceforth this will be my preferred hotel in London. It is not a typical hotel – just amazing bliss away from home. After 10 hours long haul flight and expensive taxi ride from Heathrow I arrived at 51 at 8pm. The reception was clean but rather small so I didn’t know what to expect. The doorman (James?) warmly great me. The lady in the reception then announced that even though I had a reservation they were heavily booked. From experience I know this is a typical hotel speak for we will give you the worst available room. Not so for 51: the lady gave an upgrade to a suite:
(1) Your own private entrance to an amazing suite – no screaming brats/neighbors around; two fully furnished bedrooms, fully kitchen, washer/driver, business center in the room (wow), TV monitors in every room, big comfy rooms (untypical for European hotels). Did I mention how comfy these beds and pillows were? After 10 hrs flight, this was exactly what I needed
(2) Upon arrival it took the hotel ten minutes (record) to iron out my suit and get me into adjacent restaurant for dinner. The doorman walked me into restaurant (Indian) and made sure I got a nice table
(3) Big, comfy beds/very quite rooms – I live in a big city so there is always noise even at night. At 51 I could hardly hear anything…nada, and I slept like a baby. The room had two showers, big bath tub and soft comfy towels/robs, bedside water
(4) In room business center – one of a kind…very nice
(5) Staff – friendly…knowledgably about London. Gave me plenty of tips on shopping and navigating my way across the city. Taxi on the door step
(6) Wake up call – wow, it is delivered with your choice of beverage and newspaper. Of course you could also use the in-room TV monitors for wake-up.
(7) Common breakfast – incredible breakfast, very clean, nice servers. Try the incredible omelet
What can I say, this is one of a kind of hotel and I would highly recommend it to anyone. For those on the know, it reminded me of an upscale W – but with bigger rooms. I was in London for business but I could see myself staying here for pleasure. A big shopping street is right behind the hotel and like I said the staff will help you with tips on where to go shopping, nightlife etc.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled on business
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2  Thank Pamaluka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Araceli-London, Manager at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2011

Dear Pamaluka

Thank you and thank you again for such wonderful review, every member of the staff at 51 Buckingham Gate is delighted to hear about your great experience with us.

I loved the way you described 51 Buckingham Gate as a different kind of hotel, It is indeed different, our aim is to offer you many diffent options so that you can enjoy your business trip or holiday at your own pace, you can choose to cook or experience any of our restaurants in your suite if you wish to have some private time of your own just as if you were in your home.

We love to pamper our guest and those little extras like offering you your favourite hot beverage and newspaper in the morning is a wonderful way to start the day followed by a lovely breakfast in the library and then we can help you to organise your day just as you wish.

And I wish for you to come back whenever you feel like escaping NYC and we will assure you a confortable and quiet night sleep in the historic centre of London and plenty assistance to help you enjoy your time in town.

Thank you and see you soon !

Araceli Rius-Perez
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences

Address: 51 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Westminster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in London
#4 Luxury Hotel in London
#5 Business Hotel in London
#8 Family Hotel in London
#20 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range: £290 - £764 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences 5*
Number of rooms: 85
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences offers authentic luxury experiences in a bespoke and personalised environment a gemstone's throw from Buckingham Palace. It comprises three Victorian townhouses - Kings, Minsters and Falconers, each distinctly designed and beautifully restored to their iconic heritage. The 85 luxurious suites and residences with butler service offer the space and exclusivity of a private home each with their own separate kitchen and living area. Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences reflects the universally acclaimed warmth and personalised service that the Taj is recognised for as one of the finest in the world. Treading the path from tradition to tomorrow, Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences redefines the meaning of luxury, creating a distinctive, customised and exclusive Taj experience. Make the most of complimentary wi-fi, the premier Golden Keys Concierge service, tailored treatments at the Wellness Centre and a host of on-site dining options including Quilon, the signature Michelin star Indian South West coastal cuisine restaurant and Kona, showcasing the colours, flavours and vibrancy of contemporary Europe. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites And Residences Hotel London

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