Chosen because of Tripadvisor reviews, its proximity to Shaftesbury Avenue and the hotel swimming pool. If you read nothing else, read paragraphs 3 and 4 re the type and availability of the pool.
We arrived a little before 2pm but our room was ready and our welcome was warm. Room 400 (one of the “cheap” ones) was ideal – well above the roar of the Haymarket traffic and very well insulated. Comfortable bed, excellent walk-in shower, safe (though on both the small and low side), choice of towels, robes etc. Plenty of hanging and drawer space. Comfortable sofa; good lighting. Free internet, which is a welcome change from some earlier reviews. BUT no tea/coffee facilities, on the basis, apparently, that the tea they use is of such good quality that the makers don’t want just any Tom, Dick or Harry or their partners making their own tea but rather should have it brought up, at cost, by room service. We were given two small gifts but, to be honest, would have preferred tea/coffee making facilities. No free mineral water, either, except at turn-down. Lesser hotels seem to manage this without any problem. Expensive mini-bar, though that is tautology.
The pool is outstanding and just the right temperature for serious swimming. Most indoor hotel pools are on the warm side. The pool is 1.5m deep in its entirety (5ft if you prefer) which is comparatively deep (most are nearer 1.3m) and thus likely to be a bit challenging for shorter, less confident swimmers who may prefer to feel that the bottom is not far away. No rail round the edge except at one end where the warm water comes out in an attractive spray. Unsuitable for non-swimming children. I used the pool twice and had it to myself on both occasions. Unused on the three occasions when I was viewing with others. I suppose that the fact that it is very much a swimmers’ rather than a bathers’ pool may have something to do with it.
A number of contributors have commented strongly on the fact that, during their stay, the pool and surrounding area were not available because of a function (and others have commented on the noise levels created by such functions). So, if you are thinking of choosing the hotel because of its pool, YOU MUST RING IN ADVANCE AND CHECK WHETHER THE POOL WILL BE AVAILABLE DURING YOUR VISIT. To give them their due, I had the chance to visit the hotel, and others nearby, before this visit, and the very helpful receptionist not only showed me round the facilities but warned me to ring in advance to check re the pool. The pool is featured on the website and it is reasonable to assume, therefore, that it will be available to guests except in exceptional, unforeseen circumstances. (I still can’t get over the thought of a function, presumably with alcohol, near a swimming pool, but perhaps I am missing something.)
Two vegan daughters joined us for dinner on our second evening and I cannot fault the service and care that was taken to ensure that their needs were met.
A reviewer in 2012, awarding four blobs, said he wished that there was a “four and a half blobs category”. I have said the same in the past though in relation to 3.5 blobs, given the uneven jump from average to very good. In our case, I think four blobs would be churlish, although the fact that a hotel is classed as 5 star does not give it the right to expect one of the higher ratings. On the basis of the excellent pool, quiet room, dinner experience and general courtesy of the staff, I feel that 5 blobs is just about right. I would like to feel, however, that the hotel takes on board the critical comments made by a number of guests re the non-availability of the pool. It is included on the hotel website and presumably adds something to the hotel’s attraction and therefore tariffs. It seems only reasonable, therefore, for potential guests to be alerted to the possibility that this key facility might not be available.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Haymarket Hotel is situated on the corner of Haymarket and Suffolk Place in the heart of London's theatre district. It is next door to the famous Haymarket Theatre Royal and is surrounded by some of London's best restaurants and bars. The hotel is perfect for Mayfair, Regent Street and Jermyn Street shopping. Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery are just around the corner - St. James's Park is a short walk. The hotel is within easy reach of the city's financial centre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Haymarket Hotel London