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“Worst hostel experience by far”

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MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park
Ranked #60 of 946 Speciality Lodging in London
Reviewed 2 July 2014

There are several major complaints here which all contributed to the worst experience I have had with a hotel in my life. These concern: room cancelled without consent, failure of staff to rectify this, hotel unstaffed, poor security, lack of care for customers, failure of staff to contact management when needed, failure of hotel management to effectively address the issues. I ended up sleeping on the streets as a result of this.

The night before arrival, I had a late flight, so slept at the at the airport, and then arrived at the hotel the next morning tired and in need of a shower. Upon arrival, I was told that there was nowhere for me to shower, but I could use a public bathroom to freshen up. It was a kind cleaning lady who spoke little English who suggested that I could use a disabled toilet, which would allow more privacy. However, reception staff informed me that this was not a facility for "normal" people such as myself. I am an experienced traveller and have never before not been able to take a shower in a hostel, even in hostels where dorms have ensuite bathrooms. An example of them putting rules before service.

I met my mother at the hostel and said that I wasn't happy and wondered if I should stay somewhere else. I discussed this with reception, who explained that the hotel's policy was that I would still have to pay the full price if I cancelled. With this in mind, I decided to keep the bed, paid the full amount, and received a receipt which clearly states that this is for one night's accommodation. At no point, was I told verbally or in writing that the room was cancelled. The receptionist even commented that once I saw my room, I would be much happier, obviously suggesting that she did not consider the reservation cancelled.

I left my bags at the hotel and then went about my day, seeing friends just outside London. I returned to the hotel at around 20.10. There was nobody on reception and no note to say how to contact someone or when someone would be back. The key for the luggage area was on full display so that people could get their bags from the luggage room. As this hotel has had complaints in the past regarding security of the luggage room, with promises from management that this would be rectified, I was surprised to see the key out on full display.

On her return, about 30 minutes later, before attending to waiting customers, the receptionist took and ate some chocolate from the vending machine - she neither apologised for or explained her lengthy absence. She then told me quite curtly that my reservation had been cancelled. I showed her the receipt which clearly states that it is for one nights accommodation. But despite all evidence, she insisted that it was for a cancellation, and shrugged her shoulders and said "you have a phone, there's plenty of hostels around here". She then turned to a friend to discuss a football match....

She didn't apologise, and refused to contact a manager. Only after I insisted did she go online to look at alternative accommodation (it should be their responsibility, legally, to provide alternative accommodation in this case). However, she refused to contact any of them to check if there was a free room, and given her hostile behaviour, and my tiredness, I had no choice in this situation but to leave, with all my belongings with no accommodation. While I am not making assumptions about the character of this receptionist, I felt she certainly was ill-equipped to deal with this situation.

Sadly, there was no available hostels locally. I spent roughly 4 hours looking for somewhere to sleep, but there were no available rooms that night anywhere. I ended up sleeping on the street.

As yet, I have had no apology from the hotel. They also refused to refund my deposit and called me rude.

Interestingly, since taking this matter to head office, the hotel has suddenly offered to refund my deposit, but it is too little, too late. I certainly should not have had to deal with this. I am not sure why my bed was given to someone else, it was probably a clerical error, but the hotel should take responsibility when they make errors and the whole experience meant that not only was my trip to London ruined, but that I cannot recommend this hostel to anyone.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
    • Service
10  Thank Sefina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meininger H, Manager at MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2014

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are sorry that your visit was not as expected but as explained in a number of private emails to you your presentation of what happened is not correct.

Regards

Meininger Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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176 - 182 of 636 reviews

Reviewed 18 June 2014

I've stayed at Meininger for the past few years whenever I visit London. The staff are friendly and efficient, and the continental breakfast is the proper German version with a big choice of foods that really sets you up for the day. It's five minutes from Kensington Gardens, and right opposite the main museums. There are two pubs in Gloucester Road which is also five minutes walk. The rooms are clean enough for any normal person who doesn't have OCD or live in a palace. There's always school parties there but they stay in their own dormitories and are generally strictly supervised by their teachers. The adult guests are well-behaved, you don't get people rolling in drunk and making noise.
The downside is that in summer the dorms are very hot and humid at night, despite the noisy air conditioning. However most guests don;t seem to mind because they're from hotter countries- I'm British so I'm used to cooler temperatures. Secondly, the dorms face out over a main road which is busy even at night, so it's a bit noisy.
I had to change rooms during my stay due to them needing space for a big party, but that's the first time that's happened in several years.

Room Tip: Bring some of those eyeshades that people wear on planes so you can still sleep even if some idiot h...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Pete L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meininger H, Manager at MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your nice comment about your last stay and for choosing Meininger Hotel London Hyde Park as your preferred hotel in London! We are sorry to hear that you got disturbed by the street noise but due to our central location unfortunately this is something we cannot change unless you close the windows (which are double glazed).
Next time ask for a quiet room and we will try our best to accommodate you in one of the rooms that are facing the back.

We look forward to welcoming you again in one of our hotels around Europe :)

Your Meininger Team London

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Reviewed 14 June 2014

We stayed here a couple of weeks ago as a group of 24 Girl Guides and Leaders and we were really happy with the place.

The location is a tube ride away from central London, but if you look up the location before you book you'd already know this! It is 5 minutes walking from 2 different tube stations and walking distance to some of London's major museums.

The staff are mostly absolutely fantastic. Rosi who checked us in was polite, knowledgeable and fantastic when we had noise complaints about the horrible group of teenagers staying on the same floor as us being allowed to run riot and using foul language on the corridor after midnight! Unfortunately their teachers seemed to prefer a few beers in the bar than to keep their group under control, so the poor staff had to deal with them.

The rooms are good, not the biggest but certainly spacious enough. Our girls loved that they were split into two smaller rooms separated by 2 bathrooms. The only complaint that I would have was that some of our girls ended up feeling quite poorly due to the heat of the rooms even with the window open - perhaps fans or an air-con upgrade would be a good idea! The bathrooms are tiny but have everything you need - but the water pressure isn't great in the shower so it does mean it takes longer to shower than you would normally take.

The breakfast is included in the group rate and I couldn't fault it. Yes it's the same things every day, and yes it's only continental but it's lovely! Fresh and tinned fruits, three types of cereal, toast, fresh rolls, butter, jam, marmalade, nutella, ham, salami, tomatoes, cheeses, yoghurts and even a big vat of beans if you want beans on toast.

The only problems we encountered were the horrendous school group (not the hotels fault!) and the heat of the rooms.

I wouldn't recommend this place for couples/families or small groups of friends unless you are on a major budget but at £25pnpp including breakfast, it is an absolute must for groups over 10 or so!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Laura B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meininger H, Manager at MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2014

Dear guest,

We wanted to thank you for your nice review. Unfortunately during your stay we had some issues with the settings of the air-con which increased considerably the heat in the rooms, and for health and safety reasons we can't open the windows more than a certain width. Nevertheless, we solved the issue and now everything is back to normal, ready to face the heat of London’s summer.
We do have a lot of backpackers, families and groups of friends staying in our hotel as well - especially during the summer - and really enjoy this mixture of people.
We'd love to welcome you again in the future!

Best regards

Your Meininger Team

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Reviewed 6 June 2014

This hostel is one of the worst hostels I've ever stayed at. Here are a few reasons why...

1. They didn't give us the room we asked for. And when we brought it up the rooms were booked and gave us a look like, you kind of have to deal with it now.

The room they did give us was insanely compact. We are literally on top of these strange men who smell of feet and unwashed wet towel. The room looked nothing like in the picture and I'm concerned about the cleanliness. I refuse to take off my shoes. And I'm not even a neat freak :(

2. The wifi makes you log back in every 10 seconds. I've memorized the number and may even dream of them later, I've typed them in so much.

3. The location is not as great as advertised. It is close to the science museum, Victoria and Albert museum, and the national history museum. But it is very far away from all he iconic sights such as Big Ben, the London eye, the Tower of London, the main train station. You will be paying 4.70 to ride the train anywhere. Unless you get day pass, but either way it's a hassle unless you want only museums.

4. The staff...not knowledgable at all! I've asked a plethora of questions for which the common answer was a half cocked head, scrunchy forehead, and a polite I don't know mam. The politeness is good at least.

5. Bathrooms! Ugh...these are so small I have to do some gymnastic routine to close the door. Not to mention they smell like wet dog. There is no water pressure and the doors are hard to close with only one hook to hang your things.

6. And to top it all off it is over priced 30-50 dollars per night! It's not worth 2 cents!

7. They charge 5.90 pounds for a freaking breakfast!

I try to find the good in everything but this place has challenged me beyond reason. I will never stay at a Meininger again and will never recommend it to anyone. Please don't waste your money!

I just had to log back in to post this...agh!!

Room Tip: Don't choose this hostel...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Sasha77711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meininger H, Manager at MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2014

Dear guest,

We are very sorry to hear that your stay at Meininger didn't meet your expectations.
Please send us an email so we can discuss a few things further.

Kind regards

Your Meininger Team

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Reviewed 29 May 2014

When we arrived with 51 person, the lobby look so small.. plus there is a disco event at the auditorium .. so it is really crowd .... there is only 1 elevator and it is small ... since this is a youth hostel, we have to wear a tag which makes my group does not really comfortable while the other group does not have to put it on ... the bathroom for 5 person in 1 room is TOO SMALL .... the guy at the kitchen preparing our lunch pack with the wrong menu and luck it is settled in 30 minutes and they do not prepare our lunch pack on the second day... but we got to run .. so we left without our lunch pack ...

Room Tip: try to get on the 4th floor but not 401 - 403 ...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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2  Thank 10RISAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meininger H, Receptionist at MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park, responded to this reviewResponded 5 June 2014

Dear guest,

thank you for your honest reply. We really appreciate that!

We feel sorry for the experienced inconvinience, but nevertheless hope to see you and your group again!

Regards,
Your MEININGER Team London

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Reviewed 11 May 2014

When I shell out £83 for a night's accommodation, I expect a few things: a comfortable room, a private bathroom, and, if I'm being honest, something a little nicer than the average hostel.

When I checked in and found that my room made my college dorm room look spacious, I was understandably disappointed. My too small single bed was crammed in between a desk and a TV that had no remote and would have made my PC monitor look large by comparison.

My bathroom, which happened to be the handicapped bathroom for whatever reason, was twice the size of my room and (pleasantly) came with body wash and shampoo. The bathroom had a separate entrance out into the hall, so I had to ensure that was locked securely for fear of being walked in on by the too loud people I shared the floor with.

If this had been a hostel, I'd have gone in expecting it and being okay with it. But when you market yourself as a hotel and charge hotel prices, you need to offer more than shoddy dorm accommodation. I've stayed in nicer private rooms at considerably cheaper and less 'classy' hostels.

Frankly, you'd be better off paying £10 a day to get around by Underground and just stay someplace cheaper and a little farther from the city. I felt massively overcharged and underwhelmed.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank AussieOnTheRoadcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meininger H, Manager at MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comment about your stay. We are sorry that you felt letdown. We are a mixture of a hotel and a hostel, and we always try to provide the best possible comfort for our guests. We keep remotes for the TVs at reception and they’re available upon request. The bathroom of your room is wheelchair accessible, it can only be accessed from the outside by our staff with a special key in case of an emergency. However, we do hope to see you again at one of our Meininger hotels around Europe.

Kind regards,

Your Meininger Team

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Reviewed 9 May 2014

We found the idea of staying in a large budget place a bit daunting, as they can be scruffy, but here we found the staff very pleasant especially as we were 'just' of pensionable age and most of the clientele were youths! Good to see a few more of our age there too. it is also next door to the natural history museum. Great position.

Room Tip: Bathrooms are cubicles and a bit tight to move in, bit like being on a overnight train! But clean. N...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with BudgetPlaces
Thank Mrs J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meininger H, Manager at MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park, responded to this reviewResponded 12 May 2014

Dear guest,

We’re delighted to know that your stay was pleasant. We’re proud of having great staff who speak different languages and are very customer focused. The bathrooms are small but have everything you need in them. However, we will undergo a refurbishment of our bathrooms to make them larger in the near future.
We hope to welcome you again!

Best regards,

Your Meininger-Team

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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 MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park

Address: Baden-Powell House 65-67 Queen's Gate, London SW7 5JS, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > South Kensington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 946 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range: £21 - £158 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park 2*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The MEININGER Hotel is located centrally and even the Queen has visited it. Starting in South Kensington near Hyde Park it's easy to explore this European metropolis. And if you're staying in: there is a large terrace on the first floor for table tennis tournaments. Gorgeous! Lobby, hotel bar and bistro, a gaming area and seminar rooms - MEININGER offers more than just low-cost accommodation. Welcome to London! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Meininger City Hotel London

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