Let us be clear - this is a private member’s sports club and conference centre with rooms - it is not a hotel with associated guest facilities in the accepted sense. Without doubt, the `Thameside’ location is perfect; the grounds are stunning; the facade imposing and the facilities described by the smart and effective PR do look impressive.
Now to reality. I booked (via Bxxxxxx.com) a hugely discounted double room for a weekend break advertised as the last one available. It was not and the in-house discounted price would have been cheaper! The room was small, the double bed was tiny (4’?) and hard as nails (thin contract mattress?) and although generally well equipped with tea/coffee facilities, iron & board and fan - the storage space for 2 was inadequate. A desk type structure intruded into the room; there was not enough drawer space and a just adequate wardrobe. The TV is small but does pull out a little from the fitted recess so can be seen from the desk - but do not expect to read text. The shower room is adequate in scope, albeit small, but is poorly ventilated by an inadequate ceiling fan. Consequently, the small bedroom turns into a sauna fairly quickly because the tiny room was unbearably hot. Opening the curtains gave a view of the ground floor roof and air con plant; opening the window gave an additional sensory experience of said plant! Only one bath sheet was supplied and when we asked for another - it was duly provided; unfortunately, the previous night’s towels were not replaced so the net effect was the same. The shower was cleaned and bed made up but the used plastic bottles were left in situ and un-touched. Banging doors, paper-thin walls and ‘some rowdy rugby types’ coupled with some of the above did not make for a restful night’s sleep. Imagine either University/College campus rooms or modern military block accommodation and that is the standard double in the ‘Clubhouse Wing’.
Because this is a club, it is full of members and family, those locals who pay a day rate fee, and ‘other types’ who find the bar attractive in the evening. The whole ambience reflects this: there were many children and adults in various sports attire throughout the day giving a busy impression to the place; moreover, the bar has all the feel of a downtown sports bar: large TVs showing football with lots of locals and members consuming huge amounts of alcohol and bar food. The bar was very busy - consequently service was slow and inattentive. I ordered a half - got a pint after the floor manager prodded the staff to serve me. Anoraks, shell suits, rugby tops and ‘Essex dress’ pervaded. There is a small siting area set off the bar en route the ‘restaurant’ but it is not adequate - it is more of a transit lobby. There is nowhere for the ‘hotel guest’ to take time out. As for the restaurant, the buffet breakfast is very good and whilst there is an attempt to provide different eating areas in one location - the food is the same. It is standard café restaurant fare that is well-cooked and reasonable value.
The sports facilities and other outdoors amenities (play park etc.) looked good although the 25 m pool (housed in separate building) was restricted both by session and lane by member’s activities. Think of a dated public swimming pool & changing facilities used by the local school.
On the upside, reception was more than helpful and accommodating - but English as a second language for some staff on the desk and throughout the hotel is clearly a problem. That is probably why they looked so miserable!
This place is what it is and if you know what you are getting and you expect a Corporate Conference package, a private party in imposing surroundings or just a David Lloyd type gym experience with the kids who will love the facilities and café bar food then I am sure you will not be disappointed. Just do not think it is a luxury hotel on the banks of the Thames aimed solely at ensuring ‘hotel’ guests’ satisfaction.
I was greatly disappointed both in my expectations and the standards; I will go elsewhere as I am a regular visitor to the area. If I wanted this type experience I would have gone to the Kingston Travel Lodge and booked a day at the David Lloyd gym up the road.
I had flown in from the Middle East for a special family gathering but was told that the ‘restaurant’ did not book tables as the ‘members’ had decided that was not what they wanted. It is clear where this establishment focuses its guest emphasis.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Lensbury is a 4 star hotel and conference centre located on the banks of the River Thames at Teddington in South West London. Conveniently close to major attractions such as Hampton Court Palace, Kew Gardens and Twickenham Rugby Stadium, The Lensbury offers a good standard of accommodation, extensive leisure facilities and quality dining. The Lensbury is just 20 minutes by train from central London and 25 minutes by car from London Heathrow Airport and close to links for the M3 and M4 motorways.The property has its own car parking for 200 cars, complimentary WiFi throughout and 25 acres of grounds and gardens for you to enjoy.It truely is London's hidden gem on the Thames. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Lensbury Hotel Teddington
- The Lensbury Teddington, Greater London