Craig’s review… I was staying in the cost-a-fortune Waldorf last week and I didn’t really warm to it, but then I came to this pokey little 3-star and liked it straight away. That’s why you should never spend a few hundred quid on a 5-star because you’re just wasting your money. You may as well spend a bit less on a less stuffy hotel, and then blow what’s left on tourist attractions. 5-star hotels are for proposing in, or for business meetings, but not holidays. You can trust me on this. I have been to enough 3, 4 and 5-stars to know what makes a happy holiday – and it’s somewhere like the Days Inn.
You tend to get more for your money at a 3-star hotel. I know that sounds faintly ridiculous, but you actually get more stuff when you spend less money. I had to pay an extra £26 quid for the Wi-Fi at the Waldorf, but in here it’s free. They gave me four teabags at the 5-star, but in here you get seven. The room is a lot nicer too. It’s all warm pines and burgundy reds, and the staff are just normal people instead of unsmiling supermodels. If you need a bathroom that’s bigger than a football pitch then go to a 5-star, otherwise you’ll be perfectly happy here.
They’ve got a little bar and a lounge downstairs behind reception, but I get the impression it’s not used much. When I asked the guy for a coffee he had a little panic attack. I don’t think he knew how to work the machine. Then he pressed a few buttons and the coffee came out. Phew! When he realised that I actually had a room at the hotel he let me have the coffee for free – you wouldn’t get that happening at the Waldorf.
The breakfast room is quite nice but they don’t do any cooked food; it’s just a lot of yoghurts and hams, cheeses and toast. They have some of those fun-size boxes of cereals as well.
I personally don’t mind the streets around Paddington, but I know it won’t be to everybody’s taste. If you’re trying to impress a date then it’s probably not the place to go, but if you’re just a wandering soul like me then you’ll be perfectly content. Paddington can sometimes look a little grotty if you catch it on a bad day, but a lot of the side streets around here are actually very grand. But here’s a piece of advice: you do need to be comfortable catching a bus, because you will rapidly tire of walking up from Marble Arch every day. I wouldn’t bother with the tube, though – stick with the top deck of a double-decker bus. See a bit of London! You can catch buses outside Paddington station to practically anywhere in the city.
London: A Visitor’s Guide
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