Andaz Liverpool Street review
I'll tell you what I'd like to do... I'd like to send the manager of the Andaz over to The Ritz, or the Royal Horseguards, so he can see what a proper 5-star hotel looks like. I'm too old for a hotel like this. It's for people under thirty, and people who like style over substance.
It is immediately obvious as soon as you walk through the door that they are trying too hard to be cool. (That shows you how old I am -- I'm still using words like cool.) They need to turn some lights on, for a start, because the reception area is darker than space. Where's the reception desk? They haven't got one -- they are too cool for that. Reception desks are what other hotels do -- what you do at the Andaz is introduce yourself to one of the suits who are just standing around in the dark, who will then lead you over to a table with a laptop on it, and start punching in some numbers. This is where it started to go downhill for me, because the very first thing he did was try to upsell me to another room. Imagine the scene... you've just spent a bundle of money on a 5-star hotel (which is supposed to be the bees knees) and the very first thing that comes out of his mouth -- before you've even had a chance to step inside the room -- is that he's got a load more rooms that are ten times better.
Next problem: There's no bath. I've got a shower and a sink, but no bath, and I'm too big to have a bath in the sink. Bear in mind that this is supposed to be a 5-star hotel, and every house in the country has got a bathtub in it -- so where is it? Maybe they've hidden it in the cupboard... let me go and have a look... nope. That's where you'll find a pair of slippers in a plastic bag, and a dressing gown which looks like a karate costume.
The Andaz is the hotel equivalent of that Stealers Wheel song... when they wonder whether it's "cool to go to sleep on the floor". The hotel spends too much time worrying about whether something is cool, and not enough time wondering if it's any good. They give you pencils instead of pens. They give you Chinese news, Russian news, French news and Al Jazeera on the telly, but no Sky News. They give you a free copy of Wired magazine and Harper's Bazaar. You get an IKEA-style pine desk and metal office chair instead of an armchair. You get peppermint tea and glutton-free crisps. They even advertise the fact that their eco-friendly toilet uses 80% less water. Who honestly cares about that? When was the last time you booked a hotel because their toilet uses less water?
Another thing that wound me up was this: the promise of a complimentary minibar. The guy downstairs made a big deal about that, but when you get up to the room all you'll find inside the fridge is a bottle of water, a tin can of Coke and a little plastic bottle of Tropicana orange juice. All the booze has to be purchased separately from room service. That's hardly a minibar, is it? That's more like the contents of a child's lunch box.
There's no ironing board either, and no iron -- you have to order those from reception. But at least they give you free Wi-Fi, I suppose -- which is more than most hotels do.
They have a couple of restaurants and a couple of bars onsite. One of them looks like a traditional British pub, and the other one is a champagne bar with mood lighting and sofa seats lower than your ankles. They certainly love the dark in this hotel -- thank Christ it had candles in it, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to see what I was drinking.
The only good thing that I can say about this hotel is that it's situated nextdoor to Liverpool Street station, which is a very busy and lively part of London. But I'd rather stay at the Premier Inn in Leicester Square -- and that's the God's honest truth. Maybe you'll like it better if you're under thirty.
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