Club Quarters St. Paul's review
I quite liked the Club Quarters St. Paul's when I first entered the room, but I've cooled on it now that I've been here a while. I don't want to start this review on a downer, though, because there's still plenty to recommend it, so let me tell you about the good things first.
The best thing about this hotel is definitely its location. It's right by St. Paul's at the top end of Ludgate Hill. When you step outside the front door you can see the cathedral up the street. You can walk to the front steps in sixty seconds flat. (And I really do mean sixty seconds exactly, because I timed it on my phone!)
The second best thing about the hotel is the size of the room -- it's quite large for a London hotel, and you also get a big desk (bigger than my desk at home), stocked with a few bedtime reading books like the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus, Philip's Encyclopaedia and Edward Rutherford's London.
They've got a very nice restaurant as well, but technically it's just a high street restaurant tacked on to the side. Hotel guests can go in there and charge the food to their room. They do a buffet breakfast, cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner -- the whole lot. Because it's a high street restaurant they do pretty much everything.
Okay... so that's all the good stuff done. Now here comes the bad stuff (and remember that this is supposed to be a 4-star hotel).
My room doesn't have a safe in it. There's no iron either. No minibar. No bar -- just a downstairs lounge with tea machine. They only give you two teabags in your room plus a flimsy little toothpick spoon that bends and softens when you put it in your cup -- it's one of those plastic spoons you get in motorway cafes. I normally have some noodles or something, and have you ever tried eating some noodles with a toothpick spoon? It's impossible! So you have to remember to bring some cutlery with you if you want to eat anything.
For some bizarre reason they've decided to put their free Wi-Fi on a unsecured network -- which basically means that you can't use it for anything on http, because every single person in the hotel can snoop on what you're sending (provided they actually know what they're doing, of course, which they probably don't). I know I'm probably being super-paranoid -- because I am paranoid when it comes to stuff like this -- but why don't they just set it up properly? It would take them about five minutes.
A lot of the things that should've been in the room can be purloined from a utility closet down the hall. Every guest gets a keycard which lets them root through the cupboards. This is where you'll find the iron and ironing board, but if you want to use them you've got to scoop them up in your arms and traipse down the labyrinthine hallways with them. They've also got a vending machine and a self-service launderette in there, in case you fancy washing your socks. And some more tiny plastic spoons, in case your other one melts. It's quite a handy thing to have, I suppose, but it's not the kind of thing I would expect to find in a 4-star hotel -- it reminds me of living in a student dorm. They should just put an iron in each room and stop being so tight.
Don't be too put off by my complaints, though, because they're just piddly little things in the grand scheme of things. Its location is amazing, the room is nice and big, and if you're not paranoid about the Wi-Fi then you'll probably like it a lot. If they called themselves a 3-star then I'd probably recommend it without hesitation, but I've slept in enough 4s by now to know it's not one of them.
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