Craig’s review… Let’s get straight down to the important stuff: number of teabags = two (but one of them is apple flavour); milks = two; biscuits = three. So straight away that is more than you get at The Ritz, which is a good start. You also get a wardrobe without any walls – just a load of coat hangars on a pole. But there is a very good reason for that: because there isn’t enough room for a cupboard!
This is without any shadow of a doubt the smallest room that I have ever slept in – and it’s supposed to be a 4-star hotel. If they put two single beds in here then the room would be totally full up (no joke). It’s a good job that I’m skinny otherwise I would never have squeezed in.
I’ll give you an example of how small the room is: they’ve attached a trouser press to the wall but you can’t lower it down because the mattress is in the way. The plug socket is flush against the sheets and if I turned it on then I’d be worried about setting fire to the bed. (Luckily I never do any ironing anyway, so it’s a moot point.)
And here is something that I’ve never seen before: a hotel window with frosted glass. All of the interior rooms look out over a concrete courtyard so they’ve obviously decided to frost up all the glass to stop people staring at each other. So that basically means that I’ve got a window I can’t look out of. I can’t see a thing through it… it’s like living with cataracts.
So how are we doing so far? Let’s have a quick little re-cap… it’s a 4-star room about the same size as my shed with a frosted window in it. And it’s got a wardrobe without any walls – just a metal stick with coat hangars on it. And an apple flavoured teabag.
I might steal one of the golden stars from the sign outside because they are taking the mickey calling this a 4-star room. The only thing that you’d have to do to turn this into a 2-star room is take out the teapot and hairdryer and trouser press, and chuck out the shampoo, and that’s it. Then you can knock a hundred quid off the room rate.
It gets better… because the cleaner didn’t bother to wash the cups up or replace any of the teabags. I know they are only piddly little problems in the grand scheme of things, and who really cares about a dirty cup (I’m perfectly capable of washing a cup up myself!), but it’s supposed to be a 4-star hotel, and when they take two hundred quid off you for a shoebox room the least they can do is replace a 2p teabag.
As for the bar… well that is even smaller than my room. I’m being serious! It’s literally just a desk next to the reception with two tables in front of it. If two other people are using it then you have to stand up. Maybe I’m being a bit cynical here, but I reckon they just shoe-horned that in there so they could claim their fourth star.
The only redeeming feature of this hotel is the breakfast room and restaurant, which turned out to be the Garfunkel’s next-door (they’ve got their own door into it from the reception). They give you a voucher and you can go in there and choose straight from the Garfunkel’s menu. Because it’s a proper high street restaurant and has nothing to do with the hotel it’s actually quite good. If the hotel ran it then they’d probably give you two baked beans on a saucer.
Here is my review summed up in a single sentence: I’d rather stay at home – and that’s the truth! Luckily I don’t mind when I get a lousy room because I’m only here to write a review, and having a lousy room at least gives me something to write about, but if I’d just blown two hundred quid as a tourist, in what I consider to be a very average 3-star hotel, then I would feel like I’d been ripped off.
London: A Visitor’s Guide
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