“ Address: 4 Queen's Gate / Kensington / London / London SW7 5EH / England / Tel:(020) 78088400 „
The Best Western John Howard Hotel is situated in Kensington, London. My reason for booking this particular hotel was a visit to the Royal Albert Hall to see John Barrowman. I wanted a hotel which wasn't too far from the RAH and this one fitted the bill perfectly. It is just around the corner, so only a couple of minutes walk away.
I booked the hotel through the Best Western website. I booked a single room (I was meeting friends at the RAH) and paid in advance. It cost me £187.20 (in total) for two nights, which isn't bad for the area.
The hotel was easy to find, especially as there was a tube strike on and I had ended up having to walk the 2 miles from Marylebone train station.
Book in time is 3pm, but I arrived early (12.25) in the hope that I could relieve myself of my backpack after my trek across London. Thankfully, I was able to book in straight away and had the added bonus of my room being upgraded to a double for free! When booking in you are given a door key (a proper door key with a big leather key fob) with a key for the minibar and a little card. You're given the little card because you have to hand in your key every time you leave the hotel and to get your key back you just show your little card (it has your name and room number on it).
My room was room 8 on the ground floor. My room had it's own little hallway (with a wardrobe containing extra hangers and spare pillows)! In the bedroom (which was a decent size) there was a doubled bed with two bedside cabinets (containing the usual Gideons bible, Yellow Pages and Thomson Directory), a desk (which also contained the minibar and guest directory) and chair, an oval table (which cleverly hid the tea & coffee-making facilities!) and stool, and another chair. The TV (a bog standard CRT one with a range of channels) sat on the desk, along side a lamp, and a phone and notepad & pencil sat on one of the bedside cabinets. There was also a heater with temperature control, a cooling system and a wall clock.
The adjoining bathroom contained the usual toilet, sink, bath and overhead shower. There was plenty of towels, toilet paper and tissues, as well as a basket full of soap, shower gel, shampoo, body lotion, flannels and a mini sewing kit. Any of those goodies used were replaced when the cleaners came around.
Room service was available and I made use of it on my final morning for breakfast. If you wanted room service during the day/evening, then a simple call was all that was needed. All you had to do for breakfast in your room was to fill in the door-hanger (tick boxes next to the appropriate breakfast items required and next to the appropriate time you wanted your breakfast) and hang it on your door before going to bed. I requested my breakfast to be delivered to my room between 8am and 8.15am, and it arrived at 8.05am. Everything was cooked perfectly and it kept me going for the morning.
Breakfast can also be taken in the restaurant which can be found in the basement of the hotel, along with a bar. However, I didn't eat in the restaurant.
Everything was clean and tidy, and the staff were friendly and helpful. I found the room to be quiet, apart form hearing the off sound from the next room's bathroom. The only traffic I heard was an ambulance go by with it's sirens blaring on the first evening.
Other facilities at the hotel include free wifi throughout the hotel, there was also a computer near reception and for a small charge reception will help you send/receive faxes, emails etc.
Attractions near the hotel include the Royal Albert Hall, the V&A Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. Hyde Park is across the road from the hotel and Harrods is within walking distance.