I came across 'Bonningtons', in London on various websites, looking for a good deal for a one night stay for a weekend in August'06.
Many websites offered deals, but the best deal I found was actually from my work's staff corporate discount: £65. However, it wasn't as cheap as the £30 deal I've known some to get. The website stated that the hotel only had 3 rooms left - and this was 5 weeks previous to the date I wanted to book - I didn't want to risk losing out, so I booked.
The hotel is in a prime location, only a short walk from Holborn tube station. Very easy to find, it's on a main road that Holborn Station is on, so you don't have to go hunting down side streets...In detail, come out of Holborn tube station head towards Southampton road (to your right)...keep going...there you are, jobs a good'un.
Location rating: 9/10
The lobby and entrance area into the hotel was very good, very spacious and contemporary looking. The staff were very helpful as they worked behind their HUGE desks. Beware the revolving door - it nearly ate my bag! (I think one of the straps must of got trapped - it wasn't my tom-foolery - honest). The lifts were incredibly small and narrow - very claustrophobic. We managed to get 6 in, but we were arranged so that we had to stand in a line. You get in at one side, then the doors open on the other side - so once you've got all your bags in, you may have to squeeze past other guests - as if you're coming back to your seat at a theatre. Most bizarre! A very bad design fault indeed I feel. There is also a conceirge service, which I found excellent. They were helpful and allowed us to store our luggage for a whole day after we checked out.
Lobby rating: 7/10 (losing points for its bad lift design)
We had a double ensuite bedroom, which was very compact but perfectly formed. I particularly liked the modern feel to the bed, high head board and golden runner along the bottom of the bed. We had all the usual things that one would expect from a hotel room, including, tea, coffee etc. We were also left 2 bottles of water which was a very nice touch (not enough hotels do this). There was a safe in the wardrobe, which I didn't have time to investigate but I'm sure is self explanatory and user friendly. We didn't have time to watch any TV either, but was very excited to notice that they had a playstation controller intergrated into the TV - so for all you gaming addicts, you can get your fix whilst you're away! My only issue with the room was that some of the scurting boards were a bit grotty and could do with repainting, other than that all was well. There wasn't much of a view from the windows - we over looked a play area, so there was no noise coming through from the busy street - I assume we were at the back of the hotel in that case.
Bedroom rating: 7/10 (would be better if it was bigger and well maintained)
Amenities in the room rating: 8/10
~~ THE BATHROOM
I'm really fussy about clean bathrooms - who isn't? Ours was ok - we had a inconspicuois looking bathmat - which looked like it had seen better days and was at least 2 months old. Some of the grouting had turned brown and looked disgusting. The bathroom was long, narrow and felt awkward to be in. As soon as you walked in, there was the toilet to the left of the door, then the bath, then at the other end (opposite the door), the sink. Actually being in the shower felt a squish too - the shower curtain was arranged in such a way that it enclosed you in a tight circle around the shower - so it was difficult to move. I had to half close the shower curtain so I could move about (and do my I'm-in-shower-therefore-am-on-top-of-the-pops-and-must-dance-and-sing routine), having a half closed shower curtain consequently got most of the floor wet. However, they did provide Lux shower gel attached to the wall, which was very nice indeed, although was very disapointed that I didn't turn into a celebrity, like on the advert with Sarah Jessica Parker!
Bathroom rating: 5/10
Breakfast was included in the price which was good. We had a continental style breakfast consisting of cereals, juices, toast, pastries, cheeses, ham (I still don't understand the whole ham for breakfast thing, oh well). Tea and Coffee was readily available from staff. All was served well and fresh, left me very full and satisfied
Food rating: 8/10
We ate breakfast in the Waterfalls restaurant (they also have another dining and bar restaurant within the hotel) which was nicely set out with enough room between each table. The staff made breakfast very entertaining indeed...misunderstanding what people were saying to them, clearing away peoples tables when they had only gone to get a second helping (I personally found it hilarious seeing the couple's faces as they came back to find their table naked and stripped of all the things that they left). There was condensation dripping right next to where someone was sitting, which wasn't cleared up that often. Not only is this a health and safety hazard, someone could have slipped on the water, but I would have found this extremely annoying if I was next to the continuous drip. Unfortunately there were no windows to see anything out of, which is a shame, unless you looked up through the glass roof, where you could see the rest of the hotel building and the other grey imposing buildings...er nice! It was clean, and nothing made me think 'hmm they could have done a better job with the scurting boards' - unlike our bedroom. The decoration was nice, but not incredibly memorable or made me thinking 'must come back and eat here again' - but I didn't pay for the restaurant - essentially it was a bonus, as the priority for the booking was a decent place to stay.
Restaurant rating (including staff): 7/10
I paid £65 for one nights stay in a double room, breakfast included. I would have liked it to have been cheaper (who wouldn't), but it wasn't a bad price, considering it was peak time, and right in the heart of London.
Price rating: 6.5/10
GRAND TOTAL FOR THE BONNINGTONS HOTEL: 7/10 (57.5/80 to be exact)
~~WOULD I STAY THERE AGAIN?
It wasn't bad by any means, but there was room for improvement. We got a good deal, but I wouldn't be happy paying the full price they ask on their website. Essentially, yes I would go back.
For further info about the Bonnington, check out their website: www.bonnington.com. Full of pictures and facts such as it being opened in 1911, don't you know.
Thanks for reading :)
(also on ciao)