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Dolphin House Serviced Apartments (London)
Member Name: Cuchulain
Dolphin House Serviced Apartments (London)
Date: 19/04/01, updated on 19/04/01 (378 review reads)
Advantages: Near the centre of London, with cheap secure parking...
Disadvantages: Everything else
Ever heard that saying? Normally it is aimed at very good books with scrappy, well-thumbed covers and pages. This time it is aimed at a crap hotel with a nice facade.
The outside of the hotel looks very chic, combined with a Gary Rhodes restaurant, and with the M16 building only a few hundred metres away you know you are in a prime location (Pimlico Tube Station is about 150 yards away too). Once you go inside everything still has the glamourous look with highly polished furniture, counters and glass everywhere. All the staff are very smart in their uniforms and apart from the dated computer systems (cos I notice things like this) everything was going well.
We had already spoken with the receptionist who booked us in, Christian, as we had got lost in the London traffic and needed diretions and he was very friendly an cracked jokes with us as we waited for the computer to process our application. All of the staff were very good (except for the fact that the consierge didn't speak English too well). We parked the car in the hotel's parking spaces (very handy and at a reasonable price for London at £15) and then took our bags to our room.
The lift reflected the decor of the reception area - chic and stylish with mirrors everywhere, aluminium where there were no mirrors ands highly polished floors. Then wer got out at our floor and it all started going downhill...
The place started to look shabby as soon as the doors opened up on the third floor. All the doors to the rooms are made from bland plain wood panels with oversize electronic locks built in. There is a spyhole built in (those ones that magnify whatever you are looking at) and inside the door there is a warning about checking who you open your door too. Not very reassuring. Inside the rooms are no better than the dark, badly decorated hallways.
Most of the walls are an off-white colour or brown, which could look okay if the rest of the room was decorated in a
way that highlighted that. These rooms, I am afraid, are decorated like a 1970's old person's home. The old sofa was very, VERY soft and was actually painful to sit in for too long, the TV had no aerial lead when we got there and the little illumination thrown out by the two lamps was quickly eaten up by the walls, carpet and curtains.
When we booked the room we were told we could have a suite for £99 per night as there was a special deal on that weekend. What a let down. The 'suite' meant that it had a small kitchenette thang made completely of white crappy cupboards and a few pieces of cutlery and crockery. There was also a fridge and oven but there was no minibar. There was 24hr room service, but that was so expensive we decided to go to the off licence across the road to stock up the fridge before buying anything from it.
The bedroom was dark. All the lights had to be on to see where you were going and even then it was still very dark. Two single beds pushed together made up the king-sized double on offer (which was very comfortable so maybe that isn't a complaint) and there was no TV in there! The best thing about staying in a hotel is coming back and drinking the mini-bar dry while lying in bed watching Cartoon Network! :)
The brochure also boasts of a large indoor heated swimming pool with bar area and restaurant. We didn't try to go to Gary Rhodes' restaurant which was good as it is shut on Sundays and Mondays (why?) but the hotel restaurant is small and cramped, squeezed into a floor with a tiny loud bar which both over looked the small pool. We were going to have a drink in the bar before going to the restaurant we had booked for the evening but the music was on very loud and the few other people in there were already shouting over the sound. Instead we found somewhere else...
Anyway, the room was terrible. Luckily we had only planned to use the room for sleeping so the fact that it had only
cost us £99 per night to be so close to the city was okay with us.
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