“ Hotel Cavendish / 75 Gower Street / Bloomsbury / London WC1E 6HJ / Tel: + 44 (0)20 7636 9079 / Fax: + 44 (0)20 7580 3609 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. „
My opinion had always been that London hotels were overpriced but the needless expense was something you put up with if you wanted or needed to overnight in the capital. However when we found ourselves having to spend a night in London en route back from a Christmas in Brussels my mission was to find us the cheapest place possible in a convenient location. I therefore looked for a triple room (cheaper than a single and a double) and within walking distance of one of the two stations we were using (Euston and Waterloo) and came across this hotel.
Gower Street runs from Euston Road to Oxford Street near enough and is walking distance from both. At a steady pace it takes about 10 minutes to reach the station, and maybe 20 30 minutes to reach the shops and theatre district. Neither walk is particularly unpleasant: heading to the station you mainly pass university buildings and other small hotels, and walking back from the theatre after seeing Les Mis we felt perfectly safe even at 10.30pm on a wintry night. The buildings on either side of the hotel house similar establishments and I cant say whether the Cavendish was any better or worse than these, but it had the added advantage of being listed on various hotel booking websites and having its own home on the web at http://www.hotelcavendish.com/phototour.htm My theory has always been than anywhere that manages to have their own website cant be that bad even if, shock horror, they use Windows rather than Linux.
We arrived at out 1.30pm to find an open front door but an unmanned reception desk and no bell to summon attention. After a while, probably no longer than 5 minutes, a member of staff arrived and checked us in even though it was before check-in time (2pm). We assumed they were quite empty, not seeing any other guests, but the breakfast room in the morning told a different story.
Our room was on the 3rd floor, right at the top, and there was no lift so we lugged our bags up the stairs, noticing with envy various lower floor rooms on the way (there appeared to be rooms on the lower ground, ground, 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors). Our room was just off the stairs and the key card worked (only worthy of mention since the one in our previous days hotel hadnt). Inside, the room was remarkably nice and tastefully decorated much more than you would expect for a British hotel in this price band.
The room had a double bed, a sofa bed and a camp bed though it seemed unlikely that one would be able to fold out both of the latter two at the same time. It was a bit cramped with the 3 of us but had it been done simply as a room for 2 then it would have been at least the same size as most motel chains. There was a fancy, wall-mounted plasma screen TV though I didnt find the satellite channels listed on the website (unless Channel 5 doesnt come as standard in the south?) and a writing desk and chair, complete with tea and coffee making facilities (and, a nice touch, 3 packets of shortbread). The en suite was built into a corner of the room rather than as an extension to it as in most places, and included a powerful shower and free toiletries (soaps and shampoo only, but still, useful to have). The whole place was spotless, modern and a pleasant surprise.
We went out shopping and sightseeing after checking the hotel was open 24 hours / accessible with the one key card. It was, and in fact when we arrived back about 11pm we didnt need to ring a bell to get in as the door was still open.
The following morning we went for breakfast which was listed on the website as full English, something that doesnt do much to inspire 3 vegetarians, especially given our experience of other English hotels, but once more we were pleasantly surprised to find a small buffet and , again, there was much more than you would expect for a British hotel in this price band. The buffet included little boxes of Kelloggs cereals (full marks for brand names and for having fresh sachets rather than big communal bowls). There were yoghurts and fruit too, and regularly refilled jugs of various fruit juices and what looked like cordial. They even had small individual cheddars though in the absence of crusty rolls Im not quite sure what they expected to do with them.
Once we were sitting down the waitress took orders for hot drinks and hot food, with all dishes cooked to order from a reasonable selection of choices. She brought us a toast rack and, when I ignored the brown, scoffed all the white and asked for more, she happily brought over another rack of the unhealthy, refined stuff. The tables were set out with butter and marmalade, and honey and margarine were available from the buffet too. This may not sound like much but Ive stayed in more expensive places with much less on offer, where if you dont want fried up slaughtered animals then theres not much left to choose from.
The dining room, in the basement, was pleasantly laid out and decorated with lovely stripped wood floors and neat tables. On one wall was a large TV which was showing Channel 4 when we were there, probably because Friends and Will and Grace are more appealing that the cartoons they were showing on the other channels that day, what with it being shortly after Christmas (the photo on the website implies youll be munching away to the BBC Breakfast ) The breakfast room could seat about 20 people and most of the tables were full while we were there, dispelling the myth that we were the only guests in residence.
So how much did a night in this remarkably acceptable central London hotel cost? A mere £65 in total for a triple room and breakfast for 3. This, dear reader, is considered a wild bargain in m mind, and explains why my expectations were low prior to arrival. It was much more of a bed and breakfast than a hotel and there were no real facilities (a small reception area, garden and breakfast room were essentially it) but it was all so nicely done, tasteful and pleasant that we had a good stop over and I would not only recommend it, but would stay there again which is not something I often say.
75 Gower Street,
London WC1E 6HJ
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7636 9079
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7580 3609
Nearest Tube : Goodge Street / Euston Square
Situated in the heart of Bloomsbury, the literary capital of the world, The Hotel Cavendish is a recently decorated hotel. Its original Georgian features have been accentuated and facilities improved to cater for both businessmen and tourists looking for a pleasant stay in London. The capitals renowned theatres and West End attractions are within walking distance of the hotel. The beautiful rooms and lounge features are supplemented by a walled garden which is exclusively for the use of the residents who like to enjoy a peaceful relaxing time in quiet surroundings.