Newest Review: ... to each other, or at least on the same floor. However, my friends' room was on the 1st floor and my room was on the 2nd floor. My frien... more
A decent and affordable hotel in central London
Hotel London Guards (London)
Member Name: nixtee
Hotel London Guards (London)
Advantages: Affordable rooms, friendly staff, a short walk from the nearest tube station
Disadvantages: Having to write down payment details on a piece of paper.
Some friends and I were meeting in London for a long weekend consisting of a night out, a concert, a get-together and various other things. As we would be going to the Notting Hill area we decided we didn't want to be too far away. My friend Nicky found the London Guards Hotel (part of the RCA Hotels group) on Lancaster Gate. It's a short walk from Lancaster Gate tube station, which is only a couple of tube stops from Notting Hill Gate tube station.
Google Maps shows the London Guards Hotel on the left side of Lancaster Gate (there's more than 1 street), however it is on the right hand side in the top corner.
The hotel is located in a Grade II listed townhouse building and the reception is tastefully decorated. To the left-hand side is a seating area and a small TV, and to the right-hand side is the reception desk, more seating and a couple of computers with internet access (Wifi is also available at the hotel, but charges apply).
Checking-in involved filling in a form, including writing down your payment details (e.g. debit/credit card details), which didn't seem a very secure way of doing things, in my opinion. Having filled in the form we were given keys to our rooms. A proper door key on the biggest key fob I've ever seen! The reason for the huge key fob is that they don't want you taking your key out of the hotel, instead you should hand it in at reception when you go out. A little card comes with your key and you need to keep this with you as it helps you get your key back from reception. Loosing your key results in a £20 or £25 charge! Considering our two rooms had been booked together, I would have thought they'd have put us in rooms next for to each other, or at least on the same floor. However, my friends' room was on the 1st floor and my room was on the 2nd floor.
My friends' room was directly opposite the lift (not good if people are coming & going all night, but then this isn't a Travelodge!), however they didn't complain about any noise from the lift.
My room was 205, which you'd expect to be either between rooms 204 and 206 or opposite, but it was through a door and around a corner.
I put the key in the door, turned it and pushed the door, but the door didn't budge. I repeated this process several times, turning the key one way or another, but I still couldn't get into my room! Rather embarrassing! After several minutes of this I gave up and headed to the lift, as I waited for it a staff member appeared, so I asked for his help. He turned the key and the door opened no problem! I looked a right idiot! Why hadn't I been able to open it? Well, I found out why when I couldn't get in my room again later that evening... There's a nack to opening some of the doors - When you turn the key you need to push down too. From then on it was plain sailing, well, most of the time anyway! Once in a while I still found it a little difficult to open my door.
Once opened, I stepped through the door and into a tiny hallway with a wardrobe in it. To my left was a door to the bedroom and in front of me was a door to the bathroom. The wardrobe contained a safe and a blanket.
The bedroom was square and of a decent size, it's certainly one of the larger bedrooms I've slept in. The walls were white and a small double bed sat against one wall. Either side of the bed was a drawer, a phone sat on one of them. A wall lamp was fitted on the wall above the bed with it's own little pull cord to turn it on & off. A stand-up fan sat in one corner of the room, while a TV sat perched high on a wall-mounted stand in another. Beneath the TV was the tea/coffee & kettle which were sat on top of a unit that housed a fridge (which got noisy at times) and a cupboard. The room also had a built-in desk (with 6 drawers, one of which contained a hair dryer. A folder of information sat on top of the desk. A chair was at the desk and a large mirror hung on the wall above it. A period chair also sat near the fridge.
The ensuite bathroom was long and narrow (but not too narrow). It had the usual features (bath/shower, toilet, sink). The bath had a shower curtain that went right across the side of the bath, but it looked a bit odd as it seemed to have a net curtain attached to it too! The bathroom also had a heated towel rail which seemed to be keeping the bathroom at an almost tropical temperature! The sink held some mini soaps (which were topped up every day), mini shampoo, mini shower gel & shower cap. The cabinet above the sink held some plastic cups (about 6 in total!).
Back to the bedroom - I could hear minimal traffic noise (as my room was situated at the back of the hotel and looked out over a back yard and other buildings), however gulls seemed to be making a right racket every now and then!
There was around 9 TV channels available on the TV, in an odd order (to normal TV channels in the UK) and included, BBC, ITV, Eurosport (the German version, I think!), CNN and a foreign music channel. Not that I watched much TV as I was in London to have fun!
Breakfast was included in the price of our rooms and was held in the basement bar come dining room (accessed by narrow stairs). Breakfast was a simple affair with tea, coffee & juice on offer, along with bread/toast, yogurt, cheese, apples and a few different cereals. I think breakfast finished around 10.30am, but we were never rushed out of there (we were always some of the last people down to breakfast due to the late nights before!).
One evening we ventured down to the bar in the basement. We ordered a Malibu & Coke, a vodka & Coke and a glass of white wine. It cost us £15 for 3 drinks... That's a fiver a drink! The bar maid was Russian and we noticed a couple of pictures of President Putin and other prominent Russians. There was a TV near the bar and it was playing a foreign music channel, I'm guessing Russian.
Checking-out was simple.. I simply handed over my key and key card, and paid with my card. I was then given an invoice and wished a good day.
My friend Nicky had booked our rooms via LateRooms.com. My room was £185 for 3 nights (priced at £55 for each of two of the nights and £75 for one of the nights). I think you'll agree that that is a very reasonable price for a central London hotel in a nice, reasonably quite area of the city. We booked a couple of months in advance.
The staff are friendly & helpful, and there's somebody on reception 24 hours a day.
The hotel is in a quiet square and only a stone's throw from Hyde Park. We sampled food & drink at a couple of nearby pubs - The Mitre and The Swan - and would highly recommend both.
If you have made it to the end of this review then well done! Apologies for it being so long, but I've written what I felt was necessary. I highly recommend the London Guards Hotel and would certainly stay there again.
Summary: A nice and affordable hotel in central London.
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