Newest Review: ... walk from the South Kensington tube station. It was very conveniently placed for our visit (as we were going to see Cirque du Soliel at... more
Hotel in central London in need of some upgrades.
Hotel Meininger London Hyde Park (London)
Member Name: devongirlie
Hotel Meininger London Hyde Park (London)
Advantages: Cheap for multiple occupancy
Disadvantages: Rubbish facitilites
This hotel is in an ideal location in the center of London and is reasonably cheap if you are travelling with quite a few in your party and don't mind sharing. BUT... and it's a big but... be prepared to slum it. On their website they boast that this a four star hotel, I really can't see that and am sure they must be breaking some sort of trades description act by saying it. It is little more than a hostel.
Meininger are a German firm and have a number of hostel/hotels through Europe. This is their only one London. It is directly opposite the Natural History Museum in South Kensington on a road leading to Hyde Park. There is no parking.
The reception area inside the hotel is clean, with sofas and a TV, a table football game and a coffee machine. There is wi-fi internet access for a price. They also sell London souveniers. This building is also home to Baden Powell House, owned by the scouts and with a number of conference rooms. The staff, however, seem overwhelmed at times and very often look like they don't know what they're doing.
On the first floor is a dining area. Breakfast is £4.50 per person and you can also buy a lunch package for £4. The breakfast is a do it yourself affair, you can help yourself to cereal, usually just cornflakes, bread rolls, squash (no fresh juice, no hot drinks) and bread for toasting. I have stayed here with a group of school children for the last four years and it has gone downhill steadily. There used to be a cooked breakfast, a choice of cereals, fruit juice, tea and coffee, yogurts, etc. No more. And the lunch package is a sandwich, apple, packet of crisps, biscuit and bottle of water.
The rooms are on the next four floors. There are 48 of them and they range in size from single, very small double, four, six, eight and even fourteen bed rooms, which they call dormitories. Each room is en-suite and the dormitories have two bathrooms. In the dormitories you can be sharing with other guests and have the option of booking into a mixed dorm or just a woman's dorm.
The rooms are usually quite clean, but not all of the beds are made up, if you are unlucky enough to end up with a top bunk you have to make your own. There are no tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms but they do have a telly, and they put a complimentary bottle of water out for you on arrival.
There is air conditioning in all the rooms which usually means they are very cold and at night very noisy. You can ask at reception for this to be turned off but you may have to ask several times. The storage facilities in each room varies. Some have hanging places with clothes hangers, others have shelves and other will have just small locker spaces with no locks. This is no where near good enough if you like to hang your dresses up, or even your shirts and trousers boys.
Now for the bathroom... This is OK if you are small. I am an average size 12 and getting in there is just about manageable. These bathrooms are small compartments squeezed into the corner of the room and remind me of an airplane toilet. You step up into them and the toilet is just in front of you, with a small sink and mirror to your left and the shower on the right with a shower curtain around. I haven't tried it but I'm sure it must be possible to sit on the toilet and wash your hair in the shower at the same time. However, they are clean and the water is nice and hot.
Getting to the rooms is a bit of a challenge. There is only one lift, which on my last visit was broken down for the entire four days of our stay. Even when it works it only holds about four people comfortable, and groups of school children are not allowed to use it. So we dragged our suitcases up to the fifth floor and from then on it there was a lot of stair walking. My calf muscles were twice the size by the time I got home. This was not what I expected of German efficiency.
All prices are per person per night.
If you are a young backpacker and don'r mind being in a hostel with potentially loads of school kids, this would be ideal. If you want a bit of luxury and peace and quite don't come here.
Summary: Glad I only have to do it for three nights a year.
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