“ Address: Tavistock Square / Bloomsbury / London / WC1H 9EU / England „
The Tavistock Hotel is located just a couple of minutes walk from Russell Square Underground Station on the edge of Bloomsbury Square and due mainly to this convenient location I have used it as a base on several different locations over the years. During my most recent visit to London I did actually fancy staying somewhere a bit different but after trawling through numerous different options the Tavistock seemed to offer everything that I needed for a couple nights break in the capital.
The Tavistock is a 3 star hotel and is a member of the small Imperial Hotels chain that was established way back in 1837. There are just five hotels in the group and all of them are located in the same vicinity (Russell Square/Bloomsbury Square). In addition to the Tavistock there is the Royal National, President, Bedford and County Hotels, which vary between 2 and 3 star rating.
I booked my accommodation on line and paid just £62 per night for a double/twin room. This was on a bed and breakfast basis but there was a special on line offer at the time where a free evening meal was available on the first evening if 2 consecutive nights were booked and at least one of those nights was a Saturday. I'm always up for a freebie but at that price I'd have booked it without the carrot of the free evening meal anyway.
Assuming that you are arriving into the area on the tube the hotel is very easy to find. As you come out of Russell Square station turn left and then after about 20 metres along the road take the first right and you will see the hotel on the right hand side in the distance. The walking time from the station should only be 2-3 minutes.
From the outside of the hotel the entrance looks very 1930's art deco with a fancy curved porch. The building itself is constructed from brown brick and there are rows of small square Georgian style windows above the porch. Each window represents one of the hotel's 395 rooms but since I had a corner room my room had two windows, one of which overlooked Woburn Place and the other one overlooked Bloomsbury Square.
Walking through the entrance the 1930's art deco theme continues. The reception desk is located directly in front of the entrance doors and check in was both quick and easy. We were given a voucher for the free evening meal and allocated a room on the fourth floor. The room keys are the plastic electronic type that look a bit like a credit card. To the left of the reception there are a set of lifts and a door that leads through to Jacques Wine Bar, which is a bistro that is located adjacent to the hotel and where the evening meal would be served. To the right of reception there is a concierge desk and beyond this a bar called the Tav Bar. Breakfast is served in a room beyond the Tav Bar and here there are also more lifts to the upper floors and also some stairs.
First impressions of the room were good. It was clean and tidy and the bathroom was adequate although it only had a shower (no bathtub). A TV set with the basic channels might be a problem for some but I was only planning to sleep in the room not live here so that wasn't a problem for me. There was also a hospitality tray with tea, coffee and chocolate and a kettle of course. The was as I said earlier overlooking Bloomsbury Square, which is nice green square filled with shrubs and flower beds so all in all it was all reasonable for the price.
Room service was available for a surcharge and there was a menu in the room along with an information pack giving breakfast times etc. The room had no wireless Internet connectivity (again a potential problem for them) but I was aware of this beforehand. For those that can't function without their laptops free wifi is available in the lobby where there are also some PC's available, which are the coin operated type where you get about 15minutes for a pound.
The free evening meal was as a 3 course but I wasn't expecting anything spectacular and it was perhaps as well. Jacques Wine Bar is described as a bistro and is located adjacent to the hotel but is part of the same complex. It serves hot and cold drinks as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There was a wide time slot between when we could have our complimentary meal (from 5.30pm until 9pm) but we chose to eat quite early at around 6pm. Food was ordered at the bar where we presented our voucher and were given a menu with a few dishes to choose from. The menu was rather limited with a choice of just 3 starters and about 4 main meals on it and both my partner and myself chose vegetable soup for a starter and I had pie and potatoes for my main meal. My other half had bangers and mash. The soup was fine but straight from a tin but at least it came with a small bread roll but the main meal portions were ridiculously tiny and came on a tea plate. There was nothing wrong with the quality of the food but I would have not been impressed if I was paying for such a measly amount. The best part of the meal were the selection of sweets and we both had apple pie and custard, which was a surprisingly large portion.
The Tavistock Hotel was chosen as a base and in my opinion it functions perfectly fine for that. There are no facilities like a swimming pool or gym contrary to the information given on many websites but complimentary rates are available at the Livingwell Health Club, which is just a couple of doors down the street.
I knew from my previous stays that the breakfast was an all you can eat buffet affair and I remembered that there were no issues with the quality of the food. As predicted the breakfast was fine and consisted of hot cooked food (bacon, sausages, egg etc) plus unlimited toast, cereals and juices but whilst this is all self service tea and coffee is served at your table by a waiter which seems a little bit odd.
Overall I enjoyed my stay at the Tavistock and I would stay here again for the £60-£70 price range. It offers cheap, no frills accommodation right in the heart of London. The main things in its favour are its location and cost but above all it's clean so I feel that it represents good value for money. I also found the staff to be friendly and efficient.
Recommended if you want to visit London on a budget.