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Average is as average does
Hyde Park Towers Hotel (London)
Member Name: Elioclya
Hyde Park Towers Hotel (London)
Date: 14/11/05, updated on 14/11/05 (418 review reads)
Advantages: Central location, makes a good first impression
Disadvantages: Fairly mediocre as a whole
~Location and Parking~
Situated on the next road along from Queensway Station, the hotel is fairly easy to get to by train. We were in the car though, and to be quite honest probably only got there due to the help of the trusty GPS system. The street which the station is on is a busy high street with restaurants and shops - including a Tesco Express open until 11 at night - but the hotel itself is on a much quieter road, full of guest houses and the like. Unfortunately all the parking spaces along that road were either for residents only or taken, so Tom called the hotel who recommended the car park in the next street. It was an indoor car park, and fairly secure, but for the night it cost us a very-bad-for-tempers £22. The ridiculously small parking spaces did nothing for our moods. We then had to walk to the hotel which took five minutes or so (we went the long way not realizing there was a short cut) and arrived cold and fed up.
I have to say that from the outside the hotel did look very nice - the front lawn was lit by green lights and the hotel name spread across the front of the building looked very smart. The reception area too was very well decorated, with polished wooden floors and large comfortable sofas. There was also a small computer table where you could use the internet, right in the corner between the sofas. Above the reception desk was a price board, one of those with the gold pin-on letters, and I was pleasantly surprised to realize that we were saving more than two thirds of the usual £160 by using laterooms.com - we paid only £49 for the room. Only twice what we were paying for the parking.
It took a while to check in - the authorization machine for the credit card seemed to take forever. We only got one key card, which often happens but which bothered me as they didn't ask if we'd require another one, and when the check in process was finished we were pointed through a set of double doors which were clearly labelled "Conference Suites". This wouldn't have been so bad but there were no other signs and we had to find our way through a maze of corridors, which included a very odd covered balcony with black iron railings above a tiny overgrown courtyard.
We eventually found the room having made a few twists and turns, and let ourselves in to a small, tidy but not very modern room. The double bed was pushed right up against the outside wall, the window of which looked right into the street on the ground floor - not very convenient for getting changed in the day time as there was no netting, only the large thick blinds. The television was positioned facing the back of the desk rather than the bed, and the drawers it was standing on were fixed to the wall, so we had to turn the television itself which was slightly nervewracking. There was no Pay TV which was a shame as we'd thought we might watch a film, and it only had the five basic channels and CNN.
The furniture was decent although not very modern, consisting of a desk, a small wardrobe, the bed and the TV stand. The bathroom was tiny, with a very small bath which you almost had to step over the toilet to get to, but it was clean which is always a plus.
After consulting the bar and room service menu we decided to eat out - the food wasn't exactly expensive but the choice was very limited and nothing really appealed to us. I think there were about six different options altogether, including beef bourguignon (there are far too many spellings for that word) and vegetable lasagne.
We did have breakfast the next day; the restaurant wasn't particularly attractive and thinking about it reminds me of school dinners, but we persevered. Continental breakfast was included in our rate, but we also ordered some cooked breakfast, which although costing extra was quite reasonably priced compared to a lot of places. The continental breakfast wasn't very well laid out, with nothing labelled and the cereal bowls kept under the warming lights, and there was only a limited choice; two or three cereals, croissants, rolls and juice. When we were brought our cooked breakfast and our tea we weren't given any cutlery, milk or cups and had to go back over to the buffet table to search these out. However the food did taste quite nice, even if the service wasn't up to scratch.
Around 10pm, when we'd just got back from dinner, the fire alarm went off. Sighing we headed outside (incidentally through a very convenient fire door just outside our room - shame we couldn't use it the rest of the time) and just as we did so it stopped. Tom called reception to make sure we were okay to go back to the rooms - as he works in a hotel he's very conscious of fire regulations and he had the feeling that if a hotel has more than fifty rooms you're all supposed to evacuate if the alarm goes off. The reception staff told us everything was fine, and as I can't confirm the number of rooms anyway we'll have to assume that this wasn't an issue!
The staff in the hotel were civil but not particularly friendly, and there was a smell of cannabis in the corridors at times which was disturbing.
On the whole, this was basically a three-star hotel with absolutely no pretensions for being anything more. It doesn't stand out in my mind as either particularly impressive nor particularly terrible - I've certainly stayed in worse places. So if, like us, you're just in London for the night and want somewhere to crash, it'll probably do, but I definitely wouldn't pay the full price. If you can't get it cheap, don't bother.
© Elioclya 2005
Summary: Three stars is about right
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