Newest Review: ... too fussed on what the quality would be like as I knew I would only be needing somewhere to get a drunken sleep before heading out for the ... more
Jolly in its day but not a bad place to stay!
Jolly St Ermin's Hotel (London)
Member Name: gpollock
Jolly St Ermin's Hotel (London)
Advantages: Excellent location, good value
Disadvantages: Slighty dated
The Jolly St Ermin's Hotel is located on Caxton Street in the Westmintser area of London right beside New Scotland Yard and St James's Park Underground Station making it very convenient to many of London's tourist spots.
The Hotel is over 100 years old and is a listed building. The architecture is pretty interesting and due to its close proximity with the Houses of Parliament it used to be very popular with MPs and apparently used to have a secret tunnel connecting the Hotel to the Houses of Parliament. Nowadays I doubt any MPs would use the hotel at all as it is pretty dated but it is a handy and reasonable enough place for tourists wishing to visit London.
There are 285 rooms in total which are pretty spacious and have all the standard equipment such as TV, hairdryer, Tea & Coffee making facilities etc but the decor I have to say is very dated and could definitely do with freshening up a bit! -If you spill a drink on the floor I wouldn't worry too much as it'll probably blend in well with some of the other stains!
I stayed at the Jolly St Ermin's at the start of March this year when a mate and I went over to meet up with friends in London for a weekend. I had booked the hotel online and was really only looking for somewhere cheap and in a good location to everything so I wasn't really too fussed on what the quality would be like as I knew I would only be needing somewhere to get a drunken sleep before heading out for the day again! I managed to find a good deal for the Jolly which was £75 per twin room per night, bed and breakfast which seemed to be about one of the best deals in that area and it was advertised as a four star hotel so I thought it cant be that bad! I went ahead and booked and then decided to check out other people's views on Tripadvisor and discovered that the majority of which were not good! One person even described it as "Jolly St VERMIN's" Needless to say I ended up going there with low expectations of it!
We got to the hotel after arriving in on the Greenline bus from Luton Airport to Victoria Station. The hotel is literally a 10 minute walk away from Victoria and pretty easy to find. When we got there I remembered that previous reviews on tripadvisor had warned of the slowness of the reception staff and swarms of tourists waiting to check in/out but thankfully there weren't too many people about when we arrived. The woman at the reception desk was friendly and helpful enough but she explained that out room wouldn't be ready for another few hours so we could either leave our bags with the concierge and come back later on or else we could take one of the smoking rooms instead. She gave us the opportunity to go up and take a look at the smoking room first of all to help us decide whether or not we wanted to take it. We got in the lift to go up and have a look (the lift is literally ancient, narrow, has a capacity of about two people at a time.) As we entered the room the smell of stale smoke was overpowering! It was also as if the window hadn't been opened for a long time! Apart from that the room was fine. We decided that to save any hassle having to wait around for another room that we would put up with the staleness and take the room as we wouldn't really be spending a lot of time there and we left the window wide open before going out for the day!
The dining room where breakfast is served is one of the nicer parts of the hotel. It is quite ornate and has a balcony area up above overlooking the main dining area. Breakfast is buffet style with a wide selection of food on offer from full english breakfasts to croissants and pain au chocolat, fruit and cereals. Breakfast is also served until 11.00 from what I can remember which is handy if you've had quite a late night the night before!!
The hotel bar is very relaxing. Again, it is pretty old fashioned but it is comfortable and quite nice to have a few drinks in or a coffee beside the fire. It is very quiet though and mainly only used by the hotel guests. From what I remember it was reasonably enough priced for drinks. Pints of lager were definitely cheaper than the majority of other bars I went to that weekend!
On the whole I was very impressed with the hotel and was surprised by all the negative comments I had read on Tripadvisor. I do wonder slightly about it's four star status and it certainly wouldn't be the first choice of somewhere i'd bring someone I was trying to impress but it was ideal for the sightseeing/partying weekend that I was on! I can also understand that some people might not be that impressed by the decor of the rooms but generally the room I stayed in was very clean and there was maid service every day with fresh towels. All of the staff seemed pretty helpful and friendly too. Maybe the other reviewers on Tripadvisor just had an unlucky experience. I've certainly stayed in a lot worse than this!
For anyone wanting a convenient hotel in a nice part of London I would definitely recommend this hotel. It is so handy to the likes of Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, The London Eye and there are numerous bars, restaurants, theatres and shops in the area. The fact that Scotland Yard is right nextdoor with heavily armed guards on duty day and night also makes the area seem reassuringly safe, particularly at night! I just had to be careful that I wasn't going to be the one being lifted for staggering back drunken and disorderly to the hotel past them at 3am!
Summary: Great hotel ideal for tourists
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