As you may know, Posthouse in 2001 were taken over by Six Continents Hotels(formerly Bass)and most have changed to Holiday Inn with a few into Crowne Plaza. Unfortunately, a few couldn't and have been sold to other groups. I went a few months after the aquisition and it was still a Posthouse(April 2002). It is now the Kensington Close Hotel which was what it was known as before it was a Posthouse in 1996. Anyway, the hotel was in the Posthouse porfolio style, you know, the contemporary style with leather chairs. This is the Holiday Inn portfolio now and I think will stay as it shows most of the room pictures in this style. Well, want to find out more... OUTSIDE It isjust off Kensington High Street and a 10 minutes walk down the other way will take you to Earls Court. The hotels facade is well Victoriany or 1930's ish. Inside it is ultra modern but with one oldy pub. It looks rather grand, I do personally prefer modern, but as long as the inside was modern the decor was fine. RECEPTION AND LOBBY When you walk in you will notice that the carpet is a dark redish purply colour to make you know this was a Posthouse Hotel. On the left was a reception desk. The lobby was modern yet stylish and made you feel as if you were in a big hotel. The Mid shaded brown wood for the desk was nice. Oh, and we checked in at 0900 am.(The coach arrived early see) and check-in isn't usually ready until 2 pm. We were checked in though as our room was ready. Of course sometimes the rooms may not be ready and you may have to wait. The receptionists are friendly too. On the opposite side is a handy shop serving all items like a newsagents. On walking to the shop from the main entrance, you will pass a Concierge Desk. You will also pass a leaflet desk. RESTAURANTS AND BARS This hotel has 3 of them, yes three. There was the Greens of Kensington and Biancone now changed to The Carvery and The Grill Room. If you walk right of these and past the Po
s thouse lounge then you will come across to Marloes Tavern which, despite Posthouses Contemporary look was an old-fasioned Pub. We had a drink there and it was nice. Sorry but we never went to the others. Also, if you are on a BB package or DBB package then Breakfast in the restaurant was included and you can choose from Continental or Full Cooked. We had Breakfast in the Room which is not included in the price even if you go DBB or BB. I will talk about Room Service later on. ROOM SERVICE This was good. You had a menu. We had a Posthouse menu although you will have a different one due to change of company. You can have Room Service Breakfast which you complete a card and choose what type you want and how many, then you put what time you want it delivered. Although it was around £14 for Continental it was well worth it if you wanted to wake up and luxuriate. Instead of rushing early to get a shower, dress ect. you could just wake and collect from the friendly waters. Watch telly too, sit in a nice chair or watever. This is the norm in big hotels nowadays. Obviously not in Travel Inns but in Holiday Inns, Moat Houses, Thistle, Mariott, Hilton and probably the Kensington Close aswell as other big individuals. Well, this hotel I think is part of someone called Cola Holdings. THE LOUNGE Before you got to the Marloes Tavern, you went past the lounge. Fitted with contemporary Posthouse new portfolio feel, with warm reds and oranges. I have learned that designs in the new style, although beings same design and patterns have diffeent colours. You can have blue and cream or green and black and more. The lounge was great and had a lounge or what they called "house" menu. It was all leather(or most). It was a great setting for a great light meal or when there is a drink crying to be drank wanting to meet your tongue. Oh, how I do love exploring a hotel. SPIRIT HEALTH CLUB This was Posthouses own brand or well now Holiday I
nns. G o to www.spirit-fit.com for info. It has changed to breathe health club at this hotel but I e-mailed the hotel a few days ago and they said that the hotel has the same decor so the look info and facility wise in this review is probably accurate. It is located just before Marloes Tavern and is down some stairs. You can access it from one end of the room corridors for even easier access.You will find a door. On one side is vending machines, a passage to the gym and chairs and tables along with female changing rooms. On the opposite side is a reception desk and a blue floor to ceiling unit with a television. The decor is fresh with blues, aquas, whites and light wood colours for the wood. If you need to use the changing rooms then you need a pound coin which, whenever you unlock the locker, the pound returns back in your possession! So you are not actually paying for the locker, just hiring it. If you haven't got a pound coin then they are happy to give you one. If you walk on from reception you will find the male changing rooms, the female are on the opposite side from reception. The changing rooms are modern and feature lockers, hairdryers, toilets, sinks, toiletries, shower cubicles and even saunas. Yes Saunas! This means that one sauna was for males only and others for females only. Please!! read the safety advice too, on reading it, there is useful info. Out from the changing rooms was the swimming pool and more. There was fresh colours. Next to the male changing facilities was a steam room for all genders. Then there was the luxurious spa bath. Oh, the spa baths(or jacussi's as they are sometimes known) are bliss! Warm water which bubbles which warms you and relaxes you. After about 10 or 20 minutes it goes off and you need to press a button at the side of the jaccusi to start it, there is no harm done! It is easy as 123. Alternatively was the big swimming pool which was a great place if you wanted to do proper swimming, sma
ll swimming , or splashing out with family or friends. Around on one side was the loungers which were blue. Oh, the peace of the health Club. Don't forget that they provide safety info on all facilities and they give you clean free towels which you put in a built in laundry bin in the Changing Room(s). They also have beuty treatments, massage and a gym. BUISNESS If you are on buisness then they had the Academy which is Holiday Inns own buisness brand. In the Kensington Close, as it has nothing to do with Holiday Inn has changed to the Alchamy or something like that. They have break-out areas, lounges even there own reception. I know this because of the internet of Holiday Inn UK. I didn't go in there though. CORRIDORS You could choose the lift or stairs in between the restaurants and reception. The corridors were bright, airy and modern in decor. They were quite clean but not absolutely spectacular. BEDROOMS An important one. Bedrooms should be nice. The ones at this hotel were OK but dissapointing as other Posthouses had great rooms. As we walked in, although in the contemporary new Posthouse look were cosy but not WOW! They were extremely small. We had a standard room but The Superior Rooms are supposed to be bigger so a definate must if you come to this hotel would be a Superior Rooms. On one side of the room was a beech colour wardrobe with doors. The layouts differ I think, thats why I said ,"on one side". On the opposite was a luggage holder which was good. Above this was a modern photo. You know the ones with no picture but ones with just colour all mixed. Next to this was a mirror. The mirror was full length and if you slid it across, then it acted as a door to the en-suite bathroom. The bathroom was a long shape. On one side was the toilet and they gave complimentary toilet pper. The opposite side housed the sink with soap and mirror. In between the toilet and sink was the towel
rail. They gave you complimentary towels. Opposite the rail was the bath and shower. It had a white shower curtain with one small stain. They also provided you with shampoo and shower gel. The lights were operated outside the bathroom and had halogen downlighters. The decor was co-ordinated in a pattern which went like white tile, pale green tile, white tile, pale green tile and so on. At the top was red and gold tiles. The mirror was circular. In the main part of the room was the bed. They were quite comfortable and had a Bedspread and blankets on(I prefer duvets so much). Behind the bed was a coloured inset which can differ. Our inset was a terracotta. There is a lamp above each bed and on a double bed I think above each side. All bed lamps are controlled seprately. Next to the bed and wardrobe was the dressing table with table lamp. They had drawer space with hotel menus. There was a round mirror above the desk. The lamp could be controlled by the table. If you are wondering where was the TV then, because the desk being next to the bed, there was a unit with 3 spaces. The top space had the TV with all terrestrial channels a couple ot sky and info services. In the space under that is the Mini-bar although in this hotel you needed to ask housekeepeing to open it because it was locked unless you asked. We never bothered. Under that is the Tea and Coffee facilities with kettle, teabags and sachets. For ease of operations, it slides out of the unit so you aren't banging your hand on the top of the pannel. Next to the unit was a hole with a radiator in it which you could take out. The decor of the room was contemporary yet warm. There was also a hairdryer by the desk and a trouser press. The carpet was a bit bitty and the nets on the window were a wee bit dirty. Nothing dramatic but the hotels rooms could have been cleaner. Of course it is in London and it is busy but that is not much of an excuse. The cleaner was a bit rude too. There was a light i
n one corner and a downlighter near the door which both come on at the sam e time. The rooms were nice but the clesaning wasn't brilliant. The Superior rooms from reading the old Posthouse Brochures have flexible lighting duvets with throw(in Holiday Inns now but maybe with bedspread), bathrobes and neutrogena toiletries and more. There were also suites. OVERALL Overally I would reccomend this hotel. Remember, Most Posthouses have changed to Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza and a few have been sold like this one. It is on wrights lane. The hotel at present has the same style as before so don't think that because it has been sold that it don't have all the Posthouse feel. Holiday Inns have adopted the Posthouse look and I think may keep them. I was very dissapointed with the rooms though, they were small and had worn carpets, dusty net curtains and marks on the showercurtain. Fortunately, it wasn't big dirt but could have been better.
When my parents told me they would be coming to London for a visit, I went on the web in search for a reasonably-priced hotel in central London. I found an offer on lastminute.com for a double room in the Posthouse Bloomsbury for £50/night. It was impressively rated 4 stars and was only a short stroll from Russell Square. Ideal, I thought. It was only until after they checked in that I went to see the hotel first in. Location was good- literally only 3 minutes or so from the tube station. The hotel lobby was marble floored and very cool. The air conditioning was pumped in and there were lots of people sitting on leather chairs in the lobby. Good sign, I thought. Up I went in the lift to the second floor, the doors opened and it was hot. I walked down the corridor, they answered the door and it was even hotter in their room. The windows didn't open up very wide and there wasn't any air conditioning in sight. Very misleading. The room itself was pretty spare and small. One big double bed in the middle of the room. A small desk and one chair. A closet without a door. A trouser press. A small bathroom with tub (with those weird suction bathmats in the tub) and power shower that smelled kind of like sewage. No wonder so many people were taking refuge from their rooms by sitting in the hotel lobby. Since all of the chairs were taken when we went downstairs, we decided to try the little bar downstairs- it was cool and not very busy. To our dismay, one little glass of coke was £1.60. Complete highway robbery. My parents tried breakfast in the restaurant hotel. The hotel restaurant had the absolute balls to charge £13.95 per person for a buffet breakfast that only included cold food- cereal, yogurt, fruit, toast and coffee. The hot food was roped off and unavailable to guests. Again, highway robbery. It was not until the very end of my parents' stay that we caught one of the housekeepers with a portable fan. We aske
d her for it and she reluctantly surrendered. It made things a lot more bearable but was obviously something that the management did not want to relinquish to all hotel guests. At least they only paid £50/night. On the boards in the lobby, rooms are advertised at £199/night. Someone somewhere must be laughing.
My luck with hotels is rather limited, to say the least. I have stayed in a considerable number of hotels over recent years, as my current role involves quite a bit of travelling around. This week’s location was London, so I was rather spoilt for choice – except I wasn’t, because it’s the middle of Summer and I only phoned up two days before I was due to go. In the end I opted for the hotel which was part of a multiple chain, and a booking into the Posthouse Premier in Bloomsbury was quickly confirmed. Upon arrival I was rather concerned to find that the hotel was situated directly opposite a low level block of council flats – the contrast between the shiny hotel entrance lobby and the pair of old knickers hanging over a balcony was somewhat shocking so I quickly made my way into the hotel. The reception area was wonderfully cool and relaxing following my trudge through the sun-scorched streets from the tube station. I was greeted by a friendly, well-presented receptionist who quickly checked me in and I was beginning to think that I had made a good decision. Alas, upon arrival in my room I realised how wrong I was. The room itself was rather small, with the bed occupying 70% of the floor space, and a poky little bathroom that had just about enough room for the shower and the toilet. The room was stiflingly hot because there was no air-conditioning, and to my horror the windows would only open about one inch. To make matters worse, my room was on the second floor and looked straight out onto a flat roof – which appeared to house air –conditioning units (presumably for the lobby and conference rooms). I was therefore duly irritated by the noise that these units were making, as well as being teased about the cool air that they were making from which I was receiving no benefit. I decided to jump straight into the shower, in order to cool off and freshen up. I turned on the shower which was probably o
ne of the most powerful showers I have ever used – on full power one had to be careful that the jet of water didn’t blast one’s nipples off. Controlling the temperature appeared to be a relatively simple exercise, except I think I had been given a joke shower. As fast as I turned the dial towards the red end, the temperature would increase for a split second and then go cold again. This game quickly grew tiresome, and I soon got out and got dressed. Other facilities in the room were nothing more than average. There was a Nokia television with various interactive menus (you could view your bill, get weather reports etc), a mini-bar stocked with over-priced cans of Coke (£1.50) and tubes of crisps (£2.95), a telephone, a hair dryer and a trouser press. Although the room appeared relatively clean at face value, I happened to drop something under the bed and was horrified to find what appeared to be four years of accumulated moon dust. There were a number of other objects lurking in the depths which provided clear evidence that the cleaners obviously didn’t know how to run a vacuum under the bed. My colleagues finally arrived at the hotel, so we decided to venture down into the hotel restaurant for some food. The restaurant was clean, bright and modern and we were quickly shown to a table. The table staff were polite enough, but there manners were somewhat limited by their lack of understanding of the English language. It took me seven attempts to order another Coca Cola and we all but had to tell the waiter to get lost in order to give us time to make our selections. The lack of table guests meant that there were about eight waiters and waitresses hovering around, and as fast as we put our knives and forks down the plates were whipped away at light speed. The food was not bad – nothing extraordinary – but two courses and wine for the three of us came to just short of £100 which I thought was expensive for what we go
t. A speciality of the Posthouse hotel was to add service charges to all the bills in the hope that you wouldn’t notice. Whilst the service charge is itemised separately on the bill you have to ask to have it removed which I thought was totally unacceptable. Furthermore, if the bill is settled with cheque or credit card it seems highly unlikely that any of that money will actually make it back to the service people concerned. We made sure we had the service charges removed, and left cash tips if we thought they were appropriate (Clue – we never did). After our meal, we decided to drink in the bar, as the temperature was cool and there were plenty of comfortable seats. Drinks were as expensive as you would imagine – the £1.65 charge for Coke made room service look positively cheap. As the bar filled up with people, the same thing happened with cigarette smoke, and when I got chatted up at the bar by a 52 year old American tourist called Thelma I knew it was time for bed – but the day hadn’t quite yielded all its surprises yet… Wandering round into reception I pressed the button for a lift and waited a few short moments before there was a ding and the doors of the lift opened in front of me. You will appreciate my surprise when I noticed that the lift contained two completely naked women, desperately trying to cover their bits with their hands. They apologised profusely, as though they had absolutely no idea how they had got there and how their clothes had fallen off, but I just smiled sweetly got in the lift and went up to my room with a quick “Goodnight ladies!” as I stepped out. Still reeling from the shock of the impromptu strip show I was more concerned to find that my room key wouldn’t allow me to get back into my room. Reception quickly sorted me out with a new one, but when I got back into my room I immediately knew that someone else had been in there. A gift set containi
ng a shirt and some toiletries that was on the bed when I got there had all of a sudden disappeared. The previous guest had obviously left it behind and the hotel staff must have come up to collect it for him. I was rather perturbed that they could have taken some of my stuff as well, but realising that I couldn’t prove anything I just got into bed. Breakfast in the morning was popular with most tables in the restaurant occupied. I secured a corporate rate for bed and breakfast but I would never have paid £13.95 (the cost to normal guests). There was a large cold buffet, as well as a good hot breakfast buffet but the quality of the food was not great. I ate far too much (well, I wanted my money’s worth) and rolled back to my room to collect my bags and check out. I paid £109 bed and breakfast for my night’s entertainment but the room rates normally start around the £150 price mark and go up as high as £250 according to when you stay and what room you have. Given the appalling standard of the room, and the mediocre food I will certainly not be staying here again. I had associated the Posthouse brand with quality but I saw little evidence of this. Best left to the American tourists…