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Branded Premier for a reason
Premier Inn (London Kings Cross St Pancras)
Member Name: katyboo123
Premier Inn (London Kings Cross St Pancras)
Date: 08/03/10, updated on 15/03/10 (366 review reads)
Advantages: location, accessibility, reception, comfort, staff, food in the restaurant, breakfast, meal times
Disadvantages: security, speed of the restaurant and some good ideas which just aren't always practical
A few months ago I was given the opportunity to attend a semi-compulsory training course through my employer for which I could select a location from Manchester, Glasgow or London. I selected London, because 1. it was furthest away and 2. my cousin lives in London and as I was going it alone, I thought some company on an evening would be nice. When I emailed the central booking agent for our department, she told me that all of the preferred accomodations were in Paddington, which meant 2/3 tube lines from Kings Cross Station and to the course in Barbican; I wasn't happy with this, my train was getting in to KGX at 8.30pm and I didn't want to be wandering the streets of London at that time looking for my accodomation, not a clue where I was heading. After a bit of negotiation, our booking agency agreed for me to stay at either a Premier Inn or a Travelodge. My cousin advised me against the Travelodge at Farringdon, so I opted for the Premier Inn.
A few people I know told me how run down and poor the KGX area is, so I was truly expecting the worst. I was worrying about walking on my own to the hotel. However, once off the platform at the train station and taking a left out of the exit and turning immediately left again on to York Road, I could see the Premier Inn less than a minutes walk down the road, on the right hand side. A word of warning; on York Road the traffic is heavy and it is a main bus route, if you have a trolley case navigating your way across the road is pretty tricky, so take care! The road is well lit and lined with a few bars and cafes, it is not the scene from a Martina Cole novel which I imagined! When you arrive at the Premier Inn you will spot it from the subdued purple lighting which really makes it stand out on the street. If you miss the lighting, the entrance is nestled between a Costa and TWR (The Waiting Room). Through the double doors is a hive of activity. The reception desk is on your left, the public toilets/phone charge point/restaurant/grab and go breakfast bar are to the right and the comfortable waiting area and lifts to all floors are straight ahead.
I checked in quite late, around ten to nine. I was given a first floor room which was located at the very end of the corridor. I enquired about room service but they do not offer it, however, the receptionist told me that the restaurant was serving until 21:45 and I would be welcome to join them for supper; they offered take away pizzas if I did need to eat in my room. I went up to my room I was a little bit disappointed to see that although my corridor should have needed key card access, this had not been activated and I was able to enter without the use of the card. I followed the well signed, subdued lighted corridor to my room; which I entered and inserted the key card to activate the lights. The first thing I check in a hotel is the cleanliness of not only the room, but the linens too. They were equally immaculate. I literally dumped my bags got changed and freshened up before popping down for something to eat. I waited quite a while to be seated in the restaurant, around 8 minutes, which I deem to be excessive when you are stood waiting. My host seated me on a small but ample table near the window, which was nice, as a lone traveller I did not want to be sat on an island table surrounded by groups of people. The restaurant was super busy, my host rattled off the specials, which I couldn't really hear and then handed me the menus and dashed off. I was pleasantly surprised by the menu. There was a good range of meat, fish, veggie dishes some healthy, some indulgent. I chose Drunken Duck Pate to start and Lamb Loin for my main course. I ordered a glass of soda water which arrived promptly and I settled down to wait for my meal. I had a few calls to make, but sadly the mobile reception was non-existant in the restaurant, so I had to go outside. The terraced area is also non-smoking, so I had to walk a way down the road which wasn't to my liking, however, not a problem at all.
After around 15 minutes, my starter was served. Not only was there a good sized portion of pate, but there was also plenty of salad, toast and caramelised red onion. I finished quickly and I sat waiting for around 30 minutes for my next course; it was worth the wait, the lamb was cooked beautifully and tasted incredible. Then I had cheese and biscuits for dessert and a coffee. The total of the meal was £25; considering the fact I was in London and our evening budget is £30 through work per person and obviously I had 3 courses and 2 drinks, I thought this was pretty competitive. Particularly because of the quality. Aside from the slow service I was delighted.
I ventured back up to my room and took a proper look around. I found a Premier Inn booklet, which explained how I should expect to get a 'good night's sleep'... they have some great ideas in there, including handing room keys and numbers to female guests discreetly; I can't imagine this could work in their very busy and noisy reception. Also where possible, they specify they will not situate lone female travellers on the ground floor (check!) or at the end of corridors - in my case this must not have been an option for them, although I don't think every room on my floor was taken. My door did have a deadlock though and I felt quite safe in there. The hotel has a big focus on quiet in the corridors and I must admit, I had a great night of sleep. As for the rest of the room it was pretty compact, limited space for manoevre around the bed, but a large size well-lit desk and a tiny bathroom with a ¾ size bath and power shower over the bath. No bathmat was provided, so I chose to bathe rather than shower as I was fearful of slipping. There were two large towels (bath sheet size) and two hand towels. This was fine for a single person, but had I shared the room, the hand towels were insufficient to wrap wet hair in, so I had to use the two bath sheets. One thing to note here about Premier Inns in general, they do not supply toilettries. They do have hand soap and shower gel in built in dispensers, but if you need anything else (shower cap, shampoo, etc) then you have to buy it from reception. The bed was comfortable and clean and there was a small storage heater for my use in case I got cold, which I didn't, as the air con worked well and kept the room at an even temperature and best of all, was virtually silent. I noticed a couple of people on here asking about whether the room was quiet as central London Hotels usually face busy roads, well luckily with this one, that is not the case, they face back streets and whilst this doesn't make for pleasant window views, it is super quiet in the rooms on a night!
Breakfast is served between 6.30 and 10am and consists of a help yourself all you can eat buffet. Breakfast consists of bacon, egg (fried or scrambled - poached on request), sausages (the best I've ever tasted!), mushrooms and tomatoes, toast, preserves, croissants, cereal, fruit, yoghurt, tea, coffee, fruit juices; you can also order porridge from your server. The breakfast is nice and you get a morning paper too, again perfect when travelling alone.
I left the hotel for the training course and was pleased to only have to walk a short distance back to KGX to the tube station which connects to most of the main lines. When I returned to my hotel that evening I met my cousin for drinks in TWR, we had a glass of wine each (plenty of offers on like buy two glasses, get the rest of the bottle free @ £9 not too bad for London and Wolf Blass wine too!) then we went to the Premier Inn's restaurant for our evening meal. We both had Surf, Turf and Chicken - it was again gorgeous, well cooked and well priced food, but again we waited a while. The staff in the restaurant are so friendly, but they are also rushed off their feet so sometimes they quite simply can't make enough time for everyone. I think they worked hard though and deserved plenty of credit for serving the number of covers they did.
After the meal I turned in for the night, again to a pleasant night of sleep. In the morning my check out was quick and painless and the staff popped my luggage in to a store room for me, for which I was given a little collection ticket. I returned to the hotel to collect my luggage and the gentleman who was manning the reception was chatty and carried my bag to the door for me. He also made me aware of the express check in / check out 'ATM' like machines at the front of the Premier Inn reception for my next stay. It was all very civil, polite and useful. I felt like the staff had really taken care of me.
Best points were definitely the location, accessibility (fine for wheelchair users, special rooms with greater space), reception, comfort, staff, food in the restaurant, breakfast, meal times, cleanliness
Worst points (if you can call them that) were security, speed of the restaurant and some good ideas which just aren't always practical
I will definitely be returning in April for my next training course, and I would recommend the hotel for personal trips too as a great base to explore the capital.
Summary: I would recommend the hotel for business OR personal trips as a great base to explore the capital