“ Address: Bedford Avenue / Bloomsbury / London / WC1B 3AS UK / Telephone: +44 (0)1480 212898 „
When my girlfriend and I were planning a weekend in London, we were struggling to find somewhere at a reasonable price. It was then that, on www.laterooms.co.uk, we found St Giles hotel, it worked out at £89 per night for the two of us for a standard double room, this price included breakfast.
Situated around a five minute walk from Totenham Court Road tube station, it was perfect for us to get into central London. We paid for the rooms online and had to print off our confirmation email and take it to the hotel reception to check in. Luckily for us, the hotel is actually on top of a NCP car park, and to leave the car over night was only around £12 which was very reasonable.
Check in for us was very easy, the receptionist was very friendly and within five minutes we were handed the key card for our room. I think we turned up at the right time, all other times we were passing through the reception it was always full of people so I guess checking in at these times would have taken a while.
The room itself was good, a little bit on the small side but we only needed somewhere to sleep so wasn't a problem for us. There was a double bed, a small desk with tea making facilities and hair dryer, there was an en suite which again was on the small side but it did the job. Everything in the room was very clean, plenty of fresh towels and spare bedding was available. The carpets were nice and tidy as were the curtains. No horrible smells anywhere. The bed was comfortable enough and during the night the hotel seemed quiet enough. There was a bit of traffic noise but apart from that, it was all good.
For £5 you can use the on site gym, after a day in London, the last thing I would want to do is use the gym so I didn't use it, but the brochure for it looked good and for the price seemed reasonable. In the guest lounge there was wireless internet access which was free to use and a reasonable speed.
The next morning when we had breakfast, again it couldn't be faulted, it was buffet style, there was plenty of cereal available, fruit, fruit juices, tea and coffee. The full English breakfast bits were all nice and hot and didn't appear to be kept warm for hours. There was plenty of fresh bread available and also a toaster if you preferred toast. The bit I liked was that it was all you can eat, perfect! The staff in the breakfast room were superb, as soon as you finished they would clear your plates for you. The room did get fairly, so to get a table I would suggest you get there early. Considering how busy it was, the chefs kept up with demand and never ran out of food.
To sum up, for a central London hotel priced at under £100 a night, St Giles is a good bet, recommended by me.
I have stayed here twice and have both experiences have been pleasurable and a fun time. Situated just off Oxford street with most London attractions only a few minutes away by taxi, bus or subway. With on site Chinese, Italian and Japanese restaurants, all offering a good standard of service and nice food. For a quiet pint there is the Lazy Dog bar that has a nice atmosphere, good sellection of beers/spirits and a waitress service to save your legs from being too active.
Another onsite facility is the underground Gym area that I paid £4 to use and it is set on three different levels in the bowels of the eath that you access by elevator. The gym offers an extensive cardio area, free weights, and a sports hall area all fitted with very impressive features. The only thing I will say is that becuase of the size of the Gym/Sports area set on three floor levels it can be a little hard without going every week where all the desired machines and apparatus are located. If you are there for quite a long stay or work out every day you will get to know your way around the different levels.
There is also amednities like an ice machine, and vending machines on each floor. as this is only a three star they do not offer room service which means the vending machines are a god send if you want a midnight feast or a few more beers after the bar starts to close. On the ground floor there is a coffee shop with a nice seating area and internet access.
On the same floor there is the breakfast room, which is a spectacle to behold. The decor is very basic in the breakfast room with the look of a school dining room. However the breakfast is truly one of the pinacles of the hotel. Usually Bed and Breakfast is offered in the room rate and it is well worth it. The breakfast is a buffet mix of traditional English Breakfat and Continental breakfast. With ham, cheese, croissants, cereal, fruit, bacon, sausage, hash brown, beans, coffee, tea and juice all available almost on tap in inexhaustable supply. You can litterally fill up until tea time on this meal!
All the staff were very helpful offering a truly friendly service, and also offering a consierge service for all your travel and entertainment info, and bookings for attractions if required. The hotel location makes it perfect for shopping, eating out and pub crawling as it has an abundance of all these venues within walking distance. Bank cashpoints are not an issue for all you monetary needs, sited all over Oxford Street you are never too far away from your spending money. Also Sainsburys is located just over the road from the hotel for all your domestic shopping (if required). All in all worth the poultry money that I spent to stay there.
The rooms are basic, but all you need for a short stay in London, there is a bed, TV, on-suite bathroom with toilet and shower with usual bars of complimentary soap etc. The rooms were clean, well kept and the maid service was very efficent. I can only speak about the state of the standard double rooms as that is all I have stayed in, I would say the room did not blow me away, but I was not disappointed either. Good enough for a couple of days stay, and after all it was London I went to see and not the room, so I was not in it more than about 7 hours a day, just to sleep.
Last October, I was heading to London for one night only, and needed a hotel room that was centrally located and reasonable priced. A reunion of some old school friends was in the offing, and it needed to be within staggering distance of Chinatown and Central London bars and restaurants: The St Giles Hotel in Bloomsbury fitted the bill perfectly.
I found the St Giles Hotel on the website hoteldirect.co.uk, a search engine website for hotel accommodation.
I was to be sharing a twin room with a friend, and we were sharing the costs.
We managed to get a twin room in October 2008, for £110.00 (£55.00 per person then, obviously!)
This price was fully inclusive* of service and taxes, and also included a full cooked breakfast in the hotel's restaurant.
When I arrived, the hotel was in the vibrant 'Theatreland' area, and situated on a side road just off the Tottenham Court Road. I had travelled by bus and tube, and was relieved to find that the hotel was only 5 minutes walk from Tottenham Court Road Tube Station.
Also, it was conveniently located for local shops, with a small Sainsbury's just across from it, and various other eateries , so if I had been staying longer, I would not have had to go far for supplies.
The doorway and entrance lobby was very nice and swish, (lots of glass and marble!) so much so that I wondered for a minute if I had got the wrong place.
However, there was an absolutely enormous queue of people in front of me at the check-in desk, and it showed no signs of shrinking or moving along in any way. I stood for about 15 minutes in the correct British manner (i.e. don't complain, don't ask any questions, lol) then eventually asked a passing member of staff whether there was a particular problem.
On this occasion, I was told the hotel 's computer system had broken down and so everything had gone haywire. I don't know whether the people ahead of me were in a large group, or just random people who had been thrown together.
Luckily I could escape the situation because my friend with whom I was sharing had arrived much earlier and checked us both in, before this disaster had happened, so I just sneaked past them all and up to the room . (Sorry, people in queue!)
The room was pleasant enough, but very small. There were two single beds, as befits a twin room, but they took up virtually the entire room: Yes, the beds were seperate, but they were pushed together as one to make enough space to walk around. It 's a good thing we knew each other quite well! There were also fitted wardrobes along one wall, and a small TV on a cabinet along another wall.
There was a narrow but tall window overlooking the main road, and a small dressing room area, with mirror, hairdryer and multiple electric sockets,where you could also store baggage etc. This led in turn to the bathroom, which was relatively large compared with the main room, and was clean and well equipped with the usual shower-over-bath, toilet and wash-basin, plus clean towels and a few hotel toiletries. The bathroom had it's own (openable) window - I thought I would mention this as a lot of hotel bathrooms don't!
Later, we went down to meet other friends in the hotel bar, which was a really nice place: I would have felt happy being there even if I was not actually staying at St Giles Hotel already. We had a few drinks there, they had the full choice of drinks, cocktails, coffees, you name it, and reasonable (London) prices. The bar was nicely lit, nothing too bright, with stylish decor and comfortable seating arrangements too. We willingly returned here after our outing, as it stays open most of the night for residents :)
St Giles also has it's own gym and swimming pool, which is fantastic for those staying a little longer, although we didn't get the chance to use it unfortunately. We had thought it was all included in the room price, but found out from a member of staff that actually guests must pay seperately for use of the swimming pool - a bit disappointing when a room is sold to you as 'inclusive'.*
A full cooked breakfast is available in the morning, or you can choose continental style, and this was really tasty and very welcome!
Overall: I would stay here again. It was reasonably priced with good facilities and fantastic location.
However, the room just didn't have enough space, so unless I was staying here on my own, I would have to get a larger room if I was staying longer than one night.
Location is probably one of the (only) postives of the hotel its right next to Tottenham Court Road train station and close to lots of attractions.
Checking In/ Out
Because of the large amount of people staying at the hotel checking in and out can take a while. We were lucky that it took less than 5 minutes , however a lot of tours stay here and if you arrive at the wrong time you may wait 30 mins plus if a party of 50+ people arrive before you.
Very small for a double room. The bed took up most of my room, then the remaining floor space was taken up by my small suitacase. There is a desk in the room and a hairdryer, which takes about 3 times as long to dry your hair than a normal hairdryer. The bathroom was tiny. I'm very small and I found it quite a squeeze moving around in there when getting out of the shower. The room was clean though but I heard 2 other couples complaining that there room wasnt at reception!
I booked a double room for myself and my partner and for two nights we paid £180 so £90 for a room per night. Pretty standard in my experience of London hotels for what to expect and I defintely think that the £90 is based upon the location and not what you get once inside of the hotel.
A busy hotel so expect some noise from the number of people that stay here. You could stay at a lot worse places in London for the money but on the other hand you could stay at a lot better for the price too. Its ok for one night and somewhere to just use as a crash pad but if you are wanting to spend time in the hotel then dont stay here
***Why The St Giles?***
Back in September 2007 my wife and I had decided we would like to go to London for the weekend and at the same time take in a show. After further investigation, we also realised that The Terracotta Army was on show at The British Museum and a Tutankhamun exhibition at the 02 Arena so we wanted a hotel that was adjacent to most things on our to do list, close access to Euston as well as having easy access to the tube.
We chose the St Giles simply because it appeared on almost every google search we did, had some decent reviews, offered an all in one price for the hotel and a show and was in a fabulous location.
They say the three most important things for a hotel is location, location, location but I feel that location is relative. After all, an establishment cannot be located everywhere but the St Giles succeeds in being as good a location for a hotel as any I have ever been to. The location is without a doubt the one major factor in the success of this hotel and this alone excuses it for numerous other areas where it is a let down. The British Museum is a five minute walk away and our trip to the theatre was two tube journeys (15 mins) or a 15 minute walk. Even our trip out to North Greenwich to the O2 was quick (40 mins with a change) given the hotel is also 100 yards from Tottenham Court Road tube which services both the Northern & Central lines with immediate access to the rest of London.
However, if a night at the theatre or a meal and drink in Soho is not your thing then this hotel may not be for you. It is five minutes by taxi from Euston and 15 minute walk from Covent Gardens/Theatreland, Soho, Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown, Leicester Square and a whole host of other places to see.
We booked on-line via www.superbreak.com and for 5 adults/1 child (although note that it is the same price for adults/children as you are effectively booking the room) the price was £882 for two nights including 6 tickets to see Lord of The Rings. This equates to just under £75 pp per night including the show which is good value for Central London, especially given this was also the Easter weekend. We could have got it marginally cheaper if we had spent more time shopping around though and a google search will bring up a host of links to the hotel.
They say first impressions last and I will likely not forget this one simply because we couldn't find it! Whilst heavily promoted as being on Tottenham Court Road the entrance is actually on Bedford Avenue, just off TCR which was obscured by scaffolding. We eventually found it and once you do you are confronted with a 60s monstrosity that looks like it has been transported from an overspill estate. Looking up, you just see a strange design of staggered windows and a concrete façade. At ground level where you enter is an attempt of modernisation with a glass front and fancy ropes leading you to the reception up a flight of stairs. It is a totally uninspiring sight.
This was very efficient as there were no queues on arrival and the process was very smooth and the staff appeared organised and polite. However, in the minute or so we were there a coach had deposited the next lot of visitors and before we knew it reception was absolutely jam packed with people attempting to check in. In the two days we were there the reception was very crowded every time we went through it with people either just arriving or leaving. It appears the hotel caters for vast numbers of people, arriving by coach, usually from Europe who arrive and depart en masse. There was no sign of any bell boys either then or throughout the stay so you have to carry your own bags to the rooms. The concierge is located near the entrance and advertises all kinds of sightseeing trips although the majority appeared to be to places outside London, further enhancing the feeling that visitors here are on pre planned/paid for outings, simply using the hotel for a bed.
We stayed on the 11th floor (of twelve) and because we beat the queue at reception had the lift to ourselves. Unfortunately, this was the only occasion in our two day stay that we did not have problems with the lifts. From the pretentious reception with it's fake gold & marble and wood veneer paneling to stepping into the lift gives you a sense of dread in terms of expectations. The first thing I noticed about the inside of the lift was the mirrors were tarnished to the point where they no longer acted as mirrors, giving off a very jaded, tired look which was depressing as it surely cannot cost that much to replace a mirror.
Over my time there I went in every lift and each one was exactly the same. Upon leaving the lift on our floor the room numbers were clearly sign-posted and easy to find although again, the corridors and decoration had seen better times. Each corner had an aluminium cover on it, presumably to stop the plaster chipping as each punter banged their case against it whilst struggling to the room given the absence of bell boys, but the look it gave was far worse than the sight of chipped plaster. All the paintwork was old and was in desperate need of a touch up and the carpets were threadbare in places but the aluminium corner covering stopped you noticing too much. Access was via electronic keycard and you are immediately thrust into the tiniest of hotel rooms. I have stayed in railway sleepers with more room that this. The rooms are very small indeed but clean and surprisingly are a very efficient use of space although no expense was spent on the basic decorations. The bathroom was tiny but big enough although if you were disabled it would be difficult getting into the shower as it had a very high step up. I think it is fair to say that the rooms were functional although I wasn't saying this on the second day when there was no running hot water.
Straight facing you as you enter is a double bed with bedside tables/lamp either side. On the right was a built in wardrobe and desk with a wall mounted TV above it although do not expect to get Sky News or CNN here. BBC News 24 is the highlight of the channels on offer. The first thing I did was go to the window to see what sights were available and I had a lovely view of the concrete patterning on the outside walls as the rooms are set back and gives the impression you are looking outside from the end of a corridor.
There is a safe built into the wardrobe and basic tea & coffee making facilities. There is also a built in hair-dryer in the bathroom and I am told this was more than satisfactory.
The bed was surprisingly comfortable, although there were two major problems with the room. Firstly, given it was tiny then it got very hot, even with the central heating off which meant you had to open the window. Unfortunately, this then prompted a cacophony of noise at all hours of the night which was loud enough to keep you awake, despite being on the 11th floor. It was therefore a compromise of having the window open ever so slightly but we never got the balance between heat/noise correct in our two days there and when workman starting drilling at 4am (on road-works outside) then the window had to be shut and we simply had to suffer the heat as it was the lesser of two evils. We had two nights of fitful sleep during our stay.
Depending on which web site you read there are said to be between 600-670 rooms in this hotel. Now this could very well be true if you count the bedroom and bathroom as two rooms because try as I might I just could not find where there were 600+ rooms here. I worked out that at most there were 300 based on the number of rooms per floor and the number of floors. This was despite having a real nosy in places where I probably shouldn't go.
Clearly, we didn't visit London to spend much time in our hotel room and this is the premis of the St Giles. I think that the owners must think guests just go there to sleep so sell themselves on the location and hope nobody notices the décor.
***Eating & Drinking***
We had paid for bed & breakfast and upon entering the dining room at 9am were met with a sight that I do not think I have seen before. It would seem this hotel has just continued to grow and space has been added on without any thought of matching the décor that is already there. The room was packed to the rafters with people and there was no way that six of us could sit together. The breakfast room is on the first floor and difficult for wheelchair access and once in is like a cattle market. My first impressions was a memory of school dinners with 70s style formica tables and cheap chairs thrown together in every available space. After five minutes though it reminded me more of a prison eating area, but more noisy.
Despite the initial impressions and the fact our party was sat apart the breakfast was in fact seemingly run in terms of a military event with the idea getting people in and out as quickly as possible. Everything appeared to be well organised despite the initial thought of chaos. Both continental breakfasts, including cold cuts as well as the full English was available and was very good indeed. This is where the sheer volume of people is actually a positive given the buffet style cooked items are rarely out for long so taste fresh and hot. The only thing lacking strangely was toast although there was plenty of fresh bread. As soon as you finished you felt obliged to leave to allow another party in to eat so there was no chance of having five minutes to let things settle.
The breakfast area doubles up as "Il Grasso" an Italian restaurant by night. We never ate in the hotel other than breakfast and I would not have been tempted to eat in "Il Grasso" given I could not rid myself of the memories of school dinners. Similarly, the Chinese Restaurant "Chikara" situated next to the hotel bar and the "Kobe Jones" restaurant which is around the back of the hotel, were not graced with our presence but in our time there I saw few visitors.
The Lazy Dog bar did however, spring up a few surprises, the first of which was there were no Australians working behind it. We did frequent this a few times and service was good although each round came to a different amount despite it being the same round. Again though, the décor evokes memories of the 70s with low tables and chairs, dim lighting and huge, light shades which looked like the top of a baked Alaska.
The lifts were a nightmare. Very slow and if they had six people in claimed to be overloaded and stopped. Given we were on the top floor then common sense would suggest that when we got a lift it would be empty but this turned to be a pipe dream. The lift queues were that long people would get on the lift to go down, knowing it went up first so by the time it got to us it was always full.
Disabled access appeared to be the most basic and there was no lift access to 12th floor so difficult if in a wheelchair/pushchair.
A leisure centre and swimming pool is in the basement although was shut for refurbishment whilst we were there. Apparently it costs £4 to use it for guests and is run by the YMCA.
***Will I stay there again?***
I am absolutely, 100% certain that I will never set foot in this hotel again. There has got to be other hotels in London for the same price that offers a more comfortable experience and whilst they may not have the location of the St Giles given the excellent tube network it is easy to get where you want to go.
St Giles Hotel, Bedford Avenue, London, WC1B 3AS Tel: 020-7300-3000. They do have a website www.stgiles.com but it has limited information on it.
I left feeling this hotel simply needed a damn good scrub and some serious modernisation. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing eminently wrong with it but it sells itself on it's location and gives the impression it couldn't care less about anything else. Everywhere I went I felt the hotel was tired.
The staff were very polite and helpful but I feel what needs doing is beyond their control.
This is not really a hotel you will go to "stay" in and experience what it has to offer. It is part of a mass production line in providing a service to guests whereby guests are transported to and from it and in between they will feed & water you but that's about it.
It is clear from it's meaningless web site and heavy promotion by a myriad of other web sites that the St Giles is not a hotel that gives you the personal touch. Whilst you will be looked after you will not be cuddled. It will be functional rather than comfortable and once you are gone I suspect they will do little to tempt you back as a new stream of inmates arrive to take your place.
Yep - it's a turd and it is beyond polishing.
Situated in Londons popular Bloomsbury area of central London.