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St Giles Hotel, Bloomsbury: It's all about the location!
St Giles Hotel (London)
Member Name: englishrose
St Giles Hotel (London)
Advantages: Location. Reasonable rates.
Disadvantages: Tiny room. Slow check-in.
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.
Summary: Good value and quality for a short London trip
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