London Hotels Articles

June 16, 2010

Hotel reviews: Regent Palace Hotel, London, UK

Long before I stayed at the Regents Palace Hotel, close to Piccadilly Circus, I had the impression that it must be rather a nice place to stay. From the exterior one gets the impression that it is quite swish and, of course, one assumes that it must be quite costly given its location in the very heart of the West End. Therefore it was never an accommodation option I considered when looking for somewhere to stay in the capital until I found myself needing a hotel during one of the all too frequent public transport strikes. Each website I looked at featured the Regent Palace and each time it appeared I ignored it; after a luckless hour or so I was forced to concede defeat. There was only one option available – increase the budget.

And this is how we came to stay at the Regent Palace Hotel – and the budget didn’t even have to be increased. I was surprised to find that we could book a double room with private bathroom for the princely sum of 55.00 and absolutely amazed that it was in such a well-placed hotel within walking distance of several shopping areas and the London Eye.

Arriving at the hotel we were impressed. The reception area was spacious and airy. There was a queue at the desk and we were given a card to fill in before having to queue again; unperturbed by this Soviet-style experience we diligently did as requested and joined the queue again, handing over the card and our Internet booking confirmation when asked. Behind the receptionist, the room rates were displayed on the wall. Now, although it was entirely possible that the rates for on-line booking might differ from other rates I checked with the receptionist when I spotted a discrepancy between our room rate and the displayed rate; this was how we came to learn that we had not booked a room with en suite facilities. We would have to pay another 10.00 for this facility and reluctantly did so.

We were given our room key and the receptionist pointed out the staircase no-one waiting to carry your bags here! It was at this point that we discovered that the impressive reception area is the plushest part of the Regent Palace; climb the stairs or walk the corridors and you’ll find the reality is a little different – threadbare carpets, chipped paintwork, big dents in the walls and in some places pictures have been taken down and you can see what color the walls were originally.

It’s not much better in the rooms where threadbare carpet and faded curtains await you once again. With barely

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