Sunday, 15 May 2011

Hotel Review - Courthouse Doubletree by Hilton London Regent Street

I was going to post this one up some time ago, but I have been a bit busy.

I'm in two minds about this hotel. It has fantastic location for there shopping and theatre trip I had planned for my birthday.

I booked a large smoking room about three days before at a fairly horrific price - but this is the dead centre of Londump. The day before the hotel contacted me three times, once by email and twice by telephone to get me to confirm. I found this annoying, to say the least but confirmed that yes, I wanted a large smoking room.

The hotel is very easy to find and a very short distance from Oxford Street tube, no problems with luggage. The young woman at the desk greeted me, acknowledged my status and then started on the lies.

i) You've been upgraded to the larger room. No, love, that's what I booked
ii) You've been granted a free continental breakfast for one of you. No, love, I booked and paid for full breakfast for both of us as I don't think Spouse stays free really applies to second dates.
iii) Your room is non-smoking - we haven't got any larger smoking rooms - this may be a problem with the website. Many hotels do this, hence my snarky comments about the cancer downgrade. The Shangri-La Sydney does cancer upgrades :-)

FFS, two porkies and despite annoying confirmation calls and emails, I still can't get the room I booked. The manager was summoned, there were apologies, a standard smoking room was found, I insisted on the lower room rate for it. This shouldn't bloody happen, too many times the Hilton website allows the booking of a room category that doesn't exist in the hotel for smokers. I have now started putting in my comments - don't upgrade me if you don't have a smoking room in that category.

Anyway, by the standards of inner London "standard" hotel rooms, this one wasn't that small, I thought it was a bit tiny, but my companion thought it was fine. I liked the opening window, even if the view was a bit naff. The bed was great, the bathroom was good (but with naff toiletries), the lighting was pretty decent as well. All a bit bland and modern, but it is a Double tree.

Breakfast was good, OK, it wasn't the full Hilton spread, but we are one category down on that. Continental looked weak, but we were here for the fry-up and that was fine, coffee was a bit better than normal for a UK hotel, service was pleasant and swift and they had the weekend edition of the FT.

Unusually, I used the concierge, my companion decided he wanted to go to the theatre and I used the concierge to get us decent tickets for a show. He got very good ones, albiet at a bit of a price and the show was great.

We ate out with a quick pre-theatre meal at a Malaysian/Singaporean place on the edge of Soho. It was OK, it felt expensive to the queen of the hawker stands. The roti prata was good, the curry sauce less so, the Nasi Lemak was OK, the Hokkien Mee was good. Would probably go there again if I had a hankering.

Checkout was painless and yes the bill had been reduced.

All in all, I'll probably use the hotel again for similar trips, it's got great location and the breakfast room is nice and the concierge is helpful, but it is expensive (£250 per night) and I'll continue to lurk out at Kensington (now Islington is non-smoking) for business trips.

I've decided, despite the impending house purchase, that I will go to Berlin this upcoming bank holiday, so you can expect some more Lufthansa action and a review of a Hotel I've visited many times, the Berlin Hilton and I've been invited to a wedding in Hong Kong at the start of October, so there will be two lots of longhaul action this year - including if my upgrades clear - some LH First.

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