We thought we’d try a different approach to booking our hotel for a recent trip to London by using the mystery hotel service on lastminute.com – with only a one night stay required the risk was minimal should the result not meet our high TLE standards.
Read on to find out what we thought…….
1. Five star 2. City centre 3. Dates This was the only criteria we used and the returned results were plentiful with an entire spectrum of room rates too.
As location was the key factor for us we picked the mystery hotel that was described as “Moments from the Thames and the City of London, this five-star luxury hotel boasts panoramic views of the capital, a private piazza and a luxury spa. All guests enjoy complimentary use of the swimming pool, gym, steam room and sauna”
The key influencing factors being location and the fact that the hotel boasted a gym, 25m swimming pool and spa was also highly appealing. Whether we’d actually have time to use was another matter!
So we clicked ‘book now’ and the deal was done. The anticipation mounted as we eagerly awaited the confirmation email to arrive and unveil our soon to be home for the evening. Ping. New mail arrived. Many thanks for your booking at the, drum role please, Hotel Grange City, just next to Tower Bridge love lastminute.com
Immediately I visited their website to check out what to expect. As most hotels do it looked fine, if not a little corporate, from the glossy pics displayed on the website.
So did the description reflect reality?
With a busy schedule for the day ahead we needed to leave our bag prior to check-in. The reception staff were extremely helpful and we completed a digital registration so that when we returned it was simply a matter of collecting keys. Bag entrusted to equally helpful concierge and off we went for our London adventure.
We arrived back at the hotel later that evening, greeted by another friendly receptionist who gave us our keys and directed us to our fourth floor room.
My initial reaction when I opened the room door was one of marginal disappointment mainly because of how small it was. However upon closer inspection the soft furnishings seemed of high quality, extremely comfortable and in decor was tasteful.
Some of the little touches that added an element of class included; welcome chocolates, my favorite coffee biscuits, lots of cushions on the bed and complimentary high speed internet access.
In the wardrobe there was a motion sensor activated light so that when you opened the door to hang your attire you could see what you were doing. Similiarly in the bathroom the magnified shaving mirror had a soft glow light that also doubled up as a guiding light to aid any late night pee stops. Great range of bathroom toiletries in a size able bathroom and super powerful shower. The plus points definitely outweighed the small size of the room and as we were only using the room as a place to sleep it more than suited our needs.
The ventilation fan was extremely noisy so we turned this off during the night which meant that when we awoke the room felt a little stuffy but we opened the door size window ( which enabled you to walk out onto a very small balcony) and we were pleasantly surprised how quiet it was considering our central location.
The west facing view wasn’t much to shout about as we overlooked nearby office blocks and residential apartments.
Next on the list to check out the leisure club. As with many hotel based gyms equipment was minimal but adequate for a one-off work out. I spent most of my time in the 25m swimming pool which was set in a Roman bath style area. On pool side there was a sauna and aromatherapy style steam room. Jacquizzi was out of action.
I didn’t have time to indulge in a spa treatment. However whenever I review a spa I always take into consideration the swimming pool and heat rooms and from my short time in them I was struggling to see how they were award winning. Nonetheless overall it was clean and pleasant so nothing to really grumble about.
We didn’t eat in any of the restaurants and breakfast wasn’t included in the £109 room rate but there seemed to be a good selection with a variety of different cuisine options at the four restaurants.
Would I recommend?
If you want somewhere simply to rest your head that is comfortable with a modern meets traditional style, good facilities and in a great location then yes I would definitely recommend. Particular for business travelers.
However not sure I would choose for longer stays, particularly if I wanted high level luxury with space to spread out. That said I didn’t check out the suits so it is unfair to pass full judgement on this.
Would I use lastminute.com mystery location again?
Absolutely. The Grange Hotel perfectly matched our requirements at a reasonable price for a last minute over-nighter in the Big Smoke!!
If you want to know more about Top Secret hotels in Edinburgh visit here.