The Lonsdale Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Lonsdale Hotel London
Keep an open mind.
i've stayed at the lonsdale twice and have just made reservations to stay there again. i suppose that compared to the cookie-cutter sterile enviornments of american hotels it must seem a dump to many americans but i found it reminiscent of the rambling old boarding houses of my youth in new england. i noticed a common theme in all the negative reviews... this is obviously NOT the place to stay if you want an ensuite bath. on the other hand, if you opt for the hall bathroom, as i always do, the rooms and bathrooms have been clean, though the furniture and wall paper may be mis-matched, as in the previously mentioned boarding houses. when i travel to europe with my children, i always elect to stay somewhere with a hall bath and an enviornment unlike their experiences here at home. i love the lonsdale for that, not to mention the staff have always been friendly and helpful to me and the location can't be beat.
Think twice before going there
It was too late when I read the messages below, my booking was already done on the internet. Well, This hotel is only OK for people with a very short budget and who want to be in the center of london. It's very well located but It's old, dirty (not the sheets neither the bathroom but the curtains, the carpet...). The furniture is very old. The global impression is you sleep in a small attic. I'll never go there again !
Not so bad as that.
I stayed at the Lonsdale some time ago. I was there for three nights, left London for two weeks and then returned to the lonsdale for an additional night before flying back to the states. The two weeks that I was out of London, I was camping in the Scottish highlands and the Lonsdale was certainly better than the tent I was sleeping in. I realize that to most hotel users that wouldn't be very encouraging but the Lonsdale is not for anyone seeking luxury. By american standards it can be quite shocking but you have to go into the Lonsdale with a certain sense of adventure and a sense of humor. I was there in late summer and the weather was excellent so I can't really comment on the heating/cooling of the hotel - I was very comfortable. During my second visit I stayed in one of the rooms with a shower - don't bother, it really is just an aftermarket plastic cubical - stick with the communal bathroom they're fine. The beds, rooms and bathrooms were at least sanitary. The service was generally friendly even though nearly no body spoke english. The breakfast was good - fresh OJ, eggs, sausage (english sausage is made with oatmeal and has a texture that will surprise most americans), bacon, toast, tea and coffee (coffee is not something that the english do too well - stick to the tea). The Lonsdale is probably best for urban campers, people just passing through London, and those seeking a uniquely Europian experience. It's definately economical and certainly more interesting than Motel 6.
Don't even consider this dump!!
This place is a dump. After checking in we entered our room and the disappoint was palpable. The walls had two holes covered with random bits of wall paper and lighting was provided (if they worked) by bare fluorescent tubes. The private bathroom was a one-piece unit, about 2.5 ft by 6 ft. The furniture was shabby and I couldn't picture us actually sleeping in the room. We asked for and received another room and left for the day, during which we booked another hotel for the next 2 nights, figuring we would spend one night at the Londsale. After returning that evening, we entered our new room, and absolutely refused to stay. We went out and booked another room for the night, with the clerk refusing to refund any of the 3 night stay despite the 48-hr cancellation policy. The moral of the story, always ask to see the room before you sign anything - I am going to dispute the charges with my credit card, but to tell the truth, it was worth eating the charge not to have to stay there.
The full Fawlty Towers experience
I stayed at the Lonsdale in October 1999 and found the same setup described in the other reviews. I was promised a room with bathroom ("en suite) but there were none available when I checked in. Another guest was at the desk complaining about the same thing, so it sounded like everyone might be promised an en suite room. I might have canceled the reservation at that point but didn't want to pay the fee and the basic room was cheaper (43 pounds vs. 57) than the one I thought I reserved.
My room was tiny, about 6' by 12', but adequate since I was alone. I don't remember an overall smell but the carpet was definitely in need of a cleaning. That room did get its own smell, though: bacon in the morning and, mysteriously, at midnight.
The so-called full English breakfast was rolls, corn flakes, and eggs--edible but no more. However, there was often a wait for clean plates and silverware.
The highlight of my stay came on the second day. That morning, in addition to no hot water, the sink in the room was draining much more slowly. When I came back a little later, there was more water in the sink and the handyman (he must have worked for Basil Fawlty) couldn't get it clear with his plunger and drain cleaner. After he went away, water came pouring out of the sink onto the carpet, though the desk clerk didn't seem too concerned when I told him. After a while someone came up, looked at it, threw a towel on the floor, and told me I'd have to move out while the room was made up. Instead of moving back, though, the desk clerk said I could have another room and my bags would be in it when I got back.
That evening, my bags were still sitting at the desk. I asked when I'd get my en suite room. "Tomorrow." "I'll believe that when I see it," I said.
The new room was bigger but colder -- I turned the portable heater up all the way -- and the walls were thin. I could hear the couple next door talking. In the bathroom near that room, one of the windows couldn't be closed, there was a leaky pipe, and the shower curtain was mildewed.
I'm amazed that the Lonsdale is still in operation. It sounds like it is in the same condition as four years ago. The location is convenient and it is cheap but surely no one has ever recommended it to anybody they know.
What a ****hole
My title says is all. Rudyard Kipling could not have written a more fantastic tale than the authors of the description of the Lonsdale!!! The furniture, carpet and walls contained a wonderful protective layer of filth which preserved the true character of the decor, which I can only describe as "brothel/chic". I have been in taxis with more room, and the bathroom appeared to have been removed from a 1982 Winnebago. Save your money. What a ****** place to stay.
"Rip off" is the only way I can describe this hotel. The proprietor didnt just hold my card number as guarantee until we had completed our stay - he processed it. (and I only have myself to blame for signing it!!!!). On first impressions the reception was run down but not awful. However, as we found our way to our room our expectations plumeted. Huge damp patches on the ceilings which looked in danger of falling on your head, thread bare carpets, a curious smell and everywhere ovepoweringly hot. On going into the cramped double room with furniture that looked as though it had come from a junk yard, a bathroom with peeling paint and flooring and enough bendy pipework to plumb all of London I felt my disapointment boil over. It has to be said that the linen was spotless, and the toilet, bath etc were clean - but unfortunately everything else left much to be desired. We went back to the propreitor and told him we did not want to stay and we wanted our credit card refunded - which, no surprise here, he refused. He finally agreed to send us a cheque for the amount less a one night cancellation fee. We walked into the next street which looked much like the one we had just left but with one exception - the hotel we took a room in was just £10 a night more and was sheer luxury - king size bed, towelling robes, papers every morning beautiful patio garden fruit and flowers in the room every day. Oh how I wish I had seen this web sight before I ever was so rash as to book a room at the Lonsdale! I have learnt my lesson in that I will always now ask to see the room before I sign anything.
This place is a dump
I made a reservation for 2/3/2003 and 2/4/2003 via the Internet for the above-mentioned hotel. They are listed on a variety of reservation sites and are described as follows: The Lonsdale is a privately owned Hotel allowing guests a unique setting in Bloomsbury. Possibly one of the most convenient areas of the heart of London, it is an excellent location for business or pleasure.A comfortable Bed and Breakfast Hotel in the traditional style. The rooms, many of which are available with private en-suite shower / wc, all have washing facilities, colour television, and hospitality trays (endless supply of tea and coffee). Direct dial international telephone. An excellent full English breakfast is served in the elegant breakfast room, and in the comfortable residents sitting room you can relax or meet up with friends. Situated in one of the most convenient areas of London just around the corner from the splendid British Museum. As a matter of fact, on the Global Hotels Reservation website (...) the Lonsdale is listed as a 3 star hotel. In most cases a 3 star hotel would be defined as: Standard Class London hotels -dependable and comfortable hotel-suitable for the average business or pleasure traveler-well-kept functional accommodation with charming features-limited public areas, food service, and facilities In the case of the Lonsdale, the public areas were minimal, smelled terrible and the furniture was threadbare. Upon seeing the room, we found more of the same type of furnishings and also found that the bathroom was actually an afterthought and was added in a corner of the room. There was no tub and it was actually of the type found in camping trailers. In addition, the smell of sewer gas was overpowering and I was actually concerned about the safety of staying in this room. We informed the proprietor that we would not be staying at this hotel and he informed me that there was a 2-day cancellation policy if the reservation had not been cancelled 48 hours in advance. Im sure that the cancellation penalty is the main source of income for this hotel in that most people would never stay in this place.
If you don't expect much from a hotel this is an ideal choice. The hotel's location is its biggest attraction but other factors overshadow this selling point. Firstly, the bad points. The room was overheated so much that it felt as if it we were in July rather than February! The hotel is clean but the furniture and wallpaper look run-down and in need of a good renovation. In addition, the bathroom was cramped and too narrow to navigate. The stifling conditions meant we had to lift the broken window and leave a hefty yellow pages book between the window and the ledge! Now for the good points. The beds were very comfortable and extra pillows were provided in the drawers. The television had a high quality picture but the Ceefax option was not working properly. If you stay in a room facing the back, you get a pleasant view of gardens and birds twittering in nearby trees and it is very quiet considering the location. The breakfast room is pleasant and the portions were substantial. I'd recommend this hotel to people who don't spend much time in hotels and those on a very tight budget. It's an ideal place for backpackers.
There were two good things about the Lonsdale Hotel - the staff and the location. The staff were very friendly and the hotel was within walking distance to the West End. However the bad took over the good I'm afraid. The rooms were very shabby, and not looked after at all. The walls were dirty, the furniture was old and in bad repair and the bathroom (which was a small plastic capsule in the corner) was very smelly. The central heating was on so high in the hallway outside our door that even with the heater in our room turned off the heat would come under the door and through the wall making our room feel like an oven. The heat was unbearable, so much so that we opened our window (which I might add had no locks) as far as it would go which is unheard of in the in the middle of winter in London. The breakfast was average, with very oily-fried eggs and bacon. Unfortunately there was a large dark hair on the underside of my bacon rasher when I flipped it over... that topped it off.
The Lonsdale Hotel is definitely not worth the money they're charging, and the rooms are pitiful. Stay somewhere else.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Lonsdale Hotel London
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