easyHotel London South Kensington
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Historical Traveler Reviews easyHotel London South Kensington
Surly staff and TV is too high
My partner and I stayed at easyHotel the first week of November 2005. The room was tiny, but clean. My disappointment was with the front desk. Each of the three employees we encountered during our stay was as unfriendly and unhelpful as can be.
We were to have two towels, but there was one. We were to have 24 hours of TV per remote control purchase, but only got 18. Were paid for five days in advance, but the computer checked us out after three. Problems like these can happen any where. What disappointed me was how unresponsive the staff was when correcting these problems. They treated us with disdain. And, unfortunately, there didn't seem to be mature supervision or management available to help.
As for the TV, it was fixed to the wall and could not be adjusted to be viewed from the bed. We did not enjoy our stay.
Price of Diminishing Returns
This is a long review of a very small place for which I had paid £36 per night, the current rate.
My first lesson in the easyHotel way of doing things came when I arrived at 10 a.m. hoping to leave my bag until the 4 p.m. check-in time. Nothing doing. I was directed several blocks away to ExcessBaggage on Earl's Ct Rd where I paid £6 to leave my bag for up to 24 hours.
When I returned at 4 p.m., I was given my key card and directed up two long flights of stairs (no lifts). There I located my "Tiny Room". I marveled at how Lilliputian it actually was. In front of me was floor space of roughly 3' by 5'. A double bed was built in across the width of the room in front of me and the tiny bath was to my left. And that was it.
No closet, no drawer, no ledge for a suitcase. I hadn't paid the higher cost for a room with a window so I was prepared for that... except it still took some getting used to.
On the wall to my right there were two hooks. Opening the bathroom door, I found one more hook, a towel bar... and a truly tiny space. No counter space, one tiny ledge for toiletries.
Let me interrupt this narrative to relate that I live on a small boat. I am accustomed to very small spaces. So believe me when I tell you that this was indeed a very tiny room. The bathroom on my little 32' boat is larger than the one in this room.
Anyway, I sorted out what I could: my bag at one corner of the foot of the bed, shirts laid over the towel bar, anything that could hang crammed on the hooks.
It wasn't until I awoke for my usual 3 a.m. trip to the bathroom (short in this case) that it finally occurred to me that I had no way out in case of fire.
You know those notices on the backs of hotel room doors that you always ignore? I turned on the light and read mine forthwith. Then I reflected. Yes, now I realize I had entered through not one but 2 fire resistant doors. And yes, there were fire extinguishers, alarms, sprinklers, and exit instructions everywhere. Still.
Next morning, I interviewed the manager fairly extensively. I learned that not only are all staffers well trained in evacuation schemes and life-saving techniques but they all have updated, on-site training every three months. There are two "special needs" rooms on the main level so those guests can be evacuated easily. The manager also informed me that the construction materials, sprinklers, and metal doors prevent the spread of fire and could protect me for at least 30 minutes. In case of evacuation, I could exit down the stairs or up to the roof, from which one can cross to neighboring roofs. After reflection, I decided I would probably be safer at easyHotel than many other hotels that didn't put as keen a priority on fire safety.
Then there are the other differences at easyHotel. The list of what is not included is extensive: TV (although you can rent a remote to activate the flat panel TV high in one corner), shampoos and lotions, iron, more than one towel, extra blankets (although the duvet was pretty warm), room cleaning, drawers, closet, minibar, breakfast, a bathroom in which you can stretch out both arms, and of course, a window. (You do have heat and air conditioning but you may not adjust the temperature.)
You can pay extra and receive some of those amenities. Others aren't available at any price. And I would dismiss any idea that two people could squeeze into one of these rooms, even a young pair desperately in love. Love would not fly out the window, since there is none, but it would certainly scamper screaming out the door when allowed.
For all that, easyHotel is located on a nice quiet street in the Earl's Court area, which has a tube station nearby, many options for various shops and restaurants, a very nice large grocery store, and several good pubs.
A final note: the last two days of my trip, I stayed at Abbey House, a bed and breakfast not far away off Kensington Church Street. For £9 more (£45 per night), I had a room that was 4 times larger than the one at easyHotel, had a window, a closet, a desk, a sink, a working telly, a bed I could walk around, ample room for stuff strewn about, AND a good English breakfast in the morning. Yes, I had to share a bathroom, but it was close and I didn't mind it.
I think easyHotel is onto something, but the price has got to be more reflective of what we are giving up. It's a concept that has a lot of merit but the value for money spent has to be more in line with its competition.
charlottedrummond at gmail dot com
Great deal if booked early but lacks luggage storage
We (youngish couple) stayed here for two nights in November 2005. We did bump into each other a bit when getting dressed in the morning but it was just fine. The room was clean, including the bedding and one towel each we were provided. We had one of the rooms with a window which has the added benefit of the window sill, which we used as a shelf/nightstand. The bathroom is tiny but very well designed. I have never been in a smaller bathroom, but the shower overlaps the floor space of the sink so the shower is actually quite roomy for a budget place. Water pressure was great but it did take nearly 10 minutes for hot water to come out of the shower. The worst thing about the hotel for us is the lack of luggage storage. When we arrived at the hotel at 11am on check-in day, we were able to leave our bags in our room already even though it was not cleaned yet. The clerk did make it very clear though that he was doing us a big favor by giving us our key already and letting us leave our bags there. On the day of departure we lugged our bags around. Of course someone staying at the easyHotel does not wish to pay £5.50 per bag to store luggage at the train station. We ended up checking them at the first museum we visited for the day at a slightly cheaper rate. If anyone has a better idea of where budget travellers can store their luggage in central London, I would really like to hear about it. We will probably not stay here again unless easyHotel offers luggage storage (for a cost, naturally!).
OK until the last day
I would actively discourage fellow travelers from staying at this hotel. I knew that this would be a small room without any frills. i booked at the introductory rate back in the summer, so it was cheap, and even with the problems, reasonable for what I paid. now that the base rates have gone up, its an absolute rip off. I had paid extra for the window, which overlooked a parking garage. the bed was admittedly comfortable and the bathroom clean. HOWEVER it took on average 15 minutes for the water in the shower to turn hot, and on the last day/morning there was no hot water after 1 hour of trying. The heat was also broken, the walls were cold (not cool, cold) to the touch. When I mentioned this, the hotel staff told me "we know there's a problem" and left it at that.
Having paid the introductory rate, I haven't taken any further action about the cold, as I was leaving that morning anyway. If I had been staying, I most likely would have checked out and demanded an at least partial refund and checked into the numerous hotels that were closer to the subway that were offering the same rate for a full-sized room.
Not bad at all for young and small
I stayed at this hotel for 2 nights in November. I was in London on business, so my motivation to try Easyhotel was pure curiosity. It is located in rather unremarkable area of London, reasonably close to 2 tube stations (I think Gloucester Road is the more convenient one) and a pleasant walk from several famous museums and shops. The room is unbelievably small but well designed. I had good sleep both nights, was ok with bathroom amenities but of course did not want to linger in my room. To be fairly comfortable there you better be a)small b)young c) with very compact luggage d) willing to spend most of your time outside of your room. Two people in one room? I hope you like each other a lot. Young asian student? Yes. Middle-aged American? No. Too bad there was no such thing in London when I was a student.
Perfect for the single budget traveller
I booked my room on the first day the hotel opened for booking so I was able to get the initial £10 per night rate (which was originally meant to be just £5). The room was indeed tiny. Fine for just one person but would have been a problem for two I think. You also need to cope with the no windows and only two hooks on the wall for storage. So it is not for the claustrophobic. I was out and about each day and was only in the room for sleeping at night so it met my needs perfectly. I brought my own extra towel and did not make use of the TV to further economize, so I could justify splurging on theatre each evening.
On the positive side the room was clean and the water pressure/temperature of the shower was great which cannot always be said in London. And the staff at reception were all very friendly which again is not always true in London. It is a very short walk to the tube and Sainsburys (with an in house Starbucks) is just around the corner and is open until midnight most nights which is an added convenience.
I would definitely return if the pricing were kept at under £20 per night. But rates have now gone to £25 even if you book way ahead. For around that same price I can stay at a family B&B and have a cosy space with breakfast included. So the value factor for me has diminished as the bottom rate has increased.
Thumbs-up from this single traveller
When I heard that easyGroup was opening a London hotel I was thrilled - London can be prohibitively expensive for the tourist on a budget, as I always seem to be. Also, as I generally travel alone, I almost never have use for most of the space and extras of "standard" hotels.
My stay lasted 8 nights - practically the maximum stay allowed - and everything was just dandy for the whole time. The amenities are à la carte (others have mentioned the charge for 24 hours of television) so you may spend as much or as little as you like, depending on your budget or preferences. Housekeeping/Maid service isn't included in the room charge - if you're staying a while, as I did, you can pay an extra fee (£10.00, I believe) to have the room cleaned. Also, you are provided with only one bath towel, and getting a clean one costs an extra £1.00.
As far as issues with the room size, the room I was in *was* tiny, but I had no illusions about what I was getting when I booked online - I'd read all the documentation, and seen photos of the rooms, so the size of things wasn't a shock (I stayed in room 1.5 - "A very small room"). If you've ever travelled in an R.V., caravan, or camper you will know approximately the "feel" of the space - not exactly roomy(!), but just right for a place where all you're really doing is showering and sleeping.
I do not think the hotel suffers from being too far from a Tube station, as others have mentioned - perhaps I just have a different idea of "far", since it is literally a 5 minute walk to either Gloucester Road or Earls Court stations. In my experience the distance was not a problem at all, but it's possible that people with lots of heavy baggage might find it an issue. One advantage to being little farther away and on a side street seems to be that the hotel is nice and quiet, with little-or-no train or traffic noise. The neighbourhood is pleasant with many shops and services nearby; there is also a large Sainsbury's literally right around the corner.
I would absolutely stay here again, particularly if I planned on doing a lot of sightseeing or other activities which kept me "out" and busy for most of the day. If you are a single traveller on a budget who prefers peace and quiet to the "hostel scene" (I'm not 19 anymore, thanks!) I recommend giving easyHotel a try.
It does exactly what it says on the tin!
Cheap room, new so thereforw clean. Air conditioning and tv as advertised. No complaints at all.
It should have been nearer a underground station though and as with all new concepts it will be interesting to see how well maintained and cleaned the hotel is. Keep checking for new reviews.
For one or two nights as a base for exploring London it is a fun thing. For families or for being in the room for long periods (i.e. meetings etc) it is not what you need.
I will be back (subject to further reviews).
Stay in "a tiny room"
My girlfriend and I stayed for 1 night at easyHotel in August 2005.
It is what it is: a cheap, small room. We had a windowless room (called "a tiny room"!), which had about 2 feet square of space, a double bed and a very small toilet/sink/shower room. It was fine for our visit (1 night) but would not recommend it for more than 2 nights really.
Although we didn't, you have the option of paying £5 a day for a remote control to watch television.
It is also a shame that the hotel is not very near a tube station.
Overall all we had another fantastic time in London and would recommend this hotel!
Excellent - beat that for value for money
Yeah, i know the rooms are orange, i know there isnt a window in most rooms and i know the rooms are small, so why give a excellent for this stay?
Well first, the hotel is sold as a no frills hotel, so i expected what i paid for, and for £20 for two per night i expected a room, a bed and some sleep.
I didnt expect a flat screen tv or air conditioning, but we got these.
The hotel has only just opened, so it was clean.
If i was paying £100 per person per night for a 5 star hotel i would expect a lot, and often i am disapointed with 4 star hotels and times 5 stars dont live upto there name.
On this occasion i decided to stay here to see what it was like and for a laugh to say i had stayed here, but in reality i left happier than i would leave a 3 star or a lot of 4 star hotels. this is because for the cost of a take away meal, we had a hotel room for the night and some very good amuzement when i say i stayed in a no frills hotel.
TripAdvisor Reviews easyHotel London South Kensington
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... time and managed to mark the occasion by spilling a drink all over her wedding album. Don't think Les will be getting an invite back any time soon :)
Sunday December 15th.
Finished the week off in style with a big family lunch which was very kindly set up by my cousin Paul. Was great to catch up with everyone.
And that was that. So there you have it. Not as short as I had hoped, but it was a busy week.