London. The city where you can book stays in shoe boxes and have to actually pay a lot for that. I’m very often in London and therefore I’ve seen a lot of hotels there. And not only hotels but also Bed & Breakfasts. Among them was the Grand Royale Hyde Park Hotel. Sounds fancy, huh?
So, last December I’ve spent another long weekend in London, my go-to city in Europe. The place where I’m always happy. This time my best friend Mel was my company and as it was her first visit to the city, we wanted to stay in a bit nicer place than in a Bed & Breakfast but were also on a budget. We spent a lot of time to research and finally stumbled across the Grand Royale Hyde Park. It looked good on booking.com and did not have too many bad reviews. So we booked it.
When we arrived we were impressed by the nice entrance area, the lobby and the public areas, as all of them were spacious and very old fashioned british looking. We felt like Sherlock Holmes would come around the next corner. The wooden flooring, the huge reception, leather chairs and a fireplace, huge windows. Really nice and exactly as we imagined it from the pictures on said booking platform. But well, then it only got lesser exciting.
The receptionist was okay, not a tiny bit warm or welcoming but doing her job. We were informed that we were “upgraded” and of course that made us smile and glance at each other. But when we saw where to we were “upgraded” that smile froze. We slept in a room on the LG-floor. Lower Ground Floor. Below Ground Floor. Therefore our window was facing the basement wall of the building situated next to the hotel. The room was very clean, the bathroom as well, all of the fittings were shiny and new. We were provided a nice selection of shower products and clean towels.
The rest of the room was clean too, it was really okay. What was not okay was the size of the room. It held a bed that was not really suitable for two; even if we would have cuddled and gotten really close; even if we would have been a couple (which we are not) it would have been really small. We both basically moved to the edge of our side, slept without moving and even then we were almost cuddling. The room was not overheated, which happens seldom in the kingdom.
Breakfast would have been provided too, but it was an extra 13 GBP (15 Euros, 17 USD). We decided to save that money and explore different breakfast options around the hotel. Asides from the cleanliness of the hotel the location is another pro on the review. It is located right across Hyde Park. That means: If you walk outside of the hotel, cross the park in a more or less straight line, you’ll come out on the other side at Harrod’s. Or the Bulgari Hotel. It’s also not far away from Oxford Circus; if you’re up for a bit of workout you could also walk there.
Public transport is super close: There’s a bus stop right at the corner where the hotel is; and it’s only a five minute walk to the next tube stations (Bayswater & Queensway). It’s quiet central and a nice area, it’s easy to get from there to everywhere in London.
So – to sum this up: I can recommend staying there if you’re a couple and only at times when they don’t charge you more than about 100 Euros per room and night; I feel like that’s an adequate price for the location and the room-size; don’t book the breakfast ahead; you can also book it directly at the hotel on a day-by-day basis. Try it, but also keep in mind that breakfast places are not hard to find around the hotel and exploring them might add to the fun. Yes, book it but check the prices ahead; there’s always Motel One too. That’s the safest choice I’ve found so far, because I heard that a lot of people had troubles with the Royal Grande Hyde Park lately (overbookings and stuff like that).
Grand Royal Hyde Park
(claims to be a four-star hotel; it’s not really!)
1 Inverness Terrace, Westminster, London