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Inside the Baglioni Hotel in London

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 60 Hyde Park Gate, London, United Kingdom
March 26, 2008 at 1:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

Over the Easter weekend we took a mini-trip to London with a friend and stayed at the Baglioni Hotel overlooking Hyde Park in Kensington. In fact, we took this deal that we found on Tablet Hotels: three nights for the price of two at 230 pounds a night which included daily breakfast and a chocolate Easter Egg.

And we're going to tell you upfront that we liked this hotel a lot. Location, rooms, price, and free internet--this place had it all.

Our video tour is a little dark but don't worry, there are plenty of pictures after the jump.

Check-In
We arrived at about noon when check-in is officially at 2pm but the front desk not only let us into the room they gave us an upgrade to a deluxe suite at no extra cost, all thanks to our Amex card. (And FYI: They did not know we worked for HotelChatter.) We were then assigned a "butler" to take us to our rooms and explain the amenities and such. This butler was to be ours for the entire time we stayed there, although really we never needed her. And anytime we did need something, we just asked the front desk.

Room Reaction
Since we weren't expecting an upgrade to the suite, our reaction walking into the room was "Wow, more space." The suite contained a couch and desk and a table and chairs. The bedroom was separated from the living area by two thin doors and featured a king bed with closets on each side of the bed. The decor was very modern Italian.

The bathroom was funky. It was lit up by blue lights in the floor as well as by a regular light overhead and lights on either side of the mirror. It contained a bidet with intimate care oils which we avoided and a roomy shower/tub.

The only issue with the shower is that there's only a glass panel that extends half of the length of the tub and no curtain. This means, you take a shower and water goes everywhere. We learned to stand a little bit to the left and move the shower head to minimize the spraying.

The room had two smallish TVs which we were ok with as they were modern and the hotel offered free movies on demand. There was also a mini-bar that we didn't touch but had traditional beverages and snacks.

The hotel put out a bottle of sparking water and a bottle of still water each night but we didn't break those open as we would be charged. Instead we went up to Whole Foods, two blocks away and got a large bottle of water for about 50pence.

The one bummer about our hotel room? The anti-view.

Internet Connect
Free working broadband in the rooms. This redeemed our faith in broadband and in internet access in European hotels. The Baglioni also offered wireless downstairs in the lobby. We tried it out once and it worked effortlessy. However, we didn't try uploading any videos or downloading any iTunes song so we aren't sure how much capacity the network can handle. But for checking email, surfing the web and buying your tickets to the Tower of London online, the connection did its job.

Location
The Baglioni looks out over Hyde Park. It is literally across the street from the park. Unfortunately, while we were there it was so cold it snowed on two mornings. Thus there were no leisurely walks through the park.

The hotel is also located on Kensington Road near some of the best shopping. We walked the four or five small blocks up to Urban Outfitters, American Outfitters, Topshop, Zara, Uniqlo, Warehouse and Jigsaw, some of our favorite apparel stores.

A few short blocks further was the Whole Foods store, Marks and Spencer and the High Street/Kensington tube stop.

At night we tried a fancy Indian restaurant, Zaika which was about two blocks from the hotel, upon recommendation from the concierge but there were a ton of other restaurants that we wanted to try too. For a night out, we hit up the Piano Bar across from the tube stop which was great fun.

Notting Hill, where we met another friend on Friday night was just a short cab ride away. But the bigger touristy spots like Westminster, Buckingham Palace, the Tower, are further so that means higher cab fares. Still you should take advantage of the hotel's proximity to the tube.

Service
Service at the hotel was great. The concierges were always helpful in answering our questions. Maybe too helpful as one was particularly chatty. We never saw housekeeping although they did do an excellent job of cleaning and turndown. Mistakenly we left our credit card on the desk and when we returned later in the afternoon, the maid had tucked it under our laptop which we also forgot to close up. That in itself is telling.

Bottom Line
If you've made it this far, then you know that we like the hotel. We really liked the deal which we had at 230 pounds a night. (270 with VAT.) The deal also included breakfast for two every day which was tasty but you may want to splurge to get a proper breakfast entree. The hotel especially worked out for us since we split it halfway with a friend. This might be our biggest tip for London. Split your hotel with a friend.

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