When you see "Rock Bands" you may think this hotel is contemporary. No. Think shabby genteel London in the 70s and you're going to be more on target with the decor: color scheme tends towards an drab olive/chartreuse green and brown wood veneers. The TVs are from the 70s too I think. Beds too probably. That being said, this hotel has MANY things going for it if you have certain sensibilities. For one thing, late at night the pub and lobby you are sure to run into up and coming rocks bands (US, UK, and Europe) who are touring. For years, this place has been a word of mouth favorite with band managers on a limited budget. I met and hung out with The Killers here during their first three concerts in London immediately after which they became huge stars and I've seen/met so many other bands here as well. I think a lot have moved on to other places (like the K West) but The Columbia will always be a fall back. For one thing, it's one of the few places you can book a private room with bath which has 4 or 5 single beds in a row and this dormitory style feature makes it practical for a band (or any group of friends traveling). Despite the decor, the architecture is really cool. Some of the rooms are structurally amazing--high ceilings, fireplaces (not working) and other great features. It would be cool if it was overalled but then, well, it wouldn't be The Columbia any more. I think the building used to be some kind of Officers Club years ago. The breakfast, while not scintillating, is free (they have eggs!). Being old school English they have urns of already brewed up tea which is amazing. Also in the room there are kettles, packets of PG Tips tea, and little biscuits which are nice. The night staff can be horribly cranky--I recall one old man who was legend--but this is actually kind of funny. The whole experience is a bit like living in an episode of Fawlty Towers...with rock bands.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Columbia Hotel is an independent, family-run budget hotel in Lancaster Gate, London. We aim to provide guests with modern day comforts whilst ensuring that the character, elegance and charm of the original Victorian property is retained. The Columbia Hotel is in an ideal location for visitors looking to explore London. The hotel overlooks Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens providing guests with instant access to two of London's greatest open spaces. Situated less than one mile from Marble Arch, there is quick and easy access by several bus routes and underground stations to city business centres, theatres, shopping and tourist attractions. Paddington Railway Station with the Heathrow Express train service is a short walk away. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Columbia Hotel London
- Columbia Hotel London
- Columbia London