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“Good Location, Cool Architecture, with Cachet of Rock Bands”
Review of The Columbia

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The Columbia
Ranked #534 of 1,069 Hotels in London
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Good Location, Cool Architecture, with Cachet of Rock Bands”
Reviewed 8 February 2012

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.

Room Tip: Ask to see the room first--they really all are different. You're going to get a higher ceiling...
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled on business
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2 Thank FreqTravel77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
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Karlsruhe
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 January 2012

I am a regular visitor to London and I always stay at the Columbia Hotel. Wouldn't want to stay anywhere else. If you are looking for a modern, stylish, sterile, and possibly very expensive place to stay, go someplace else. But if you want to feel 'at home' while you're away, this old but warm and charming family-run hotel should be your choice.
Rooms are good size, clean and you'll find everything you could possibly need and more (TV, coffee/tea,...). The bed is comfortable and the bathroom spacious. The breakfast offers something for everyone. Try the omelette, it's rather nice.
The hotel is perfectly located. There is a bus stop right in front of the building and tube stations within walking distance in both directions! Excellent! Also, the park is just across the street and there are numerous pubs, shops, and restaurants nearby.
The hotel staff is very nice. Although I used to be annoyed by the former unfriendly and slow night staff. But ever since they were 'replaced', I can honestly say that the staff now is the best! They are always there to help, extremely friendly and very attentive. The Columbia Hotel definitely is my number one choice. Try it and feel 'at home'.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maike N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2012

As a previous reviewer has said it is a challenge to find a reasonably priced hotel in Central London and despite my poor review in May 2010 I have stayed at this hotel at least 3 times since then simply due to the excellent location. There is a tube (undergound/subway) station at Lancaster Gate which is 5 minutes walk away and allows you to reach all the important sights of London in a very short time. Additionally, there is a bus stop outside the hotel with buses running every few minutes. Of course no one should tolerate cracked tiles/mould in bathrooms but in my recent stays the bathrooms, whilst still old sixties style, were acceptable and clean. The public rooms are as good as any 4 star hotel but the corridors and rooms are indeed worn. However, I will stay here again because of the hotel's good location.

Room Tip: Rooms aawy from Bayswater Road are quieter
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank KarlLondon_Pimlico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2012

Finding a reasonably-priced hotel in a decent location in London is a challenge. A well-travelled friend recommended the Columbia to us. It is definitely "shades of former glory"--lovely chandeliers that are gradually losing their pendants, carpets that are getting worn, etc. We found that our bed was just too creaky, but when we politely explained our problem, the chap on the front desk suggested we try another room which was just fine. Free wi-fi in the public areas. Full English breakfast. The hotel is right on the edge of Kensington Park, which was great for us.

Room Tip: Do go down for breakfast in good time--service is better earlier in the morning.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank BluesInTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2011

The outside of the hotel was under construction which was not a problem. However they should be refurbishing the inside ! Our room was tiny with broken furniture no lamp or clock. The bathroom had mold on the was and tub. Too bad because the location is great
. We would not go back

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gail M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about The Columbia

Property: The Columbia
Address: 95-99 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NS, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #534 of 1,069 Hotels in London
Price range (per night): ₹ 7,553 - ₹ 13,932
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Columbia 2.5*
Number of rooms: 103
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

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