My partner and I stayed at Imperial College - overall it's good value and a good place to stay, but don't expect a proper "hotel experience".
We arrived early on our first day (along with a great many other people, judging from the waiting area) but weren't able to check in before our room was ready at 2:00pm. We were able to leave our bags, but only in out in the main waiting area along with a bunch of other travelers' suitcases...definitely not where you'd want to leave anything of value.
Once we checked in and got up to our room, we called down to ask for two more pillows. We were told that they were really busy at the moment, but that somebody would drop two more off before the evening and that we didn't need to wait around. None ever came, and we had to go downstairs to the front desk the next day to get more pillows ourselves (we were out too late that evening to do it that first night).
We also had no hot water one morning, but the front desk did fix it before we returned that evening from sightseeing.
The housekeeping always changed the towels and made our bed, but they always missed the little details...used-up toiletries weren't replaced so we ended up just buying our own, and we had to call down and ask for more toilet paper (as the empty roll was ignored!).
Despite all of this, the room itself was exceptionally clean and well ventilated, the bed was very comfortable, and there was a lot of useful storage. We never felt cramped despite the room being pretty small.
The location can't be beat either...the South Kensington tube stop is a short walk away, and the "Museum/Royal Albert Hall" tube station exit is literally across the street from where you check in. The V&A, Science, and Natural History Museums are all right there as well...you don't even have to leave the area to sightsee! There's lots of food choices down near the tube station as well, and South Kensington was an easy station to get to from Gatwick Airport.
A total bonus was the hot breakfast included with the room...it's cafeteria food, but hey - the price is right! The basics of a full English are all there...eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, croissants/toast, cereal, juice/tea/coffee - you can't go wrong. Far from gourmet, but far better than just "passable"...we ate breakfast there pretty much every day of the week we stayed.
Overall, we'd stay there again - Imperial College certainly isn't a hotel, but as long as you don't demand or expect hotel levels of service you certainly won't be disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Princes Gardens is located within easy walking distance of South Kensington Tube station and attractions, including the Royal Albert Hall, Natural History, Science and V&A museums, Harrods and Hyde Park. Part of Imperial College Prince's Gardens accommodation offers over 700 contemporary bedrooms set around a quiet leafy square in central London. Guests can benefits from: • 24 hours Reception • Buffet Style Full English/Continental Breakfast • Tea/Coffee making facilities in each room • Daily Housekeeping Service • Complimentary access to Ethos gym and swimming pool • Communal areas • 45 min. train ride from Heathrow Airport ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Imperial College Hotel London