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“Great Accommodation in a wonderful location” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Imperial College Accommodation Prince's Gardens

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Imperial College Accommodation Prince's Gardens
Ranked #29 of 828 Speciality Lodging in London
Certificate of Excellence
Cardiff
Level Contributor
82 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great Accommodation in a wonderful location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2012

Had a wonderful time a fantastic deal for central London a shame only limited availability only free when students are no around a wonderful place to stay with very easy access to the whole of London Ideal for the museums an Royal Albert Hall

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CardiffWelshWonder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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665 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
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North Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
133 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2012

I stayed at the College in September after paying in full in order to secure a single room with ensuite, as required, four months in advance. It was my first trip to London and I chose to stay there, without doing much comparison shopping, because I liked both the location and the idea of supporting the college. All the photos I'd seen looked fine and I was wow-ed by the uplifting virtual tour on their website.

Cleanliness:
Very clean and with attention to the environment.

Rooms:
My room was a tiny corner basement with a nice ensuite bathroom. It had one glass door as its only security, facing directly onto a cement wall, just a few feet away, with sidewalk at ground level above. The room was modern and brightly lit for a basement; it had no TV, a clock radio, a telephone, handy provisions for making coffee and tea, and shampoo and soap in the bathroom. Walls were bare and both bedspread and drape were the same solid colour. It had standard residence furniture: a bed, desk, chair, and metal shelving. There was nothing wrong with the room/I had expected just this: a bare residence room. However, its being both modern and underground caused it to feel like a stark, white box that became claustrophobic with the drape pulled -- a necessity for privacy from the outside space and the street above, especially at night. So I stayed out of it.

Service:
Desk and cafeteria staff were business-like. Room attendants were pleasant.

I had found it difficult to communicate with the college while arranging the booking. I rarely got straight answers to my email queries. Their replies, that seemed to be mostly form letters, shared a common theme: send money/read the Terms and Conditions. Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to press further.

Not sure how their system for allotting rooms works, but I assume they don't reserve specific rooms or room types when you book. I had no forewarning that I was in a different building than where they had told me to go. (As a result, I had to hike quite a distance from building to building with luggage, after walking from the tube.)

Also, the explanations for why I was stuck in a corner basement -- they said there was absolutely nowhere I could move because they were fully booked -- after paying so far in advance and indicating that a view mattered to me, made no sense. I was first told that the building they had booked for me was being refurbished. Then I was told that it had no ensuites (??) and that this building "was an upgrade anyway" (??).

No one was on duty who could discuss a refund. (Hadn't memorized the Terms and Conditions to see how it applied in such a case: I hadn't realized that basement rooms were even an option.) Didn't want to spend my first night in London dealing with the issue any further, so I dropped it, and no manager subsequently contacted me.

Food:
Breakfast was excellent, both hot and cold, lots of selection and very satisfying. Weekend breakfast service felt more relaxed with what seemed to be tourists as patrons; on Monday, the school/work-day pressure hit the cafeteria and I felt like I was back in university.

Location:
Ideal. Fantastic proximity to really wonderful, major sights. In an upbeat neighbourhood where I felt safe coming in at night along the streets. Also closeby are a selection of pubs, cafes, 'Pret a Manger', and other healthy food take-away places.

The college is a bit of a walk from the tube (maybe 10+ minutes) that can be done either above- or below-ground from nearby underground entrances. Buildings on campus that I needed to access are not that close to one another. In my case, my room was in one; the front desk was in the building next door; and breakfast was served in a building that was a bit short of 10 minutes from my room. Guests are provided access to two computers situated next to the front desk. There is also a small variety shop on campus.

Sleep Quality:
Excellent.

Value:
I paid an average of $103 CDN after taxes each night for a single ensuite (charged two different rates for the room over my stay). This price can buy more in other countries but this is not a fair comparison because perhaps this is the best one can do in London. In my case, in retrospect, I would have paid more for more, not only because of my disappointment about my room, but, through no fault of the college -- they do not pretend to be anything but a student residence -- staying there, I did miss having a few frills that I either hadn't realized would matter to me or had wrongfully assumed would have been in place, and that would have made my first time in London less complicated and more memorable.

Recommendation:
If you want a clean bed, shower, and breakfast, close to everything, and you can surrender your control about all aspects of your booking, then you won't be disappointed if you stay at the College. Suggest reviewing guest photos on this site.

If you are looking for warmth, hospitality, atmosphere -- if you need to feel like you are on vacation where you stay, and you neither want to feel like you're back in college nor be treated like a student -- this is not for you. Above all, don't expect guest service or hotel-style amenities (even as simple as being able to access everything in one building or catching some local telly before bed).

Suggest phoning and speaking directly to a person, rather than emailing queries, before booking.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank shnti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blue Mtns NSW
Level Contributor
108 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2012

I travelled with my teenage son and we were changed to 2 adjacent rooms when we found that the room we booked only had one double bed. Fantastic location near museums, Albert Hall, short walk to Tube station. The room was cosy, but modern, spotless with a full en suite. A restaurant on site was good for evening meal. Breakfast was across the road and through another college into a very large dining hall. This is great value for a clean, comfortable, safe stay in London. We were there in June 2010.

Room Tip: Rooms all seem to have one double bed. There seem to be no twin bedded rooms, so you may need 2 adja...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Marjie781
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
97 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2011

This looked like my previous en-suite uni room but more modern, better decor, more storage space and a higher comfier bed. We stayed at the Gables building for 1 Saturday night which was roughly 82 pounds for 2 people, booked at the last minute.

The room was clean but didn't look like it had been dusted down. The bed was quite high up but extremely comfortable. There was storage room underneath the bed for luggage and shoes and there was a radio alarm clock in the room, however this needed setting. The room included the usual strange coloured toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities, wardrobe with shelves, hangers and doors, large study table, chair, plenty of plug sockets, and extra movable chests of drawers. This looked like a high end student accommodation room.

The shower not movable did get you clean and again was clean but did look as though it hadn't been lived in for a while.

However what was missing from the room compared to a usual hotel was TV and hairdryer. I had to book my hairdryer at reception where there were a limited number of them. This was an Argos basics hairdryer that took a while to dry mid-length hair. You could buy 24 hours of wi-fi internet for 5 pounds but we didn't and signal strength was poor as we were in a basement room.

For breakfast, it was in a building that took 3-5 minutes to walk to. It was on the second floor and available between 7am to 10am-11am (just like at university). But after getting there it was worth it. I took the choice of a 5 item hot meal, fruit and yoghurt, small bowl of co-co pops cereal and fruit juice. The taste was average-good, but you did get a lot.

We did no get the chance to try the swimming pool and sports facilities as the London trip was pretty jam-packed.

On checking out you could leave luggage at reception and they would give you ticket to id your luggage however I didn't trust the security as it was just left at the side of the reception desk with other luggage. There were 2 computers nearby for students to sit and use but you could easily imagine how easy it would be to just take any piece of luggage.

Overall, we might stay here again, especially if shopping at Harrods though there would be about 15-20 minutes walking involved. The place is near to the South Kensington underground, that is if you can find the underground walk way 5 minutes away from the place to get there. It took sometime to find out where it was. Next time we would request a room not in the basement (for a better mobile internet signal), draw out a detailed map of how to get there and try out the swimming pool and gym.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank la_revolutionnaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milano
Level Contributor
40 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2011

I stayed at Imperial College for four nights in September 2011. I booked a single room at the Beit, but since they were restoring the building they eventually put me at the Prince Garden facility.
It was definetely an upgrade, though I wish they would take the time to inform me about that because I lost almost one hour to get around with my luggage and find out what was going on (reception closed at the Beit and no info provided).
Please take the South Kensigton underground exit and not Gloucester Road : they recommend both of them but the second one is by far farther. The location in South Kensigton area is really good, a quiet area close to everything. The campus is very safe area and you access the building and your room through an electronic card.
I was given a single room with private bathroom on the first floor. Room was modern and essential but nice and extremely clean. Mine was overlooking the garden.
They do also provide a little set of toiletries, tea and coffee facilities and a small bottle of water.
In teh room you will also find an alarmclock with the radio and a lamp but no hairdryer.
When you check in you are given the breakfast voucher, it includes a selection of 5 items from the full English breakfast and a bowl of cereals OR fruit salad (canned), fruit juice, a croissant or two slices toasted bread and tea or coffee.
I read enthusiastic reviews on that but in my opinion it was not that good and I just skipped it. I am not a fan of English breakfast either to be honest.
Access to the gym is sometimes included and sometimes not, depending of your booking agent: if it is not included you can access it by paying 5 pounds.
They do not clean the room the room, nor they replace the towels; they just make the bed.
You are required to check out at 10 in the morning and in my case they didn't store the luggage. It was quite inconvenient since my flight was in late afternoon.
Apart from these inconveniences, I do believe that you cannot beat the overall value of this accomodation.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank love78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Imperial College Accommodation Prince's Gardens

Property: Imperial College Accommodation Prince's Gardens
Address: | Adjacent to Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Knightsbridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 828 Speciality Lodging in London
Price range (per night): ₹ 6,050 - ₹ 8,993
Hotel Class:3 star — Imperial College Accommodation Prince's Gardens 3*
Number of rooms: 722
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 
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Also Known As:
Imperial College Hotel London

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