“ Address: 14 Pembridge Square / Kensington / Central London „
After securing tickets to see the Cirque Du Soleil show, 'Varekai' in London for this January just gone, I then needed to find a hotel. As most of you may know about me I love these shows and even though this was in London and I live in Manchester, this didn't deter me and I had booked my Cirque tickets without even thinking of hotel options! This is when I then started to struggle as it was for my birthday and I didn't really want to spend my first ever trip to London or my birthday in somewhere a bit grotty! However the budget was tight as we had to obviously pay out for transport down there too and so the Blubells hotel was the only one we could really find that fitted the bill and so it was booked in the September of 2007. Hotel: The hotel is in one of the many buildings in the area that have been made into small hotels, businesses or flats and comprimises of 5 floors including the loft and basement rooms. The decor outside is lovely with a white front and a bright orange door (yes I know that may not sound nice but it does look ok!). The steps leading to the front door are tiled black and there is a couple of large, rather nice plant pots on either side of the steps. Annoyingly, I forgot to take a picture of the front to post on here as it really does look quite nice. When you enter it seems nice enough with a decent sized corridor that leads of to the reception at the back and the breakfast room to the right. Just inside the doorway is the usual load of tourist leaflets advertising the various shows on around the city and other tourist attractions. The staircase to the rooms is located on one side of the entrance corridor just past the breakfast room door. Location and surroundings The location is the best bit about the hotel and the only area it scores highly on! Set only a few minutes walk from Notting Hill gate station it is an ideal base for those wanting to go to a concert at the Royal Albert Hall (as we did) and is good for bars, and restaurants etc. However just to note, that on most hotel supplier websites it states that the station is literally around the corner from the station. I don't want to say it isn't as it is but, it lets just say it's a big corner! You have to walk all the way down the road next to the tube exit, turn and then walk again until nearly at the end of that road too. Not far but, just so you are aware you cannot jump off the tube and straight into the hotel as it seems to make out from the websites that sell it! The main downside is that the hotel is above an underground line so when ever a tube goes past the vibrating can be felt and the noise too. I did know about this from the reviews I read before I went so wasn't shocked by it but it's better to be aware of it in case you are a light sleeper. Room: The room was located on the top floor of the building and overlooked into somebodies back garden - not the best view but it was a city centre small hotel so not very surprising! The room has to be said was clean, however, it wasn't very well looked after! The bathroom seemed at first glance the most modern thing bout the room with a lovely tiled floor and matching walls. What seemed to be a new bathtub was in there but then the let down was that the toilet seat was chipped all over and the floor actually had gaps between the tiles as if the filler had just never been put in! Overall the best thing about the room was that the bed was super comfy but the rest of it was very poor. The light was held on with cellotape, the bedside table was all bubbled which i think was because of the kettle being on it, the window paint was all falling off and the window itself a bit dodgy and not very secure! In the room there is also a wardrobe, TV, mini fridge and table with two chairs. The size of the room wasn't bad though but no room service is offered at this hotel. General hotel amenities: From the outside the hotel actually looks quite nice, however as you enter there is no lobby s such but the breakfast room is to the right hand side and the check in desk at the end of the corridor next to the stairs. Weirdly enough, the check in desk doesn't even open until 2pm and there is a door closing it off. The staff are ok but nothing special and the hotel doesn't have bar just the breakfast room and a small place to put luggage. The hotel seems to just need a lick of paint and a few small things doing to make it that bit better. Food & Beverages: The only time you can get food in here is at breakfast and this is just a case of toast and a selection of cereals and fruit. There is a coffee machine you can help yourself to and they will bring over the tea for you. Not much seating either and nothing really to write home about. Just basic as it can be. For anybody who needs somewhere to eat there is a Nando's, Starbucks and a Subway all next to the Notting Hill gate station and they don't seem to mind if you do bring food back in as we did on our way back in the evening. Overall opinion: Overall for me this is the kind of place to stay if you are on a tight budget but wanting the specific area. I could only find this one within my budget within the area of Notting Hill and wanted to be able to walk to the Royal Albert Hall if I chose to (which we did) and it took us about 20 minutes of strolling. However it is more basic than I would have liked and the rooms really need to be looked at. If they gave them a lick of paint and just fixed some very small jobs - such as a new lamp, rather than short cutting it could actually be quite nice. I wouldn't say it ruined my trip staying here as the main thing for me was going to the show but, it would have made the trip a lot more memorable if the hotel had just been a little bit more cared for and didn't seem so 'gritty' We paid £57 for 1 night for the two of us in a double bedded room with breakfast for the stay in mid January. The deposit was paid of £11 when booking on hotelstay.com and the remaining balance on check out of the hotel.