My wife and I were in London recently where she had attended a Partner's conference at the Chancery Court Hotel, which until July 2011 had been a Renaissance Property.
After the Conference we stayed at the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel from 23 - 25 July 2011. I picked this property largely because of the reviews in the national and international press of the major renovation that had been carried out to a historic building in London.
You can read about it at the Hotel site, see link, but in a word the building is stunning, very Harry Potterish (part of the Harry Potters movies were shot here as well as several other movies) and a magnificent restoration of a major historical building.
The hotel is only a few months old and thus staff and systems have yet, in some areas, to totally bed down. I have a couple of observations which spoiled what would have been an otherwise good stay.
We stayed initially in room 251 in the Barlow Wing, which is a newly built wing designed to be in keeping with the historical hotel. We had access to the Chambers Club. We were escorted to the lift to our room, but not the room itself. This was unfortunate as I could not find out how to switch on the room lights and the wireless telephone would not work without power. I had to walk back to check in for assistance, which was provided. After our suitcases were delivered to the room, we realised that one was missing. This was resolved by a telephone call and when the porter brought the missing case, he showed us the facilites of the room and discovered that the minibar was locked. Minor matters, which were resolved, but were not what I was expecting for a three hundred pounds a night room.
At about 8am on Sunday 24 July my wife and I were awoken by tremendous banging and crashing sounds coming from the ceiling. I called the operator and complained, suggesting that perhaps children were jumping off of the bed upstairs. They said they would have security investigate. Security came to my room and listened to the noise and said they would sort it out. About 10 minutes later customer services asked if the noise had stopped and I advised that it had not. They put me through to the Customer Services Manager (I think it was Daniel) who apologised and explained to me that infact the room above me was used for back of house/ room servicing and that they had asked the staff to be quieter. Daniel did not try to fob me off and asked if I wanted to change rooms, which I said I did. He upgraded us to a Victoria suite in the historic Chambers Building. I am not sure of the price of this suite but from the website but if it is a one bedroomed Chambers suite, you will be able to see that it costs several times my room in the Barlow Wing.
So full marks to Daniel for resolving a huge problem with our room. However I said to him and I would say here, that in my view, Room 251 should not be sold to guests.
Lastly I have a couple of comments on the suite, having stayed in it, which I did not share with Daniel.
The light bulb in the living room table light had burnt out.
There are ceiling mounted halogen lights outside the bathroom, but we could not find any light switch to switch them on.
The shower mixer in the bathroom comprises 3 rotary dials of which only one is subtlely marked. That marking appears to indicate waterflow. Dangerously, the water temperature dial is not marked in anyway that I could see. Thus I had no idea that it was the temperature control, nor which direction was hot or cold. Fortunately, I froze myself rather than scalded myself, but someone will scald themselves. The remaining dial, I discovered, switches between conventional shower and rainforest shower. I manage the construction of 6 star hotels here in Asia, where I live, for a living and I would never allow such a poorly marked fitting in any shower in a Hotel that I built.
-- Edited by SteveHK at Aug 17, 2011 8:51 PM PDT