Overview: An OK conference hotel
Strengths: Many very new rooms
Weaknesses: Huge size, location
Whereas properties like the Peninsula make the approved list in Asian countries, when traveling for business in London, employees of my firm are limited to some fairly mediocre hotel options.
The Metropole is located a little north of the deluxe hotel district, in an area filled with a fair number of middle eastern oriented shops and businesses. The hotel is located in a spot with is not convenient to any major financial house or law firm, causing me to take fairly long taxi rides (half an hour+, not inexpensive) daily.
The hotel is described (on its website) as one of the largest conference hotels in Europe. Indeed, this property is huge, with what could easily be more than 1,000 rooms.
I arrived at the hotel from Frankfurt around 5pm. There was a queue of about 15 people to check-in. Though there were certain reception stations that were marked for Hilton elites-level guests, the queue was set up in such a way that everyone waited together. For such a large property, it would have been nice if they could have more properly set up the stanchions to keep the queues segregated.
There two groups of guests with significant amounts of baggage working with check-in agents who clearly had some sort of controversy surrounding their reservation. Lots of heated debates, hands moving about in the air, demands for a manager etc, during their check-in process took the attention of two of the five check-in agents – meaning it took some 15 minutes to actually check in.
When I was checked-in, the young lady acknowledged my Gold status with Hilton let me know that I was in “one of the new rooms,” in the Western Tower. I thanked her for that, and she mapped out the not-so-short walk I had in front of me to get to the lifts to my room.
The lobby overall was nice enough, but heavily trafficked and fairly worn down. There was a small, institutional food-service-like bar and lounge off to one side of the lobby. We had drinks there a couple of times, as it was a convenient spot to meet before going out, or when coming back in, though nothing about the place was inspiring or particularly welcoming. Service was perfunctory, and often required calling the bartender or waiters attention as they just stood to the side of the bar chatting.
My room was certainly new, to the point it still had a heavy “new carpet” smell. I’m fortunate that this doesn’t bother me; if it did, I’d have been in for a real problem (or more likely, re-queuing in the lobby and asking for a different, not-so-new room).
Billowing shower curtain. :(
The only negatives I could say about the room were that it had a free-flowing shower curtain that invariably wrapped around me during each shower (yuck) and the view was uninspired, at best (though at this price point, views aren’t expected). The room was silent (most important) and being so new, in very good condition.
My room number was in the high 660’s (though I forget the exact number). Though not mine, there was a room 666 at this hotel –ominous.
I did not eat at any of the hotel restaurants. Brief peeks into several of them on the lobby level didn’t excite me. There was a mention of an Asian-themed restaurant on a high floor called Minako. I didn’t make it up to this restaurant, though perhaps it was the best option at the property.
While nothing was unsatisfactory about this property (noting I may have had a different view of this if not in a “new room”), nothing about it was particularly pleasant. For my next visit to London, I’d rather return to the St Pancras or try yet another place from our list with the hopes of finding the gem on the list.
At a category 7 hotel for Hilton redemptions, I'd use this property for redeeming only in an emergency.
Hilton London Metropole Hotel
225 Edgware Road, London W2 1JU, United Kingdom