Strand Palace - London

Nov 8th, 2004, 06:03 PM
  #1  
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Strand Palace - London

Hi -
I have reservations at the Strand Palace in December and am looking for some feedback. I've seen mixed reviews...any tips or suggestions to improve my stay?
Thanks.
aklewis is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 06:22 PM
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We stayed at the Strand for a week in 2002. Our purpose in London was theater, and lots of it--every night--so we wanted something very convenient. We actually booked the hotel through a company that sells theater tickets, we got a great deal on our room/ticket combination.

The Strand is very old-fashioned, but was undergoing a comprehensive renovation. Our two (connecting) rooms were quite nice and not claustrophobically small. The bath was adequate in size.

Our "full English breakfast" was surprisingly good, but the "pub" on site that served as the hotel restaurant was absolutely awful. I can't remember the name of it, but the food was terrible, service indifferent (it is really a bar) and it is smoky and had an additional peculiar smell.

We stayed initially for five days, then went on to Glasgow for the Irish dancing world championships, then back to London for a few more days before home. The concierge, very helpful and a nice man, remembered us by name upon our return and made us feel like we were coming home from another trip. That may sound silly, but it is that sort of thing that makes a hotel extra special, not to mention the many arrangements he made for us for tours and suggestions for restaurants, etc. He also arranged to let my daughter practice dancing in an empty banquet room with wooden floors (necessary for Irish dance). There was another competitor for the worlds staying there, too, and she also practiced in that room. That may not sound like a big deal, but if you could have heard the NOISE that two dancers in hard shoes can make, you'd realize that the hotel was being incredibly tolerant.

The hotel is enormous, very well situated. The Covent Garden market is great, and there is an interesting museum of transportation there along with all the shops (Hamley's toys a favorite with our youngest). Lots of street artists in CG, including one man who, stripped to the waist, had an associate wrap him completely in plastic wrap (like a papoose) and he declared his intention to get out of it within a few minutes. He did, sweating and swearing, and one of our children was so impressed he gave the fellow a 2 pound coin, the only money he had in his pocket. The busker asked Skip his name and age, and then began to heckle the crowd for tips, pointing out that "Skip 'ere gave me two pound, and 'ee doesn't even 'ave a job!"
kswl is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 06:52 AM
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I hope I'm not too late, but fear that I may be. DO NOT STAY AT THE STRAND PALACE!!!

We arrived to our ridiculously tiny, grotty room with very hard bed (I suffer fibromyalgia, so cannot sleep on a hard bed). George - the best valet in the world asked if we would prefer another room. We said yes. He then came back with a key and showed us another room. We moved our things there. The curtains and bathroom were mouldy, the windows had aluminium frames screwed over the top of the wooden frames because they had seized. I was extremely tired and sore, so I pulled down the cover to find someone's luggage sticker stuck to the blanket.

When my partner came back from looking at several other rooms and even trying to get into the Savoy, but they were booked out) was to take a premium suite for 350 Pounds per night. It was just as worn and musty as the rest of the hotel. All the seats sagged, fabrics all faded, the bar fridge did not work, etc.

We had already paid for our other room in advance but they would not accept any of that money off the cost of the suite and we had to pay again.

Management was totally unsympathetic and unconcerned.
Tina_Perth is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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I think the pub has gone to be replaced by a Harry Ramsdens. The Hotel did feature on worst hotels in Britain about a year ago. Not all rooms are en suite and the hotel is big. Last I heard the hotel was going through a redevelopment so things may have improved. One the good side - the location is superb about 30 seconds walk to Picadilly Circus tube station.
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 09:19 AM
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Walter, it probably doesn't add to the discussion by confusing the Regent Palace on Piccadilly Circus with the Strand Palace on the Strand.
ron is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 09:22 AM
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Whoops - Sorry Folks!

Ergh, if you fancy moving from the Strand Palace, I guess you shouldn't go to the Regent Paace either.
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 09:23 AM
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Just to clarify Walter is confusing the Strand Palace with the Regent Palace. The Regent Palace is dreadful and was featured as one of the worst hotels in Britain. The Strand Palace gets mixed reviews as I believe rooms vary enoumously in size and condition - it seems to be used by many tour groups.
David_London is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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I've stayed at the Strand twice, once in 94 and once in 96. Both times I had very nice rooms, no problem with mold or anything else. It is a very big hotel, so I guess it all deoends on whatever room you're assigned. The location itself is great.
tully is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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Wow---I'm really surprised at that second reply. But I guess it does go to show that rooms vary WIDELY in terms of price, location and condition. Sorry your stay was so awful, Tina, but I'm shocked that they made you pay separately for an upgraded room. Haven't ever heard of ANY hotel doing that.
kswl is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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Hearing about another overpriced hotel in central London makes me glad I stay in an inexpensive B&B in the suburbs. Quiet residential street 3 min walk from the tube. serenade.ndirect.co.uk
rj007 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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Re The Regent Palace: To add insult to injury their branch of Harry Ramsden's would make old Harry turn in his grave. I know price is a factor but why anyone would want to stay in the Regent Palace is beyond me. My bath is nicer.
adamhornets is offline  
Dec 14th, 2004, 06:29 PM
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After hearing for years what a dump the Regents Palace is, and considering the great location, I've often thought it would be a great investment for someone with lots of of money (like Richard Branson) to buy the hotel and completely refurbish it. It would be a gold mine!
Kayb95 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2004, 06:42 PM
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I believe the current proposal is to raze the Regent Palace, and replace it with a boring office building. Fortunately, heritage groups are protesting.

Unlike others, I have stayed there. I am not going to trash it. It serves a purpose.
ron is offline  
Dec 16th, 2004, 08:24 AM
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Sorry Ron but I have stayed there with school groups and whilst I agree that it serves a purpose should we be encouraging that sort of "quality" accommodation in a city which is trying to get into the 21st century and host the Olympics? Just a question.
adamhornets is offline  
Dec 16th, 2004, 09:42 AM
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I've stayed at the Regent Palace also and consider myself fortunate to gotten out alive. I won't bore you all with the gory details which you can read at TripAdvisor should you care to, but I do think if some enterprising entity with deep pockets were to take on the task of converting the place into an acceptable facility, they could have something really great with that prime location.
Daisy54 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2004, 01:56 PM
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Adam, I only visit London twice a year, so I am not in a position to know what it might take to bring that city into the 21st century. Obviously, the Millennium Dome wasn't one. And I would imagine fixing the tube would be the most important one, since some of the lines seem to be in a parlous state. But I would guess that doing something about the Regent Palace would not be in the top 20 of things London needs to do.
ron is offline  
Dec 19th, 2004, 07:57 AM
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"But I would guess that doing something about the Regent Palace would not be in the top 20 of things London needs to do."

Ron, you may feel differently if you had ever stayed there.

Kayb95 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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So aklewis, please let us know how your experience plays out at the STRAND PALACE! Hope your trip is wonderful, and that your hotel stay is as nice as ours at the STRAND, and nothing like this awful REGENT PALACE. (I wonder how often the two are confused in London?)
kswl is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 06:06 AM
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Kayb95, if you had read my earlier post, you would know that I have stayed at the Regent Palace. Unlike many others here, my comments are based on personal experience. Six nights in 1994. Although I would not stay there again, it served its purpose at the time for me. And I suspect that that is true for many of the 1000+ people that populate the place night after night now.
ron is offline  
Dec 26th, 2004, 12:37 AM
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Wow! I never expected to cause such a stir!

I've just returned from a lovely trip to London and Paris and found The Strand Palace to be great! The staff was extremely helpful, the location couldn't be beat, and my room was just fine. I mean, how much do you really need when you're a tourist who just needs to rest their head each evening??? My room, though small, was clean and looked to be recently remodeled. The staff at the concierge desk were extremely helpful. I felt that they went out of their way at times to give me a hand. Each morning I was greeted as I left the elevator and given suggestions as to the days activities.

My only suggestion is to request an interior room as the street noise was pretty loud. I ended up buying earplugs - which I should have packed in the first place.

I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again. For the price and the location, it can't be beat!
aklewis is offline  

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