on May 4, 2013
London is my favorite city to visit. Somehow it never gets old. In January 2013, Al, Joe and I headed out of Boston for a 10 day trip to London and Dublin. I did a lot of research trying to find a great hotel deal. Great when it relates to London means less than $200 a night and in a great neighborhood. I really wanted to have a little luxury but hours of looking really didn’t give me anything in my designated price range. I hate to say I settled, because really I have always wanted to stay here, but I knew I was trading boutique for location when I booked us into the Strand Palace. The deal included the buffet breakfast, a daily off peak transport pass and Sunday evening dinner.To keep the price under $200 including breakfast, Al and I had to settle for a standard room. Joe splurged a bit and got a club room. We were located pretty much across the hall from each other and we didn’t see a whole lot of differences between our rooms. In the interest of space, I chose a twin room and in London terms it was spacious enough to move around, store the luggage and not have to squash between the beds. The rooms were actually quite nice with comfortable beds and plenty of pillows. On request, feather pillows were brought to our room. It was January and our room was always comfortably warm. The windows were a bit drafty but they had wooden shutters and when closed it was as snug as a bug in our room. There was a desk and chair and very reliable WiFi for business travelers. Coffee making facilities were also on a shelf under the desk. The bathroom was spacious with a nice deep tub. The lighting was also good for reading in bed which I appreciate. There is TV with a pretty good selection of channels. All in all we were very well pleased with our rooms. As part of our deal not only did we get a good breakfast every morning but we also got Sunday night dinner which was carvery and really delicious. The appetizer bar was packed with goodies and we paid an extra supplement to include dessert and it was so worth it! The breakfast buffet is excellent. Lots of choices both hot and cold and plenty of coffee, tea or hot chocolate are offered. We got to know the staff and they were always welcoming and since we are friendly we got a great table every day. I had room service delivered one evening and though the menu is limited, the food arrived hot and in a timely manner. Afternoon tea was the only bummer, don’t waste your money unless it is served in the lounge bar, the service in the Indian restaurant was appalling. The location of this hotel is a big draw. It is 5 minutes from Covent Garden. It is an easy walk to Trafalgar Square and the bus stops going both directions are right outside the doors of the hotel. There are three theatres within 2 blocks of the hotel and Simpsons in the Strand is across the street if you are in the mood for the quintessential roast beef dinner. We loved this hotel. It is large and that can translate into impersonal but that was not our experience. From the moment we checked in we felt welcomed and we enjoyed our interactions with the staff with the exception of the Daawats at Johnston’s Restaurant which is where we had afternoon tea. Our overall impression was excellent and I would recommend the Strand Palace highly and I certainly plan to stay here again myself.
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