Luxury Accommodations in the Heart of London
Written: Jul 17, 2002 (Updated Jul 17, 2002)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Very well appointed, top-notch service, excellent central London location
Cons:Very pricey without a discount rate. Tough to get to Heathrow on Sunday morning.
The Bottom Line: Not for the budget-minded traveler, Marriot's Renaissance Chancery Court provides luxury accommodations in the heart of London, within walking distance of the Underground and major attractions.
I stumbled upon Marriot's Renaissance Chancery Court looking for a simple hotel where I could spend one night in London. After browsing several travel sites, I looked back at the hotel loyalty program cards I had, and compared the offers on the various websites of those companies. I found the best value at the Chancery Court.
The Chancery Court is a very new hotel. I did not have directions from Heathrow, rather, I sort of fudged things on the Underground, taking the Chancery Lane stop, and wandering around from there. This was 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday, so there was no one around to ask for directions. After 40 minutes of aimless searching, I found a police station. This is where I figured out how new the hotel was. Neither of the officers knew of the hotel, although they did direct me to a Kinko's just three blocks down the street. After finding the address by going to Marriot's site, I was informed by the person working at Kinko's that I had only two more blocks to go on the same street!
Arriving by foot or car at the Chancery Court, you pass through an arched gateway and into a central courtyard that is about 75 feet by 100 feet. The hotel is by no means a small building. In the courtyard, I was directed by a very friendly bellman into the main entrance, where I went to the front desk to check in.
Now we come to the first point in which the Chancery Court really wow-ed me. Many hotels have check-in times as early as noon. I was able to get into the room I had reserved for one night at 9:00 AM. It was as if they knew I would be arriving from an overnight flight, and were expecting to see me check right in. Declining the services of the bellhop (at this time, I was just carrying a small overnight bag), I took the nicely appointed elevator to my room.
The only thing that disappointed me about the Chancery Court is the time I wasted looking for the light switch. When I entered the room, nothing but the TV worked, and I was just about to call the front desk for help, when I noticed a panel inside the door that appeared to be about the size of the door card. I would have been a little happier had the front desk told me of that earlier. Sure enough I inserted the card in that panel, and every light in the room went on.
What I found was the nicest hotel room I have ever been in. Everywhere it made sense, things were finished in fine marble. The bedclothes included two comforters and about 8 pillows. The bathroom surpassed description -- it was palatial, finished in a beautiful green stone (it might have been marble, granite, or something else, I wasn't sure), and there was a speaker in the ceiling that let you listen to whatever was on the television. Even little things like the shampoo and matches were high quality. The toiletries were supplied by Bath and Body works. The matches, while being in book form, were actually wooden matches.
I did not try the restaurant or room service, but I found the concierge to be extremely helpful. In the morning, I was able to get directions to the nearby British Museum, and in the evening, after I discovered a little snag with my flight the next morning (see my review on British Airways for more details), he was extremely helpful in contacting the airline to explore options. I learned from talking to him that the building had previously been used for the offices of a foundation of some sort, but had also been used as a movie set. I believe I remember The Remains of the Day coming up in that conversation. Looking at the place, I could see why.
Jet lag, and having to be up at 4:00 AM to catch a cab to the airport, prevented me from getting the best sleep at the Chancery Court, but I am confident I would sleep well indeed there if I were on a stay longer than one night. Talking to the cabbie on the way to the airport, I found I had gotten a great deal on the room, as well. He felt that the hotel was probably a 250 pound ($390) per night hotel. I paid 99 pounds ($155).
This certainly wasn't the least expensive hotel I've ever visited. If I had paid full price, it would have been quite costly indeed, but if I'm going to London again on a big budget, the Chancery Court will be the first place I think of. Between the luxurious accommodations, and the very good staff, this is a top-notch hotel.
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