CP London St. James at Buckingham Gate. Bring Your Filtration Mask

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by tondoleo, Oct 4, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

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    Recently Mrs. Tondoleo and I ventured across the pond to London. Despite my informing her about UggBoy and UggGirl's fantastic visit to the IC Westminster last March, detailed in a MP post in this thread, a Travelzoo bargain weekend rate of £179 VAT inclusive for a Superior Room (upgradeable due to my Ambassador status), a rate that was £ 61 per night less than the CPand the IC being a mere two blocks from the CP she demanded explained that we must stay at the CP since her conference was there.

    The CP has a lovely staff. Friendly, helpful, accessible and respectful. It is in a great location for folks who are interested in doing the typical London tourist thing. There are nice restaurants and shoppes within a klick or two of walking. The St. James tube stop is 2 blocks away. The lovely St. James Park is 4 blocks away. Great area for urban hiking.

    Now comes the however. The hotel is undergoing a renovation. When we got off the lift on the 7th floor there was a mild aroma of sewage. It was unexpected and we just shrugged it off as a readily repaired issue. Or perhaps a flatulent person had recently been in the area. We went to our room. Our original standard room was upgraded to an Executive King on the top floor facing the rear courtyard. We had a lovely view of the scaffolding and the netting containing at least one dead avian. The furnishings were very unappealing and laid out in an unflattering way. The same aroma from the lift area was in our bathroom which was spotless and well tended. I assumed it was a minor ventilation issue. Sadly, this was not the case. Upon returning from our walk and dinner late at night the aroma was still there. Although not as bad. We opened the window and all was good.

    The following afternoon the aroma returned and did not abate even with the open window. We had a conversation with the Senior Front Deskperson and a discussion with the Head of Housekeeping. The latter insisted I was smelling grout. I was thinking of the IC Westminster. After Mrs. T put the kibosh on my idea the staff agreed to move us to another room. We did so the following day due to a series of typical tondoleo bizarre events.

    The new room on the 4th floor was the same type. However, it was larger, had nicer furnishings, and was far more comfortable. Upon returning from my hiking that afternoon I noticed two things. In a wall shelf by the lift was a small bottle with some incense and vanilla scent. It was quite pleasant. I sauntered to my room to be met by a heady aroma of cigarette smoke. Our rooms were supposed to be non-smoking. There was not a smoking smell when I got into the room a couple of hours earlier. I concluded that the aroma must have come in through the window I opened. Alas, I did not do that in this room. The smoke was coming from the bathroom ventilation grate. I thought the exhaust fan must be broken. I called the front desk and asked for assistance. Another Housekeeping Executive along with a maintenance worker extraordinaire arrived. They told me that it was necessary to always keep the lights on in the bathroom because it would operate the extractor fan on the roof which would suck up the smoke. I asked where the smoke could be coming from since this was a smoke free room. I was told that there is a smoking wing two floors directly below my room. They both looked at me strangely as I burst out laughing.

    We left the loo lights on for the remaining day plus of our stay. Despite that the aroma of cigarettes wafted gently into our room until we departed. I guess the extractor fan did not work well.

    All in all I could not wait to leave. This was the most disappointing set of rooms I have stayed in since South of the Border in South Carolina.

    If y'all opt to stay here in the next few months please question management to insure you get a room that does not challenge your olfactory sense.
    GoodBoy, guinnessxyz and uggboy like this.
  2. When hotels in London are cheaper than normal it is always best to ask around. 179 quid for that hotel is lower than usual for the place. BTW I think all hotels in the UK are becoming smoke free in the near future and some already are including the IC nearby:).
    uggboy likes this.
  3. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    I found this hotel to be a huge disappointment when I stayed there earlier this year, expected much better after reading some good reviews. Great location and nice looking lobby / entry but everything else was rather 3 star. I did however greatly enjoy the IC Park Lane.
    GoodBoy, guinnessxyz and uggboy like this.

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