Le Meridien Picadilly

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by canucklehead, Apr 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Stayed at LM Picadilly this weekend and wanted to give a short review of the hotel.

    Location: It doesn't get more central to tourist sites than Picadilly Circus. Aside from the Tate Modern, I spent most of my time walking the city

    Transport: HEX from LHR to Paddington took a bit longer than desired, there was a train problem that was initially thought to take 45 minutes to resolve which ended up only 20 minutes. From Paddington, its 6 stops south on the Bakerloo line to Picadilly Circus.I remembered to bring my Oyster card. Had not used it in a while, so I was happy to see there was still some money on it. I found that the closest exit is #2. Once on the street, walk up Picadilly to the hotel, if you end up on Regent St, turn left on Air St and right onto Picadilly and the hotel is a few doors in.

    Reception: Three people on staff, but I must have arrived at a busy time, as there were a few people there. I had pre-requested an early check-in (made in the notes when I booked my ticket via SPG.com), and was surprised that they let me get my room that early (never had that happen at Sheraton Park Lane, but it may have been as I am a Plat now, and only a Gold for my SPL stays). They gave me a Club room, briefly told me about the amenities of the place (pool, Mezzanine level Club lounge...) As I was happy to get a room early, I did not ask about Suites availability. I was asked what I would like for my Plat amenity, I was too tired to say anything but 'I'll take the points!' :D Next time I will ask what the local amenity would be.

    The room: I got had a King bed facing the inside of the building. This may not sound nice, but given the noise in the area, I would not look too badly on this aspect as I spent very little time in the room (its London, after all(. Bed was nice, but I am not sure if it was my imagination, I think the bed was on the short side (though it could have been the king-sized pillows). The room was spacious and certainly comfortable.

    As for furnishings, there was a large LCD TV on top of a chest of drawers (this may have been a minibar, but to be honest, I did not open it). 2 grey fabric chairs for sitting and a nice wooden desk. The walk-in closet held the room safe, bathrobes, slippers snacks.

    I liked the bathroom, nice marble sinktop. Bathtub had the old style taps (and hand held shower). Best feature of the bathroom was the towel-warmer (I love them!) The standard LM bath products were present, as well as a plastic case for vanity items and 2 bottles of water.

    The internet speed was good and I do appreciate the 110V plug. I did pack my converter, but this meant one less thing to dig out of my bag.

    Food and Beverage: Club Lounge food was nice. There is an elevator that goes to the Mezzanine - it is separate from the pair of elevators if you are trying to figure out which one goes directly to M. The other ones go to the Ground floor and its one flight of stairs up to the Lounge. Breakfast was a good and tasty assortment of muffins (glass shelf on the right), cereals (center of glass shelf), breads, pastries, fresh fruit, 3 types of juices, smoked salmon (yum!), cold cuts, an espresso machine and stocked beverage cabinet.

    Afternoon snacks included sweets, spicy wings, crisps, cocktails, reds (Pinot Noir, CabSav and Merlot) and white (SBlanc and 2 others). Snacks were very good and a nice way to spend 30 minutes to decompress from a day of walking.

    Checkout: Speedy. Also, the agent who was assisting me wanted to double check if I had ordered from the Terrace (their restaurant). As I said 'the what?', she probably figured it was not my charge and said she would remove it. Definitely know it was not me when I saw that the food item was poached egg (the one way I don't like it served)!

    Conclusion: Overall, I really enjoyed my stay. I would have stayed (like I usually do) at the Sheraton, but I wanted to try a new place. This one fit the bill. I am thinking about coming back to stay here in July, and hopefully I will be able to check out the pool and health club (and maybe even get a suite!)

    Other notes:I posted another thread about LM's Unlocking Art and I was very happy to get free admission to the Tate Modern's exhibit.
    My only beef (and its a minor one) was that I asked for a late checkout. I came back to a housecleaner in my room on the phone. When she heard me come in, she quickly came in and asked if I was leaving soon as she was about to make the bed. This was followed in 10 minutes by another attendant coming in to the room to ask if I needed anything like more water. No big deal, but as I was trying to get a move on out of the hotel, I thought it was a bit bizarre.
     
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  2. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    Thanks for the review OP! I am looking to stay here for 5 days in September and was espcially interested in noise levels in the rooms.

    sdcarver
     
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  3. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    AFAIK (correction welcome), Oyster Cards remain active for two years from date of last use before going "dormant" - after that, I think you would need to contact Transport for London to get it re-activated or exchanged.

    Wen I bought my Oyster a few years ago, I registered it using the hotel's address - this allows me to track the balance online.
     
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  4. DeltaExpert
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    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    Joanna who works in Guest Reception is Amazing at this property! One of the best Starwood has.
     
  5. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    Thanks for the information, I will contact as we get closer to our trip.

    sdcarver
     
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  6. monitor
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    monitor Gold Member

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    canucklehead's post is spot on. He has pretty much nailed that hotel on the head.

    I will add only that we did have a room facing the street and the noise was not, to us, at all excessive. Keep in mind that in NY, our place gets a whole lot of noise from the street and we do not pay much attention to it. :)
     
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  7. Echo canucklehead's post as well.

    One day, I'll give a long, detailed review of my stay here April 16-24, but to summarize: exceeded expectations! Already trying to figure out how to get back there in '12 on points, since I booked when it was Cat 5 (~12.5K) and now it's a Cat 6 (~22K).

    I stayed in a Jr. Suite which, aside from no kitchen, would've made a nice-sized studio apartment (and I've lived in a few). It was a great place to decompress after 6+ hours being a tourist. I had absolutely no issue with noise, but I was also on the 9th floor, their highest. Faced the street, view was of the tops of nearby buildings, but didn't really care.

    I specifically loved the bath towels. Huge and fluffy.

    Staff were really helpful:
    A) Arrived at 8am after 15 hours of travel not having requested an early check-in (oops, learned my lesson). Front desk stored my bags, sent me to the pool (at my request), and, not 20 minutes into the workout, had the room cleaned and ready.

    B) I'd never had tea before (ever), so at afternoon tea, one of the Lounge attendants gave me a full lesson on how to make proper English tea--and even directed me to a shop around the corner where I could get real English tea, since it must be loose leaf and not from tea bags.

    Only two drawbacks:
    A) Bathroom was weirdly shaped (a half-wall separating sink area and tub area was jarring, to say the least) & water pressure was atrociously low. Also, I found the tub rather narrow and I weigh less than 12.5st.

    B) If you like to eat protein, the Club Lounge may not suit your needs. By the end of my stay, I almost paid 15GBP in one of the restaurants for breakfast because I just wanted some eggs! I sucked it up, but food was rather carb-heavy, imo.
     
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  8. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Some may differ on this, but IMHO, if one is staying at the Le Meridien Picadilly, and coming there straight from (or going from there straight to) Heathrow, you might as well just take the tube. Sure, the HEX gets you to Padddington in 15 minutes (20-25 min actually, depending on how long you wait for the next train whilst at Heathrow). BUT, pending significant delays on the Picadilly Line, the time you spend getting from Paddington to the hotel may mitigate the time saved.
    Agree w/ the other posts above that it's THE spg prop of choice for central London.
     
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  9. papakim
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    papakim Silver Member

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    I am staying at the SPL for one night on pts. I am SPG gold. SPL does not have club services and has mixed reviews on TA. It seems like a good pt value with a great location. I thought about changing to LM but I wonder if it's worth it for only one night. I would like to get into the room early and did email the GM at SPL with this request. Can anyone advise on SPL?
     
  10. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Until my stay at LPM (first post of the thread), I had used SPL for most of my London visits -- I think it may have been about 8-10 times. The hotel is as good a location as LPM (one tube stop earlier from LHR on the Picadilly line but a smidgeon farther from the biggest attractions), and is 9K less points. The LPM has much better service and the Club lounge was very nice (albeit small). The slight difference may also be that at LPM, I was a Platinum member, whereas for the last decade, I have been SPG gold. If you go the LPM route, I would suggest seeing if you can use a room upgrade to Club (1500-2750 pts), it is definitely worth it for the afternoon snacks/drinks and the breakfast

    As a Gold at SPL, I have been given early checkin twice (other times I was asked to wait until 2pm, once even 3pm). I would follow up, but I suspect their response will be that there is no guarantee and they take requests only upon check-in. I have also been given upgrades to an Exec room twice and a Studio Suite once. I have never requested a larger room, but in all instances, they did welcome me back, so maybe it was a bonus for a frequent guest (certainly not an expected upgrade as a Gold.)
     
  11. papakim
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    papakim Silver Member

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    Thanks- appreciate the detail.
     
  12. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    One consideration in the diff. b/n the two is what one would save on food by bascially getting breakfast, lunch (afternoon tea service w/ sandiwches, etc.), and dinner (evening app's) in the lounge at LM vs. paying to go out to eat in London especially since both prop's are in the rather touristy areas of town. That may mean a lot to someone who's chief interest in this fair city is theatre shows, attractions, etc., in that yep, the LM is more points, but they're paying nothing for food, and the LM is central enough to pop back in & out throughout the day. it may not mean much to someone who's keen to fill their foodie fix here, wants to take in London's restaurants and cafes, and doesn't "need" the lounge access much, and would rather save those points.
     
  13. Astrophy
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    Astrophy Silver Member

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    Photos of the executive suite

    Those are from May 2010. There are several different layouts of the executive suite. Some have two bathrooms and others just have one. I think there are some photos of another suite on tripadvisor. My advice would be to get a room on the highest floor possible to get away from the street noise.

    The lounge usually has decent service, but the computers and wifi were really slow. They have a really nice pool in the basement, very large steam room, racquetball court, mens/womens changing rooms with showers, and gym. There is also some sort of quiet room that is somewhat dark and would be a great place to relax if you arrive early and need to take a shower and get a quick nap in.
     
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  14. mrsmortis
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    mrsmortis Silver Member

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    I've never stayed here but as a local I have used The Terrace resturant on a couple of occasions when I was entertaining collegues. It's good food in a central location and as an added plus point you can normally book it same day.
     
  15. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    I had a one-night stay here on a Saturday in February 2013. The hotel is easy to find just off Picadilly Circus.

    Good:
    As a platinum member I was upgraded to a club room and thanked for my custom
    Great location overall
    Access to lounge with afternoon tea, evening drinks, and breakfast
    Great bed
    Friendly and positive staff (I borrowed a plug and was not asked for my room number, let alone a deposit)
    Two bottles of complimentary water in room Good fast wifi

    Bad
    I had a connecting room and could hear everything in the room next door -luckily my neighbour wasn't noisy
    Creaky floors
    Terrible bathroom -poor water pressure, very cheap and worn shower head, no separate shower (stand in bath type)
    I wasn't upgraded to a suite but the hotel was then still selling suites online several hours later (i hate how common this seems to be with SPG -sometimes I'll make a fuss but this time I'm here on my own so let it slide)
    Bathroom amenities sparse (no toothbrush or razor)

    Overall
    Very solid, I would stay here again. If they followed the rules for upgrades and renovated the bathrooms, this would be an excellent hotel. As is, it's merely a good one.

    This is a club room



    image-1241057151.jpg
     

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  16. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    And this is the continental breakfast in the lounge



    image-3359071615.jpg
     

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  17. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    In 1970, we did a 45 day honeymoon a la Arthur Frommer's Europe on $5 a Day. The entire trip including flights, a car for three weeks and even gifts we bought came to about $1800! We arrived back in London to connect to our flight home, had a bit of money left over, went to the tourist office and asked for the top hotel in London! They sent us to the Picadilly for $60/night, a whole lot more than the $7 we were typically paying. We had been on a 24 hour long train ride due to an airline strike in Italy, followed by a flight from Switzerland to London - we looked and smelled pretty awful! They took one look at us in the lobby, opened another line and whisked us off to a room that had a bathtub as big as most of the rooms we stayed in on our honeymoon!

    About 38 years later, we returned to the now Meridien Picadilly as Starwood Platinum Elites. We were upgraded into a lovely suite with two bathrooms - most hotels on our honeymoon had a bathroom in the hall and now we had two to ourselves! It's hard to explain how wonderfully strange a feeling it was to return to the same place all those years later and it most certainly brought back some wonderful memories. I can tell you I met the manager and had the chance to tell him my story. He told me he was a doorman back in 1970 and got a big kick out of the tale. I guess we've both came a long way.
     
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  18. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    Great story! Glad you had a great repeat visit!
     
  19. gwuinsf

    gwuinsf Active Member

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    I just stayed at the Park Lane for one week at the end of January. If you can afford it (either the points or higher rate) then stay at the Meridien. It is closer to Picadilly Circus and as the reviews here stated has much nicer amenities. That being said, however, Park Lane is not a bad hotel. It's an old hotel and is in need of a facelift, but that was probably the only complaint that I had. At the end of the day you're probably not spending that much time in your hotel room anyway. Even when I had work to do I would take my laptop to the beautiful lounge and bar area that they have in front, ordered a drink and worked from there.

    SPL is just as good of a location. It's right in front of Hyde Park (did I get that right) and two blocks from the Green Park tube station. While Meridien is closer to Picadilly Circus, SoHo, Oxford Street, SPL is closer to Buckingham Palace. I even walked to Harrods from there.

    For one night, I'd probably save the points.
     
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  20. tamviv

    tamviv Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing! I am looking for a SPG property to stay in London for a few nights in March, and your post as helped me in deciding to stay with Le Meridien. Thanks again.
     
  21. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

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    I had a three night award stay at this hotel starting last week. It was my first time at the hotel, and our first trip to Europe with our newly minted four year old daughter.

    I had booked a Jr. Suite at a higher point level because the rooms either had a pull out sofa bed or had additional space for a roll away. I applied SNA's to the reservation and received confirmation that we had been upgraded to an Executive Suite two or three days before our departure for London.

    Upon arrival around 10:00 our room was not ready. We dropped our bags and went up to the lounge to see what it had to offer...not much at that time of the day so we just hit the streets.

    Our room was eventually ready around 4:00 when the Plat who had been occupying it checked out.

    The room had a small entryway, bedroom, sitting room and two bathrooms. It did not face the main street that runs in front of the hotel (forget the name); it looked out over the fairly busy street behind the hotel. I can't say for sure, but I believe the room number was 333.

    The bedroom had a king bed, desk, TV, closet, etc. The bathroom had a toilet, sink and bath/tub combo. We had an ongoing problem with the toilet in this bathroom; it would take over an hour for the tank to refill. We called down about it once and it was serviced but not fixed. It wasn't a huge deal b/c we had the other bathroom.

    The sitting room had a couch, chair, TV, round table with four chairs. The couch converted into a bed that worked for our daughter, but probably would not have worked for an adult.

    The second bathroom was pretty much a duplicate of the first.

    The room was nicely appointed, but also seemed a bit dated. The floors were creaky, which is not a huge deal.

    The room seemed cold to me. I called down before bed time the first night to ask how to work the thermostat b/c I had cranked it all the way to the + side and there seemed to be no change in temperature. I was told that it was 'spring in London' and the hotel had central heat but they could bring me up a space heater, which I accepted. I eventually called down for a second one. They put out heat, but not very much heat. It is Spring in London, but that doesn't mean it is warm in London! Temps were down into the 50's at night and in an older structure that means the rooms get chilly. I did notice that on our third and final night, the hotel must have turned the heat on which really made a big difference.

    The street noise, as has been reported previously, was pretty substantial. Sirens, trucks, and just traffic were loud through the windows. Not much can be done there without substantial work I guess, but other hotels (Trafalgar Hilton for one) have taken steps to address it.

    The lounge is fairly small, but feels smaller than it is b/c of the number of tables, couches and layout. We never had a problem finding a place to sit. In the morning, there are plenty of breads, cereals, juices, meats, cheeses and fruit. It worked just fine for us. In the evenings, there is free wine, beer, cocktails, cold snacks and a few hot items. I don't look to the club to feed me a meal in the evening...I'm more about the drinks! It worked out well for us in this regard. During the day it is stocked with water and sodas. I really have no complaints about the lounge, which seemed to get some bad comments over on FT.

    The location of the hotel is great, at least for what we wanted to do. Bond Street is close by as is Green Park and a tube stop. We've stayed at the Marriott County Hall, Marriott Grovensor Square, Trafalgar Hilton, the old Sheraton Belgravia, and now this hotel in London. This would be one of our two choices for a future visit along with the Grovensor Square hotel. If not for the street noise it would be a no-brainer #1 for us compared to those other hotels.

    I did a survey after the stay and simply commented that the breakfast spread was a bit light. I got an e-mail within a day from the director of food/catering thanking me for the comments. I appreciate the follow up on those surveys; something I've found to be quite common with Starwood...not so much with other chains.
     

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