Review: InterContinental London Westminster, London, England, UK

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by uggboy, Mar 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. uggboy
    Original Member

    uggboy Gold Member

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    March 2013

    We were waiting for the opening of the Intercontinental London Westminster since we first heard about the plans to convert St. Anne's Chambers in the heart of the political district into a hotel.

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    [ SIGN OF LIFE ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ Sign of the InterContinental London Westminster

    As soon as it was bookable last year we grabbed the chance and used the points and cash option at Intercontinental Hotel Group's frequent guest program called Priority Club. We had a really good offer with 20.000 Points and 70 USD cash for one night.

    We spent the night prior to our flight at the Hilton Dublin Airport and took the 07.45 hours hotel shuttle bus to Dublin Airport Terminal 2 for our 10.10 hours Aer Lingus flight to London Gatwick or at least so we thought. To our surprise we had been bumped up to an earlier flight leaving at 08.50 hours and only realized it, when we had gone through security.

    Without stress we managed to arrive at the gate before it closed. We were glad we could leave earlier and had a front row seat, so we had more time to enjoy London.

    We took the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station. Due to the location of the hotel we were able to walk to the Intercontinental, passing Christchurch Gardens with sculptures commemorating Henry Purcell and the Suffragette movement, St. Ermin's Hotel, an MGallery Collection Hotel by Accor and New Scotland Yard.

    Taking our time and photographs we arrived at around noon. If walking normal it shouldn't take longer than 15 minutes. The hotel is located opposite St. James's Park tube station.

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    [ URBAN MOVEMENT ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ St. James's Tube station is located opposite the hotel

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    [ LANDMARK FACADE ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ The Facade, gorgeous in perfect harmony with it's surroundings

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    [ LANDMARK ENTRANCE ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ Very elegant Entrance / Porte Cochere of the hotel

    We were asked by the door man, if we wanted to check in. He informed the bell captain, who asked for our name, offered to take our carry on luggage and directed us to reception, where he introduced us. He assumed the booking was in the name of my companion, so he used my last name, but added Mr. in front of it. It was a bit amusing.

    The check in was smooth and very quick. Our room was located on the highest floor, the sixth.

    The ground floor space is large with the lobby to the right. There are a lot of colorful flowers, art work, including the Queen without face, and a small atrium.

    When heading towards the elevators, there is the lounge to the right, a staircase to the left and when heading straight you can reach the Blue Boar Bar and Restaurant.

    With elevators you can access all floors, but there are no markings, for example stating where the lobby or restaurant is located. It wasn't a problem for us.

    Our room was large with views over New Scotland Yard and the hotel atrium. We had a small hallway, a huge wardrobe with safe, umbrella, shoe horn and luggage rack.

    The room was completed with a huge king sized bed, a medium sized writing desk with comfortable chair, a club chair and ottoman, a coffee table and a large mirror TV with all the channels one could wish for.

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    [ BEAUTIFUL WELCOME IN THE CAPITAL ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ Fruits and hand written welcome postcard in our room

    The color scheme was light brown, grey and white with dark carpets.

    All carpets show a million finger prints, connecting with the building's past.

    Guests don't have to worry about adapters either. In front of the writing desk is a panel with outlets from around the world.

    On the coffee table were magazines - Tattler, Bazaar, Vanity Fair (one of my favorites) and the Economist, plus The Spectator.

    The mini bar contained Folkington juices, chocolate bars, a good alcoholic and soft drink selection. There was also fresh milk for making coffee or tea, a Nespresso coffee machine including capsules and a kettle. The cups were by Heritage.

    In room dining was available 24 hours a day and came directly from the Blue Boar Restaurant. If you want to you can also have a large bottle of for example vodka and make your own cocktails. All utensils you need are there, including a shaker.

    The bath room was as large as the bedroom with dark and light marble and granite.

    The towels were all made in Portugal. They were large and soft.

    There was also a hanger for the bathrobe.

    The bath tub and shower were separated.

    The amenities were by Agraria, San Francisco. If guests have forgotten something it can be also found on the room, including shoe shine equipment, shower caps and armory board.

    We enjoyed our room very much. The writing desk and chair were comfortable to use, the bed allowed restful sleep and we liked the textures and color scheme. One of the more interesting designs was the headboard. It was made from wood and leather and reached up to the ceiling.

    The bath tub was excellent too. The shower had good water pressure and hot water supply was never a problem.

    Both can get a bit slippery, though.

    After photographing the room we went out exploring. At our return a welcome gift was waiting for us - a fruit platter and a handwritten note from the guest relations team.

    I also requested additional bath gel. It was promptly delivered and followed up by reception, if we had received it. This was a nice touch.

    The wake up call was on the dot and the ordered free newspaper was also waiting outside.

    We had in room dining twice and used the mini bar.

    Our dinner consisted of a rare tea from Taiwan for two, minute steak sandwich, Thai Green Chicken Curry with rice, two mini house salads, which were in reality two large ones and a pineapple dessert.

    All was excellent. In fact the standards were so high we wouldn't be surprised, if the Blue Boar Restaurant earns a Michelin Star in the future.

    We loved especially the dessert.

    Dinner cost ca. 72 GBP including 12.5% service charge and 5 GBP tray charge (ca. 84 Euro or ca. 109 USD).

    The breakfast choice is quite big, ranging from Continental to Health to full English. Of course items are also available a la carte. We chose Japanese Sencha Green Tea, Cappuccino, milk (choice of full fat, half skimmed, fat free), pink grapefruit and orange juice, Eggs Benedict, low fat yogurt with berries and a bakery basket, containing sourdough bread, toast, croissants and pastries, with butter and jam. Again it was the finest quality and worth every penny paid. Breakfast came in at ca. 58 GBP (ca 68 Euro or ca. 88 USD).

    Check out came way too quick, but the experience went flawless.

    The only thing that needed improvement was the hair dryer. It didn't function properly on the highest speed. I mentioned it at check out and was promised an engineer would take care of the problem. Since the hair dryer was just a bit slower and louder than usual, it wasn't really a big issue.

    We loved how detailed the hotel was, the comfort of the room, the flawless, friendly, discreet and efficient service, excellent food and location.

    This is the best hotel we have stayed at in London beside the Swissotel The Howard, which does unfortunately no longer exist.

    Of course there are some other hotels we want to try in London, but this is definitely on the go back to list.

    Would we love to stay again in this hotel? YES!
    Would we recommend this hotel to a friend? YES!

    Enjoy, thank you and safe travels. :)
     
    tondoleo, GoodBoy, TRAVELSIG and 3 others like this.
  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    A few more photos we made during our stay:

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    [ ROOM WITH A VIEW ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ The view from our 6th floor room

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    [ FULLY STOCKED ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ Fully stocked Mini Bar including some interesting juices we tried

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    [ SHEER BEAUTY : SLEEP ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ Gorgeous luxury bedding / super soft and elegant

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    [ BEAUTY ESSENTIALS ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ Agraria / Lemon Verbena amenities

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    [ ELEGANT : COMFORT ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ Gorgeous writing desk with International plug sockets / plus worldwide socket adaptors are also available

    Thank you, enjoy and safe travels. :)
     
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  3. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Thanks uggboy- great review- if I have need to stay in that area of London I know where I will go now!
     
  4. It will be hard for me to give up the Park Lane after so many years but that report just may do it.
    You never mentioned a RA lounge. Is there one?
     
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  5. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Yes, this property has a lounge located on the first floor, I believe. Since I'm not an RA, it hasn't really mattered to us, and yes, it's a fabulous property.
     
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  6. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    6th floor, Classic Room, bathroom images we have made during our March 2013 stay at the InterContinental London Westminster:

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    [ SPACE FOR LIFE ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr
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    [ SPACE FOR LIFE ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    [ SPACE FOR LIFE ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    [ SPACE FOR LIFE ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    [ SPACE FOR LIFE ] by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr

    ^ We found the bathroom to be very gorgeous, generous in size, separate bathtub and shower / hand held and rain shower head / beautiful marble, great sink, Agraria products and a powerful hairdryer, plus fluffy robes. Highly recommended experience at this beautiful hotel.

    Safe travels. :)
     
  7. sosphistocles

    sosphistocles Silver Member

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    Will definitely give it a go! Thanks for the post.
     
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  8. theskyflyer
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    theskyflyer Silver Member

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    Thanks for the post. I had not known about this hotel until I read here. Definitely a contender for London. How's wifi speed, by the way? I've always been impressed by internet at Hyatt Churchill.
     
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  9. astraveln

    astraveln Silver Member

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    I dont believe either London IC's give RA's access to the lounge without paying. I am an RA if that makes a difference at either property.

    I am curious, for those who have stayed at both. Is the lounge better at the Park Lane or Westminster?
     
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  10. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    The gorgeous InterContinental London Westminster will change management to become the Conrad St. James Hotel from September 1, 2014.
     
  11. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    it's ok, the hotel still remains gorgeous though it will change management...:p
     
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