We ended our holiday trip through Europe in London at the Radisson Blu Eduardian Hampshire hotel in Leicester Square. After a less than perfect stay at another Radisson Blu property across the street, I wasn’t sure how well this would go – and I ended up very pleasantly surprised! This ended up as one of my best Radisson Blu experiences to date and if London is on your schedule, you should check it out!
I had stayed at the Radisson Blu Leicester Square (currently under renovation) earlier and encountered some issues. When staff asked the typical “how was your stay” question at check-out, I gave them a polite and honest answer, not expecting much beyond the standard “sorry, sir”. To my surprise, I got a follow-up email from their customer service staff, promising to make up for it on a future stay!
Location: We were arriving by Eurostar (read more here) for a two-night stay, with a show on our schedule and departing from London Heathrow by plane. The Hampshire is perfectly located on Leicester Square, a ten minute walk from the Prince Edward theatre we were planning to see “Miss Saigon”, as well as plenty of other theatre venues, restaurants and bars! There is also plenty of shopping in walking distance, around Covent Garden and Regent Street. The Leicester Square tube station is on the Picadilly line, great for visitors with direct access to London Heathrow airport as well as Kings Cross train station.
Room: The customer service staff came through with their promise to “make up for it” and upgraded us to a Junior Suite, overlooking the square. This was one of the nicest rooms I’ve had in London. Compared to other rooms at similar prices, it was generous in size! I’d call the decor modern elegance with a quirky, British twist, making it a good representation of the Radisson Blu brand, unique and a great fit for London. The bed is comfortable with plush linens, the sitting area comfortable and spacious and a large work desk across the side of the room. The bathroom was positively huge, bigger than some hotel rooms in London, with a large, soaking tub with shower above it and a separate shower box., as well as a dual vanity. The toilet also was in cubicle separated by door. With this layout and the generous space, there shouldn’t a problem for two people to get ready quickly in parallel – unless the choice of showers and baths trips you up! I was concerned about noise from the square, but the windows are not only dual-pane but actually two layers of windows, making the room very quiet! The room has all the amenities you’d expect from a five star hotel: It has a flat screen TV, a large, laptop-ready safe as well as mini bar. For coffeeholics like me, the Nespresso Coffee maker is certainly a plus and beats a drip coffee maker or – gasp – instant coffee any day. The room also had a trousers press in addition to iron & iron board to get you ready for your evening show!
Amenities: The hotel has a restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating. As part of the “make up”, we enjoyed a complimentary breakfast. It offered a selection of pastries, fruit, yogurt and some hot dishes, as well as a number of made-to-order dishes. English food has a terrible reputation, much of it deserved, and hotel breakfasts in London are usually no exception. To my great surprise, this one was very, very good! The food was delicious, from the creamy yogurts to the fresh pastries and the perfectly done made-to-order omelette! I usually dismiss hotel breakfasts in Europe as overpriced affairs – this one I’d be happy to pay for! The hotel has a small gym and a business center with computer and printer access, handy to print those boarding passes.
Service: In addition to the room upgrade and free breakfast, the service we received from check-in to check-out was stellar, night and day different from my earlier experience and probably one of the best of any Radisson Blu in Europe I have visited. Check-in was friendly and efficient, making sure we had everything we needed. When we had an issue with the electronic key, the front desk agent accompanied us to the room and assisted with the “temperamental” lock. The room safe is important to me, because I tend to bring along plenty of gadgets and I’m paranoid about theft! When it didn’t work due to low battery, a technician arrived in minutes to replace the batteries. When that didn’t solve the problem immediately, he brought and installed a replacement safe, it all taking less than 15 minutes from my call. Things can always go wrong and it is when issues arrive, that great services distinguishes itself from merely adequate service! The responsiveness, professionalism and speed of issue resolution is what made the Hampshire a winner in the service department. The icing on the cake (literally) was a sweat treat of fruit and cake in recognition of my Club Carlson status – a very nice welcome gift! To allow us to enjoy our stay in London till the evening departure of our flight, the front desk even made the late check-out work, despite the room having been booked for the following night. Most hotels will take the easy way out and just decline the “when available” late check-out in situations like this, so I appreciate that the Hampshire team went out of their way to accommodate us!
Overall, this was one of my best hotel experiences in London and with Radisson Blu in Europe. The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire offers very nice rooms in a great location. What really sets it apart is the attentive service that is dedicated to deliver an upscale experience. We used Club Carlson points for our stay. With rates at more than $550 during our stay around New Years, the expectations are pretty high and the Hampshire manages to exceed them! Club Carlson points are a great use for a stay here, I recommend it for a stay in the heart of London and I’d come back again in a heartbeat!