We booked a room for 3 at Britannia Inn Hotel via Hotels.com. When we arrived at the hotel in late evening, we were told there was electrical issue going on in our room so we had to go to another hotel - Best Western Ilford. The front desk said it was just couple blocks away but he had arranged a cab to get us there so we didn’t have to walk with our regular North American size luggage. He also said that’s a 4-star hotel which was better than Britannia Inn Hotel. Eventually we found out he was lying because at least the Britannia Inn Hotel is located in a quiet neighbor.
Once we arrived at Best Western Ilford, the front desk told us we went to the wrong hotel and we were in fact arranged to stay at Best Western Greater London Hotel and it was another couple blocks away, on the main road. This time even though it’s the hotel and the cab driver had all this screwed up, we had to walk to the hotel ourselves. We were quite mad because it was late at night, 10’ish pm and we had to walk with big luggage due to a stupid mistake made by the front desk and cab. We were 100% sure both hotel and cab driver had this screwed up because they communicated in their own languages (not native English speaker talking to non-native English speaker).
Once we checked in at Best Western Greater London Hotel, we were told our room # was 201 which is facing the busy main road. The front desk (who is a guy) showed us how to use the card to unlock the door lock but we had no luck after several tries. We were back and forth to the front desk several times. The next day we found out from another reception lady that the instruction we got was wrong!!! Really annoying! The hotel rooms are neither equipped with air conditioning or electric fan. Only the lobby/main level is installed with air conditioning. This July was really hot in London. Without any air conditioning or electric fan, we opened the windows in order to get to sleep but the noise was really super noisy and annoying that we had no way to sleep at all. We closed the windows again, but the noise was still loud, of course, we couldn’t get to sleep with the hot temperature. The windows are so cheap in quality that they are not sound-proofed. Even it was midnight, we could still hear people screaming and yelling, cars speeding, buses stopping and leaving the bus stop, ambulance turning on its siren. We barely slept for more than 3 hours and we were waken up by the bus again sometime around 5am. We complained to the front desk next morning and they said they could get us a room locating at the back of the hotel, it’s room 208. As mentioned earlier, this room isn’t equipped with electric fan or air conditioning either but we at least can open the windows for natural freeze and air.
Our hotel room floor is equipped with a big chandelier by the staircase. This chandelier comes with 10+ light bulbs. The hallway is small and not installed with any air conditioning. One can imagine how super hot it is. This is totally ridiculous of putting this giant chandelier at this tiny little hotel hallway.
There were couple super hot nights that we couldn’t get to sleep eveb with windows opened, so we asked the front desk for an electric fan. We couldn’t imagine the electric fan was so tiny that it’s only good for 1 person! This fan is only 10” diameter! It’s just better than nothing!
There is free breakfast and a lot of varieties: sausage, bacon, eggs, fruits, scones, … no complaints. Staff were polite. The restaurant is equipped with air conditioning, so no one will eat and sweat at the same time!
We asked the front desk why there was no air conditioning and they said air conditioning was only available at 5-star hotel in London. This is absolutely wrong and misleading! We stayed at Holiday Inn Express at Croydon, it is 3.5-star hotel and their rooms all come with air conditioning!!! Without proper sound-proofing windows and air conditioning installed, why this Best Western Greater London is marked as 4-star hotel??? This is absolutely a lie. Holiday Inn Express at Croydon is way better and more comfortable than Best Western Greater London. It is just 10 minutes walk from Croydon train station which has easy access to Gatwick Airport. It is just 1/2 block off from main street and local train station and the rooms are super quiet!
Although we booked a room for 3 but they are really super tiny and only 1 luggage is “allowed” on the floor for packing. No wonder why there is no electric fan in each hotel room by default or a bigger fan will be given. This hotel is about 5-minute walk from Ilford train station which is the only reason we picked it. There are many restaurants nearby but most of them are Turkish or Islamic food. It’s really difficult to find a place for traditional English or European food. Restaurants in Ilford are comparatively cheaper than London. Although it’s just steps away from Ilford train station, if one flies via Gatwick or Heathrow Airport, we didn’t realize it will take up to 2 hours to get there during rush hour because it requires several stops and transits. Ilford is not the right place to stay if one is flying via these 2 airports.
We are always given a survey to review the hotels if we book through Hotels.com but this time, we never receive one. However, this doesn’t stop us from sharing our miserable experience since we are sure if we send this to Hotels.com, they will not post it and ask us to rewrite our review to make them look better (we had been told to do so in the past about our experience staying at a hotel in Taiwan which we booked through them).
Last word, not recommending this hotel to anyone unless you are sure you pick cool days to stay at this hotel (not sure if this hotel comes with heating system) or you are given a room away from the busy main road! less
Hotel M, Manager at Best Western Greater London Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you very much for such a detailed review. Let me reassure you that all guests feedbacks are taken very seriously and we work hard to make sure all guests feel comfortable while staying with us.
Indeed, summer in London was unusually hot. As you mentioned in a right way, we do not have air conditioning in our bedrooms however fans are provided on request. Since you have booked a different hotel you would not know that we are not advertising for air conditioning on any of the websites.
I have noted your concern regarding the room size and noise, let me reassure you that only 2 bedrooms out of 22 are facing the front of a busy road. If you would have asked the reception to move you to a quieter bedroom they would have done so with pleasure.
Again, thanks a lot for your time and feedback. We hope to see you again sometimes in future.