Best IC Hotel in London

Old Jan 10, 2008, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by MarkTL
Camden Lock property is pretty good if you can get an upgrade. Their corner rooms are fab !

Just be careful in Camden !
Originally Posted by mti
Camden Lock is an awful hotel in my experience, and I've heard a hell of a lot of bad things about it. I found the staff very rude and unwelcoming, until the point that I left the hotel and went elsewhere - then the Duty Manager was bending over backwards to be nice.

Hmmmm, not very re-assuring. is Camden a generally unsafe area of town?

Last edited by sammy7; Jan 10, 2008 at 1:16 pm
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 5:38 am
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No, Camden is a fairly decent area. It's just very, very busy - you need to be extra careful with pickpockets and the like. If you're used to London, or any big city, then it won't be anything you're not used to.
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by sammy7
Hmmmm, not very re-assuring. is Camden a generally unsafe area of town?

Sammy, you were looking, I thought, for a "Modern" hotel.

If you want Modern and location - I would strongly suggest the IC. All the rest of the HI propretys are not what you would call modern. The CP City - while more modern is not in an area I really like. It is not in a bad area - just not in one that excites me.

The only Art Deco / Modern HI property I know of is the Camden.

I have never had a problem with the staff at Camden. They are certainly not CP or IC material - but - they were accomodating. And, the area is dicey - no doubt. But, it is not Harlem! I have walked through the area at all times of day and night with no problem. And, would not hesitate taking my family to the hotel - though I never would as I have other hotels I prefer.

Some Alternatives (All in my opinion - others will no doubt disagree):

HI Mayfair: Older hotel - right across street from Green Park and Ritz. Down the street from Picadilly. An older proprety in an old building - but - I have always found it very clean! Smaller rooms. Good staff.

My second choice after CP St. James!

HI Kensington Forum: Big hotel. Staff is good - but I had a bad experience with some. I did not find them friendly. Decent sized rooms - in my opinion in need of a refurb. Not in a bad area of town - but not one that I feel any "vibe" in.

HI Regents Park: Very small rooms. Average staff. Nice breakfast spread. I would not call this Location A - but - not in a bad location with tube a short walk away. And, a stroll in Regents Park is always nice.

HI Oxford Street: Hated this hotel! Staff was terrible - small rooms with paper thin walls. Only convenient to High Street shopping. Tube a few minutes away. One and Done! Will never stay there again.

HI Kings Cross: Ok hotel, rooms were nice. But, in a dicey area (more so then Camden) and not convenient to anything! Again - once was enough.

HI Russell Square: Ok hotel - rooms need upgrade. Nice area but no tourist areas (other then British Museum) extremely close. Tube is not far away. Not one of my fav's.

CP City: Very nice hotel - nice rooms. 30 secs to Tube and Thames. And, even though it is close to many areas of interest - I never get the feel I am in the middle of things. Regardless, a nice hotel with very nice modern rooms.

IC London: Just got extensive upgrade. Very nice rooms. Art Deco. On two occassions had problems with the staff that I had to complain - and I rarely complain. But, I hold them to a higher level.

In the end - when I stay in London I want to stay close to the Action - in the middle of things. With that criteria, there are only 3 hotels that I am interested in (and will ever stay at again): IC Park Lane, CP St. James and HI Mayfair. And, bang for the buck, I always choose the later two.

Camden is a nice property and I think run by the same management as the St. James. Camden is not the greatest of areas - but - I would not call it unsafe.

Last edited by bom_noite; Jan 15, 2008 at 11:31 pm
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Old Jan 15, 2008, 2:16 pm
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Just to qualify my comments on Camden -

Camden is possibly one of the liveliest parts of London, with great bars, great music venues and a lot of life going on. That said its like any lively part of any big city in that it attracts all life !

Just be aware and you will really enjoy Camden.

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Old Apr 14, 2008, 2:35 am
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I'm staying in London for a few days soon and going to book one of the CP's but can't decide which one. Any updates since the last post? Photos would be great.
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Old Apr 14, 2008, 3:37 pm
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Having stayed in all but one of the central London Holiday Inn's, most of the HIX's, the IC and a few of the CP's my recommendations are:

IC - Recently refurbished with nice rooms, although a bit small considering what you're paying if you go for the cheapest ones, but if you're a Amb then you should get something a bit bigger. Great Breakfast spread and excellent staff. By Hyde Park Corner tube

HI Kensington (not the forum) - Good HI rooms and of a decent size. Get a room at the back for views over the quiet garden at the back. Restaurant is good and the staff are friendly and chatty. By Gloucester Road tube.

HI Bloomsbury - Rooms are being refurbished, so if you get a new one it's nice - older rooms are perfectly fine though. All rooms are a little on the small side, but again good staff and a decent restaurant. Close to Russell Square tube.

HI Regents Park - Pretty much the same as the Bloomsbury. Close to Regents Park and Great Portland Street tubes.

CP Docklands - It's miles out of the centre, but it's a really nice modern hotel. Rooms are big and even got upgraded to a Suite from a normal room once. By Royal Victora DLR.

HIX Old Street - If you want to be near Shoreditch then it's well located - make sure you get a room at the back though - it's noisy at the front. Staff above average. There is a new CP on Shoreditch high street now, which could be nicer though.

I too have had some bad experiences at the Camden Town HI - it's noisy, the staff are worse than hopeless - they even gave another group a key to my room once and the food is not all that wonderful. That said, Camden is a fun place to be.

The Kensington Forum HI is huge, but has small rooms (sometimes smaller than the Regents Park and Bloomsbury), the check in staff can be fairly rude although the bar staff were great. You usually get a Platinum upgrade for what it's worth (rooms are the same size, so it's just a few extra's in the room). It's used by lots of airlines for crew too.

HI Oxford Circus - First time was as about as bad as it could be, second time much better. Just don't eat in the restaurant - the worst meal I've had in a hotel/restaurant, ever. Restaurants, in this instance include McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and that really bad Kebab shop that you only end up in at 2am in the morning.

The CP St James is OK, I guess. Room was big, but certainly not modern. Staff were fine. Located close to St James' Park tube.

Hope this helps!
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Old Apr 14, 2008, 4:45 pm
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Thanks davidphi.

I've still got a few days before making a decision but I think it's going to be CP The City. Had a look on tripadvisor and there's a lot of excellent feedback about The City where as St. James seems to be a bit hit and miss.
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Old Apr 15, 2008, 2:55 pm
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No problem - the CP city is one of the few I haven't stayed in, despite spending a large part of last year just over the bridge! It can be expensive during the week, but it looks good - I'd guess, as it's quite a busy road outside that it might be better to ask for a high floored room, but the views out over the river at the front (next to the road) are probably worth having, rather than a quieter room at the back.
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Old Apr 19, 2008, 12:58 am
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IC Park Lane on Hotwire ?

Was browsing the Hotwire forum over at and noticed they seem to say the 5* on Hotwire for Soho/Mayfair is the IC. dates I'm looking for are coming up at 216 USD ai which is a deal. Anyone tried this thru Hotwire before ? I'd use points, but at 40K / night, not even close
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Old Apr 21, 2008, 4:21 pm
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InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel
A hotel with a convenient location, but with service to be improved

InterContinental Park Lane is housed in a building built in 1975 by Sir Frederick Gibberd. Its architecture is far from the neo-classical baroque palaces of the nineteenth century, but deserves attention if not passion.

The interior architecture, which was recently reviewed, is more questionable: to try to forget the contemporary building, the choice of neo-retro design is rather kitsch (lobby bar), and rarely adapted to the volume (lobby with low ceilings and hugechandeliers).

The junior suites, like many hotels in London, are rather small: the use of wood affixed to the walls tends to reduce the feeling of space.

The Junior Suites are very comfortable, and equipped with the latest technology (including Bose mini hifi). The view of Hyde Park is another advantage of these rooms.

The location of hotel is ideal because very central, and a few metres from the Hyde Park Corner underground station .

The restaurant "Cafe Cookbook" offers menus with a Mediterranean influence in a relaxed place, and very nice Sundays brunches
The staff is doing its best but sometimes seems not to manage the situation.


Crowne Plaza Hotel London - St. James
A significant investment could make this hotel a true jewel

Many hotels in London are very pricey but not that good. The owners prefer getting their mney rather than invest to renovate the buildings.

Unfortunately, the Crowne Plaza Hotel London - St. James is no exception: it is a property f very respectable Taj Hotels Group, but the Crowne Plaza seems to be abandoned. Despite its remarkable location, a stone's throw from Westminster Palace.

Surprisingly, the Taj group has invested heavily in the renovation of the adjacent building, transforming it into a remarkable complex of 82 luxury suites and apartments(51 Buckingham Gate). This place shares with the rest of the Crowne Plaza St. James an elegant garden and various restaurants and bars: the Westminster Bank and Zander Bar, a contemporary English restaurant), Quilon (contemporary Indian cuisine), Le Bistro 51 (trendy French restaurant) Hamptons (cognac bar and martinis).

The beautiful Victorian facade hides a lobby worthy of the best hotels in the capital, and a French concierge, perfectly playing his role as ambassador of arrogance.

After the lobby, disappointment arose quickly when arrived at the rooms. The King Bed Deluxe rooms are spacious and have a balcony, but the last renovation were made twenty years ago: furniture without any elegance is too old to be young and too young to be old, old carpet, dull decor, bathroom which looks like ones in Romanian hotel in the sixties. Cool Britannia is not passed by the hotel, or so fast that it has not been able to leave his mark. Small pleasant detail: the balcony was littered with beer cans and cigarette butts.

It is therefore necessary to wait until the owners decide to make serious investments to make this hotel a very nice hotel.


Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum
The best value for money in the heart of South Kensington

Finding an affordable, comfortable and clean hotel is often not easy, especially in the heart of the most aristocratic - and most expensive - area in London. The Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum responds to the challenge with flying colours.

You should not indeed expect a majestic Victorian building, but rather a 27-storey tower with a 60s [ugly] architecture.

However, the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum has several advantages:
- Its location is ideal, only a few metres from the Gloucester Road underground station, on the Piccadilly Line, which stops at Heathrow airport in 40 minutes;
- Executive rooms are reasonably big, comfortable, quiet, very clean and quite nicely decorated. Located on the upper floors, the Executive rooms offer some beautiful views over London.
- The hotel staff is courteous and professional, but sometimes overwhelmed by the numerous customers.

For breakfast, needless to take it in the hotel: the area is full of places friendly and relatively cheap places to have a real English breakfast

The Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum is a good choice for those who want to visit London from a central location, in a hotel with little character but comfortable, and at a reasonable price.


Holiday Inn London - Camden Lock
Very pleasant hotel located in the underground area of Camden Lock

Camden Lock is the undergound district located in Camden Town in north-west London. Around Regent's Canal are numerous shops selling second-hand clothes, records and other unusual objects. The place, young and eclectic, regularly hosts concerts.

The hotel is housed in a stylish contemporary 5 storeys building.

The subway station Camden Town, served by the Northern line, is less than 800 metres from the hotel. This station is closed on Sundays.

Executive rooms are very spacious and have a pleasant terrace. The rooms is decorated with a contemporary and nice furniture (dark wood furniture, blue interior fabrics). The bathroom is also spacious and nicely decorated (large bath, basin).

The room is very quiet, perfectly clean and well maintained. However, during my stay, the air conditioning had some difficulties to cool the large room, surrounded by a large window.

A nice breakfast is served in a pleasant room. The restaurant offers a basic but quality menu. The place, however, is not memorable. Also, it is probably better to dine in restaurants around.

The hotel has a fitness center equipped with new equipment.

In summary, the quality of its rooms and friendly staff make Holiday Inn London - Camden Lock an excellent choice for staying in London. If you are not to rightened by the young and lively place. Those who want to stay in a conventional district may probably need to stay in a hotel located in the very centre of London.
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Old Aug 24, 2008, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by davidphi
HIX Old Street - If you want to be near Shoreditch then it's well located - make sure you get a room at the back though - it's noisy at the front. Staff above average. There is a new CP on Shoreditch high street now, which could be nicer though.
I'd certainly recommend the CP Shoreditch (or St Gregory as I still know it), weekdays it's very expensive as they're catering towards business travellers, but prices drop on weekends so it's good for those who want a night out in Shoreditch.

If you're platinum they'll try their best to offer you a late check out up to 4pm matching that offered by the IC to Ambassadors. If that's still too early for you then you can pay for late check-out up to 6pm.

Lounge: small, nice when it's empty - comfortable sofa and armchairs by the TV ideal for a small group to relax. But if the sofa is occupied you just have regular bar style tables to sit on. Drinks available in the lounge at all times include bottled beers (Budvar, Becks, Corona). red and white wine, soft drinks, water. I've seen people pop in and take bottles from the fridge to take up to their room, not sure if they're supposed to. A small amount of food is provided - fruit and canapes on the evening. Lounge is unmanned, but I've never had a problem phoning reception if the fridge needs restocking.

Restaurant: located on the top floor with large windows giving you views of the city, canary wharf and the East London Line extension. You can still see St Pauls Cathedral between all the high rise city buildings. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served here. I've only tried dinner once, value wasn't too bad and there were some interesting (i.e. unusual) options on the menu as well as more standard items. Last time I used the restaurant for dinner was before it was rebranded so this may have changed.

Breakfast: fairly standard CP English Breakfast although their hash browns are nicer than most but they do lack black pudding. Service is fine as long as it's not too busy. Certainly better to wake up to in the morning after a night out than the HIX continental breakfast.

Staff: friendly, have had no issues so don't know how they'd respond to problems.

Gym: very small but very lightly used, only has capacity for 5 people but I've never had any problem as at most there's only ever been one other person in there. You need to ask for a special keycard to gain access at reception, you can keep this for the duration of your stay. You need to sign a form saying you don't believe you have any of the health conditions listed that could cause problems in the gym. There's also a sauna within the fitness suite.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 12:16 pm
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Question Best hotel for upgrades / lounge access ?

Which of the CP/HI London hotels do you think offers the best upgrade to Platinums, possibly including lounge access ?

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Old Feb 28, 2009, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by yann
Which of the CP/HI London hotels do you think offers the best upgrade to Platinums, possibly including lounge access ?

I'm not sure whether any of the London hotels other than the CPs (& obviously the IC) have lounges.

As a Plat (RA) - I've had upgrades as follows

HI - Kensington Forum - Upgrade to exec room 3 out 4 stays (Exec rooms are MUCH better than standard rooms)
CP - St James - No (obvious) upgrade - certainly not Lounge access - only 1 stay
CP - City - Upgrade to exec room with club access - 3 out 4 stays
HI - Bloomsbury - No upgrade - only 1 stay
HI - Oxford St - No upgrade - only 1 stay ** very depressing Hotel **
HI - Mayfair - No (obvious) upgrade - 2 points stays
HI - Regents Park - No upgrade - only 1 stay ** this too is a rather depressing Hotel **
HI - Kings Cross / Bloomsbury - No upgrade - only 1 stay
& obviously the IC where as a RA upgrades are mandatory (still a "bit & miss" though )
Obviously I've excluded the HIXs where upgrades don't really exist.

Last edited by SamsoniteBoy; Feb 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm
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Old Mar 1, 2009, 1:29 am
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Based on your post, it would seem that the CP City is the only hotel that consistently offers upgrades with lounge acess in London (not being an RA, I'm not considering the IC).

What about the CP Shoreditch, though ? Does anyone have upgrade experience there ? Is the lounge worth it ?

I've also been reading the "Please post your Platinum experience" thread but, being unable to search (there may be a way, but I don't know it), the process is rather tedious...

Edit : I have since found one review :

Last edited by yann; Mar 1, 2009 at 2:22 am Reason: Adding link to review of CP Shoreditch
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Old Mar 1, 2009, 3:56 am
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London Heathrow

Hi, whats the best LHR airport hotel???
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