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at the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences
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Attractive & Cosy Hotel, Pleasant staff but post-lockdown service issues
Aug 4th, 2020
This was a postponed anniversary trip to London, returning after many months of lock down in the UK. We stayed at several hotels, and ate at many locations over the long weekend - and the Taj was intended to be the highlight of that stay. I should say we got quite a discounted rate to stay here and this review is based on the preface that this is intended to be a 4/5 star hotel. I'm not totally sure of the relationship between the suites here and the neighbouring St James hotel - I believe they are all the same complex, but the hotel was closed, and this may have been causing some of the issues over the weekend. First, the good - service around the hotel was generally very good. There did not seem to be many staff around, and often only found 1 person at the small reception area they have. However all encountered were friendly enough (although communication with restaurant staff was a slightly different matter - more on this later) Check in had a little wait time, but we were offered a free drink, and waited 10 minutes without issue. We paid extra for a King size suite, with breakfast included - the room is in a separate building, and was huge for London. The accommodations did not disappoint - you do get what you pay for - and for the capital, at this price point, was great value. Large bathroom, kitchenette - very big sleeping area, and lots of light. On the 6th floor we overlooked the area behind Buckingham Palace, and whilst not actually that interesting -its mainly offices and apartments, was quite nice in the evening. Lots of amenities in the room, chocolates on arrival, nespresso machine, bath robes - all up to spec, and as expected for this grade of hotel. Around the hotel - public areas fairly small, and felt boutique-like. there is a nice outdoor sitting area in the middle of the courtyard, pretty, with a fountain and small bar. I noticed though it was left untidy at times, and saw a few empty food bags from Pret , and coffee cups lying about . The spa facilities were closed, so cant comment on this - not a problem as we were aware beforehand, and understandable. The hotel broadly felt 'Covid-safe' - surfaces were clean, and hand sanitizers were prevalent - however distancing is an issue, and not really stuck to in public areas - with which i'll move onto the 'not so good'.. The big issue for us was the issues in the restaurant at breakfast. It was here it was very quickly totally apparent that they were not ready to operate after lockdown - at least on the basis of this one experience. We were given a seating time, which we arrived early for. However there was a 10 minute wait to be seated. Then another 10 minute wait before anyone spoke to us to offer drinks or service. at the same time a couple next to us were seated at a table with one chair, so she had to stand awkwardly for a time. A table the other side - a large group of overseas tourists were served and had food delivered (although i overheard their order was wrong) almost immediately. We however had to wait another 10 minutes - this after chasing down a server (there seemed to be 3 or 4 in the area, just hurriedly ignoring people) It was clear something was up. We finally had coffee brought to us after 55 minutes - but it was wrong (they actually brought us a pot of tea for two) then two different waiters brought over two completely wrong breakfasts to us. After i raised a complaint, a staff member came back minutes later with one of the most rushed, mean, unappealing breakfasts i've ever seen - checking the menu this was charged at a £35 value - for about 4 undercooked items. Around us I could overhear various other complaints. We also observed one server moving various food utensils and bowls between tables, which is not encouraging. The breakfast was sent back, and we instead complained to a manager at the front desk, who, after some broad excuses - (apparently they are not used to table service at breakfast, having previously operated a buffet), agreed to refund the value of the breakfast. I appreciate the gesture, but do feel very disappointed that this experience seems at odds with the overall reviews this location is getting. Our previous hotel stays in London had been excellent , with excellent food and service - all were covid-ready and prepared, and seemed genuinely grateful to have us stay with them again. Sadly I cannot say the same for this hotel on this occasion. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Service that went above and beyond
Jul 25th, 2020
From the moment we arrived, the service was exceptional. The greeted us warmly and offered coffee, water and a glass of Prosecco. The suite itself was huge. It had a large bathroom, sitting room, and bedroom, all of which had high ceilings with lots of light. The kitchen was wonderful too. It offered everything you needed from a fridge and oven to pots and pans. They also had a Nespresso machine with pods and had fresh milk in the fridge for us. What really impressed me was the IT team. I had WiFi issues in the room and needed to have good internet for a show I was hosting. They brought me a loaner computer, which we then hard wired into the internet and it worked perfectly. The location is also spectacular! It is a few blocks from St. James park, around the corner from Buckingham Palace, and a short distance to all of the other major sites in London. I can not recommend this hotel highly enough. I will definitely return. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Fantastic Hotel and service
Jul 14th, 2020
We have just spent 3 wonderful nights at this hotel . We were upgraded to a one bedroom suite , the benefits of a quieter than usual hotel. The room was amazing , very clean and had everything you could need . There was also a kitchen too. We had a massive comfortable bed . The staff were very attentive and hygiene standards due to Covid were very good . Staff made you feel safe and looked after . It was our first time away since the lockdown and now feel well rested . There is a great outdoor seating area so socially distancing wasn’t a problem at all . We had breakfast included which was lovely. Location is great , St James’s park is 2 mins walk as are the tube stations . Attractions are in walking distance . We will definitely return . TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Amazing hotel, amazing staff
Jul 12th, 2020
We’ve just come back from staying 2 nights at the beautiful Taj hotel and cannot praise them enough. We were dubious about staying in London during these unsettling times but we felt so safe and cared for by the staff, everything was immaculate and hygiene and safety adhered to by the letter. We have been so strict over lockdown and this was such a welcome treat. The beautiful courtyard was a fabulous area to share a bottle of wine in the evening. Having stayed in several Taj properties before, I had high expectations for the London hotel and they did not disappoint. Staff treat you like old friends and we were sad to leave. A special mention to the lovely doormen Tbor and Enzo, the beautiful Italian receptionist, the courtyard waiter and the breakfast staff. Fabulous hotel and staff, truly a 5* experience throughout. Highly recommended, we will be back soon. Thank you Taj you are wonderful xx TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
TERRIFIC STAY AT ST JAMES HOTEL
Jul 12th, 2020
We are a man and woman. Very very Experienced with LONDON hotels. Our stay the first week after lockdown finished 7 to 11 July 2020. Was a delight due to this hotel management who worked out how to keep us safe and used the apartment entrance closed the main one. All staffs wore plastic screens and gloves The breakfast room was clean and roomy And is a la cart served at the table. No Help yourself. We were upgraded to an apartment. As we had booked executive room. The king size bed as usual was top quality. A lounge and kitchen with W machine oven cooker etc. Plenty hot water and a maid service. Also free butler service Tv everywhere. A bath with tv Plus another bathroom with shower Very spacious. Windows where you view the Victorian courtyard. There is service at the tables out there. Umbrella s London is safe so don’t worry. Taxi s. Are Clean. Streets fairly empty. Shops open and clean A trip 3 minutes away to The famous WESTMINSTER ABBEY Recommended. 12 30. Service And 4 p m. We would deffo. Stay again At ST JAMES HOTEL. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
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