Kitschy Name but a Nice Hotel

Wrapping up New Year's Eve at The Sherlock Holmes Hotel

During our January visit to London for New Year's Eve weekend, we stayed at a boutique hotel in Marylebone called The Sherlock Holmes. Despite the somewhat kitschy name due to it's convenience to Baker Street, the hotel provided us with a reasonably priced and very convenient stay. Below are my notes from our stay at the Sherlock Holmes.

The Location. You simply can't go wrong with the location - right in the middle of Marylebone and a short walk to Marylebone High Street (pictured to the left) with its countless shops, restaurants, markets and pubs. Next door to the hotel is a supermarket, liquor store, magazine stand and ac couple of casual eateries. For those who need their fix, Starbucks is one block north and Nando's, an excellent Portuguese chain, is right across the street. Several buses run in front of the hotel and the Baker Street tube stop (Picadilly line) is about two blocks to the north. Pretty much everything you might need is within a five minute walk. Slightly further afield are Oxford Street and Bond Street. Excellent nearby options without some of the absurd prices found elsewhere (relatively speaking, of course).

The Hotel's Common Areas. The front entrance leads directly into the hotel bar where a dozen or so groupings of tables and chairs are usually filled with hotel guests or patrons enjoying a drink or tapas served from the bar. The atmosphere is lively when the bar is busy - otherwise, it is quite comfortable and soothing. Just past the bar is the front desk.

Sherlock's Grill is to the left of the desk. We're not sure about the food since we didn't eat there save for breakfast (which was pleasant enough but not splendid). Hotel guests can opt for a rate that includes continental breakfast - fruit, cereal, breads, pastries/crossaints, yogurt, cheese and meats. Also included are coffee, tea or juice. You can order from the a la carte menu, as well. Service is a bit sketchy but since the food is self-serve, you don't need much once you order coffee. Adjacent to and behind the grill is a second, quieter lounge. This area is usually empty or, in some cases, occupied by small groups. There are couches, leather-back club chairs and upholstered armchairs. Walls are decorated with original art interspersed with tasteful Sherlock Holmes memorabilia. A great spot to chat or read a book. The piped in music can be a bit distracting if you're trying to read. Bar service is also available.

The basement level had a gym with two treadmills, an EFX, a recumbent bike, dumbells and exercise mats. Down the hall were a sauna and steam room. By the gym was a computer that could be used as an Internet point for 50p a minute (!)

The Room. We paid 114 pounds (about $220) a night for an executive room. The rate included continental breakfast, a welcome tray with wine, water, snacks and an upgraded room. If this is an upgraded room, I'm not sure about their regular rooms. The room itself was oddly-shaped... long but somewhat narrow. It had plenty of space, though, particularly by European standards. The full-size bed was also very comfortable - a rarity in many European hotels (and now, it wasn't two twins pushed together). The room also included a writing desk, two high-back chairs with a table and a limited amount of storage space. The closet was tiny as it was. This was made worse by the ironing board and in-room safe.

The bathroom was quite nice - well-appointed and spacious with the nice materials used were starting to show their age. Rather than the ubiquitous European glass partition, the tub/shower didn't have anything to keep water from splashing all over the floor and walls. Toiletries were by Moulton and Brown.

Overall. We were really happy with the location because we felt like Marylebone High Street offered so much. The hotel was nice enough - the amenities served us well and, yes, the room wasn't ideal but we did have space and, for 114 pounds a night, who can complain. Would I recommend it? Yes... just double-check your room.

No comments: