Intro to London 2016: To See a GOAT on Grass
American Airlines Business Class Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR)
Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Leicester Square
The May Fair Hotel
Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard
St. Pauls Cathedral
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Dining in London
Brexit, London Street Scenes and Red bus tour
British Airways Business Class London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD)
The May Fair Hotel London
Wife, baby and I had the pleasure to spend four nights at The May Fair hotel. As the name suggests the hotel is located in the May Fair area of London which is one of London’s most upscale neighborhoods. My wife and I were dropped off by cab and greeted by the doormen at The May Fair. We were offered assistance with our baggage and we kindly accepted since we had baby with us.
Upon entrance you could tell this property was a few notches up from the Radisson Blue Edwardian Hampshire that we had checked out of just earlier. The May Fair has a much more luxurious feel. The staff is sort of formal and dressed to match that vibe. The lobby was large and light with low ceilings. There were actually a lot of staff in the lobby and most were plenty busy. There were 3-people at the door, then another 2-3 people in the lobby greeting people. The front desk had four people assisting guests and the concierge had another 2-3 employees behind the counter.
When we arrived there was actually a slight 5 minute wait or so to checkin. Once a front desk member became available I was welcomed up to the desk by a nice gentleman. I provided my passport and credit card. He initially confirmed that I had a one night reservation however my wife and I had two nights each using a crazy combination of points and free night certificates. After a moment of searching he was able to find all four nights and combined the reservation. He preauthorized 100 pounds sterling per night and advised that they would refund the difference at checkout if we spend less than this amount. Before our checkin was complete I was given a Club Carlson Gold member gift of a complimentary beverage from The May Fair bar in the amount of 15 pounds (close to $20).
The May Fair lobby seating area
We were assigned a room on the third floor and our bags were brought up right behind us on the elevator by the bellman.
One issue that was raised was that our assigned room was just past a small set of stairs on the third floor which normally wouldn’t be an issue but since we would be pushing our little guy in his stroller this initially proved inconvenient.
KING BED SUPERIOR ROOM 304
When we opened the door and walked in our in-room phone started to ring. Turns out our front desk agent ended up calling us to make sure we were satisfied with the room. I advised the room is fine but there are stairs to climb in order to get to our room and with our stroller it was a mild hassle. He acknowledged the issue and said that our room was the only one available with our early checkin time however we could change to another room if we waited a few hours. I asked my wife and she was indifferent so we just decided to tough it out and deal with the steps (only 3 steps fyi).
The room was bright and airy especially compared to our prior hotel. The room was a nice size for a standard room in Europe. We found the decor a bit “mismatchy” and the red furniture a bit off-putting and a strange choice but comfortable nonetheless.
Just like at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire the room required you to insert your room key in order to turn on the light switch. A nice perk for us is that since we kept our room key from that property it in fact worked in our room that way we could keep the lights and electronics on if we wanted and still have access to our own room keys.
The room looked out on the backside of the property onto an office type building. There was a tree blocking the other window. The room overall was comfortable and clean and had some touches of a luxury hotel but I wouldn’t call it a full blown 5 star hotel room personally. I will admit some of the higher category rooms look a bit more unique and impressive so perhaps had I been booked into one of those my opinion would be different.
The bathroom was very nice and seemed to borrow some elements of the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire as well. The bath amenities were the same but branded slightly different. The marble in the bathrooms appeared identical along with the towel racks.
The room featured a separate tub and shower which is always appreciated, especially if you want to give your child a bath or you fancy a bath after a long day of walking London. We however didn’t use the tub this time. There was no bidet but I would trade out a bidet for a tub every time. Also the shower was nice due to a glass door that kept the water in the shower area instead of on the floor of the bathroom. The shower did not have a rainfall shower head or a hand held shower head for that matter. One thing my wife noted is that the water got hot right away when you needed. Not much waiting for water to warm up here!
Bathroom sink at The May Fair
The main closet was located in the bathroom and was sort of “open” to the bathroom. There was no partition or door that I noticed. There was also an umbrella and a safe in that area as well.
The room did feature one North American power outlet near the coffee table which we used to power our phones, camera and laptop in shifts. Also next to the bed and above the wall on the night stands were light switches and buttons to request housekeeping or do not disturb.
Once again a crib was brought up for our son to use. The crib was identical to the one the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire used.
I thought the location of the property in May Fair was really quite charming. Not quite so touristy in the immediate area, at least compared to some other areas of London. There is tons of upscale shopping just a few minutes walk from the hotel. There is also a nice variety of restaurants in the area, in fact we ate breakfast every morning at Pret-a-Manger but had some fine dining for lunch and dinner just a few minutes away from the hotel. There is also a nice, quiet park just down the block called Berkley Square Gardens if you want some green space. Green Park station is also just down the block so its very convenient for using the tube to get around London.
Room walkthrough below:
We did have the chance to eat in the property a few times. We ordered room service on two nights because the baby goes to sleep early and so it was just easier to have the meal brought to our room on those nights.
The food was good, nothing extraordinary or particularly memorable but nice and satisfying. Everything was well prepared and plated. However, there were some problems with consistency. Like when my wife ordered some pesto pasta one night and decided to have it again another night and found it prepared completely different than before.
The May Fair also has two fairly popular food and beverage establishments off the lobby of the hotel. The first being The May Fair bar which inexplicably is busy seemingly from open to close seven days a week!! This bar and the lobby area give the property a really upscale, stuffy and almost pretentious feel to the hotel. I decided one night to run down to the bar to redeem my free drink certificate, when I arrived there were two “doormen” at the entrance in the lobby who welcomed me. I was able to quickly get a bartenders attention for a glass of Pol Roger champagne that ran 18 pounds sterling! I paid my bill and left a tip and took my glass out of the bar and out to the lobby so I could enjoy it in my room as my room service would be arriving shortly. However as I was leaving I was asked “where am I going with that drink?” by the doorman. I advised “to my room” and he was fine with that reply.
The other in house establishment is The May Fair Kitchen which is the dining option within the property located on the other side of the the lobby. One evening since our son was sleeping I decided to go down to the kitchen to order some dessert and avoid room service as I didn’t want anyone to ring or knock on the door and wake him up. I asked the hostess upon entering if I could place an order to go to bring back to my room? She replied no and that I would need to order room service! Hah! So there’s no way I could take food to go at the May Fair Kitchen. I assumed that the same kitchen that runs the restaurant would be filling the room service orders but she led me to believe that may not be the case. Even when I advised I didn’t want room service as to not disturb my sleeping child she didn’t offer any work around which I found to be pretty poor service. We never actually ate in The May Fair Kitchen but it looked nice and many times through out our stay there were patrons enjoying there meals.
The property has a fitness center downstairs on the bottom floor which is fairly equipped with all the required cardio and resistance items. The fitness center room is just off a staffed room with checkin desk which serves purpose for the spa entrance as well. We didn’t bother with working out this trip in fact we didn’t bother even packing gym shoes at all as we knew we weren’t going to be motivated for working out on this trip.
Our four night stay would have cost us $2,278.30 had we paid cash for our room via clubcarlson.com. We decided to use 2 free night certificates that we received from our Club Carlson Visa card which we got due drafting a complaint for devaluing their card benefits.
We then redeemed points for the other 2 nights. Initially I had booked two nights from my account for 70,000 points and my wife booked the other two nights for 70,000 points but when we received the certificates which carried an expiration date I decided to use those instead. So I cancelled one (70,000 point) two night reservation in order to use the certificates. The grand total was $0 plus 70,000 Club Carlson points and two free night certificates for our four night stay!
This is a GREAT property to redeem points at in my opinion. If you have Club Carlson points and are looking for an upscale option in London look no further. London has quite a bit of options as far as accommodations and this one worked well for us. We would both enjoy another stay at The May Fair.
Please let me know if any questions or comments!