Le Meridien Piccadilly
London, W1J 0BH, United Kingdom
By: Dave Grossman
For a short one night stay in London, I chose the Le Meridien Piccadilly for two primary reasons. 1) it has a perfect central London location – right off Piccadilly Circus, and 2) because I had heard that the hotel had done extensive room renovations and that the staff had stepped up to a new level of service.
The stay went 1 for 2.
The location is indeed spectacular. Arriving in Heathrow, you can either take the tube for about 50 minutes to Piccadilly Circus and exit a 2 minute walk (if that) from the hotel. You could also take the Heathrow Express to Paddington and the Bakerloo Tube line to Piccadilly Circus. Or you could take a taxi. In any event, it’s easy to get to and about as centrally located as you can be. It’s the equivalent of staying just off Times Square in New York City.
Upon arrival, I waited about 10 minutes to check-in. I was finally taken over to a desk to check-in only to be told my room wasn’t ready yet (it was about 2:30). I expressed that I was here for only one day, had work to do, and would appreciate if he could find an available room. And he did – I’m not sure why this wasn’t done automatically. Then some confusion began. The room I’d booked, a Junior Suite with a rate of 569 British Pounds, should have included internet access free of charge. I was told it did not when I checked in. A phone call to reception confirmed it was not included. But in the Club Lounge later, the gent in charge did some checking around for me and found out that it was indeed included. At 30 dollars a night, it wasn’t small change and by this point I’d already spent a couple of hours working on the computer in the lounge when I could have been in my room. I’ve emailed the GM in hopes that communication can be sorted out among staff to avoid this confusion in the future. To add to the confusion, if you try to login from the room, it will tell you that you are being charged – it’s just that the front desk will take it off at checkout. Confusing.
The water in the Club Rooms and Suites are also complimentary, though no signage in the room expresses this. Again, it would be nice if the water were placed on a card that said “With our compliments” or some similar wording. Who wants to phone down to find out if the water if free or not? The staff overall was hit or miss. The gentleman running the club lounge was wonderful. Many of the other staff seemed indifferent. At a hotel in this price point, I expect a bit of “How are you, sir?” How is your stay, sir?” But there was none of that. Even at checkout, I was not asked about the quality of my stay – a bit surprising.
Anyway, let’s move to the room. Despite many of the regular rooms being freshly renovated this year, the Junior Suites apparently were last renovated 10 years ago and are not part of this recent renovation. You may be better off booking a Club room and asking to be given a recently renovated one. I hear they are quite nice although I didn’t see one myself.
Still, the Junior Suite was very spacious and very nice in a classy way. Each room had a flat panel TV and the room had many classical touches, as you can see in the photos. It had a fairly modern but classic, old world feel to it. The bathrooms were plenty spacious (the suite had two full baths) and, although the lack of a hair dryer was notable, they had plenty of room and the showers worked well.
The air conditioning was a bit old and clunky and a bit difficult to figure out. Part of the classic charm I guess!
The beds were VERY comfortable – so a big thumbs up there.
A huge amenity in this hotel is the Health Club. In fact, for some, it may well be a reason to choose the Le Meridien Piccadilly for your London stay. In the basement, you’ll find a complete health club with plenty of aerobic machines, a large swimming pool, a hot tub, a steam room, and even a “relaxation room” – all of which I sampled and all of which was quite nice and relaxing. If you are here on business, the health club will certainly provide you some respite from your stress. Bring a pound coin with you for the locker as a deposit then simply go downstairs, sign in with your room number, and you’re all set. I would say this area was the highlight of my stay – in addition to appreciating the wonderful location.
(From left to right, the pool, hot tub, and steam room)
Would I stay again? On a good rate, yes. But there is a lot of competition in the area and I’d be likely to give nearby hotels a try – such as the Ritz-Carlton London or the Hilton London on Park Lane.