Forgive the bad and seemingly lazy photo of this hotel’s sign. I hope you won’t mind it when I tell you it’s there to emphasise a point. The point that the angle from which you see this hotel in the photo is the closest you ever get to entering it.
I have stayed in a fair few questionable hotels in the years this site has been running, in London and elsewhere. But I would sooner take three-week package holidays in all of them than set foot in the City View Hotel in Stratford again.
Me, Tom Crocker, Matt Lawson and Panashe Tauringana were in the city for our usual darts game trip to Alexandra Palace and, as usual, we arrived at the hotel early to pay, drop off our luggage or, if possible, get the keys. The receptionist’s understanding of English was dubious, but that’s nothing compared to what he suggested we do with our luggage. The reception area of the hotel doubles as its breakfast room. There is no luggage cupboard or anything, so the receptionist asked us to just leave our bags in the corner of the room. Out in the open with no security for anyone to take if they so wished. We weren’t going to be back for the following ten hours!
Already, I was not impressed; it was just as well that Tom and Panashe’s room was available so we could stash our bags in relative safety.
We arrived back after half-past midnight; by this time, I was expecting to be able to just get into the room and go straight to sleep. The hotel had other ideas, for when Matt and I went to our room, we discovered the lights left on and the beds still unmade. Housekeeping had “forgotten” to see to the room in our half-day absence!
Matt opined later that he could tell I was seething because I was so quiet. I left all the diplomacy to him in relaying our complaint to the night manager, who somehow managed to get someone to attend to the room. Twenty minutes or so later, waiting in the reception area with only an offer of a tea or coffee as compensation, our room was ready. The bed was reasonably comfortable, I suppose – I managed a few hours on it. Nothing else really to report.
Breakfast was a peculiar affair. A very limited selection on the menu – I suppose one might call it a half-English breakfast. Sausages, baked beans, fried or scrambled eggs and toast are available. No bacon or the other trimmings, for some reason. Cereals are offered as an alternative. I have half a mind to complain some more about the fact they brought me an egg instead of sausage, but, to be honest – I think I have made my opinion about this hotel very clear.
Save yourself the stress and disappointment and don’t be fooled by the seemingly-low prices. You would be much better off paying the extra at a Travelodge or Premier Inn and being assured of your comfort. Even if it is just a bed for overnight! In all honesty – there was talk of staying at a youth hostel next time around…