So now that I’m safely back in the States, I can catch up on my London hotel reviews. I already wrote about easyHotel; I just alluded to the Niki Paddington, where I stayed the first two nights I was in London. Like easyHotel, the Niki Paddington was okay, but not great– cheap as London goes, but not a bargain, in that you got what you paid for, but nothing else.
The good part: the location. Half a block from Paddington Station is great if you expect to spend much time on the trains, and it puts you within easy walking distance of Hyde Park. If you’re ambitious, Notting Hill and Baker Street are also reachable.
The culturally curious stuff. As I mentioned, I was the only person there who wasn’t a native Russian speaker. This isn’t particularly a drawback, just something that adds yet another unexpected layer of strangeness atop the already dislocating experience of being in a foreign country, even one as appealing as England. Unless you’re Russian, of course. Then I’m sure it makes staying there easier. And it’s the only hotel I’ve ever stayed in whose name sounds like an English porn star.
The neutral. The room was small, but functional, and the bathroom was all right. Again, decent, but not a bargain.
The downside. No wifi, though there’s an Internet cafe just up the block; but for someone who doesn’t have a cell phone that works in the UK, and whose family is accustomed to being able to IM with him while on the road, having wifi in the room is now a must-have.
And the complimentary continental breakfast isn’t worth it. Rolls, weird sandwich meat, little hotel jars of jam, and pieces of cheese.
There was the basic continental breakfast stuff, but compared to the breakfast at the Goodenough Club, it was uninspiring.
So high points for location, low for the breakfast. But there are also tons of other hotels in that area, so if I’m back in the neighborhood, I’ll probably experiment with some others.