Hotel Review: The Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel in London

Jul 22, 2017

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To The Point

The Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel is a relatively comfortable choice for a London stay. The Pros: central location, great amenities and friendly staff. The Cons: dated rooms need an update.

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I recently went to London on a last-minute business trip — it came about so suddenly, I booked my flight and hotel just four days in advance. After doing a quick search on Hotel Tonight and a few other booking sites, I realized I had limited options on such short notice, which wasn’t all that surprising considering my dates coincided with Wimbledon and the London Pride celebrations. In the end, I chose to book a Club Room (the only room choice available) at the Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel, an SPG Category 6 property close to the city center.

Exterior

In This Post

Location

The hotel is located in the Piccadilly area of London’s West End, within walking distance of some of the city’s best theaters, tourist attractions, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, as well as the Thames River and Buckingham Palace. Buses stop directly outside the hotel, and the two nearest Tube stations, Piccadilly Circus and Green Park, are just a few minutes’ walk away. The property is easily accessible from all London airports — you’d likely have to take a train or bus to a central station or hop on the Tube to get here.

The front entrance of the hotel.

Booking

Since all hotel prices were sky-high during my travel dates, I decided to go with Le Méridien Piccadilly so I could compare it to the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, a recently renovated Starwood property I stayed in last year. When I realized that prices were starting at about 472 British pounds (~$615) on the SPG website, I decided to forgo my opportunity to earn SPG points and instead booked my two-night stay on Hotels.com, where the rate was $531 per night.

A cheaper rate on Hotels.com.

I used my Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express so I’d at least get 2x points on the purchase. Had I used points to book this, I would have needed 20,000 Starpoints per night. While this would have given me a decent value (about 2.7 cents per point used, which is right on target with TPG’s most recent valuation), I didn’t have enough points for both nights, so I elected to pay cash. Alternatively, I could have used another travel card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which would have given me 3x points for the purchase.

Check-in

I arrived at the hotel around noon on a Thursday. My flight had landed at Gatwick Airport (LGW) at 9:15am, and although I had flown in from Spain, I was still required to go through customs and the lines were horrendous. I spent almost an hour and a half waiting — be prepared for very long waits in both London and Paris at the moment — before I was finally free to catch the Gatwick Express, then the Tube one stop from Victoria Station to Green Park. From there, it was about a seven-minute walk to the hotel.

Upon arrival, I was greeted with fresh lemon water in the lobby. Since the temperatures were pushing 90 degrees Fahrenheit and I was ill-prepared for the unusually warm, sunny weather, I arrived sweaty and overwhelmed, so the icy-cold drink was just what I needed.

Lemon water was a refreshing touch during these unusually hot and sunny London afternoons.

I was surprised by the small size of the lobby and reception area. The property looked so large on the outside that I couldn’t believe how tiny the inside was for a hotel that holds 280 rooms and suites.

The lobby seating and elevators.

The ceiling was beautiful and the lobby was tastefully decorated.

The entrance way and check in, taken from the Mezzanine club level.

I checked in and was immediately given access to my room. Dario at the reception desk explained how the Club Lounge worked and added a buffet breakfast to my account for 10 British pounds (~$13) per day — I signed on because I wanted to compare it to the Club Lounge’s breakfast options.

The Room

I had room 603 on the sixth floor. There was nothing glaringly wrong with the room at first glance, but for $531 per night, I was expecting something a little more “wow.”

My first glance of the bedroom.

After my stay at the Sheraton Park Lane, which was about half the price and had gorgeous, large and modern rooms, this dated room at the Le Méridien Piccadilly fell flat.

Another angle of the bedroom.

The club room measured 377 square feet, and came with a 32-inch flatscreen TV, free slippers, complimentary Wi-Fi (which was fast and easy to connect to), a tea- and coffee maker with Walker biscuits, a hairdryer, two free bottles of water that were replenished daily, a bright red armchair and a desk and a chair.

The desk and chair.

Apparently, you can also get two items of clothing pressed for free during your stay, but I forgot to take advantage of this.

The closet and TV.

The room had a mirrored closet with a safe, and an iron and ironing board inside.

Robe, safe, coffee and tea inside the closet.

I had a moment of panic when I saw it was a connecting room — I didn’t hear any noise from the adjacent room, though I did hear people talking loudly in the hallway several times.

The connecting door.

The room was clean but old. The nightstands, desk and dresser were dated, chipped and stained.

A stain on the chipped desk.

The bed was new and comfortable, and there were some modern decor elements like black-and-white photos of London. The TV was new.

A close-up of the bed and photo decor.

The windows were old, and the heavy drapes made the room look tired. There was plenty of natural light, and the view overlooking Piccadilly Square wasn’t amazing, but still nice.

The view.

I’m not sure if the windows were soundproofed or I was just up high, but I didn’t hear any residual street noise.

Window and Chair

The desk and chair were far from comfortable — the chair itself was dirty and worn.

The chair looked old and dingy.

The Club Rooms were described on the hotel’s website as having a “sophisticated design and color palette,” but that just wasn’t the case. It’s also worth noting that the cooling system would randomly make strange sounds every few hours, as if I were getting a fax.

As I often find with older hotels, the lack of plugs in the room was frustrating. There was only a shaver plug in the bathroom so I couldn’t plug in the hairdryer or my curling iron. There was only one plug on each side of the bed, so if you wanted to charge your phone, you had to unplug the lamp. There were plugs near the door, which I used to charge my phone and other electronics, but it just wasn’t convenient. I spotted a few more near the desk where I was able to plug in my computer, and a surge protector with USB ports, but for some reason it wouldn’t charge my iPhone via USB.

A surge protector and USB charger.

The bathroom had a bathtub, toilet and sink, and was quite small.

The bathroom.

The room came with Malin + Goetz bathroom amenities, which I love.

The bath amenities were nice.

The bathroom was small and also needed a refurbishment. There were exposed hot-water pipes at the back of the tub.

The tub.

The tub was old, and there was a rusty, nasty soap tray. Considering I was spending more than $500 a night for a Club Room, I couldn’t believe the rust and dirt that was on the soap tray — it probably would cost $1 to replace.

The rusted soap dish in my $531 per night room.

For all intents and purposes, the room was fine for my stay. It was clean and comfortable, and I wasn’t spending much time in the room anyway, so it provided me with decent sleep, which was enough. But for the amount of money I spent, I was surprised to find stained furniture in what is supposed to be a Category 6 hotel.

The Club Lounge

I don’t typically book rooms with access to a Club Lounge, so this was a nice treat. The Club Lounge was on the mezzanine overlooking the lobby, which you could only access by one special elevator. Each morning, it had a continental breakfast, which was similar to the buffet breakfast offered at the Terrace Grill on the second floor. The breakfast buffet at the lounge had ham, turkey and cheese, croissants, toast, muffins, fresh fruit, coffee, juice and tea.

Breakfast spread in the club lounge.

The regular breakfast spread had pretty much the same thing, but with a few hot foods added, like scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, meat and fresh fish.

The regular breakfast buffet NOT in the lounge.

For comparison’s sake, here’s a peek at my breakfast from the Terrace Grill — not the Club Lounge — which was at an extra cost.

My breakfast on the Terrace Grill (not the lounge) at an extra cost.

But back to the Club Lounge. Espresso coffee, as well as bottled water, soda and juice, were available all day long via a machine you could use whenever you wanted.

A list of what the lounge offered.

Throughout the day, small snacks like sandwiches and cookies were offered. In the evening, the Club Lounge offered pasta, soup, mini sandwiches and wine — later on, you could also sample cheeses to pair with the wines. The food wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t bad either.

Snacks in the club lounge.

There was a small room in the back for those looking for a quieter area to work, and the main room had sofas, tables and chairs.

The club lounge.

The lounge was really nice if you wanted to duck in and have a snack or even grab a light meal if you weren’t very hungry, and certainly had enough coffee to make it worthwhile. Note that it was more crowded at dinner and breakfast, but during the day it was relatively empty.

Amenities

All rooms came with complimentary access to the Piccadilly Health Club & Spa and indoor pool. The health club section was open 24 hours and had fitness machines as well as a weight room.

The gym.

The indoor pool was large and relatively empty when I visited.

The pool.

There was also a unisex steam room and locker rooms that were available for both men and women. Those wanting treatments could get massages and facials at the spa. To my delight, I discovered the relaxation room, which was a dark room with lounge chairs where you could meditate or just chill. I was so excited to spot this when exiting the locker room.

I was so excited to spot this when exiting the locker room.

There was no one inside, and I was able to sneak in for 10 minutes of calm before my busy day.

The marvelous relaxation room.

As I previously mentioned, the buffet breakfast was located in the second-floor Terrace Grill.

The Terrace Grill.

The space was light-filled and a pleasant spot to enjoy a meal.

The outdoor terrace views.

There was also an outdoor space where I went for afternoon tea — it was actually more of a glass of Prosecco and a beer, but hey, if that’s what the British consider tea, I’m in.

"Tea."

The outdoor area had nice views of busy Piccadilly Square, and was a good spot to meet friends for an afternoon tea cocktail.

The terrace where you could relax for afternoon tea.

Overall Impression

For the price I was paying, I feel the room should have been much more updated — more electrical outlets and more modern furniture would have made it worth the money. That said, the staff were friendly and helpful, the Club Lounge was useful to have and the hotel’s central location was ideal. I also really enjoyed having access to the Piccadilly Health Club and indoor pool. I would stay here again in the future, but only if the prices were adjusted; there’s no way I’d pay that much for that room again. A nice alternative is the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane just a few blocks down toward the Green Park Tube station — its recently renovated rooms, lobby and bar are simply spectacular compared to the dated ones at Le Méridien Piccadilly.

Have you stayed at Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel in London? Tell us about your experience, below.

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