Review: DoubleTree By Hilton Chelsea London – The Laura Ashley Floor.

Helen’s 27th birthday combined with visiting Toy Fair at Olympia London meant that I was looking for a reasonably priced hotel, with an added bit of luxury, local to the area. After much consideration, I chose the DoubleTree By Hilton Chelsea London.

Whenever there’s an event at the Olympia London prices in nearby hotels increase substantially – which is the reason we didn’t stay in the Hilton London Olympia just 200m from the entrance of the venue. Instead, however, I was pleased to get 2 nights at the DoubleTree By Hilton Chelsea London for less than £200 thanks to my Hilton Honors discount. Knowing that by booking three months in advance, and being a Hilton Honors Gold card member I was likely to benefit from an upgrade upon arrival as well as complimentary breakfast and drinks.

We gained an automatic upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status when taking out our American Express Platinum card

Location

The location of this hotel is designed around the walking distance to Chelsea football clubs home ground of Stamford Bridge. However, there are other location-based benefits to be had from staying at the DoubleTree By Hilton Chelsea London. For starters, just 30m from the entrance of the hotel you’ve got a Tesco Express – perfect for any late night snacks, or working lunches.

Then there’s the fact that Imperial Wharf is just footsteps (literally, it’s like 300ft away) which offers trains on the London Overground and Southern Rail Services.

Then in terms of scenic attractions, restaurants and bars, you’ve got Imperial Wharf Marina and Chelsea Harbor Pier on the bank of the River Thames. Once again these are just footsteps away from the entrance to the hotel and benefit from a range of mid to high-end restaurants and bars.

We used DoubleTree Hilton Chelsea London as a resting / working place only and therefore ate in our room on the first night (review below) and nearby London Olympia on the second so we don’t have any specific advice or reviews as to local restaurants and bars – sorry!

Check-In

We arrived at the hotel at around 3.45pm there were no other guests waiting to check-in and so we were quickly greeted by the staff on reception. We were each presented with a warm cookie (a signature feature for DoubleTree hotels) and told we’d been upgraded to the Laura Ashley floor.

Upon checking in we were also asked if we’d like to leave the card open for future purchases (at the bar, resturant, mini bar etc) or close it and pay as you go. I always close, but what I didn’t realise is that at this point the hotel took the amount for the room as a pending amount that was, as a result, deducted from my balance.

Then upon checking out, they requested I pay for the room. They couldn’t take it from the hold / pending amount they’d already taken from me and therefore required me to pay for the hotel in full again. While the pending amount did return to my main balance it did mean that for around 72 hours I paid double for the room. Not ideal as I imagine most leisure customers have spent up by this point! 

Realistically, what should have been done in this case is either the full amount taken from check-in. I’m not sure if this was an error on my part or the staff’s part but certainly, something to emphasise if you do plan on staying at this hotel. After all, we were already at the hotel checking in so there was no need to put a hold on the account they may as well have simply taken the full balance.

While we were given two drinks vouchers each in a small envelope to take to our room and use in the bar at the hotel throughout our stay. We were not informed about breakfast and instead I had to prompt as to ensure that as a Hilton Honors Gold Member it was complimentary. Long term readers will know this wasn’t something we were aware of during previous stays at Hilton properties and therefore sadly, something we missed out on.

Room

As I mentioned during check-in we were upgraded from our standard double room to a luxury double room on the Laura Ashley floor. The Laura Ashley floor is on floor 6 which is the top floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Chelsea London.

Considering we’re in London the room is an ample size with enough room for furnishings and detailing without seeming cramped or cluttered.

We were missing some of the detailing highlighted on the Hilton website for a Laura Ashley room however this wasn’t something that negativly impacted our visit.

The view from our room looked out directly onto the Laura Ashley HQ and production centre. Not a bad view at all considering we’re only six stories high.

The TV did seem somewhat outdated for what otherwise seemed like a relatively refreshed room. Again, not something that negatively impacted our visit – we watched around one hour of TV during our entire stay.

Bathroom

In our opinion, the bathroom had the largest negative impact on our stay at the Doubletree by Hilton Chelsea, London.

The grouting around the shower wasn’t clean in places and there was a large amount of limescale on the rather pathetic shower head above the bath.

Complimentary bathroom products were by Crabtree & Evelyn and were refreshed daily when the room was cleaned.

Additional bathroom amenities were available from reception upon request. However, once again a Tesco Express is just around the corner should you have forgotten anything specific.

Services

WIFI

We experienced zero downtime on the internet during ourstay at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Chelsea, London and reasonbly impressive consistant speeds of around 19Mbps upload and download.

Dining

There’s a restaurant down on the ground floor of the hotel, however, post travel and check-in (and a couple of hours work) we were pretty worn out and instead decided to dine in.

The dine-in menu is available 24/7 – With a limited selection after 11pm. We called down to the restaurant to place our order to be told someone would ring us back… 20 minutes later we figured that the call back wasn’t going to happen so we rang down again and someone took our order.

From ordering to the food arriving it took around 20 minutes. The cost of the food was very reasonable (around £12 for a burger and chips) with an additional £5 service fee for in-room dining. We also used two of our drinks vouchers to help subsidise the cost.

The food was delicious and the portions were plentiful. Had we not eaten in a pub near the Olympia during our second evening we would have once again chosen to dine in.

Breakfast

Breakfast at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Chelsea, London was a self-service buffett and included a range of choices including; the typical full English, fruit, pancakes and meats.

Breakfast is served from 7.00am until 10.30am on both occasions we visited around 10.00am and found the food availability to still be 100%.

Laundry

Laundry is available within the hotel however it’s as expensive as you might come to expect. Instead, we’d recommend using ZipJet who collect and deliver your washing for a super reasonable price.

Conclusion

Before I conclude, I want to talk a little about the value for money we gained from staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Chelsea, London as Hilton Honors gold members.

As I mentioned in the introduction the cost of our two-night stay was £198 however, we were upgraded to a Queen Deluxe Room on the Laura Ashley floor with an estimated value of £216 (based on two people sharing for two nights). We also gained 2,428 base Hilton Honors points alongside an 80% bonus bringing the total number of points from this stay up to 5,370. Which is estimated to be worth somewhere around the £20 mark.

We also got complimentary breakfast for the two of us for both nights, based on a good fry up in London costing at least £10 per person, I’d estimate we gained a further £40 worth of ‘freebies’ here.

Then there are the free drinks credits. These can be used on a range of soft drinks and/or alcoholic drinks. During our visit we only reclaimed two of the four vouchers over dinner – we bought a pack of diet coke from the Tesco which stayed in the fridge throughout the remainder of our trip. However, if you’re willing to maximise the potential of this voucher I can easily see the four of them being worth somewhere around the £30 given we’re in London after all…

At just under £100 a night, a stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Chelsea London is great if you’re looking to stay local to this area. An while I believe that the stay could be improved even further with an upgrade to the bathroom and perhaps the TV, the cost of our stay based on the value of what we received was incredible.

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