I think as an average young person on a budget it would be a good idea for me to do reviews of places I visit from an honest perspective. No messing about with fancy language just telling it how it is so look out for more of these on lots of different places and experiences.
Okay so a couple of weeks back I planned a small, spontaneous weekend break in London. I was looking for something that was nice enough to feel like a treat but affordable enough for me to turn the weekend into a shopping break without coming away feeling broke – them ones. It didn’t take me long to find Urban Villa located in Brentford, on Secret Escapes and in a few minutes the Studio Villa (the smallest of the suites on offer) was booked. Going through Secret Escapes was really quick and efficient and it saved me a little money so always worth going on there and other websites that can offer holiday and hotel deals. Or so I thought – I’ll explain in a second.
Urban Villa is an apart hotel so you get some services of being in a hotel such as housekeeping but lose others such as room service although there’s a restaurant downstairs. Plus points include a fully-fitted kitchen, free wifi and lots of seating in case you wanted to entertain any guests during your stay at the hotel. The fully-fitted kitchen means that you can bring food and cut down on costs but if that’s not what you are after then it may not be worth your while staying at such a hotel. Also the bed was comfy and I had a good night’s sleep and it’s worth noting that they can change the mattress on your bed if you request it before your stay to ensure you have a sick sleep.
The room exuded the same hipster minimalist vibes as the images online did. It was spacious (and I fully mean this like there was space for me to do the ‘Single Ladies’ dance in the room) and the “winter garden” was a very nice addition to the room but I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it more if the view had been better. The views of most of the rooms are other hotels and the flyover unless you book a room with a view of Kew Gardens and Gunnersbury Park. A few annoying things about our stay were as follows:
- At check-in we were asked our nationality and the city we were born in – I personally have never had to answer this when checking into a hotel and when questioned they said it was because they were a new hotel and wanted to build a database. Regardless of this fact, it made me uncomfortable to be honest. Have you ever been asked this?
- On our second night in the hotel we noticed a leak which at the time we thought was water we had spilt. We cleaned it up but then in the morning the leak had reached the rug under the bed. Not the end of the world but not something we should have to deal with.
- When coming back from our shopping trip the same employee that smiled at us when we left the hotel asked us if we were checking in which was a little awkward because we checked in a day and earlier and had to explain that we already did. But the other guests were already looking at us as if we were intruders. Kmt. The fact that I was wearing a salwar kameez didn’t help! If you’re someone who works in a hotel part of the customer service you deliver is remembering faces, names if you’re really a master but just faces is enough. The website even says something about arriving as a stranger and leaving as a friend – tell your employees that please.
The hotel cost us £90 a night (through Secret Escapes), so £180 for the two nights plus parking which is charged at £10 a night, shared with the Novotel next door and needs to be reserved in an advance. This brings the total to £200 for the stay which isn’t bad for a room in London. Location-wise you can get to Hammersmith Apollo and Westfield (Shepherds Bush/White City one not the irrelevant Stratford one) in a matter of minutes so very convenient. I’d recommend it to anybody on a budget or anyone who wants to have a long stay in a hotel in the city without paying through the nose for it. I personally feel it was worth exactly the money I paid for it.
And then for this review I went directly on their website to check prices put in a random check in and check-out date and discovered that if you book last minute with them their rates go down to starting from £60-£70 for the Studio Villa we stayed in and £110 for the Master Villa. So you could probably get a better deal booking last minute on their website as opposed to trying anywhere else. But keep in mind that rooms would be limited of course so this strategy won’t always work! But effectively you could get 4 nights for the price of two! Thank me later. These current rates for the Studio Villa are running till the 6th April.
If you end up staying there enjoy your stay and tell me how you find it! Oh and before you go, you get 20% off if you enter the discount code GYALLIKEHUMAIRA on the website. Safe xx
Disclaimer: That last part was a joke. Har har.