In a nutshell: the Comfort Inn Hyde Park is nothing fancy, but the value here *cannot* be understated. We enjoyed our four nights in a family room for just 8,000 points per night, even though we experienced a few problems. Free breakfast and a great location make this an option to keep on your radar for a visit to London.
London is an expensive city. I say this as someone who hadn’t visited London for years, yet distinctly remembers how eye-wateringly pricey everything was, from food, to transportation, to attractions. When you’re fresh out of your first year of college and have barely any cash in the bank, London isn’t exactly the place you should spend a ton of time (yet it was loads of fun touring with friends).
Things are a bit better now that the value of the pound has fallen so sharply. But London is still not cheap, certainly not cheap like 9 days in China cheap. Part of the calculus for my visit with my two older kids this January was where to stay. Given that we were traveling in the off-season, hotel rates were less than usual. However, they still weren’t in the realm of what I’d be willing to pay cash for, given we needed six nights. Awards prices were elevated, pegged to a higher rate, on average. This actually made me less enthusiastic about using points, as it didn’t feel like I’d be getting good value.
Enter the Comfort Inn Hyde Park London. It was the perfect match.
Choice Hotels was a last-ditch idea for our stay in London. After searching Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Radisson options, I’d gotten rather discouraged. Our hotel point balances aren’t particularly high at the moment, and anything I picked had a downside. Hilton was doable, but it’d clean us out of points (and we’d get poor value). Hyatt wasn’t an option, as I was out of Ultimate Rewards (I did have a Category 1-7 free night). IHG was its terrible self where we’d be getting an awful ~0.4 cents per point. Radisson was an option, but who wants to spend 250,000 anything for five nights?
The second issue was that I needed a place that offered standard rooms for three people. Traveling as more than a couple in Europe can be tough for the award traveler. The base rooms available on points at several properties had a maximum capacity of two people.
So imagine my surprise when I search Choice Hotels and am presented with the prefect option with the Comfort Inn Hyde Park. The hotel was offering not just a family room, but a family room for just 8,000 Choice points!! All room types were available for the same award price. Choice Hotels prices vary, but I would never have expected anything in London to be this inexpensive.
The Comfort Inn Hyde Park London was asking £128 for our room type. Standard rates were £83. In either case, I am more than willing to shell out points for that value. I ended up getting over 2 cents per Choice point, booking 4 nights for just 32,000 points! I decided to use my Hyatt Category 1-7 free night certificate for the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill for our final night in the city.
Arrival at the Comfort Inn Hyde Park
Even on a nonstop flight, it’s a long haul from San Francisco to London. I specifically picked the late flight out so that we’d have a late arrival into London. After flying into Paris last year and arriving at 8:00 AM, I decided that needing to power through a whole day after arriving in Europe is less than ideal. Leaving half a day, or just a few hours, left to push through is a lot better.
Landing at Heathrow around 3:30 PM, we made it to the Comfort Inn Hyde Park London about 6:00 PM. Immigration and the tube ride took quite a while, longer than I thought they would. We had to transfer off the Picadilly line to the District Line and got off at the Bayswater Station. From there the Comfort Inn is an easy 5-minute walk.
The lobby of the hotel is tiny, which is to be expected. It didn’t hit me how small the hotel is until later. The one staff at the front desk didn’t even hold a deposit for the room, noting it had been paid with points. Key in hand we headed to the fourth floor.
He’d mentioned that the room was directly left of the elevator. I’m not sure our room could have been any closer!!
The lobby should have been tipped us off that our room was going to be on the small side. Having been treated to reasonable 3-star to 4-star accommodations on most of our trips, both my kids lamented how tiny the room was. The whole thing was probably no more than 140 square feet, including the bathroom.
I didn’t care one bit how small the room was. We’d be spending most of the day out every day. As a city escape, we were there to explore and experience, not sit at the hotel.
There were three beds, which was absolutely amazing. This meant nights free from sharing a bed with a restless child. It turns out that this is the only family room at the Comfort Inn Hyde Park with this setup of two doubles and a single bed.
The room came well equipped with water, tea, and coffee for a whole family. I was ecstatic that the hotel had provided 5 water bottles.
Moving on from the tiny room, I entered the even tinier bathroom. We could talk about the tiny sink…
Or the toilet where your knees literally touch the wall in front of you…
But what really takes the cake is the shower. It’s probably the smallest hotel shower I’ve ever used. I’m not a large guy and not at all claustrophobic, but this was almost too much for even me! If you’re much taller than 6 feet, I’m not sure I can recommend the hotel!
At this point we just wanted to collapse into bed. But dinner was still on the agenda. Not having eaten since the plane we were all hungry. A shower in the tiny box would have to wait.
The room was basically what I expected for what we paid: adequate in every way. I didn’t expect it to be quite so small, but it has all the amenities we’d need for our 4-night stay. Housekeeping kept it very clean each day as well.
Oh, wait. There was also an awesome view. Totally forgot to mention that.
Breakfast at the Comfort Inn Hyde Park London starts at 7:30 AM, which is atrociously late for me. But it worked fine with our schedule. Most tourist attractions don’t open until 10:00 AM anyway, and the kids tended to sleep in. It’s fortunate we were in Europe and not Asia where they likely would have been up at or before 4:00 AM each day.
The hotel offers a simple continental breakfast of yogurt, croissants, other packaged pastries, fruit, and toast. The kids were glad there was a selection of cereal.
Coffee is also provided, but it is from a machine and not very good. Still, it was adequate and along the lines of what I expected for the brand.
Besides complimentary breakfast, there is little else offered by the Comfort Inn Hyde Park. It’s location might be one of the better features. Sure, it’s not in the very center of London. But you’re steps from a great park, as well as very close to two tube stations that can get you most places you’ll want to visit without the need to transfer. Queensway station is served by the Central Line, and Bayswater is served by the District and Circle lines.
Besides the tube access, the neighborhood itself next to the park is lovely. I loved taking a walk in the mornings. There are also a good number of ethnic restaurants along Queensway, which means you have easy access to great eats. If only we hadn’t traveled in January when the trees were bare.
As the Comfort Inn is located near the western end of Hyde Park, you’re also very close to Kensignton Palace. We didn’t end up touring the royal residence, sadly. It’ll have to wait for our next visit.
Problems During Our Stay
I wish I would stay that our time at the Comfort Inn Hyde Park was problem-free, but that was not at all the case. For starters, our heater (a small wall-mounted unit) struggled to work. I finally set it a few degrees higher (in Celsius) than we actually wanted, and the room stayed barely warm enough. By the time I asked the desk if we could have it looked at, he said that maintenance couldn’t get to it until Monday. This was conveniently the day we were departing.
When we landed in London, I noticed I was just starting to come down with a mild sickness. It caught up with me during our second day, and I started running a fever. We headed back to the Comfort Inn Hyde Park for some R&R. With little to do, the kids asked to watch some TV. It was a fine idea. Until we realized the telly wouldn’t work. Again, maintenance had to be deferred until Monday. Strike two, Comfort Inn.
On the other side of the coin, we barely heard the lift, even being located next to it. I thought it would be a problem, and it turned out to be a total non-issue. However, it was dreadfully slow, and we found ourselves taking the stairs much of the time.
The lift was fun, however. Like everything else in the hotel, it is tiny, with a limit of two people. We joked that my son was the two large suitcases when the three of us took it.
The Verdict: Comfort Inn Hyde Park London Review
Even with some problems and the somewhat spartan accommodations, I was quite happy with our stay. I was able to manage my expectations in this case. When we stay at upscale properties, I tend to expect a lot. When you’re paying just 8,000 Choice Privileges points for a night in London? Not so much.
With this in mind, I might consider the Comfort Inn Hyde Park to be the best-value points hotel in the British capital. It’s hard to find better value. We had a comfortable place to sleep with beds for all three of us, easy transportation access, and free breakfast. What more can you ask for?