|Umi Hotel, London
16 Leinster Square, Bayswater, London W2 4PR
+44 (0) 207 221 9131
Review by Catherine Cooper
Umi Hotel in London is a budget hotel with a real difference. It describes its philosophy as “a new concept in affordable accommodation which aims to deliver 5-star services at 3-star prices” – and to a large degree it is successful at doing so. The outside of the converted row of Victorian houses with plants on balconies is immaculate and you certainly can’t fault the location – a quiet, garden square in Bayswater just a short tube or bus ride from the West End.
The hotel has 117 rooms from singles to quads – all ensuite and equipped with flat-screen satellite TV, tea and coffee making facilities and broadband access for around £3 per hour – if you upgrade to a Grove Room you also get bathrobes, biscuits and an evening newspaper delivered to your room. The carpets and bathrooms look a little tired but the beds are comfortable and rooms clean. You can book an in-room massage from £45 for one hour or a nail treatment from £23 – not had for a three-star hotel.
Umi prides itself on employing a large number of interns from the hospitality industry all over the world so the hotel has a young, international feel and the staff is friendly, helpful and enthusiastic. The five-star service shows itself through a concierge available six days a week and a 24-hour reception and bar.
The Yumi coffee shop serves tea, coffee and snacks all day alongside complimentary newspapers while the basement restaurant 1356 (the date that Notting Hill was first recognised as a settlement outside of London) offers well-priced, traditional food while the bar shows sports on plasma screens and music. Continental breakfast is included or for a few pounds you can “upgrade” to a selection of cooked breakfasts – the Eggs Benedict was fantastic. Room service is also available.
Umi is a great place to stay if you don’t want to spend a fortune but want something with more personality than the budget corporate chains. Its little touches of unexpected luxury such as in-room beauty treatments as well as its fantastic location makes a stay here a real pleasure without breaking the bank.
Single rooms start at £49 per night including breakfast, doubles start at £59 and family rooms start at £99.