03 Mar Andaz London Liverpool Street – Highs and Lows

I stayed at the Andaz London Liverpool Street this past December. It was just a small part of a great New Years trip!

 

I had a great experience and I look forward to telling you more about it, but this will not be a typical hotel review.

See, I recently realized I have some problems with the idea of an all-encompassing, comprehensive hotel review. These reviews are overdone, unrealistic and create information overload. Not to mention, they can be kind of boring (both to read and write)!

Quite frankly, there are people out there that can do a much better job in covering every little hotel room detail – all the way down to folding of the bathroom tissue – but I’ve decided I am done with that type of review!

Instead, I am going to stick to a much more succinct “best and worst” or “highs and lows” type of post. This will allow you a peek at the hotel properties I visited with some highlights and lowlights along the way, and without all the unnecessary clutter! Without further ado…

Andaz London Liverpool Street – The Highlights

‘Ello from the Andaz London Liverpool Street!

The Suite… (aka Sweet!)

Eventually (following my #1 Lowlight below), we were shown to Room 104… and it was sweeeeeet. “The best room on the property,” we were told by the bellman, and I believe it! The typical London hotel room is teensy tiny, but this suite had square footage for days! I mean I could sit here and babble all day, but all let the snapshots below do the talking…

This is by no means a reflection of a standard Andaz London room. As a matter of fact, I remember reading a review before my stay where the author comments on the unfortunately small room size.

We mixed a little bit of status, with a lotta bit of luck, and came up winners!

The Forgiveness

For those guests with Hyatt Diamond status, breakfast is complimentary. Breakfast is served in the 1901 Restaurant from 6:30am-10:00am on weekdays and a very generous 7:30am-12:00pm on weekends.

I was [erroneously] under the impression that this complimentary meal also applied to room service. This wasn’t too crazy of an assumption considering that is the case at certain Hyatt properties. Unfortunately for me, the Andaz London Liverpool Street was not one of those properties.

Honest mistake on my part! Appreciated the forgiveness!

At checkout I was hit with a 50 pound room service charge for breakfast – one which would have been complimentary had I forced my lazy ass out of bed and downstairs to the 1901 Restaurant buffet spread!

I explained to the hotel representative my error in thinking, apologized for my mistake, and requested a “one-time forgiveness,” to relieve me from the hefty tab. To my surprise and much delight, the hotel rep informed me that he would have the charges removed and my wallet would remain 50 pounds heavier!

AYP Tip – If you mess up, acknowledge your mistake, sincerely ask for forgiveness, and you just might be surprised what lengths a service industry professional is willing to go to meet your satisfaction!

The Vibe

I mean the vibe you guys… For those that have ever stayed at an Andaz, you know what I’m talking about. The lighting, the décor, the mood – it overflowed with cool. (Wayyy too cool for this CPA, I’m sure!)

A PURPLE pool table AND poem laden spiral overlooks!?  Andaz Vibeeeees…

I hate to complain (do I really?), but it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops… The Lowlights!

The Check-in Process

Keeping with the hip, trendy Andaz vibe – there is no traditional walk up check-in counter. Instead, we were approached by a hotel associate requesting our information and accompanying passports.

Not a formal Check-in… but rather set off to the side to allow for a more informal process.

Cool, no problem… except that there was a problem. Apparently the reservation system was down and the hotel reps were unable to access our information to process our check-in. Still, not really a big deal, and the hotel made up for this technical difficulty be offering us a glass of wine.

And now, we wait! The wine was meh, by the way…

About 10 minutes later the reservation system was back online and we were back in business.

But it was about that time we ran into our next problem.

I booked our stay on 2 separate reservations. The first night was reserved on a paid rate, while the next two nights were booked with Ultimate Rewards via the Chase travel portal (at a rate of 20,000 UR points, versus the typical 25,000 Gold Passport points typically required). To further complicate things, I utilized a Diamond Suite Upgrade (DSU) on the first night. Since DSUs cannot be used on reservations booked through outside travel agents, I could not apply it to the full stay, but I figured the hotel would go ahead and do so, since requiring guests to physically move rooms during a stay is not practical.

I was wrong. I was informed I could use the upgrade the first night, but would in fact be charged 150 pound per night for the remainder of the stay, unless I chose to downgrade my room. Fair enough. I attempted to game the system a bit and the hotel called me on it, though this definitely did not scream customer service.

Hmmm… so pay 300 pounds, or move rooms after the first night?

After we were shown the room, we knew we had to stay all 3 nights, and were willing to pay the extra 300 pounds. However, I gave it one last go and talked to the manager, who quickly agreed that the DSU could be applied to the full stay and all ended well!

There even happened to be a free bottle of wine waiting for us!

While this has a happy ending, the time we spent at check-in working through these issues took away from our time experiencing London. For that, it makes my top lowlight!

Location, location, location

The Andaz London Liverpool Street is situated in East London and while the hotel has easy access to public transportation, being right next to the Liverpool Train Station and an associated Tube stop, it poses a challenge for anyone more interested in a walkable London experience. A walk to Big Ben or Westminster Abbey, for example, would require a 2.7 mile walk spanning approximately 54 minutes.

Very close to a McDonalds for a late night McFlurry… don’t judge!

Some people might argue that the location is strategic and provides access to all of London via the tube network, and I can understand that perspective. My wife and I leveraged the tube for the bulk of our city travels, but I realize some travelers prefer hotel properties near the city center to avoid any complications with public transportation.

Free and Never-ending Snacks

Like all of its fellow Andaz properties across the world, the Andaz London Liverpool Street provides free snacks replenished at your request! Every item of food and drink in the room is free for the taking, except alcohol.

I know what you’re thinking… WTF could be wrong with free snacks!?

Well, how about the fact that I could not stop eating them! The cookies, the milk, the apple juice the potato chips – it was all free and I just couldn’t say no!

Sure I displayed a lack of self-control in my devouring, but it was all enabled by the Andaz and their ever replenishing snack bar!

All kidding aside, the snacks are great and really can be tallied as another highlight! In a world where hotels jack up the prices on minibar items, the Andaz snacking practice is a nice change of pace.

Final Thought and Overall Impression

The Andaz London Liverpool Street keeps up with the signature cool Andaz vibe and perfectly aligns with the brand. While I tend to lean towards the sleek but elegant Park Hyatt feel, I really appreciated the overall look and feel of this property.

While I enjoyed my stay, I do not expect that I will stay at this hotel again. Without that monster suite, I just don’t think that this property was attractive enough to keep me from looking elsewhere in London. The city of London is jam-packed with hotel options, many of which top the Andaz in some very important categories, and those possibilities should not go unexplored!

I hope you enjoyed the little peek at the Andaz London Liverpool and appreciated my highlights and low-lights without the cluttering details of a full hotel review.

Let me know if you appreciated just the highlights or if you prefer details galore!

And if you are dying for more details surrounding this hotel? Check out the Forward Cabin for more comprehensive review!

Happy Travels!

DW

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2 Comments
  • Mike
    Posted at 10:21h, 03 March Reply

    Wow you seem like a real gem. You tried to game the DSU system and got caught. Then proceeded to take it up to the manager, Wow. Being a pain in the backside must be real fun.

    • DW
      Posted at 10:32h, 03 March Reply

      Thanks for the comment and appreciate the read. Isn’t gaming the system what travel hacking and the points and miles community is all about?

      I clearly stated: “Fair enough. I attempted to game the system a bit and the hotel called me on it”

      My “escalation” to the manager was not a complaint, but a request for an extension of goodwill based on elite status. Pretty harmless request here and I honestly don’t see the problem. The manager had every right and opportunity to deny the request, and I would have understood – and that would have been that. She seemed more than happy to offer the suite for the full stay (as a hotel manager, isn’t customer service the name of the game?) and did not appear to act like I was being “a pain in the backside” as you put it.

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