With the year 2020 wiping out all plans for travel and adventure, it can be regarded as a bad year for those that like to stay away from home, especially us travel bloggers. Except, when a replacement weekend trip to London allows the Caveman Tribe to stay at The Dorsett Hotel, Shepherds Bush, London, then it can turn into a real win.
In times of doom and gloom, lock down and tiered access to pubs, bars and restaurants there was still a way, to get away. We have to live and try to act like everything is normal, just for our sanity, even in abnormal times. Then on a weekend when the British public were allowed to roam, even whilst wearing masks we decided to stop out for a night and heard London calling.
Why we booked direct
As with many others, we have already discovered the best place to park, the Westfields shopping centre (no congestion charge and a secure car park, £15 for 24 hours!) so we wanted to find somewhere local to the car. Google maps helped out a lot and we found the Dorsett Hotel. The photo on line looked amazing and it overlooked Shepherds Bush green. All because of the photos, we clicked the link to the hotel. All the booking sites had some deals but as we had clicked was saw some great deals. Booking direct with the hotel, gave us some amazing extra perks and we were granted three wishes!
When we booked direct, part of the offer was a free room upgrade. After viewing the rooms online, which all looked amazing, we decided to go for it and then claim the free room upgrade. Booking for two adults and a teenager, we asked for two rooms with an adjoining door. Dorsett Hotel got back to us very quickly, telling us that they could accommodate our request.
In the last week of October, the three of us packed our bags, jumped in the car and wound our way down the M4 into London. Locating Westfield was really easy and following the car park signs to ‘Debenhams’ (which is now Harrods – what a crazy year!) we found the perfect parking spot right by a door to the centre.
Spending lunchtime in the centre, we waited for check in time at the hotel (2pm) and went back to the car and grabbed our bags. After a few fun hours exploring all the shops, I was ready to get to the room. Leaving the centre through the ‘Five Guys’ entrance, with our bags dragging behind us, we were out in the open and heading down the escalator to the front of the library. Turning left with a short walk, we were on the corner of the green. Using the crossing, doing a ‘dog leg’ and after another minute we were stood in front of the hotel. In all, I believe we had walked less than 5 minutes.
Dorsett Hotels first impression
Stood outside the hotel, it is true that I felt a little disappointed. Either side of this beautiful looking building, there was construction going on, with scaffold and boarding hugging both sides of the hotel. However, walking through the glass fronted doors the hotel immediately redeemed itself. Huge, open airy foyer area with mood lighting, it made me forget everything that was going on outside.
The hotel staff were great, even from behind a huge plastic screen, they were polite and very patient as I asked loads of questions about the building. I found out that it was a Grade 2 listed building, that once it was a cinema and bingo hall. It had truly been given another lease of life, the interior was stunning. Checking in was easy, with the staff telling us that we had been given the free upgrade and were in a suite.
Room 713 and 715 were going to be our home away from home. Going through the foyer, I saw the large open space, where the coffee and breakfast was to be served. Passing by, we found the lifts and went up to the seventh floor. Exiting the lists, the corridor had deep, plush carpets and more mood lighting. It oozed the feeling of luxury.
Finding our room at the end of the hallway, the room card granted us access and the door swung open. Stood on the threshold, looking in, the sight was jaw dropping. The beautiful lounge area, opened onto huge windows that ran the length of the room. With the sun setting right in front of me, London’s skyline was breathtaking. With a sofa, TV, coffee machine with a table and chairs set out there was still room to spare.
Finding another doorway, it went through to the bedroom area. A massive bed sat in the middle of another airy and beautiful room. The best thing was that the bedroom was in the corner of the building. The huge windows ran around the room, again I had the view of that beautiful sunset and all the the area had to offer.
Backtracking towards the living room area, the bathroom was on the left. Another huge space with everything we would need, a big bath and a separate shower cubicle. Again with those wrap around windows, giving amazing views across London, I thought it had the best seat in the house. Everything we were going to need was there, soft towels, gels, lotions and shampoos, we were set.
Backing out of the bathroom, and in the corner was another door. This was the link door into the adjoining room. After unlocking both sides of the door we had a two bedroom apartment, on the seventh floor of a classy hotel. The second room was much smaller, but it had everything that we needed. The bonus was that the link door gave access to suite and the huge lounge area, which allowed the family to be together.
After we had explored the room and had unpack, it was time to get out and explore the big smoke. Leaving the hotel we needed access to the public transport. We had plenty of choice. Stood at the front of the hotel, turning left (back towards Westfields) we needed to make a decision. A bus stop was just outside, it would take us wherever we wanted but we chose to take the overground. Back towards the crossing we turned left, carried along for about 200 meters and found the Shepherds Bush Market station. If we had turned right at the crossing we’d get to the Shepherds Bush underground.
After we explored a small part of London, namely Harrods then the Houses of Parliament, Number 10, Horse Guards and then the royal mile, (all were easy to get to and gave us hours of fun and entertainment) we returned to the hotel. Stopping at the Sainsbury’s local across the road for some room treats we were set for the night. Walking through the hotel door, the foyer impressed us again. It had not lost any of its sparkle from when we had first walked in. Even the massive gold bath, in the middle of the reception area made me smile. The lighting had changed as it was dark outside and the area was asking to be enjoyed. However due to all the Covid restrictions, the small bar area was closed. It was a real shame as I could have happily sat there for an hour taking in the view and sipping a cocktail or two. Instead taking the Sainsbury offering up to the room, we got to enjoy the room for the evening.
The end of the evening it was time for bed. A big, soft comfortable nights sleep was the order of the night and the room delivered.
It was not all roses. The smaller room did have a problem with the closing and locking of the bathroom sliding door and the TV did not seem to want to work (tuning issue) but everything else in the room was great. Only because of the Covid situation, we realised that the eighth floor was closed, which had the gym and spa area. We could not explore up there which was a shame, not because I would use it, but some photos would have been good, but it was not the fault of the hotel.
The following morning we elected to explore for breakfast, rather than take the hotel breakfast offerings. During the night we had seen a set of lights and wanted to check them out. Behind the hotel is the Shepherds Bush Market and after wandering around and popping into the local shops and grabbing a coffee, we had enough breakfast items to feed us for the whole day. Taking back the food to the room, we got to enjoy the table and chairs as well as the coffee machine for a top up.
Once we were recharged, we were ready to explore again. Camden market was calling and we wanted to spend the day seeing as much as we could. Access to the public transport was again easy and we were off, looking forward to another fun packed day. We had just two days in London, we could have stayed for an entire week and still not got bored. If we were to return and stay, The Dorsett Hotel would have been our first choice.
We love to travel and have written a few reviews, which you can read here. If you have a suggestion of where we should stay, or you’d like us to come and visit somewhere different, I’d love to hear your ideas. Get hold of me over on the ‘social medias’ or contact me here.