Our Olympics trip in August would have likely never gotten off the ground if it weren’t for the stash of points we accumulated during the Club Carlson “Big Night Giveaway” that occurred earlier this year. Between my husband and myself, we accumulated a few hundred thousand points at a very reasonable cost. About a month or so before the Olympics, we saw that there were still Club Carlson points availability at a number of London hotels. While many of them looked nice, we decided on The May Fair due to the location and online reviews…we weren’t disappointed!
When we booked our room, the room was going for about the USD equivalent of about $600 – $700 per night. Outside of such high demand times, the rate seems to be closer to the $300 – $500 USD range. Either way, it is clearly often a relatively expensive property that is a good deal for 50,000 Club Carlson points. That is especially true when the points were earned via a very inexpensive route!
We made a reservation for three nights in a King bed. The other option was a room with two twin beds. Both of those rooms have a maximum occupancy of two. That said, I would not hesitate to bring my young child along. However, she can sleep in the bed with us still and wouldn’t need a roll-away bed. Frankly, I’m not sure there is even space in that room for a roll-away bed (at least not without re-arranging some furniture), so keep that in mind.
You can have up to two adults and two children in the room with two queen beds, but I have not seen that room available on points on the dates that I checked. It is possible it would be available as a premium room for additional points, but that may be something you would have to try and talk your way into. Never hurts to ask.
Check-in and the Lobby:
The May Fair Hotel is located in the Mayfair neighborhood in London. It is an easy 2-3 block walk from the Green Park stop on the Underground. It is also about a 10-15 minute walk from Buckingham Palace. The neighborhood felt very safe and well trafficked.
The building itself was similar to the others in the neighborhood and it seemed to proudly welcome visitors through its doors (and so did the employees who were always available to open the doors). The lobby was spacious, clean, and elegant.
We took the Picadilly line from Heathrow to the May Fair (about 45-50 minutes), and arrived by about 11:30AM local time to the hotel. I wasn’t really expecting our room to be ready, but was pleasantly surprised when it was. We weren’t made to feel like second class citizens even though we were using points. We were thanked for being Club Carlson members, offered some water (which we desperately needed), and given the keys to our room.
There was a restaurant and a bar on opposite ends of the lobby, but we didn’t get a chance to try either on our stay. They looked very nice while walking by, but I can’t vouch for them personally. Truthfully, while it is easy to forget while staying “free” on points, this is a five star hotel, and things aren’t cheap. We often got our breakfast by walking around the corner to Starbucks. Sure we missed out on some “local flavor”, but we kept some local currency in our pockets as a result. There is also a casino entrance in the lobby. My husband went in their briefly, but sadly our short trip didn’t allow for time at the poker table.
We stayed in a room on the 6th floor (which is really the 7th floor if you count floors the US way). The elevators were a bit slow, and often quite full, but it wasn’t too terrible. Once off the elevator it was a bit of a winding walk to get to our room. The halls are certainly not the long and straight paths that I am most accustomed to.
The room itself was much like the lobby. Clean, stylish, and elegant. There was not very much “extra” space in the room, but it was comfortable for two adults on a three night stay. It would have felt a little cramped if our daughter had been with us. We were pretty tired when we arrived, so we almost immediately crawled into the comfortable bed and took a brief nap. We didn’t want to sleep too long and make it hard to go to bed at a normal time that night, but a 1-2 hour nap was the perfect amount to feel refreshed for the day, yet also allowed us to be ready to go to bed at a normal time in our temporary time zone.
We didn’t have any issue with outside noise or noise from other neighbors while we were there. We would hear the housekeepers start making their rounds fairly early in the morning, but that was the only noise I remember.
The bathroom was quite interesting. It had a deep (but fairly narrow) tub and a shower. The shower had no door, and as a result I would invariably end up with water all over the floor after every shower. I tried to angle the shower head where that wouldn’t happen, but I clearly was doing something wrong. It looked nice, but it wasn’t all that functional for me.
We made good use of the space in the closet to store some things. I also appreciated the hotel having a couple nice robes for us to use. It’s the little things that make a nice hotel actually feel like a nice hotel.
Room service is available 24 hours a day at The May Fair, and after watching beach volleyball semi-finals in the pouring rain until very late at night, we got back to the room cold and hungry. Fortunately, we were still able to order a pot of tea and a cheese tray. The food was delivered promptly and the table even had a fresh flower in a vase as an accompaniment. Again, it is the little things like being able to order cheese and tea around midnight that made the hotel feel special. ;) This might have been the most expensive cheese and tea I ever had, but it was the perfect food at the perfect time.
I loved our stay in this hotel. It calls itself a five star hotel, and it feels like it. Everyone was very professional and polite. All of our needs were met promptly and thoroughly. There is 24 hour room service, a bar, a restaurant, a casino, a cigar room, and a spa. What more could someone want?! I do feel that this hotel is better suited to singles or couples than families, but my husband and I very much enjoyed our child-free time there.
I plan to do one more post on London that covers some of the things we did there (other than just the Olympic events), as well as some of the things we plan to do when we return in a few months.