The Rockwell, Greater London, UK ***

Q: What is it? A: A hotel with a sensible price tag and very helpful staff. Not exactly located in central London but at the same time only six stops from Piccadilly Circus. Not bad at all.

Yes, that flight of stairs will lead up to the 2nd level.

A not-so-typical Rockwell bedroom with a floor-to-ceiling window with amazing views over Cromwell Road. Yes, that flight of stairs will take you to the 2nd level (pictured below).

So you have yourself a sofa and a lounge chair to hang out in. But you need to take the stairs to get there.

Here’s what’s going on on the 2nd level. Most of the time there won’t me much action here. But those who doesn’t want to share the remote will appreciate the extra TV up here.

The bed. The window. The TV. The flight of stairs. One of the larger rooms at the Rockwell.

On top of the world meaning on the top of your bathroom. Looking down, Krakatoa is not erupting but you’ll see the bed… the TV… the flight of stairs… your kingdom…

The shower worked fine after I've spent almost 10 full minutes trying to figure out how to adjust the temperature.

Small bathroom underneath le deuxième étage. And that shower cabin sure is small as well. And there’s a lack of hooks for towels and anything else that would require a hook in the bathroom. You’ve been warned.

Not a big lobby but this isn't actually a hotel for hanging out. Staff is excellent, though.

It’s quite obvious that this hotel wasn’t designed to become a social scene. The lobby is a place you pass on your way to your room. If it was possible to look left, you’ll see the front desk and its superb staff.

Even London's relatively awesome taxi drivers may not recognize the fact that there's a hotel on this address.

Not all cabbies know the hotel’s there. No neon signs will guide you (or them). So do memorize the Rockwell’s exterior so that you will be able to yell “Stop right here!” at the right moment.

You may get the feeling that you’re almost leaving London…
It’s not just a feeling. There are only half a dozen blocks before Cromwell Road ends and the A4 takes over (the road that will eventually take you to Heathrow). But for being in this part of town, it’s quite convenient. Less traffic if you’re about to leave the city by cab or car. At the same time, Earl’s Court is a mere 5-minute walk away. From there, you have 12 tube stops before hitting the terminals at LHR. On the same blue tube line you’ll have six stops in the other direction before you’ve reached Piccadilly.

It’s your sleeping quarter. Not your stage.
Sometimes I want to stay in very busy hotels that will make me pretend that I’m something else (a jetsetting disco-dude who’s gonna rock’n’ roll all night, and party every day – aah). Sometimes I just want a proper bed and clean sheets. The Rockwell fits the latter description. Only 40 rooms. They call it ‘English Contemporary’ and for sure, it’s fairly modern. It’s been around since 2006 – and not much has been changed since it opened. Architect Michael Squire is the guy behind the design and in my opinion he had most success with the lobby; walnut floor, bookshelves and a fireplace. Rooms on the other hand are very 2006-y and look like they’ve been used and sometimes also abused.

Reasons for staying here:
So it’s not central and it doesn’t look too exciting. Why in the world should anybody consider staying at The Rockwell? For the same reason as I did. I was specifically looking for places that didn’t require me to sell my body to science in order to cope with hefty room rates.
If you’re paying the bill yourself, there are few more sensible places than The Rockwell. Also, which deserves to be emphasized; the staff is very helpful and will handle requests like late check-out the way they should be handled: With no fuss.
At the end of the day, The Rockwell is the answer to the most common question I get from travelers: Can you recommend a good but reasonably priced London hotel? If you’ve read this far, you may get the picture. Yes, I can.

The Rockwell
181-183 Cromwell Road
London, Greater London SW5 0SF
United Kingdom

+44 20 7244 2000

Click here to book The Rockwell through!

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