Last Thursday I was at a major London charity event with a friend. Unfortunately, this event was serving fruit flavoured cocktails which appeared to contain disproportionately large amounts of alcohol. The net result was that I ended up drunker than I have been for a l-o-n-g time.
I got an Uber home, spent a couple of hours asleep on the sofa, wandered upstairs in the early morning for another couple of hours sleep, was woken as usual by the kids at 6am and somehow managed to get myself into a taxi to take my daughter to school. By 9am I was sitting in Pret on Kings Road pondering my options for the day ahead.
Frankly, I needed sleep. The house was out of the question as my wife was working from home and my little boy only does a half-day at nursery on Friday. The logical answer was to redeem some points for a hotel room, but I would be looking at a 2pm check-in. That was five hours away, which was far too long …..
An idea came to mind. A quick Google search threw up between9and5.com. I had never heard of this site before but it was offering day rooms in a large number of London hotels at very good prices. (They actually cover hotels in 50 countries.) Since you paid at the hotel and they didn’t want a credit card number, it clearly wasn’t a scam.
At £59, the Mercure in Kensington (next to the Cromwell Hospital as you can see in the picture) seemed good value. I booked it.
One issue with between9and5.com when you need the room immediately is that they do not have access to the hotel booking systems. All they do is email the hotel with your request. The Mercure is not exactly over-staffed and, unsurprisingly, when I arrived 30 minutes later my booking had not been picked up.
However, all was fine. They took my details from the email confirmation that I was sent and created a booking for me. I was given a room key and all was agreed, at the £59 price originally quoted.
My room (611) was incredibly small. Potentially the 2nd or 3rd smallest room I have ever stayed in, anywhere. I don’t know if all the rooms are so small or not. I didn’t hand over my Le Club Accorhotels number until the room had been allocated – perhaps if they knew I was Platinum I would have got something bigger.
Not that it mattered for what I had in mind! I had a couple of hours sleep, went to Starbucks in the Cromwell Road Sainsbury for lunch, and then even managed to do 3 hours of HFP work before 5pm came around – which allows me to offset the £59 as a business expense ….
The room itself, whilst small, had everything you would need – tea and coffee equipment, free biscuits, two free bottles of water and free wi-fi for all guests. Despite the space, they had even squeezed a bath into the bathroom. The public areas of the hotel are totally acceptable too. Unless you intend to be out for every waking minute of your trip, though, I wouldn’t recommend it for more than one night purely on the grounds of space.
Even better, I earned Le Club Accorhotels points for my booking! None of the bonus promotions posted – possibly because it wasn’t an overnight stay (it posted as ‘0 nights’) – but I did get 297 base points. That is worth €6 of Accor vouchers if I ever get up to the 2,000 point minimum. If not, I will convert them into 297 airline miles.
So, I learned something new. If you are looking for a London hotel to use as a day room – frankly, they make decently priced office space if wi-fi is free, as it is with Mercure – then between9and5.com seems worth a look.
(Want to earn more hotel points? To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)