London Hotels Insight provides up-to-date, independent advice for your perfect stay in London. We research guest feedback, meet management and identify hotels at the top of their game.
A sweet Tune for Kings Cross.
I wasn’t having a great day when I turned up at Tune King’s Cross. The wheels had come off my trolley (quite literally), so I had to lug my own weight in suitcase (at least it felt like it!) all the way from the station, though I was grateful at least that the Tune strategy dictates that their hotels are generally close to major transport hubs.
My temper didn’t improve when I found my booking had been lost (actually, it hadn’t, but it had been made under my first name with my surname missed out we found later). However, within half a minute the manager was called out to check; he knew about the booking, fixed me a room, helped with the luggage and offered me a coffee while I was waiting.
So within a few minutes I had a smile on my face again!
I also had a chance to chat to the hotel’s general manager later about the policy on lost bookings or over-bookings. Tune will always make sure customers have a room for the night and have even put customers up in the swanky St Pancras Renaissance when they couldn’t find anywhere else, though the other Tune hotels are obviously their first resort.
Tune Kings Cross is housed in a real landmark building, originally the headquarters of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation. And though it’s recognisably branded in the Tune white and red, original features such as the mosaic floor of the lobby have been retained.
Best of all, the original architect’s plans and elevations for the building, found during the refurbishment, have been framed and hung on the walls.
Red and black photos of the area include scenes like the soaring roof of St Pancras station and the old gasometers behind King’s Cross – subtly combining Tune branding with local flavour. This attention to detail was picked up by my blog colleagues too in their hotel tour soon after opening.
The lobby is bright and open and though it was extremely busy when I arrived, didn’t feel at all crowded. I also noticed that no one had long to wait for check-in despite the rush.
The rooms are airy too and reasonably-sized for one of the cheapest Kings Cross hotels; mine certainly didn’t feel pokey. The windows are huge and not obscured by net curtains, so the rooms are full of light (unless you get one of the windowless rooms which are even cheaper as a result).
From the seventh floor I got great views and could hardly hear the busy traffic of Grays Inn Road below. A huge mirror on the wall over the bed, and a smaller one behind the open hangers that do duty for a wardrobe, make the room feel deceptively spacious while also letting you check your clothes or makeup without having to use the bathroom.
The bathroom is rather small – but while quite bijou, it didn’t feel cramped; and with its simple white tiles and sanitary ware and a good powerful shower, it was sparkling clean and convenient to use.
Tune rooms come with few features, but good ones (though all are add-ons to the basic price); WiFi that was a bit cranky to start with but worked well once I got my laptop under control; a good size TV with a wide selection of channels; a hairdryer which has decent power, like the shower.
The bed was as comfortable as you’d expect given the Tune slogan of 5 star Hypnos beds at budget prices.
Checkout was just as easy as check-in – I also got some much needed help strapping my suitcase onto a little luggage trolley that I’d bought in Oxford Street. Staff were always ready to help – to an extent unusual at a typical budget hotel – but this didn’t especially surprise me given my previous experience of stays at Tune Westminster and Tune Liverpool Street.
I’ve noticed a great deal of consistency between the three London Tunes I’ve experienced so far, while each has its own individual character too.
Tune is shortly opening the first of no doubt many cheap UK hotels with its first cheap hotel in Edinburgh city centre – I’ll be curious to see if they can maintain the consistent execution of their London properties.
Photo credits: London Hotels Insight Flickr.
Disclosure: Andrea was a guest of Tune Hotels.