Corus Hotel Hyde Park – 18th October 2006

12 Nov

Complaint Letter No. 6


Compensation: One free night’s stay in one of the Corus Hotel Hyde Park’s executive rooms with breakfast.

Ron Cox
General Manager
Corus Hotel Hyde Park
Lancaster Gate
London W2 3LG

18th October 2006

Dear Mr Cox

I stayed at the Corus Hyde Park with my partner on Tuesday, 10th October, while waiting to move into our new flat – and we were delighted by the hotel’s beautiful location and lovely-looking reception area.

Unfortunately, that pleasure was short-lived.  While we accepted the small size of our room, we had no idea that our night at the Corus Hyde Park would turn out to be one of the worst night’s sleep we had ever had (quite a feat during our stressful house-moving time).

The bathroom switch (which sat outside the bathroom facing our bed) was illuminated at all times and a bright green light shone directly at the bed – so much so, it was like trying to sleep at the foot of a traffic light.  My partner, who is on crutches and usually a sound sleeper, was so fed up with it that he hung his jacket over one of his crutches to prop against, and to block out the light.  And then there was the mattress.  So apparent were the springs, I can only describe it as like sleeping on cotton-covered chicken wire.  As for the cherry, there was the matter of the heat.  Hot, insufferable heat.  We gave up on opening the window because the noise from the Bayswater Road was intolerable.  So we tried the fan – but then had to switch it off immediately because it sounded like a small fighter aircraft – and with the walls being as thin as they were (we could hear someone snoring in the next room), we did not want to wake up our neighbours.

If we were lucky, my partner and I might have clocked up three hours’ sleep between us, but all-in-all, I can only say that our experience of sleeping at the Corus Hyde Park hotel was akin to enduring a night in Orwell’s Room 101.

For a four-star hotel at £149 (excluding a very poor and mean-spirited breakfast – the ‘continental’ breakfast consisted of cash ‘n’ carry ‘value’ style croissants and Laughing Cow cheese triangles), I find this shocking.

Yours sincerely

Ingrid Stone


The Response:


20th October 2006 


Dear Mrs (sic) Stone

Thank you for your letter following your visit to us on the 10th October. First and foremost, please at least allow me to apologise for giving you cause to write in the first place, certainly not my intention I assure you.

I’m afraid I won’t insult you with any silly, bland excuses, but I will put my hands up and agree with some of your sentiments, because that is without doubt one of the smallest rooms which is usually left as a ‘last let’.  As such, it should never have been let to you. I would only say, in a somewhat meek defence that it is the first complaint I’ve received about the green light since they were installed two years ago.  Generally they’ve been well received, by avoiding the often fumbling about in the night looking for the bathroom in a strange room.  But I take your comments on the chin, as a gentleman.

What I’d very much like to do, if of course you have a strong enough constitution, is invite you and your husband back as my guests, when I hope you’ll see why we’re so busy, largely with repeat guests for the past few years.  The offer will include a full English breakfast (I note your views on the continental breakfast, so wouldn’t be so foolish to go there), and an executive room, so with luck, your last memory might be erased, or at least dulled somewhat.

When you have a date in mind, simply call or email me.  If I’m away, call the hotel number on this letter and ask for Customer Services who will make arrangements. Dates we’re currently already full are the first 10 days of November and the first week of December, otherwise, being something of an irrepressible optimist, I look forward to hearing from you and perhaps meeting you both.

Yours sincerely

Ron Cox
General Manager



That particular complaint letter had an especially happy ending.  My partner and I had a very enjoyable stay in the executive room (room 1025) offered to us at the Corus Hotel Hyde Park.  I briefly mentioned to the General Manager that we would be staying there for the anniversary of when we met – and we arrived to find a huge bouquet of flowers, plus a box of Belgium chocolates and a bottle of Champagne waiting for us in our room.  And the next morning, following breakfast in bed, my partner asked me to marry him – albeit over a Laughing Cow cheese triangle.

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