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!

Cost:

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.

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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.

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The room:

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.

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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:

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.

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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.

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Room service:

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.

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Overall Impression:

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.

Posted by Mommy Points | 25 Comments

25 Responses to “The May Fair Hotel in London: Great Use of Club Carlson Points”

  1. MidTierStatus says:

    Very nice review. Touches upon aspects that are important to most people.

    Totally related to “Truthfully, while it is easy to forget while staying “free” on points, this is a five star hotel, and things aren’t cheap.” Been in a similar situation. :)

  2. Kara says:

    Hi, looks like a great vacation! Just wondering how you typically earn club Carlson points, they have a property that I’m interested in staying at. Thanks!

  3. ed says:

    Are you a Club Carlson Platinum? If you are, did you get an upgraded room ?

  4. mommypoints says:

    @MidTierStatus, thanks!
    @Kara, sadly I don’t have a typical way I earn CC points. I am now running low and want more. ;) The last couple years they have been for sale via the Daily Getaway deals in the spring, so maybe we will see them there…or maybe they will run another huge promo.
    @ed, I have tried to get a status match with them several times and it has never worked (they say attachment isn’t there or attachment just says I am low status with Hyatt even though I am top tier, etc. so I just have the base status)

  5. Chirag says:

    This is great! I am staying there for a couple of nights next week with my Club Carlson “Big Night Giveaway” stash!
    I had read good reviews before but now I am really excited.

  6. Chirag says:

    I did get a status match to thier low level – Silver Elite using the Hyatt’s Platinum status (from Hyatt’s visa offer)

  7. Carl says:

    ed – What’s CC Platinum? I just know of Silver, Gold, and Concierge. All three have “Complimentary room upgrades as available”.

  8. Carl says:

    kara – A Club Carson USBank credit card is supposed to be offered later this year. No idea what the point bonus, etc. may be.

  9. Raffles says:

    It is important to note that, as far as I understand it, there are some very poor rooms in this hotel which are not normally sold. However, they are used on redemptions if the hotel is full and the guest has no status. I think this account for many of the one star reviews on Tripadvisor about the May Fair, which (and I have only ever been to functions there) does look great.

  10. Mike says:

    Look more like a 3/4 stars

  11. Justin says:

    Is there a nicer CC hotel in London?

  12. Biblioman says:

    English bathrooms are a hoot. They love the nice deep tubs, but they are all so narrow. Of course, the English are narrower than we Americans generally, but still… They also seem to harbor some early 20th century fear about any electricity being available in the bathroom. You’re sure to get electrocuted if the hairdyer should happen to be located there. Still, I find a lot of nice touches there like heated towel bars which are quite nice.

  13. Amy says:

    MP,

    Quick Question….What do you do when you login into CC and don’t have the option to book by points? I need to book a room in Florida next week, but it is not giving me the option.

    Thanks!!

  14. JoshUK says:

    @Biblioman, the electricity code still states that you can’t have open outlets (or switches other than pull switches) in most areas of bathrooms, which is somewhat dated. Of course 240 V will do more damage to you than 110.

  15. mommypoints says:

    @Raffles, good to know. I have no status, was there during the Olympics, and staying on points as this is the room I got, so who knows. It was a nice room in my book.
    @Carl, US Bank is so tough on those who like credit cards as much as many of us do, but it is true that we should keep an eye out for that announcement.
    @Mike, I’m sure there are nicer hotels in the world, but they advertize themselves to be 5 star and for a European hotel it seemed quite nice. (then again, I’m not overly picky)
    @Justin, there are several ones that look nice, but “nicer” will likely just be a matter of personal preference.
    @Biblioman, that reminded me that to use the hair dryer you had to hold the button down the whole time! My hand got tired as I have very long hair. It was a bit annoying, but it worked.
    @Amy, you can search for points bookings via the main page. Instead of the default of “find hotels”, click the next tab that says “book with points”. Of course, not all hotels have points availability at any given time.

  16. Phil says:

    I also stayed in this hotel for 3 nights earlier this summer using my CC Big Night Giveaway points. A couple of things I noticed were:
    – At the time I booked with my points, the room cost would have been £500 (~$800) per night with taxes; I specifically chose the hotel because it was the most expensive one available. I know you’re in the middle of London and prices will be high, but still, this hotel is not worth that much money. 3/4 stars is more accurate than 5 stars.
    – The lobby is pretty small and was always exceptionally noisy and busy. I don’t know how you got the picture of it so empty.
    – My room was bigger than yours (although still only a single King size bed). We easily got 7 adults in the room one night before dinner (everyone wanted to see what a £500 per night room looked like).
    – In Europe, they tend to be pretty strict on the number of people per room. There were three of us on my stay. Before going, I emailed the hotel about the third person and whether there were any cots or roll-away beds available. Their response was that, by regulation, we could only put two people in the room, but they would be happy to help me book a second room for the third person (at £500 per night – no thanks). We stayed anyway and snuck my teenage son in and he slept on the floor. the room was fairly large so there was plenty of space.
    – No ice machines (another European problem). We had to order ice from room service.
    – Your comment on noise is very accurate. The room was very quiet. The walls must be quite thick.
    – There’s a supermarket across the street which is another option to save money on food.

    • mommypoints says:

      @Phil, good reminder about the grocery store across the street! The lobby was never busy or loud when we were there, but I’m sure that varies. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  17. Whiskarina says:

    Great write up! I stayed there too and had the same problem with the shower… what I did was put my bath towel around the shower and created a sort of MOAT around the shower… very poor design… They had to know the first day they installed these showers. Not sure why they didn’t address the problem a long time ago. I went to the bar one night for a glass of wine but it was so loud I couldn’t hear the person standing two feet away from me. doh!

  18. Ryan H says:

    We stayed here two nights back in May using points from last Fall/Winter’s CC promo. We really liked this hotel! Apparently, the bar can be a celebrity hot spot. When we were leaving early (~5 am) our last morning to catch our flight, we saw a Chelsea footballer (sending home a…lady).

  19. Anthony Lee says:

    Thank you very much for those wonderful kind words which I shall share with all the team here at the May fair Hotel. We are all delighted to know you both had a great time. We do have some very large family rooms, some even with two bathrooms! so please come back with the children at some point and our Head Concierge Darren has a lot of suggestions to have fun with all the family.
    I hope I can thank you both next time in person and until then, we send you our warmest wishes.
    Anthony Lee
    General Manager,
    The May Fair, London.

  20. Marilyn from Houston says:

    We are going to London this summer and staying at the May Fair on points. Did you have any problem hauling your luggage on the Tube? Was Green Park the stop to get off for the May Fair? Did you get an Oyster Card at the airport to use? And do you remember how much it cost?
    Love your website!

    • mommypoints says:

      Marilyn, luggage can be an issue if you have lots of it when the Tube is very crowded, but otherwise it wasn’t too bad. We did use Green Park. It was about 2-3 blocks from there. We did get an Oyster Card at the airport and I think we put 20 pounds or so on there. Enjoy!

  21. Marilyn from Houston says:

    Thank you! My husband and I have not traveled much overseas, so we need all the advice we can get! We are going to Ireland for a week, then on to London to meet relatives. Your blog is very informative. I am telling all my friends about your website!

  22. […] Westin.  For summer 2014 they will be exploring UK for two weeks including a four night stay at the May Fair Hotel.   After decades without flying, my parents are seeing the world together and visiting […]

  23. misty says:

    HI, Thanks for the great article… good info!

    What happens if you make a reservation now…before March 15 but later have to change the date… or even cancel and re book in another city?

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