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The Gower Hotel provides two-star accommodation in a quiet tree lined street in west London, close to Paddington and Bayswater. Housed in one of the very elegant Victorian town house conversions, which line the streets of the Paddington area, this friendly, family run hotel prides itself on personalised service and has a home-from-home feel, so you will feel welcomed from check-in until check out.
The hotel consists of 21 bright, well-maintained rooms, decorated in a tasteful contemporary style, with the odd flourish of traditional decor thrown in to echo the historic surroundings. Each room is equipped with a colour TV, a direct-dial telephone, radio and tea and coffee making facilities.
Breakfast is available at the Gower Hotel, which has friendly multilingual staff on hand to ensure guests have a wonderful stay. The reception is also open 24 hours a day; so no matter what time it is, you can find assistance. The reception staff are happy to act as a concierge, and can order you a taxi, book tickets for West End shows or recommend local restaurants. This is particularly helpful as the hotel doesn't cater for evening meals, but there is a fabulous selection of flavours and cuisines in the local eateries. Arturo and Stuzzico offer innovative, modern versions of Italian favourites; CocoMaya, an artisan bakery part-owned by the founder of Agent Provocateur lingerie serves a wide selection of tasty treats, from chocolate skulls to cheese straws; and Cafe Du Liban and Maroush on Edgware road are fin examples of the very authentic North African cuisine to be found in the area.
Of course, no matter how pleasant the hotel, tourists don't come to London to stare at the walls throughout their stay, especially when you are so well situated in the city. Paddington itself may not be home to the largest attractions and sights in London (although the Isembard Kingdom Brunel designed Station building is worth a look), but it has the fortune to be just a short walk from many landmarks. Hyde Park is just a ten minute walk away, where you can traverse the Serpentine Lake on a shuttle boat, ride a horse from Hyde Park Stables or visit The Serpentine Gallery, where Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Damien Hirst have all exhibited. Beyond Hyde Park you will find Kensington, a very affluent and grand district of London, rife with the influence of the Victorian era's pioneering advances in the fields of art, anthropology, exploration and education. The former Empress of India and her consort have certainly made an impression on the area, from the Victoria & Albert Museum to the Prince Albert Memorial to The Royal Albert Hall, to Kensington Palace, where Queen Victoria was born, Buckingham Palace, where she lived as monarch, and even Fortnum and Mason food hall in Mayfair, where she bought groceries, you'll be hard pressed to avoid the diminutive but prolific Queen. Although, if you don't fancy a history lesson, you can duck into Harrods Department Store and Knightsbridge, Kensington and Mayfair's many other exclusive shops to splash some cash instead.
The Gower Hotel benefits from excellent bus, rail and underground services on its doorstep. Lancaster Gate Underground Station, on the Central Line, is 150 metres south of the Gower Hotel, close to Hyde Park. Lancaster Gate Station is three stops from Oxford Circus, in the heart of London's West End shopping district. Paddington Station, home to the Heathrow Express shuttle service, is situated 200 metres north of the hotel. If you are driving to the hotel, it can be accessed from the main A4 road, via the M4 and M25; however, guests should note that the hotel is in the congestion charge zone. A reasonable car park choice is the NCP just a few minutes walk away in Queensway.
With such a fortuitous location, this hotel is great for families as kids will enjoy running around in Hyde Park as much as they will love museums such as Madame Tussaud's in nearby Baker Street. It's also suitable for solo travellers, especially if you want to spend your money on London nightlife, restaurants and shops rather than blow it all on the hotel room. Guests with mobility difficulties should choose a room on the ground floor, as there is no lift in the hotel, and if you are a light sleeper choose a quiet room at the back of the hotel. Whatever your requirements, don't be afraid to ask staff as they are very friendly and courteous and will make sure you find the right room for you.