Rubens at the Palace Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Victoria, Westminster, London

This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Great central location by Buckingham Palace
  • Variety of dining and lounging spaces on-site
  • Room perks include free Wi-Fi and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries
  • Updated rooms have sophisticated designer-style decor
  • Some rooms overlook the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace
  • Pet-friendly (for a fee) with excellent pet amenities
  • In-room spa and beauty treatments available

Cons

  • Not all rooms have been updated, and some are in desperate need of renovations
  • No mini-fridges or minibars in rooms (available upon request)
  • Limited floorspace in lower room categories
  • Room rates are pricey compared with similar hotels
  • No fitness center, pool, or spa (one free day pass to health club 5 minutes away)

Bottom Line

At 161 guest rooms, the Rubens is behemoth-sized compared to its Red Carnation sister hotels. Dressed in traditional period furnishings with beautiful oil canvases throughout, this hotel oscillates between being overly reminiscent of a bygone era and reflecting a classic-period charm. Most rooms have been renovated and feature a more updated version of period charm; others simply feel dowdy and dated. Pricey room rates and limited room amenities may or may not outweigh the great location near Buckingham Palace.

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 Scene

Classical period style in one of London’s busiest transport hubs

Hotel entrance
Hotel entrance

Although first constructed in 1911, most of the Rubens’ interior is decorated with Victorian furnishings. The decor seems to elicit mixed reactions from guests: Some feel it’s worn and outdated, while others are delighted by its period charm and beautiful oil canvases.

Almost as if in response, a chic champagne bar was opened, sporting safari-print cushions and oak paneling.

Limited room amenities (unless you’re staying in a suite) paired with pricey rates may put you off, but the location -- just adjacent to Buckingham Palace and a stone’s throw from one of London’s major transport hubs -- is difficult to beat.

 Location

10 minutes’ walk from Victoria station, within walking distance of Buckingham Palace

As one of the city’s main transportation hubs, the area surrounding Victoria station consists mostly of tourists and businessmen in transit. Because the hotel is practically adjacent to Buckingham Palace, there are plenty of dining spots nearby.

  • 33-minute drive to Heathrow Airport
  • 5-minute walk to Buckingham Palace and Green Park
  • 9-minute tube ride to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, London Eye, and scenic walks along the Thames
  • 14-minute tube ride to Knightsbridge station and Knightsbridge shopping district including designer shops and Harrod’s
  • 15-minute tube ride to Bond Street station and West End shopping district including Selfridge’s
  • 15-minute tube ride to Piccadilly Circus station and the theatre district
  • 17-minute tube ride to Charing Cross station, Trafalgar Square, National Portrait Gallery, London ICA, Tate Modern, and the South Bank
  • 18-minute tube ride to Covent Garden and more West End theatres
  • 20-minute tube ride to Notting Hill Gate station and Portobello Market

 Rooms

Traditionally Victorian, with limited amenities

Bedroom in the King's Suite
Bedroom in the King's Suite

Rooms are individually decorated in traditional Victorian style; some of the newly renovated rooms have updated furnishings while still retaining a classical period feel, while others are desperately in need of a refreshing.

  • 24-hour room service
  • Pillow menu
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • iPod docks, flat-screen TVS (in most rooms) with on-demand entertainment
  • Free mineral water, and tea and coffee-making facilities
  • No minibars or mini-fridges, but fridge available upon request
  • Gilchrist & Soames toiletries
  • Twice-daily maid service upon request
  • Stationary exercise bike or yoga DVD and mat upon request
  • Some rooms have views over the Royal Mews
  • Tube TVs in some non-renovated rooms

 Features

Few on-site amenities beyond the lounge and dining options

The Van Gogh Room
The Van Gogh Room
  • In-room massage and beauty services available
  • One free pass to the nearby health club and spa, a five-minute walk away
  • Pet-friendly (for a fee), with great amenities: pet bed, food/water bowls, pet menu, turndown treat, grooming/walking services
  • Executive Club members have free access to the health club and spa a five-minute walk away
  • View Full List of Amenities

 Food

A casual carvery, and an intimate, highly acclaimed restaurant

The Old Masters' Restaurant
The Old Masters' Restaurant

Set in the style of a traditional carvery with high ornate ceilings and chandeliers, The Old Masters has many succulent roasts on offer daily, and is well known for its Aberdeen Angus beef selected from the finest Scottish herds.

Richly embroidered fabrics and large comfortable armchairs complement the intimate atmosphere of the 2 AA Rosette Library Restaurant, where you can enjoy acclaimed English and international cuisine accompanied by the finest of wines. Free tastings of the Bouchard Finlayson collection of wines from South Africa are also offered.

  • The Leopard Champagne Bar provides a selection of champagnes, fine wines, whiskies, cognacs, and armagnacs in a space with safari-chic decor.
  • The Palace Lounge serves daily afternoon tea and is perfect for watching the activity at the Royal Mews opposite the hotel.

 Bottom Line

At 161 guest rooms, the Rubens is behemoth-sized compared to its Red Carnation sister hotels. Dressed in traditional period furnishings with beautiful oil canvases throughout, this hotel oscillates between being overly reminiscent of a bygone era and reflecting a classic-period charm. Most rooms have been renovated and feature a more updated version of period charm; others simply feel dowdy and dated. Pricey room rates and limited room amenities may or may not outweigh the great location near Buckingham Palace.

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 143
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Victoria, Westminster
Address: 39 Buckingham Palace Road
(See Map)
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