On the weekend of 23rd/24th September, I stayed over at a Premier Inn for my weekend in London for the Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars regular season NFL game that was played at Wembley Stadium on the Sunday of that weekend.
I live in the East Midlands and like to find a hotel to stay at that is located to the north of Central London because this saves me messing about on the stupidly busy roads closer to the centre of the capital and cuts my journey time down considerably. In previous years I’ve stayed at a Comfort Inn located in Harrow but that would appear to have closed down now (I’m not surprised, to be honest) either for refurbishment or it wasn’t making enough money from its guests and wedding receptions it held. Because of this, I’ve had to find another hotel to stay at for the Wembley games that is a reasonable price, decent quality and close enough to Wembley Stadium so that I don’t have to mess about too long on the tube before and after the game.
I like the area of Harrow due to the fact that it ticks the location boxes when travelling down to the games from the Midlands but is great to get back to on the tube after the game as it’s north of Wembley and pretty much everyone getting on the tube after the game is trying to get south.
So, I wanted a new hotel that wasn’t expensive and was located in the Harrow area. A quick search on Hotels.com came up with a number of hotels but I’ve always been happy with a Premier Inn hotel as you know what you’re getting from a large brand such as that and saw one in the Harrow area. Bizarrely though, every time I searched for the Harrow London Premier Inn on Hotels.com, it would say there were no vacancies so I went directly to the Premier Inn website. When there it said there were vacancies so I thought I’d give it a go.
London Harrow Premier Inn Review
I and a friend decided we wanted to attend the NFL UK Live event on the Saturday of the Ravens/Jaguars game which started at midday at the Landmark Hotel, Marylebone and so we had to set off quite early to make sure we got to the hotel and then on to the show in time. The check-in at the hotel is the usual 2pm but we had to be there way before then to get to Marylebone. After the 2(ish) hour drive to the hotel, I was pleased to see that the hotel had a large car park with plenty of free spaces even though not everyone had checked out yet.
My plan was to park up and ask at reception if we could leave the car there and return later to check-in. When I ask this, the receptionist was more than happy for us to do so after checking that we did indeed have a reservation. She gave us a ticket to display on the dash of the car to prove we were guests at the hotel and entitled to a parking space.
Obviously, with me driving to the hotel a car park is essential in my opinion. Some hotels say they have parking available but it’s either limited or on-street, meaning you have to sort that aspect of your stay for yourself – I steer clear of those hotels.
With the Harrow London Premier Inn, there is always the option of the pay-and-display in their car park should things not work out as well as they did for us – I can’t imagine they wouldn’t, though, to be honest.
That image reminds me, there’s plenty of visible security cameras around the car park as well which was another plus in my book.
The reception area is nice and spacious and normally well staffed. I must admit, though, that on check-out we were left standing at the counter for quite a while along with some others as there was no staff around and the door into the back office was shut. In the past, at other hotels, I’ve put the room key in a box on the counter and left as I’d paid upfront for everything and knew I had nothing else to pay, but that wasn’t an option here.
The check-in process was very quick and easy once we came back from Marylebone as I’d used their online early check-in process the day before which means you arrive, get given the talk about breakfast times etc., get handed your key and off you go, no messing with filling in details at the desk – everyone’s a winner.
If you do use the early check-in online form and have booked breakfast, don’t worry too much if it states the wrong days that you’ve booked them. I booked breakfasts for the Sunday and Monday mornings but after early check-in, it stated I had them on the Saturday and the Sunday – we weren’t even there for the Saturday morning. I mentioned this at reception during check-in and she said, “Don’t worry, it always does that.” It turns out she was right as we had no issues on either morning.
I’d booked a twin room because I went with a friend but we ain’t that friendly and what we got was a double bed and a single bed arrangement. This wasn’t a surprise as it had been stated on booking that this was what we’d get. It looks like they might just put the single bed into a double room to create the twin setup.
The bathroom is decent and big enough to get yourself ready for the day and there’s a big old mirror in there that’s well lit.
I don’t really know what else to say about a bathroom really. There’s the shower over the bath setup and with the shower kicking out a good spray of water which is more than hot enough. There’s also enough towels for two people with one large and one smaller towel each. The bathroom we had didn’t show any signs of age and was clean with no signs of mould etc.
There’s also a soap dispenser by the sink and a hair/body wash dispenser by the bath so don’t worry if you forget to bring your own.
As I mentioned earlier, the location of the hotel is perfect, in my opinion, for the NFL London games played at Wembley Stadium. It’s far enough away from the centre of London to miss a lot of the traffic and I didn’t have to use the North Circular, which is a bonus. It’s also perfectly positioned for access to two tube stations. The closest is Kenton station which is on the Bakerloo line and perfect for your stay if you’re heading into Central London. The Bakerloo line has Baker Street station on it which is a major one with many main lines running through it meaning getting to any of the tourist areas of London is easy.
On game day, all you have to do is walk a little further to the Northwick Park station which is on the Metropolitan line and two stops away from Wembley Park which is at the start of the Wembley Way.
Premier Inn London Harrow
Kenton Tube Station - Bakerloo Line
Northwick Park Tube Station - Metropolitan Line
The Kenton station is pretty much opposite the hotel and the Northwick Park station is roughly a 5-10 minute walk which is quite nice after an eat all you want buffet style full English breakfast.
If you look closely at the map above, you’ll see that the Kenton station line runs past the hotel. If this line were just for the tube trains it wouldn’t be too bad but, it’s not just for the tube trains. It would be remiss of me not to mention that the Virgin Trains high-speed trains go hammering past the hotel on these lines and they’ve picked up speed by the time they reach the hotel. Not only are they noisy as they go past but they are on the closest lines to the hotel and if, like us, you’re put in a room on that side of the hotel you’re likely to feel your bed sway from side to side slightly every time one goes past. I”m intrigued to know what this impact is having on the building.
The windows are double-glazed and keep out most of the noise but I often find these hotels to be slightly too warm and so sleep with the window open slightly. The volume of train traffic does reduce massively during the night so sleeping isn’t difficult, but if you’re looking at getting an early night or a nice lay-in then I’d be asking for a room away from the train track.
The breakfast is served from 7am-11am on the weekends and 6:30am-10:30am on weekdays and consists of the usual setup.
There are cereals in dispensers, on a table alongside the teas and coffees as well as fruits, yoghurts and fruit juices. Opposite them, there are the toast-making facilities but I never bother with them as I find they take too long and I just want to get stuck into the bacon, egg and sausage.
Just around the corner from all these items is where you’ll find the hot foods. During our stay, there was the usual available of; sausage, fried egg, scrambled egg, hash browns, bacon, beans, mushrooms etc.
The breakfast costs £8.99 and is a buffet style meaning you can eat as much or as little as you like. I like to get my moneys-worth and set myself up for the day 😉
There’s a huge bar area in the front pub section of the hotel as the hotel is on the back of the Travellers Rest Beefeater pub. We never actually used it but you go through it to get to the restaurant area for your breakfast. I’m not sure if they show NFL games on the screens here but I’ll ask next time I’m staying there – which will be in a couple of weeks as we’ve decided to stay there again for the LA Rams v Arizona Cardinals game at Twickenham so that I can test it out for getting all the way to that stadium from there.
These are going to change depending on when you want to go so you’re best to visit the Premier Inn website directly to find out the exact price for when you’re planning your visit.
Our stay was for two nights and check-in was from 2pm and check-out was before 12:30pm (I think. I know it was either 12 or 12:30, anyway).
The Saturday night cost us £81.00 and the Sunday night cost us £67.00 with two breakfasts each of the two mornings costing us £8.99 each. The grand total of our bill came to £183.96, which was a good price in my opinion between two of us considering the all-you-can-eat breakfast and location to tube stations. Yes, the closeness of the train track to some of the rooms could put people off but it didn’t bother us too much when the window was shut.
Hotel % Grades
Just because I can, I think I’ll give a general grade for a few areas of the hotel and an overall grade after each of my stays for the NFL London games. So, let’s get started with this one.
- Room 70%
- Location 80%
- Food 85%
- Staff 80%
- Overall 80%
The room would have got a higher grade had it not been for the train track outside the window but inside it was nice and clean with easily enough space for two people. I would have preferred more tea and coffee-making facilities but I’m sure we could have asked for more at reception if I’d been that bothered.
The location got an 80% grade as it is ideal for Wembley Stadium and good for Central London but the Bakerloo line journey to Central London can seem to take ages. This is, perhaps, because you’re on the same train all the way from the tourist areas of London back to the Kenton station which, actually, is a good thing for many as it means no messing about at other stations swapping trains.
The food was good with a good variety and being an all-you-can-eat buffet is always going to be a winner with us!
The staff were friendly and professional and would have scored higher if not for the fact that we had to wait longer than I would have liked on check-out due to the reception desk not being attended. 80% is still a very good grade, though.
Overall, the hotel is good, the biggest issue we had was definitely the closeness of the train lines. Had it not been for that, it would have scored even higher.Don’t get me wrong, it’s obviously not posh with shining decor or anything like that but I’m assuming most NFL London fans are just looking for somewhere to lay their heads and get a bit of kip and a decent breakfast in the morning just as I am.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s obviously not posh with a shiny, polished decor or anything like that, but I’m assuming most NFL London fans are just looking for somewhere to lay their heads and get a bit of kip and a decent breakfast in the morning just as I am. That’s how these hotel reviews will be graded.