I recently stayed at base2stay (S. Kensington/Earls Court area) for 10 nights. I was out and about every day and a few evenings, and usually was ready to relax and go to sleep by the time I got back to my room.
As much as I like base2stay - and I really do! - it does lack a lobby or any kind of residents' or communal sitting room. There's a bench in the small and busy reception area, and another backless bench at the top of the first flight of stairs, but neither is in any kind of area it would be comfortable to sit in. There were a couple of times when I wished they had such an area. I wanted to sit and read and write postcards and notes, but not in my room. I ended up down the street at a Starbucks, but that would not have been my first choice.
I've just booked my flights for a week in London next March. I'm considering base2stay again, and also looking at the Darlington Hyde Park. The Darlington has a communal sitting room, and I like the idea of being able to sit there with a book and a cuppa, if the weather isn't pretty and I have an hour or two to kill.
I've read the TA reviews and priced the rooms at the Darlington, and although I may go back to base2stay, I keep thinking about having a place to sit down other than my hotel room.
Any comments on the Darlington in general, and whether having a sitting area in one's hotel is of any use, would be welcome.