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Iconic London hotel

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I am planning my 7th trip to London next spring. While on previous trips I have stayed at some very nice hotels (Waldorf Aldwych, Sheraton Park Lane, Abbey Court) as well as some just fine ones, I dont' think I'll be going back many more times so I want the hotel to be part of the experience this time. I've dreamed of staying at Hotel 41 and plan to book 2 nights there. I have 2-3 nights left for another hotel. I could do a very nice 4 star for about $180 - or one of the top hotels for between $350.400/night. Even the Ritz is $350! Does anyone have personal experience at one of these iconic London hotels? I like modern in a hosue but not in a hotel -- I prefer old world, 'palace style' . I have been looking at the Connaught, Claridges, the Ritz, Amersand, Franklin, Mayfair, as well as some in the $180 range like Royal Horseguards and Rebens at the Palace. While I like elegant -= I do not want 'stuffy' where the atmosphere is only for the very rich (which I'm not).

I plan to do some thigns I haven't done - like the British Library Treasure's Room, Portobello Road, will probably hit the V & A and two day trips to York and Canterbury perhaps. I will probably be solo but may invite a friend who hasnt' been there - which means a whirlwind day of the typical tourist sites for her.

The Savoy or Browns have also been a 'dream' but those run into the $450/night range -

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