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27 hours in London - hotel and tube suggestions?

27 hours in London - hotel and tube suggestions?

Old Sep 13th, 2009, 05:26 AM
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27 hours in London - hotel and tube suggestions?

Hi all,

On our way back to the US from our stay in Greece, we arrive at LHR at 11:30 AM and depart the next day from LHR at 2:30 PM. Mr. Fan and I have never been to London. This is the tail end of our 25th Wedding Anniversary trip, so I will be inclined to spend a bit more for this last night than my normal budget in Europe. I'd like to keep the hotel under £200, though.

Certainly we could stay at a very nice hotel near LHR and just take the tube or heathrow express in for the afternoon. But since our flight out is a bit later on a Saturday, I think I'd prefer to stay in town.

So, I've gleaned that I can either take the Heathrow Express to Paddington or take the Picadilly line to a whole host of stations. The question is, which one? The date will be October 2, and we travel carry on only.

I am inclined to use Hotwire or Priceline (and I still may) but two things hold me back. First, I have tried to figure out which 'zones' I should bid but the maps aren't great and I'm having trouble with that. Second, Mr. Fan and I generally prefer hotels in unique, older buildings as opposed to newer, shiny, tall ones. But perhaps after our cave house studio in Santorini , a nice shiny new hotel would be welcome!

We don't have alot of grand aspirations for sightseeing in this brief period. I'm not even too certain what's doable. Perhaps a walk past Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, a glimpse at the outside of St. Paul's or Parliament? But no absolutes! I didn't do alot of planning, as this is not the main focus of our trip.

So, sorry this was long but, can you suggest which tube stop to concentrate our search near? Or can you suggest a good choice in or near our budget? Or which zone you'd use for Hotwire or Priceline.

As always, many many thanks in advance,
phieaglefan is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2009, 06:00 AM
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If you stay close to Paddington station it will be easy to get back to the airport and also to use the tube. My friends stayed at the Indigo this summer and really liked it. Sorry I don't have more details. I bid on priceline in March and got the Copthorne Tare, it was very spacious, but for a short visit the Indigo is a much better choice.
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Old Sep 13th, 2009, 06:22 AM
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Underground Zone Map

My choice for the v. limited time you have is maybe:

1) Covent Garden [theatre district]. Something like the Covent Garden Hotel [looks a great place if you could get a deal?]. Doorstep to Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, St. Martin in the Fields, pub on the corner, walk down the Mall to the Palace. Come back for dinner in around Covent Garden - back to the hotel. There's always the option of trying to get a deal at a newly renovated chain hotel, but upgrading on the room?

2) Victoria [Buckingham Palace area]. Maybe Rubens At The Palace? You can always catch a Bus to Westminster.

Staying around Paddington Station is great for hotel offers, travel connections etc. but has zip, nada atmosphere.
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Old Sep 13th, 2009, 06:47 AM
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Thanks for the prompt replies. I'll look at Convent Garden stop and also the Indigo.

BargainHunter, I had read about lack of character near Paddington, so while it would be convenient, perhaps not 'special'. But I thought that Victora and Westminster would require a change of lines, ie not on the Picadilly line. Or am I reading the map wrong? (Wouldn't be the first time!) I suppose we could take a cab from the nearest station.

Thanks again. I'll follow up these suggestions.
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Old Sep 13th, 2009, 06:52 AM
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Another option if you want to stay, nearer Westminster etc. There's the Fullers Sanctuary House Hotel which seems to be getting rave reviews, especially if you get one of the deluxe rooms:


The nearest tube is St James's Park [District Line]. However, there's a trick with changing to and from the piccadilly and district line. E.g. from St James's take the District Line that is West bound and will take you to Barons Court station. The station is above ground and all you have to do is literally walk to the other side of the platform to catch a heathrow bound piccadilly train.
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Old Sep 13th, 2009, 07:00 AM
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Yes, you're right both Victoria and Westminster would mean you would have to change trains (although they do run regularly). If you wanted a straight run then staying at a hotel next to the piccadilly line would be your best best.

And thinking about it, to be honest, I wouldn't say staying around Victoria would exactly give you the wow factor either.
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Old Sep 13th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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If it was my anniversary trip -- I wouldn't stay near Paddington for love nor money. It is not near anything except for the HEX to Heathrow and Hyde Park. The HEX is expensive and only gets one to Paddington. To get anywhere else (nicer) you'd still have to take an expensive taxi or the tube so it doesn't really save any time. And the taxi queue at Paddington can be quite long.

I would would go w/ Priceline and try Westminster, Kensington/Knightbridge/Earls Court, or Mayfair/Soho (the best but most expensive and difficult zone to win). If you end up at a hotel on the Piccadilly line, you could take the tube. But for any hotel, a pre-booked car service would be easy and a good deal less expensive than the HEX + a taxi.

Of course you won't be able to select a "cozy" hotel w/ PL -- but you WILL get a huge bargain and be in the center of things.
janisj is online now  
Old Sep 13th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Phieaglefan -
For such a short stay my choice would be to tube it in from LHR on the Picadilly Line and get off at Russell Square. Right next to the tube stop is the famous Hotel Russell (featured in CATS). I am pretty sure you can get a room there in your price range.
For a downmarket hotel but quite acceptable on a tourist 3 star level, is The President Hotel which is in a side street next to the Hotel Russell.
Couldn't be easier for your departure back to Heathrow on the same tube line.
tod is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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My vote is also stay near the Piccadilly line: either in Kensington (lots of PL wins in Kensington zone are near Gloucester Rd tube station); or in Bloomsbury near Russell Sq tube station.
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 04:04 AM
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First of all, thank you all so much. I wasn't able to get back to the computer yesterday as we're having carpet installed today and all is disconnected!

I have been mulling this over, and I believe I'm going to do somewhat of a 180 on this. My goal for this entire trip has been convenience and not 'killing ourselves' even if it means spending a few more dollars (this is NOT generally my nature). In keeping with that theme, I'm debating Janisj's suggestion of a car service.

Now I'm envisioning the ease of stepping into a car and being whisked directly away to a nice priceline/hotwire hotel. Conceivably, the savings using priceline/hotwire would or could nearly pay for the car service and I believe that will seem more luxurious than the 'prettiest' hotel.

I will continue to check all of your specific suggestions, but I think I'll price a car service as well.

Thank you so much! You've been extremely helpful.
I'll report back to let you all know what I did.

phieaglefan is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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I've never used Priceline for London hotels. Too scared. However, I would interested in what the experts have to say. For example, if I were to bid in the Mayfair/Soho 'zone' - is there still a chance of getting lumped with a really bad hotel even when selecting 4 or 5 Star hotels? Also, when bidding in the Kensington/Knightbridge/Earls Court 'zone' -- there's a heck of difference between Knightsbridge and Earls Court? Is there some kind of trick to try and grab the hotels either in Knightsbridge, or hotels near Gloucester Road rather than say 'West' Kensington.

Is there maybe an in depth thread on using Priceline? Thx.
BargainHunter is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2009, 09:28 AM
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I know a car service is easier;however as you have such a limited time in london you want to start your exploring as soon as possible. Using the tube will eliminate all the traffic into london. Although I don't have a favorite hotel I love Kensington, South Kensington area. Have a great trip. Safe travels.
Mo is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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There are certainly no guarantees, but there are 2 websites to check which attempt to help you figure out which hotels are a possibility. Mainly, I use the hotel lists on the site to see which have come up in the past. But there are lengthy discussions on strategy and methodology on these sites.

www.biddingfortravel.com - for priceline
www.betterbidding.com - for hotwire and priceline

The safest situation is where there are only one or two 4 or 5* hotels that tend to come up in an area. You don't have control of area within a 'zone', but you do have control over star rating. That said, it seems as if London's zones are quite large.

Mo, on average, how much longer would a car service take than the tube on a Friday, mid-day? I assumed it would be a bit longer, but less strenuous. Still debating.

Thanks again.
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 03:02 PM
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Would recommend


for your hotel....if you get a car, you're likely to end up getting stuck in traffic....
alihutch is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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Thanks, I guess the tube it is. I actually had found that website and was impressed with the ability to search for hotel rooms near each tube stop. Very helpful.

phieaglefan is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2009, 04:11 PM
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its a great site...just got a serviced apartment for one night in Brighton and was able to search to be near the venue I'm going to....you get some great deals too....
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Thanks phieaglefan for the info sites. I'm always coming back to visit, so next time I think I will give it a go as a test.

Have fun with your trip!
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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We had really good luck with Priceline in Mayfair/Soho for 5* and Hotwire, 3.5* in Bloomsbury/Marble Arch (though that area includes a less desirable neighborhood.) Saved a ton of $, and were very comfortable.

Good luck.
stokebailey is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2009, 03:55 AM
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Do you remember which hotel you got in Mayfair/Soho?

phieaglefan is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2009, 05:33 AM
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Very small yet "Bijou" hotel - Base2Stay - 300meters from earls Court tube.
In the Kensington style garden square as featured in Notting Hill movie. THe rooms are small but well equipped.
Just get on the Piccadilly line at Deathrow and get off at Earls Court.
130 quid a night for a double (approx)
khunwilko is offline  

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