3-days in London - Where to Stay?

Jan 19th, 2006, 06:12 AM
  #1  
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3-days in London - Where to Stay?

We will be spending three days in London in March - our first trip there.

Since our time will be short, we would like to stay in central London (preferably a B&B) somewhere that is reasonably priced. Research has just left me more confused.

I just had knee surgery, so staying somewhere that will require an enormous amount of walking to get to and from transportation may be difficult and uncomfortable. We do NOT plan to rent a car but take advantage of the bus/tube system.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
Globerunner09 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 07:08 AM
  #2  
 
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It doesn't matter.

There is a bus line on almost every street, and with a little planning, you can get virtually anywhere else with one or two changes (and no walking).

We usually use the Tube about once per visit to London and do the rest of our travel on a 7-day Bus Pass.

I put some bus lore here that you may find useful:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34739639
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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I don't know what your definition of reasonable-for-London is, but I'll suggest the Arran House Hotel (www.london-hotel.co.uk). Here is how the Lonely Planet London Guidebook describes it: "This welcoming place is in the heart of literary Bloomsbury and provides excellent value for the location. Lodgings range from the most basic dormitory-style accomodation to bright and cosy well-furnishd doubles with bathrooms, although the atmosphere never feels like anything but a small and welcoming hotel." The hotel is on Gower Street which has several bus lines and it is about six blocks from the Goodge Street tube station.
TimS is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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MaureenB
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Also try londontown.com for an easy website to choose and reserve lodging by location and price in London. We found a nice B&B, the Hyde Park Radnor Hotel, from them for last June. It's a short walk to Paddington, also a short walk the other direction to Hyde Park, in a very nice residential neighborhood. The 'family room' was quite small, but the hotel is very clean and baths newly renovated. A full English breakfast was included.
In fact, here's my trip report from London, for our family of four last June:
"We liked the Hyde Park Radnor Hotel very much. Nice simple breakfast included eggs with ham plus cold cereals, juice, coffee, etc.. VERY small room and bath, though, for a quad family room. But a very clean and nicely kept place. Location very safe, and close to Paddington tube. Beautiful residential neighborhood to stroll around in.

We were getting a very late start on dinner one night, and knew the kitchens were closing at that late hour, so we opted to simply walk the pretty neighborhood by our hotel. We found the excellent Indian restaurant down the street from the Hyde Park Radnor, the “Noorjahan 2” at 26 Sussex Place. I had an amazing prawn dish with shrimp so big you'd think they were lobster tails, in this incredible sauce. (And this from someone who thought she didn’t like Indian food!)

Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower was interesting and memorable. (Tickets are limited, but free if you inquire by mail in advance.)

Thames River cruise at night with Circular Cruise was very pretty to see the city lit up.

Great lunch at a restaurant across the street from Parliament, St. Stephans Tavern If you stand at the main street facing the Parliament, it’s on the left, across the street, on the first corner down. Very nice, traditional English atmosphere-- wood and leaded glass . Good sandwiches. Minimum age is 18, but they let in our 17 year old son anyway.

Also a nice lunch near the Hyde Park Radnor Hotel, at Sawyers Arms, 8-9 London Street. Nothing really special, but good sandwiches, good value, cute atmosphere and good service.

Took the tube one evening to see “Abbey Road” and take our corny pictures crossing it. Then we took the tube to Hampstead for dinner. Found the La Gaffe Italian restaurant there, which was very good. Barely caught the last tube into Paddington at midnight and back to our hotel. Very fun evening.

Toured Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. The Banqueting House was closed, so we unfortunately missed seeing the Rubens ceiling.

Saw the queen’s royal guards on horseback, parading from Hyde Park with canons in tow, to give the Salute to the Crown on June 2 (which we missed because we had a train to catch). Saw royal marching band practicing, too, on the parade grounds near Buckingham Palace the afternoon before.

Our daughter liked shopping on Oxford Street, at TopShop, Mango and Zara mostly. Our son discovered the Apple Store there, too. We adults thought Oxford Circus way too crowded for our tastes.

Used the tube and city buses extensively. Very easy to figure out and get around."

Enjoy planning your trip and seein London!
 
Jan 19th, 2006, 08:09 AM
  #5  
 
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If you are limited to short walks and limited climbing, you'll likely want to re-think your B&B request. Many B&Bs in London will not have elevators. You will be better off getting a "real" hotel w/ a front desk, bellman, concierege. They can wrestle your bags for you, and hail cabs when you don't want to deal w/ buses/tube.

What is your budget? "Reasonably priced" means different things to different people. If you use Priceline you can get a 4 star full service hotel for less than almost any B&B in London. Look at biddingfortravel.com. It will give you bidding strategies, describe the hotels in each PL zone, and show the prices paid recently for them.

BTW - if you can't walk/climb much you should avoid the tube pretty much altogether. Buses are easier by far. Almost every tube journey involves looooong walks to/from the platforms and at least some stairs.
janisj is online now  
Jan 19th, 2006, 01:55 PM
  #6  
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Thanks for all the advice. As far as what I consider reasonable, less than $180 a night would be nice. Less than $130 a night would be even better. How long are the walks to and from the tube? What I would consider excessive would be a mile or two with lots and lots of stairs.
Globerunner09 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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yk
 
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You'd be better off taking the bus. A lot of tube stations require a fair amount of walking, esp if you're changing lines, and definitely lots of stairs. Very few stations have elevators or escalators.

I also agree with janis' suggestion of staying at a hotel. Most B&B's do not have elevators, and you'll have to climb up narrow staircase to get to your room.

A budget of $130-$180 should get you a 4* hotel in Mayfair/Soho if you bid via Priceline.
yk is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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MaureenB
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FYI, Hyde Park Radnor does have an elevator.
 
Jan 19th, 2006, 11:29 PM
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London is a city made for walking. If yu have difficultly walking then you are missing a large part of what London can provide. Personally I'd wait until you are fitter to enjoy London properly.

BTW how will flying affect your knee?
alanRow is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 04:23 AM
  #10  
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Perhaps I should not have mentioned my knee Our trip is two months away, so I do not anticipate any problems. However, I DO try to avoid an excessive amount of stair-climbing. I walk for exercise, so just simple, plain walking won't be an issue.

We want to stay in an area that will allow us easy access to transportation because we won't have a rental car. We would also like a place that is centrally located so that we can see as much as possible in three days. We are considering hotels rather than B&Bs, so I still solicit advice for places to stay.

Thank you for your quick replies.
Globerunner09 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 04:31 AM
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Look at biddingfortravel.com to find out how to game the Priceline system. For the past few months, people have been getting the Thistle Marble Arch on PL for dirt.

Within three minutes of the hotel, there are bus stops serving 21 bus lines that go all over the city. You can see the layout at

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/buses/spiders/pdf/marble-arch.pdf

On the map, the Thistle is around the corner to the north of bus stop N. Buses on the 11 lines coming off the right side of the center block board at K and L. The #15 alone goes past about 80% of the most famous sights in town. And the #148 (from R goes past most of the other 20%.

Just find a good hotel value and the transportation situation will take care of itself. Trust me.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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"We want to stay in an area that will allow us easy access to transportation because we won't have a rental car"

Maybe you'll want to study up about London a tad more. It seems your pre-conceptions are off a bit.

First of all - virtually every B&B/hotel/flat/shop/theatre/tourist attraction is w/i easy walking distance of publ;ic transport. There are a few exceptions but not any you'll likely hit during a short visit. So don't worry about transit.

And even mentioning a rental car -- You would have a much tougher time if you did rent a car. So that is a non issue. People simply don't hire cars to see London. Driving is difficult, parking is tough and VERY expensive.
janisj is online now  
Jan 20th, 2006, 06:56 AM
  #13  
 
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I did Priceline and got the Cumberland Hotel for 90$(yes dollars!). Did not think I would get such a nice place. As Robespierre said, do you for homwork before doing Priceline!
Judyrem is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 02:00 PM
  #14  
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I looked at the web site biddingfortravel. I am not familiar with Priceline other than the commercials I've seen on TV. It all sounds very confusing to me. But I will continue to do research.
Globerunner09 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Try BetterBidding.com . It's easier to understand for many, as explained there.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 20th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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Also, take a look at the explanations here:
http://www.leighwitchel.com/blog/arc...vel/priceline/
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 04:24 PM
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Bidding on Priceline is out of the question. We are not in a position to make a reservation that does not allow any changes, cancellations, or refunds. So....we are back to trying to find a "reasonable" place to stay in central London. Again, if there are places you have stayed that you believe were a good value for the location, please let me know. Thanks.
Globerunner09 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 04:28 PM
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I stayed at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury on a Priceline stay, but I think it's good for what you want even at "regular" prices. Very convenient to everything and a nice hotel. But even then, the best rates from the web site are prepaid. It's very close to numerous buses, and to a central tube station on the Piccadilly Line.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 05:03 PM
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Since you're back to looking for something "reasonable," I'll re-issue my suggestion for the Arran House Hotel (www.london-hotel.co.uk). Did you check their Web site? Rates include a full English breakfast and you also get kitchen privileges.
TimS is offline  
Jan 21st, 2006, 05:39 PM
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Hi, sorry your leg is in trouble, bit of a shame as London is worth walking.
What do you mean by reasonable?
My sister recently visited me in London & stayed at The Beaufort in Knightsbridge. It was about £150 per night, but free champagne & afternoon tea made that very pleasant. They have a very noce room on the ground floor, are around the corner from Harrods & Knightsbridge tube station.
DO NOT HIRE A CAR. Its a ridiculous way to get around and just moving in central london means you have to pay an £8 charge, parking averages £35 per day & petrol is about twice US prices. Get a black cab, there are lots, it will work out cheaper & get you wherever you want to go without getting lost.
The cheapest 'ok' place I can think of is 10 Manchester Street - its a B&B near Bond Street Tube (OXford Street) at around £50.


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