A/C in London in the summer?

Mar 26th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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A/C in London in the summer?

Hi, I'm looking for a hotel or B&B for a family of 4 for 4 or 5 nights in July. Should I be obsessing over finding a place with air conditioning or can we live without it in London? We're willing to spend up to $300 or $350 US dollars.

iluv2trvl is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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I'd say greater than 90% of the time, it would be fine without AC, some small percentage AC would make things somewhat easier, and a very small percentage chance that your stay will be unbearable without it.

I would suggest bidding for two rooms on Priceline, for a 4* hotel, and then you'd not only get a good deal, you'd almost certainly get an air-conditioned hotel too. You can see other posts about Priceline here and at www.betterbidding.com .
WillTravel is online now  
Mar 26th, 2008, 05:14 PM
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It depends on your tolerance for heat. And for street noise.

London can be coolish or warmish or downright hot in the summer. And if you plan on keeping windows open to stay cool be aware that cities have a reasonable amount of street noise at night.

I would never reserve a hotel without AC in the summer.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 01:27 AM
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You'll probably have to look at hotels - I've never heard of a B&B with air-con.
nona1 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 01:29 AM
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Hi iL,

I have been to London 4 times.

It was always "unseasonably warm".

One Sept it was in the 90's F.

ira is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 02:25 AM
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Good question...what do the locals do? You will spend very little time in your hotel room. Consider spending the money on a light weight wardrobe.
GSteed is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 04:29 AM
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The locals don't have AC in their homes, unless you are talking about the Sultan of Brunei and so on They open windows. So if street noise is a problem for you, maybe you should concentrate instead on finding a hotel in a quiet location ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 04:38 AM
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You would be obsessing.

I would hate to think you missed out on a great B&B or Hotel because it didn't have A/C

Living in the UK I have never considered Air Conditioning when looking for somewhere to stay and it has never entered my mind to ask if the room has it. It's simply not necessary as WillTravel says for 95% of the year although the other 5% of the time you wish you did.

I am assuming (might be wrong) you live in a hotter climate than UK and your house has Air Conditioning and hence the basis of your question but in the UK most homes do not have A/C until the hot weather (a week or two) where people rush out to buy or hire an A/C unit. Being a tightfisted Yorkshireman I just open a window and moan about the heat.

I would suggest you find a B&B or Hotel which ticks all your other requirements and then if it has A/C its a bonus.

PS - Please don't blame me if you pick the two hottest weeks of the year though (LOL)
TeddG is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 04:40 AM
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Didn't see Carolines response whilst typing but pretty much on the same wavelength.
TeddG is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 04:44 AM
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How does it go...it's not the heat it's the humidity...even on a day that's not really hot, my body is conditoned so that I feel uncomfortble many times in London even with the temperatures a pretty moderate 25 especially if my room faces the sun and I am there say at 1630 getting ready for an exciting night out....but you learn to survive.

I will say, however, the tube can become exceedingly uncomfortable for the same reason during the summer...in NYC they figured out a way to air condition all subway cars during the summer...even the very narrow what we now call division A or the numbered lines (what old timers refer to as the IRT) after for years telling us it was logistically impossible.

Tfl says the same thing but where there's a will there's a way...the only questions are cost and whether it's really necessary....
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 05:08 AM
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Tedd, I lived in London for 10 years & never heard of anyone even renting an AC unit !?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 05:17 AM
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It depends how used to air-con the OP is, most British people would not bother one way or the other about air-con but were not habitual air-con users.

The OP needs to be self-aware about their own 'need' for air-con and how used to having it they are.
Pete_R is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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I grew up in England back when temps over 75F caused headlines about the heat wave, lol. But I was in London in July of '06 (I now live in the US) and I think the temps were over 90F, and the headlines were about the danger of dying from the heat if a tube train broke down! I could really have used AC that time - or at least a fan. The odds are that it won't be that hot, but if you're looking for a B&B ask them if they have fans.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 28th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback as always!
iluv2trvl is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 01:44 AM
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I've only been to London once, and it was during a heatwave (July '05). One day it was 96 F, and I was very glad to go back to my hotel room which had wonderful A/C. I stayed at the Chesterfield in Mayfair.

But then I'm a person with very low tolerance for heat. Anything above 80 F and I'm uncomfortable.

luveurop is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 02:09 AM
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I do live in London. I use a table fan for about 2 weeks a year. And thats probably because my bedroom isn't well ventilated.

Other than that, even when the days get hot (we can only live in hope), the nights cool down.
ssachida is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 02:28 AM
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I think you'rte getting confusing information here.

Most of us live in houses that were designed for natural ventilation (ie, if it's hot, oopen the window). Air conditioning is a non-issue for 95% of high summer days or nights (ie all but the odd day or two every couple of years), and that's why none of us bother with it. B+B's tend to be in ordinaryish houses - and tend to be in the relatively leafy suburbs

BUT most hotels aren't like that. Purpose-built hotels aren't designed for natural ventilation - they're also mostly in the centre where the microclimate adds a few extra degrees, and if you're really unlucky other buildings' a/c exhausts add another few degrees of unpleasantness. So the likelihood is that many days from early July to late August will be uncomfortable without a/c in hotels. And such days are getting more common, with global warming and more a/c in adjoining buildings. That's why more asnd more hotels and even city-centre flats are installing a/c

Or it might be chilly. This is London, where weather follows its own rules. But do remember: we're further north than Calagary.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 02:39 AM
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flanner's right on. a couple of summers ago, the hottest topic of conversation at dinner parties(besides britons' usual obsession with what your house is worth) was whether or not you should fit aircon in your house. but last summer, there was no summer and i didn't hear a word about aircon. there are few rules. even if it is not very hot, the air can be very damp and polluted in london. take a shower in a small b&b room and you can make your room's climate rather nasty. aircon humming on low will freshen the air and make you more comfortable. but up to you if you are willing to pay for this added comfort.
walkinaround is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 04:32 AM
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Excellent points flanneruk...and let's top it off with one other thought...

There is something is something in science called the conservation of heat theory...if a/c removes the heat, it has to go somewhere and that of course as noted is out into the air.

Here in NY, it is almost unhead of in this day and age to buy a car without a/c....in the summer, almost everybody is in their cars (luckily for the time being the lord mayor oops the mayor, the millionaire Mr. Bloomberg is having a little difficulty passing his congestion charge modeled after your own Ken the Red) with the a/c running full blast...even when it's only 25 or so...don't ypu think that makes mid town Manhattan somewhat hotter than the posted temps?

And while I marvel at the fact that every single subway car in our underground has fully functional a/c during the summer months, it seems to me that because of this (believe me I'm not complaining about this..I've been on London tube where it has been unbearable), the stations are much warmer than they used to be.

Still, as I said earlier in the thread, as you noted, I wish I could afford to stay at a hotel with a/c so aclimated my body is to it...but with the weak USD (although it hasn't tanked all that much against the GBP), cheap hotels run $120/night sans a/c..sometimes you have to make some concessions to save a buck or quid or two.
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2008, 05:30 AM
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I think the way to think about it is: how miserable will you be if it is really hot and you don't have AC?

I find that my tolerance for being hot and tired goes way down when I'm traveling - that is, at home when the weather is hot I can adjust my activities accordingly: stay inside, reduce my activity level, etc. But when traveling, you obviously want to be out and about. Having a really comfortable place temperature-wise to rest and re-group is very important to me in those circumstances. (For my priorities, I'd rather stay in a more basic accommodation with AC than a more upscale one without. So just think about what YOUR priorities are.)

P.S. When I was in London in July 2006, it was 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
NorCalif is offline  

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