Areas of London

Jul 17th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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Areas of London

Ok - I know Fodors people aren't ones who normally stay in hostels, but I'm more interested in information on the areas I've listed below. Which of these areas would be best for central location, tube access, restaurants, etc.?

Holland House (located on/in Holland Walk - Kensington)

St. Pauls located on Carter Lane (EC4V 5AB - don't know what that means!)

St. Pancras, located on Euston Street (NW1 2QS)

Ace Hotel in West Kensington.

I also have info that Westminster and Mayfair-Soho are to be good zones if bidding on Priceline.

Any feedback on these areas would be greatly appreciated.

jill_h is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 05:57 PM
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TTT - please help.
jill_h is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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My best suggestion is to check out winning bids on, then make a priceline bid. Another good area for bidding is Bloomsbury. I got the 4* Thistle Marble Arch for $60/night plus taxes. It was a lovely hotel in a fine area of town.
P_M is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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If you're choosing a hostel for price only then I'd definitely try priceline...I got a great rate through them as well...but I lived through college and hostels are a lot of fun! first I would go to and check the reviews on the hostels you mentioned...from my memory and research I would go with the Holland Park one over the others...possibly the Kensington one but it would depend on which tube it were near...Gloucester would be fine...Earls Court..a little more common.

Good luck!
ma23peas is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 06:59 PM
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The six letters and numbers you reference are the postal code (zip code) of the hostel. I have been told that unlike US zip codes, UK postal codes are specific to buildings. Not sure I believe each building has its own code, but taxis can get very close if you only give them the postal code.

Holland House is realtively near the Notting Hill tube station. I'm not sure what kinds of restaraunts are in the Notting Hill area. The history of the building is pretty neat and I believe it was renovated in the last 10 years. Otherwise, it's not near very many sites.

I am assuming the St. Pancras hostel is near St. Pancras Rail station. If so, that might be your best bet. It is near several tube stations, the University of London and the Royal Academy of Drama are nearby so there is plenty for students to do there.

St. Pauls is near St. Pauls Cathedral in the City. Good if you want to see a lot of the City sites.

Is the Earl's Court Hostel open yet? They had a fire recently and were closed last I heard. That is also a good place for students and to meet Australians.
GBbabe is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 07:48 PM
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I'm wondering if the one by St. Pauls is where my neice stayed for a time when she was looking for roommates and a flat. If it is..I mean I'm wondering just how many can there be in that vicinity?...anyway, it was OK. Try to check them out before you pay and keep good track of your belongings. My neice and her friend were looking for hostels and found one, paid, and upon further examination, dedided they didn't like it. Dirty place, creepy neices opinion. The guy at the desk didn't want to refund their money. Mind you, they hadn't unpacked, nothing. Money was very tight so this situation was quite traumatic. Her friend's mother is married to a Brit and lives in Essex and they called her and somehow the "dad" put some pressure to bare and got them MOST of their money back. So, even if you make a reservation, be sure to take a look before you dedice to stay. Anyway, the hostel my St. Pauls turned out to be pretty good, and a very good location.
crefloors is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 08:31 PM
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Thanks everyone!

Gbabe - Earl's Court won't upon until September.
jill_h is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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St. Pancras hostel is right across from the British Library. This is pretty near Kings Cross, which some people don't like, but I find this particular neighborhood convenient and pleasant. Of the four hostels you listed, I'd choose this one. Reviews are very good.

The St. Paul's hostel has good reviews, but is located in an area that's rather dead at night (right across from St. Paul's - I think it used to be their chorister residence).
WillTravel is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 10:11 PM
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It is over 30 years since I last stayed in a hostel - but I do know a little bit about some on your list.

One thing you do need too know - Good London hostels book up pretty far ahead - and bad London hostels are awfully bad.

so a few tid bits:

Holland House is in a really upscale neighborhood. It is in the middle of the park so a bit of a hike to a tube station. Don't think I'd want to walk across the park by myself late at night.

St Pancras is a pretty new facility, in a busy, tacky neighborhood. Very convenient to the stationsof course - but I personally wouldn't stay there.

St Pauls is really close to the cathedral. It is primarily a business area so pretty quiet on weekends.

I don't know anything about the Ace - but it is out beyond Earls Court/Olympia between Barons Court and W. Kens tube stations. Not that convenient an area.
janisj is offline  
Jul 18th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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I'm not familiar with actual hotels you listed, but can give you some colours on neighbourhoods.

Holland Walk would be closer to Holland Park than Kensington proper. Convenient, some good cafes nearby, generally nice residential areas.

St Paul: close to City attractions (Tower of London, St. Paul), but limited restaurants for the evenings, VERY limited shops on weekends.

St Panc: could be quite noisy. No character. Like staying very close to Penn Station or Port Authority Terminal (if you were in NY).

Not really familiar with West Ken, which is a few stops further from South Ken.

On postal codes, EC means East Central, NW means North West. Should give you a general sense of direction.
W9London is offline  
Jul 18th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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On postcodes... the first 2/3 letter/number sequence refers to the area, e.g. EC4 is an area in the City, NW1 is classed as Camden, W9 above obviously lives in Maida Vale ;-)

The last 3 letters/numbers place your address much more precisely - e.g. to a single building or small row of houses. Handily, you can find the exact place of these hostels by putting the postcode into

It isn't true that a taxi driver can pinpoint your exact address with a postcode - he'd need a SatNav just to get the building, and a house/flat number - but if you mention the first half of the postcode he'll certainly understand which area you're talking about. For instance, when I book a taxi, I'll say that I want a car to go to NW6. I give him more precise address details when he picks me up. Capiche?
Kate is offline  
Jul 18th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for all your input. I'll pass this info on to my son.
jill_h is offline  
Jul 18th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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Just to chip in a bit more about taxis - just give them the address and they will know where it is. London taxi drivers are the best I have come across - not surprising given the studying they need to get a license - more difficult than an undergrad IMHO
wombat7 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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...but if you can afford to take a fully licensed black taxi, you're not going to be in the market for hostel beds.

Knowledge (especially The Knowledge) comes at a price.
flanneruk is offline  
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