Arran House Hotel - London

Sep 22nd, 2009, 05:08 PM
  #1  
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Arran House Hotel - London

It is never too early to start planning another trip (we got home from Switzerland last month). We are thinking about London and Scotland next August. I am not ready to plan the entire trip right now, but I would like to book a hotel in London, the Arran House Hotel on Gower Street in Bloomsbury. There were some postings a couple of years ago about the hotel and it gets good reviews on Trip Advisor, but before I book (there is a small charge for cancelling at any time) I want to make sure the hotel is satisfactory. By the way, we are booking a quad and a double, both with private bathrooms. The daily rate for the quad is 127 pounds and for the double 105. Thanks!
freberta is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Nothing wrong w/ Arran House.

But honestly, I don't see a reason to book a London hotel 11 months out. So much can change between now and then. Needing a quad does limit one's choices a bit, so that is a consideration. But that is a year away and it will cost you to cancel. IMO it is too early to book flights as well. I'd wait for fare sales around the first of the year or a bit later.

Once you have your flights - the first place you'll want to book is any nights in Edinburgh. August is extremely busy w/ all the festivals and the Tattoo so rooms there do book up far ahead - but 11 months is still too early IMO (unless you want to rent a specific apartment)
janisj is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 05:36 PM
  #3  
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We are holding off on booking flights. Open-jaw fares from Washington DC to London and back from Edinburgh run about $1,100 right now. No need to book now. But the cancellation fee for the hotel is only 10 pounds, and I get nervous about letting go of a good deal (the quad room, that is).

My husband wants to play golf at St. Andrews, but as a single he can't book ahead. We are trying to figure out how to do that (I could try to improve my handicap and qualify, but I don't think that is going to happen, even if I play golf every day for the next 11 months!). That will be my next post.

Thanks!
freberta is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 06:02 PM
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He should be able to get on the Old Course -- of course, August is very busy. If playing St Andrews is a "must", what to do is plan on staying 3-5 days in the general St Andrews/Fife area. Each day they run a lottery for the next day's play, and at 5PM you will learn if he was successful in the lottery. Since there is no play on Sundays, the lottery for Monday is done on Saturday.

Then if he isn't successful, he can go to the course in the AM and talk to the starter. He will put singles in w/ other twosomes and threesomes.

So say, w/ 3 full days in Fife, he'd have 6 chances to get on (3 lotteries and 3 through the starter). More than likely, being a single, he will be successful. In fact - it will be easier if he is alone than w/ you. Getting 2 on is harder than just one. No 100% guarantee of course - being August. But every time I've taken friends to St Andrews (besides the ones who pre-booked) they managed to get on. Of course, each time we were in the area a full week in holiday cottages, so there were more chances. But w/ a few days he probably can.
janisj is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 06:16 PM
  #5  
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Janisj -- thank you so much for your tips on St. Andrews. We were thinking about spending 3 nights in the St. Andrews area, devoting 1 or 2 days to golf (for the rest of us, all non-golfers, we would find something to do around St. Andrews) and another day to go to Edinburgh (about 50 miles away?). I last was in Edinburgh in 1977 for a few days, and really don't remember much except an excursion to Perth and Burnt Island (recommended to us as a resort by an employee at the rail station). But I am in no hurry to book anything yet -- probably will start in earnest at the beginning of next year.
freberta is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 06:46 PM
  #6  
 
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Oh - there is enough around there to fill weeks let alone days.

• St Andrews,
• All the Fife fishing villages (Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, etc)
• Boat trip out to the Isle of May (Sea birds - including PUFFINS , three abandoned lighthouses). The small boats leave from Anstruther harbor
• Falkland Palace/gardens
• Kellie Castle/Garden
• Close enough for a day trip - Glamis Castle (and Carnoustie if your husband is a true masochist when it comes to golf )
• Perth/Scone Palace
• Castle Campbell (amazing ruin at the top of a steep glen)
• Up the coast to Dunnottar Castle - arguably the most dramatic site on the east coast.

and lots more

Plus farther on to Edinburgh, Stirling etc etc.

If it fits in your plans - you might want to spend a full week in the area and rent a cottage somewhere in Fife. Use it a s a base to see everything from Dunnottar/Crathes Castles to Edinburgh. And lots and LOTS of golf courses.
janisj is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 08:27 PM
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Our plan right now is 3 nights in London, 2 nights in Chipping Campden, 1 night somewhere between Chipping Campden and Edinburgh/St. Andrews, 3 nights near St. Andrews, and 1 night undecided, for a total of 10 nights. Our last night, the 11th night, will be spent near the Edinburgh airport.

I have never been big on the idea of renting a cottage or an apartment for short or long (6 nights) stays. I like hotels, inns, B&B's, etc. We also like to travel cheap, so the places we stay in don't break the bank. We never go back to our room once we leave in the morning (an exception was this summer, when we finished our hike down the Eiger Trail in the early afternoon and hung around Berghaus Alpiglen for the rest of the day), and we return late in the evening, after dinner. As long as the hotel is in a safe area and is clean, we are happy. We are not fussy.

Three or 4 nights in St. Andrews/Fife might work for us. I'll do a bit of research and get back. I think I will start a new thread on Scotland tomorrow.

Again, thank you, and I will show this to my husband for his thoughts.
freberta is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2009, 11:27 PM
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Just something to consider - for a group, a cottage would be substantially cheaper than hotel or B&B rooms. In Fife you could get a really nice 3 bdrm house for £75-£100 a night. And a posh, seaside place like this one http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/scotland/SC44.htm for about £120 a night.

You would need to spend a full week in Scotland though since in August fewer places will do short lets.

(Same BTW in London - for less than the £232 a night you'll be spending in London you could get a very nice flat.)
janisj is offline  

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