Best Area to stay in London????

Sep 29th, 2009, 05:11 PM
  #1  
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Best Area to stay in London????

I am traveling to London on Spring Break next April (2nd-10th) with my boyfriend. We are 23 & 25 and are both out of college. We have never been to London. We are looking to do all of the tourist-y things plus shopping, sightseeing, shopping, eating, etc... We want to see everything possible while we are there. I have been checking into Jurys hotels & Ibis hotels, but I'm not sure where the best location is to stay? Heathrow is really cheap, but it is by the airport, which seems kind of far from the center of London? We are budgeting $5000 for the entire trip (flight, hotel, food, spending money). We want to stay as cheap, but as decent as possible; we are not going for the hotel room, but the experiences.

If you have any suggestions, I am open for anything!!
This forum on Fodors is the best, some of you have great advice, I would love to hear it all!

Jessi
jessi8teen is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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You do not want to be out by the airport !
You want to be in London .. My daughter stayed on Great Russell Street, we always stayed in Knightsbridge and Kensington .. Look at the Jury's hotels around Great Russell .. I have no idea what prices are :- )
Scarlett is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Priceline, Priceline, Priceline!

Just about any central neighborhood would be fine (Note - 'central' -- LHR is most definitely not central and you'd spend more money commuting than you'd save by staying out there)

Public transport in London can get you from anywhere to anywhere so don't worry too much about a specific location. Using priceline you can get a true 4 star property for around US$100 a night. If you have not bid PL before - first check out biddingfortravel.com and betterbidding.com Both sites let you see which hotels are being won in which bidding zone.

After studying those 2 sites you can come back here and we can give you some helpful advice for bidding. You cannot pick a specific hotel - but you will get a full service 3.5-4 star place for a fraction of a comparable hotel booked directly. And for less than a lower end 2 star 'tourist class' cheaphotel.
janisj is online now  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:22 PM
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Absolutely do not stay near Heathrow - the hotels are cheap for a reason!
London is generally a pretty expensive place for hotels. We like staying in Mayfair but it is not the cheapest part of town.
When choosing a hotel, look at its relationship to the tube (underground) system. Lots of folks have reported good luck using londontown.com or Priceline, but before using Priceline familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods.
Seamus is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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As you'll be there for more than a few days, you may want to look into a small apartment instead of a traditional hotel room. I'll be back in London in December and have reservations at Castletown House apartments. I can't give personal recommendations for the rooms there yet, but the guys have been great to work with so far and I've only seen rave reviews online. They're a few minutes walk from the West Kensington tube station. An apartment tends to have a bit more space than a hotel room and you can save a bit of money by not eating out for every single snack you want. If nothing else, the kitchen is great for midnight munchies and drinks.

Get familiar with the London transport website: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ . This is one of the best ways to plan time between places. When I was in London before, I stayed in the High Street Kensington area and used the Circle line constantly.

Have fun!
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Yep, Priceline and also Hotwire which you can research on the same websites janisj mentioned.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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Staying around the British Museum is a good bet.
If Vegetarian Food is of interest, check out Mildreds; 45 Lexington St. near Picadilly Circus!
giro is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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I almost always rent apartments -- but even a small studio would cost more than Priceline.

It all depends on how much you want to stretch your budget. I'm assuming your Apr. 2 - 10 includes your travel days - right? If so you will actually need a room for the nights of the 3rd - 9th. Being 7 days you can get a decent studio or 1-bdrm apartment for the region of £550-£750-ish for the week. (of course you could spend 3 times that too) That's approx $900 to $1200 at current exchange rates. Priceline would get you a nice hotel for around $700.

One thing though - to get the best bids you might need to break up a PL bid into 3 and 4 night bits. There would be a tiny chance you'd get different hotels and have to move in the middle of your visit.

If you are willing to spend around $1000 for a flat, then that would be great - but if not, PL would save you quite a bit. A flat would give you much more space, a kitchen and a washer/dryer.

This site has nice 1-bdrm flats on a yacht marina near the Tower of London/Tower Bridge for £660/$1050 during your period.

http://www.hamletuk.com/
janisj is online now  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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Just to add, consider the Grange chain of Hotels. They have two near the British Museum which is a good area. The Morgan Hotel might be worth looking at too.
Staying outside of the city ie. Heathrow, would be a big mistake.
Too long of a ride getting into the city. You might find less expensive hotels near Earls Court which has a very convenient tube stop.
giro is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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The Morgan is really fine - but doubles run £110 a night. That's $175-ish or more than $1200 a week.

My suggestion is to book your flights and then you'll know what your budget for accommodations really is.
janisj is online now  
Sep 29th, 2009, 07:26 PM
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" . . . consider the Grange chain of Hotels. They have two near the British Museum which is a good area"

Actually, the Grange group has 7 or 8 hotels near the British Museum. But most of those will have doubles between about £120 and £150 ($190 - $240) a night.
janisj is online now  
Sep 29th, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Another vote for Priceline. You should be able to get something in the $100-range.

Kensington is usually the cheapest area. The area really isn't that bad, to my mind. Not the most convenient, but not that far out of the way, either. My only complaint is that some of the hotels are barely better than ok - I'm looking at you Copthorne Tara.

Personally, I like to bid on the Bloomsbury-Marble Arch zone. It is usually a bit more and hotels are often not available, but it is a better location, I think. I usually end up at the Novotel St Pancras, which is on the edge of Bloomsbury, but close enough and a nice, modern hotel. Mayfair-Soho and Westminster would also be good zones, but I don't think availability and pricing is as good there.

Go to Biddingfortravel.com to read up on how to bid. I find the savings well worth the effort and uncertainty.
travelgourmet is online now  
Sep 30th, 2009, 12:21 AM
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One more for Priceline. Study the sites recommended. I've done this probably ten times in London, all totally satisfactory.

On Biddingfortravel, you can get help bidding, as long as you study the site and provide all the info requested. I have also done as Janis suggested, when I had to, broken trip down into two parts - for 2 hotels in Bloomsbury and walked form one to the other with rolling suitcase.

The most I paid for a 4* room was $105/night, and I think this is the price of a much lower-level hotel at full price.

On Tripadvisor's forums you may get advice from some younger and lower-budget travellers, so you can compare suggestions.
There are some hostels in London too if that appeals to you more.
Elizabeth is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Leicester Square is a great base for sightseeing. I stayed at the Radisson Eduardian Leicester Square. It's very close to the tube stop and you can walk to several of the West End theatres and Chinatown.
PamEwing is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 02:56 PM
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A couple of suggestions - take a look at www.travelodge.co.uk (though it sounds like Priceline might give you a little fancier room at a better price).

The other is www.yha.org.uk Most London YHA hostels have private rooms and are very reasonably priced, giving you more money to spend elsewhere.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 03:09 PM
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Check out staying at the London School of Economics:


http://www.lsevacations.co.uk/
zeppole is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 03:21 PM
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LSE Top Floor will cost quite a bit more than several of the recommendations above, and some of the other LSE options are only available during the summer break.
janisj is online now  
Oct 1st, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Can the original poster not read or add up numbers and thus compare prices?

I'm under the impression they want to check out for themselves options for well-located but affordable places to stay, considering where they are going? Helpful to have a kitchen and laundry facilities, I would think.

What will you do, janisj, if they don't want to book priceline?
zeppole is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 03:48 PM
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now mystified as to why you would recommend to them to an apartment that costs more than an LSE Top Floor let -- yet jump in to suggest LSE as too expensive relative to -- what?

Bankside House would rent them a double for 7 nights for 580GBP. Northumberland would be less.
zeppole is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:26 AM
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Helpful to have a kitchen and laundry facilities, I would think.

For a 7 day trip? Why?

What will you do, janisj, if they don't want to book priceline?

About the same that you will do if they don't want to book LSE, I suspect.

This isn't to say that the LSE apartments aren't a viable option, but Priceline suits their stated needs very well and is likely to be slightly cheaper than the LSE apartments. Nothing wrong with janisj stating that.

My strategy would be to check out the LSE apartments and if you are in love with them, then book away. If you are just ehh about them, then I would inquire as to availability and pricing and use that to guide my bidding on Priceline, perhaps using them as an upper-limit to my bidding. But, then again, this is exactly the sort of advice that one would find when they investigate the Priceline option.
travelgourmet is online now  

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