Best neighborhood to stay in London

Old May 19th, 2022, 11:17 AM
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Best neighborhood to stay in London

We are making plans (this is third year attempt) of going to London and Scotland. We have been to London before and stayed in the Bloomsbury neighborhood (next to British Museum) but that was many years ago. Looking to leave in first part of Sept this year. Not including travel days, we plan a week in London and a week in Scotland. Our flights out from Seattle will be to Heathrow and returning from Edinburgh. We have tickets already for touring Highclere castle and Cotswold.

Calling on all London and Scotland experts for advice.
What is your favorite London neighborhood/hotel to stay in and why? I'm leaning for Notting Hill this time but maybe going back to staying in Bloomsbury. I am hoping that we can do some day trips to see Windsor Castle and Cambridge University. Our hotel accommodations has changed to the 4-5 star range.

For Scotland, we plan on staying couple of nights in Edinburgh and one night before flying out. Then I would like to visit Balmoral castle gardens, Inverness, Lake Loch ness and Mull islands but not sure where to make our second stay? We will be traveling by train so we can hire tour company (probably Rabbies) if train isn't available. We enjoy day hiking, birdwatching and farmers markets to name a few and 60's years young.

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 12:55 PM
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If you are looking at a 4 or 5 star hotel . . . I'd choose the best property rather than the best neighborhood. There aren't all that many hotels in Nottinghill and really only one I can think of in that posh category. The Portobello.

What is your actual budget for accommodations? 4* and ESPECIALLY 5* can be very very expensive

Re Scotland -- just a comment. You say " . . . but not sure where to make our second stay?" sounds like you are hoping to stay in one place as a base for the sites outside of Edinburgh. Or did I misunderstand? If you are thinking of one base -- that is really not possible. Even touring around and moving hotel every night - 4-ish days (even with a private guide) is not nearly long enough for Edinburgh up to Deeside (Balmoral/etc), Loch Ness, Mull and points in between and back to EDI.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 02:32 PM
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We’ve stayed at the Hoxton Holborn and liked the location (next to Bloomsbury). I don’t know if I would recommend at this point, the entire lobby (this was precovid) was taken over by hipsters with their computers every day and it was hard to find a place to sit sometimes. We’ve been to the London Edition and eaten in their beautiful dining room. I guess that is considered Soho. Nomad Hotel looks interesting in Convent Garden. I like being able to walk to things so I like that part of town and my favorite restaurants are all close by. We’ve also stayed in Shoreditch at the Ace and in Clerkenwall at the Zetter. It’s a bit farther afield but very trendy and also full of great restaurants. Notting Hill sounds delightful, but more of a Kensington/Chelsea location. I do love the Victoria and Albert museum on that side of town…
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Old May 19th, 2022, 03:31 PM
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I agree with JJ that you need to look at your price point rather than the number of stars as London can be very expensive. But if you are in that category, I think that I would want to stay at a centrally placed hotel rather than somewhere further out, especially as you stayed in Bloomsbury before. There are many very traditional hotels but also some super modern ones. It also depends on what you want to see in London itself since as your excursions are in opposite directions nowhere is going to be convenient for both of them. sounds like you will have a lot of fun planning.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 05:10 PM
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Yo Porto,
Macdog has mentioned the Zetter. Be aware that its oh-so stylish dining room would be your breakfast room, and it also serves as a drinks-area during later hours. From fotos, it seems very attractive and full of atmosphere.
If you were to stay in Shoreditch/Spitalfields, you'd be close to Brick Lane, the Truman Brewery markets, Liverpool Station(s) and Little Bangla.
Hope it all goes well.
I am done. the Ol Blighty and the non-expert
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Old May 19th, 2022, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by zebec View Post
. . . If you were to stay in Shoreditch/Spitalfields, you'd be close to Brick Lane, the Truman Brewery markets, Liverpool Station(s) and Little Bangla.
Hope it all goes well.
I am done. the Ol Blighty and the non-expert
Liverpool STREET station -- makes a huge difference.

Just my 2 but if someone is interested Nottinghill and enjoyed Bloomsbury . . . I sorta think some of the more hipster neighborhoods / properties mentioned up thread are not quite what they are looking for . . .

BTW the Ace is no more -- it is now 100 Shoreditch.

But really - knowing one's budget is essential before we can make any useful recommendations
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Old May 19th, 2022, 07:33 PM
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A favorite place in London where we stayed on multiple visits used to be Crowne Plaza St. James but is now branded as Taj St James Court. Carries 4 star rating. Intercontinental Hotel Group used it as a training facility for many upmarket European properties so service was always excellent. Located out of the tourist fray but still quite central.

Last edited by Seamus; May 19th, 2022 at 07:39 PM. Reason: typo
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Old May 19th, 2022, 08:31 PM
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Ooh -- I love the St James's area. To clarify just a bit The Taj St James' Court really isn't IN St James's since it is south of the park, but it is a terrific location none the less and walking distance to so much.

Seems weird that . . . St James's (the neighborhood, Palace, tube station, Park etc) all have s's but the Taj only has s'. ( I do have too much time on my hands )

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Old May 19th, 2022, 08:54 PM
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Just my 2 cents worth but the phrase 'and 60's years young' just might have been mentioned in hopes of casting the net wider.
I am done. the friendly advice

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Old May 19th, 2022, 09:04 PM
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In Notting Hill The Laslett is very nice. In a side street off Notting Hill Gate, very close to the tube station. There are not that many good hotels in that area. A new one is opening next year on Notting Hill Gate.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 10:53 PM
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I can recommend the Sofitel. Nice central location and not too bad price wise
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Old May 20th, 2022, 06:31 AM
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We recently stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel on the corner of Oxford Street and with easy access on the tube (Marble Arch Station) to get all across London and also you are on the edge of Hyde Park. Staff were brilliant and we just loved being in the centre of everything, but when you are in the hotel you dont feel in the centre of everything - if that makes sense.
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Old May 20th, 2022, 07:21 AM
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Tried to post a link to this hotel but will not work. I used to walk by this hotel and always thought it was so charming. Radisson blu Mercer street located in convent garden near the theatres and lots of museums and great restaurants.
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Old May 20th, 2022, 08:00 AM
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Best Neighborhood to stay in London

Thanks all for your replies. I do like Seamus recommendation in St. James area and liked the photos/reviews I saw.
I do like hotels that have optional courtyard eating areas and are near parks. We like to be able to walk to all sights and have lots of restaurants available. Still open for suggestions.

Also, to clarify for our Scotland visit, we are looking at 2 locations. Edinburgh and second location (leaning towards Inverness). I just discovered that the Balmoral Castle Gardens is closed in Sept so that is out. We like charming/historic as well as modern hotels. Still open for suggestions.
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Old May 20th, 2022, 08:42 AM
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We recently spent 10 days in London and stayed at Club Quarters Covent Gardens in Holborn. It's on Lincoln's Inn Fields, close to the Underground and very quiet. https://clubquartershotels.com/londo...garden-holborn
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Old May 20th, 2022, 08:46 AM
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Oh - I overlooked the Sept. bit -- yes, Balmoral is closed every year from late July through September since the Queen and Royal Family are there.

But in any case -- no single base would work . . . So far your list only consists of Loch Ness (why exactly -- it really isn't in the top 20 of scenic lochs) and Mull. Tobermory on Mull for example is a 4.5 to 5 hour drive from Inverness. Iona / Fionnphort is even longer.

From what you say the Taj St James' would be just about perfect for you. Nice property, close to a park, 2 or 3 minutes walk from a tube station, walking distance to a ton of sites.
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Old May 20th, 2022, 09:06 AM
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I post from the perspective of a local. One who has worked in, lived in, visited clients and commuted to many parts of London over the years. I don’t stay in many hotels these days as we live here for much of the year. I did however raise a smile at macdogmom’s comments re the Hoxton in Holborn. We must have been there at the same time because I echo all of her comments! Great location and could be a great place to stay but.......

Bearing in mind that you plan on visiting Cambridge and Windsor and Scotland, I would take a top down approach and consider staying in places that would make life a little easier. Kings Cross station would be great for trains to Scotland and Cambridge and it is now a nice area with lots of accommodation options and the redevelopment in the area is fantastic. Coal Drop Yard has dome fantastic restaurants.You are very close to Regents Park and across there to the more residential neighbourhoods of St Johns Wood, Primrose Hill etc. A 15 min walk in the other direction and you would be in your old stomping ground of Bloomsbury. Underground links to other parts of town are as good as it gets.

4 &5 * accommodation in the area - Kimpton, Renaissance or the Pullman.

Elsewhere, given your criteria, I would look at Marylebone, Covent Garden (The Londoner is the latest 5* boutique place right bon Leicester Square) . Notting Hill is very nice and we often cycle there for lunch but it is a bit far out to stay.

PS If you like farmers markets, dont miss Marylebone market on a Sunday!

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Old May 20th, 2022, 12:03 PM
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>>>Also, to clarify for our Scotland visit, we are looking at 2 locations. Edinburgh and second location (leaning towards Inverness).<<<

Any particular reason for Inverness? We stopped there for one night and saw no particular reason to have done it.
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Old May 20th, 2022, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Fra_Diavolo View Post
>>>Also, to clarify for our Scotland visit, we are looking at 2 locations. Edinburgh and second location (leaning towards Inverness).<<<

Any particular reason for Inverness? We stopped there for one night and saw no particular reason to have done it.
for drivers Inverness wouldn't be my choice either. But the OP seems to want to rely on public transit/ trains/ private tour guide so Inverness or Ft William are really the only practical options. IMO they would be much better served by booking either a multi day group or private tour from Rabbies departing from Edinburgh cuz they sure won't find a single good base for both the north/Inverness and Mull.
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Old May 21st, 2022, 03:36 AM
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I loved our stay in St. James. We stayed at the Stafford which I highly recommend and they have a courtyard for dining. I'd also consider Dukes, which is very close by. The area was so quiet yet a short walk to Piccadilly, Green Park, St. James Park, the Mall and Buckingham Palace. I'd stay there again in a heartbeat.
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