Flats vs. hotels in London

Aug 19th, 2002, 05:01 AM
  #1  
marcie
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Flats vs. hotels in London

This is the first time we've ever rented a flat in London for a vacation. It seemed to us there were several pros and cons, and I admit to once in a while wishing we were staying at a hotel!

The "flat" was a house, four stories, typical narrow winding stairs from the lower ground floor (kitchen) to the top (3rd) floor (bedrooms). Very nicely outfitted, but we were slightly uncomfortable using someone else's belongings, trying to be careful and not harm anything. It was wonderful to go in and be able to spread out in the house, rather than be cramped on someone's bed in front of a tv. But it was also tiring doing constant food shopping, and since we had a full kitchen, I had to excuse not to cook dinners! Drat - some nights, I really, really didn't feel like it after a full day of touring.

The washer and separate dryer was a nice bonus - we expected one of those all-in-one types. But they still only took a half load, and were very slow to get through a wash and dry cycle. But still an advantage, definitely.

I've said before, there's a lot of walking that we weren't used to (and I walk at home every day, several miles), and we certainly didn't rent a car, so everywhere we went, we walked to a bus stop or tube station. Therefore, everything we bought, we carried by hand, instead of throwing it in the back of a car and driving "home". Much healthier lifestyle, for sure, but made us all a lot more tired by the end of the day.

For the five of us, it worked out well expense-wise, but next time, with the two of us, I think I'd either plan to stay at a hotel, or rent a house but eat out a lot more!

 
Aug 19th, 2002, 07:53 AM
  #2  
Wendy
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Marcie,

Would love to know what company you rented from and where the apt was located. We just returned from London, stayed at the Knightsbridge Green which was ideal for us, ( huge apt sized rooms) but have often thought about renting. Could you please e-mail me or post here? Thanks!
 
Aug 19th, 2002, 10:50 AM
  #3  
marcie
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Message for Wendy: will email you privately - look for a subject line of "Flat vs. Hotel" in your inbox!
 
Aug 19th, 2002, 03:26 PM
  #4  
geri
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Marcie: Several family members are planning a trip to London next spring and are interested in a flat rather than hotel rooms. Would like to hear how you made arrangements, etc. Thanks much.
 
Aug 19th, 2002, 06:33 PM
  #5  
marcie
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Geri -
We actually made all the arrangements for our trip on the internet, including bidding for (and getting) a cheap airfare on priceline.com.

I started with several books, including the Unofficial Guide to London, around February. Because there were five of us going, we opted to look into apartments instead of hotel rooms. This turned out to be cheaper by a bit, including being able to eat all our breakfasts at the apartment, and a few other meals.

We used London Home From Home (www.homefromhome.co.uk)to rent an apartment in the Westminster area. Very convenient, everything provided in the flat, including a separate washer and dryer, towels, linen, etc.

We also ordered Visitor Travelcards from Britrail for zones 1 - 6, and found these to be a huge help - no fumbling for coins, we just had the travelcards that we passed through the machines to get onto the tube.

I did a lot of looking at tours on the web, and picked a few half-day tours that were very good, on the whole. We found it depended on who the guide was, but we got pretty lucky with ours.

I even went to the Sainsbury's website to get an idea of the cost of food, since we had no idea of what things like milk or bread would cost. Sainsbury's will actually deliver, according to their website, which would have been great but we weren't willing to commit to being at the apartment at a certain time to accept the food delivery - too busy sightseeing!

Lastly, I read about this travel talk site, and got hints for things we wanted information on, and it's been very helpful.

If you want to email me privately for costs, or website addresses, let me know in this forum and I'll email you back privately!
 
Aug 22nd, 2002, 11:42 AM
  #6  
Sandy
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Marcie, I am looking into homefromhome, as well as several other agencies, for a one-week trip to London next Spring. I would greatly appreciate hearing details from you about your experience with homefromhome. Thanks a lot!
 
Aug 23rd, 2002, 09:33 AM
  #7  
geri
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Marcie: Going to beg your assistance with information about homefromhome, the 'flat' you rented, cost and web addresses. Tried homefromhome, but couldn't seen to access any London information. Have a bunch of family and friends doing this London visit next May, possibly as many as 8 and looking for something different than hotel rooms. Some of us have been there before, some haven't. Might even rent a couple of places. Don't however, think we'd be doing any cooking, except for breakfast. Sounds as if you had a great 'home away from home.'

Any info you could share would be much appreciated. This is my real email address. Thanks so much. Geri
 
Aug 24th, 2002, 07:56 PM
  #8  
yitz
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We used London4rent.com
we wre very pleased with the service.
 
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