Help with London. I'm losing my mind!

May 10th, 2004, 05:46 PM
  #1  
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Help with London. I'm losing my mind!

Okay, so I've spent hours, almost full days trying to find the right hotel in London. I know I'm not the only one. I've sensed this same feeling of desperation in many posts. We implore all of you seasoned tourists and Londoners...Help us! I guess the problem is that you get what you pay for. We Americans are not used to paying $200 for a room that you can hardly turn around in or is unclean or has rude staff. Believe me, I have searched all the $150-$200 price hotels on all the review sites and I can't find one that doesn't have negatives mixed with postives. One person will say this is the best hotel I've stayed in for the price and another will say it was tiny, dirty and the staff was rude. How am I supposed to deal with all these mixed opinions? So if you have any opinions, let me weigh them in with the rest of them.

Now, about me and what I want. I'm really not very picky. So maybe I'm stressed out about this for nothing and I would be happy anywhere. This is just my dream to go to London and I don't want a hotel disaster if it can be helped. There is a perfect hotel for me out there and I want to find it.

Location: Just want quaint, quiet, with walking distance to nice shops and restaurants. I've looked at hotels around Sloane St., Kensington Palace/Notting Hill and British Museum/Bloomsbury. I plan to sightsee in the Tower and Westminster areas as well as go to a play, go to lunch at Harrods, visit some markets, go to Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park on Sunday and take in a river tour. Basically I will be in each area at some point. For some reason, all of my research has made me think Bayswater is not my ideal location.

Price range150-$200; 75-100GPB

Bath: I have no problem with hall baths, but I don't want a 5 rooms to 1 bath ratio.

Room size: Small is okay IF there is some place to put the luggage and it's cozy.

Room decor: Simple AND cozy is okay. I don't have to have Laura Ashley decor (although it would be nice). I don't want stained carpets, peeling paint, ripped bedspreads. If it's just like a typical room in my house, which is stylish, but basic, then it's okay.

Staff: They don't have to be underfoot. In fact if I never see them, that's fine. BUT if there is a problem, I want to feel like they care.

So there you have it. Please help me and get me off this computer. My dishes are piling up.
vmcenroe is offline  
May 10th, 2004, 06:02 PM
  #2  
 
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OK, I will try to save your mind from being completely lost here!
Forgive me if the prices are not what you are interested in, I am not sure of them.
My daughter stayed at the Russel in Bloomsbury, loved it. She is spoiled and likes a luxurious hotel room, so I am thinking it was not too small, unclean and I am sure the staff was nice. BTW-I have never come across a rude hotel person in London..or elsewhere in London for that matter.
The other hotel she stayed in was the Gallery in So Ken..also loved it. That hotel might have butlers that take care of individual floors. They have web sites, Google them.
The Yankee and I stayed at the ST James Palace hotel, on Buckingham Gate and the Washington in Mayfair. After that we started renting a flat..we loved that and will always do that from now on.
Most of the things you mention wanting to do, you can do without any trouble, a short bus or train ride will get you all over the city, most everything in LOndon is charming and old, I have a feeling that quaint is a description that Londoners are not crazy about
Now don't get crazy, this is one of the fun parts of planning a trip~
Scarlett
Scarlett is offline  
May 10th, 2004, 06:11 PM
  #3  
Airlawgirl
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I too, share your pain-even though I've studied in Britain, and have been to London too many times to count. Two hotels that my London native friends commend highly are the Rembrandt, and the Cavendish-the latter which is located on Jermyn Street-across from one of the great dept. stores-Fortnum and Mason. Haven't tried the Rembrandt but like I said, my London lawyer friend recommends this hotel to all the Americans he knows-given that he comes over to the US frequently, and knows our dilemnna over paying exorbitant rates for, as you say, a tiny room that is frequently none too clean.

P.S. I'm staying in a London serviced apt. for my July stay there....it was part of a package deal.
 
May 10th, 2004, 08:20 PM
  #4  
 
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Even though I'm not picky either, I tend to spend way too much time obessing about the right hotel (and the right rate). But for London, I wouldn't use anything besides Priceline,the last two times I got 4* hotels for $65 and $75, this time it's $100 for the Waldorf Hilton in Mayfair. I have been pleased with the first two hotels and expect that this one will be fine too.

If you're willing to up the amount a bit, you can get a 5* for $150-$175, within your price range.

The thing about London is that all hotels are close to some form of public transport so the location isn't that big of an issue (you can select the area on Priceline anyway). And really, how much time will you spend in your hotel anyway, I just use mine to sleep and shower.

And for those of us who obsess, once you've booked it, you're done, no more looking for better hotels or rate
Kristi is offline  
May 10th, 2004, 08:31 PM
  #5  
Airlawgirl
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VM-if you haven't yet looked at TripAdvisor.com reviews for the Rembrandt hotel, I recommend you do so. I think you'll find the reviews quite to your liking-and I know my friend wouldn't steer me wrong!
 
May 10th, 2004, 09:00 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Scarlett, why do you love flats so much? My reason of staying away from them is that 1. I don't know how to find out the rating, unlike hotels; 2. Don't feel like cleaning up the place during my vacation. Would like to know your stories about flats.
B&B's in London seem to be highly appraised. Some friends of mine would only staying in B&B's. Not that they are on tight budget... What do fodorits say?
2fly is offline  
May 10th, 2004, 09:49 PM
  #7  
lyb
 
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Vmcenroe,

I wouldn't go crazy looking for a hotel that has NO negative remarks, it's probably never going to happen. Someone is almost bound to complain about something!

As far as hotels in London, I haven't stayed there yet, but I will be staying at the Amsterdam Hotel in Earl's Court. My friend and her husband stayed at there last fall and did recommend it to me. She said the rooms were clean and the staff was very nice to the guests, though, sometimes the hotel owner seemed to bark orders to her employees but then would turn right around and be nice to my friend and her husband. The rates are reasonable. I'll be paying 78 pounds for a room with 2 twin beds with bathroom en suite. The hotel's website is http://www.amsterdam-hotel.com As I said, I haven't stayed there yet, but I do trust my friend's recommendation, we've traveled together a lot so I know which kind of hotel she likes, so you may want to check this hotel as well.

lyb is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 01:25 AM
  #8  
 
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I usually stay at University accommodation. Beit Hall (open for tourists Easter and summer). My single room with ensuite overlooked the Royal Albert Hall. A hot breakfast was included for 60 pounds a night. It is a great location, plus you can self cater. Buy something nice at Harrods food hall and heat it up back at your digs. I love the chicken tikka
My husband usually stays in very nice hotels...and this week he is taking 3 days out of a business trip to visit London for pleasure and to buy me some urgently needed supplies that I cannot get in Sydney.
I have booked him into the Norfolk Hotel near Paddington...45 pounds a night...you should read the shocker reviews of this place! Hope he has hot water...."it was not intentional officer"
kimerley is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 03:07 AM
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It's not an English style hotel or even close to being quaint but what about one of the Holiday Inns in Kensington? Check tripadvisor to see which one gets better reviews..I can't remember. The price seems to be pretty reasonable for the rooms...and they sound big enough. The area is supposed to be terrific and has plenty of shops and restaurants. Just a suggestion if you have no luck finding the "perfect quaint, quiet hotel".
Knoel998 is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 04:29 AM
  #10  
Singletail
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Use this opportunity to become a much more savvy traveler to your ADVANTAGE.

You ask how can you deal with those negative and positive comments about the same property? READ the comments very carefully...those "generalizations" about "the service was bad" and "the rooms were small" and "the staff was rude"....all COULD be true but when people don't give concrete examples then I tend to discredit the remark, and the source, somewhat.

Get realistic and do not engage in genralizations yourself: "We Americans aren't used to paying..." well, I am afraid that we most certainly ARE used to it in places like London so you might need to get over that.

You have to learn to live with your OWN self-imposed budget of $150-$200. London is an overpriced hotel town just as is New York here.

Seriously, I have been in the same boat that you are/were in now..until you get there you aren't going to know for sure that you "made the right choice"...I think the person that recommended Priceline was doing you a favor...you give it your best shot and then you forget about it.
 
May 11th, 2004, 05:05 AM
  #11  
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Thank you everyone for your input. I've made my decison!! I'm going with the Rembrandt. Airlawgirl, thank you, thank you for that hotel recommendation. I don't know how I missed it but it seems like the best hotel for the price. You're right, lots of great reviews on tripadvisor. I'd love to try priceline but never having been to London I'm not ready to put the choice in someone else's hands. Maybe next time.
vmcenroe is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 05:19 AM
  #12  
 
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Hi ...

Have you thought of trying www.travelodge.co.uk.

They have hotel in Covent Garden.

The travel lodges are normally clean etc. I have stayed in a number.

At the moment you can get a double room for £75 a night in June (no breakfast).

Mark
isplumm is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 05:50 AM
  #13  
Airlawgirl
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VM- for some reason, I thought the Rembrandt might be right for you. Now, I'll be in London in July, I will see my friend who gave me the recommendation- and you, of course, will have to post your review here, so we all know what you thought of it-perhaps it will be our new "go to" hotel for London (although admittedly, for me traveling alone it is a bit above my price range).
 
May 11th, 2004, 05:56 AM
  #14  
 
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I find London a bargain compared to NYC and similar US cities. In London I have found tiny, clean, ensuite rooms in safe neighborhoods with a good location for around $60/night for a single during shoulder season.

Keith
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May 11th, 2004, 06:29 AM
  #15  
 
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Although you made your decision, I just wanted to reiterate what a poster above stated: the public transportation system in London is fabulous and extremely convenient. You can get a hotel room almost anywhere in the city and have easy access to the underground, which gives you easy access to just about anywhere in London. We stayed in the Euston Station area and had a decent hotel within a 2 minute walk of the underground. Although this hotel wasn't too convenient to most tourist locals, it never took us long to get anywhere in London because of the underground.

London is one of my favorite cities. Have a great time!!

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 10:36 AM
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We stayed at the County Hall Travel Inn - it was great!

You are right behind the London Eye - a 1 minute walk, literally, and a 5 minute walk from Waterloo. The rates are very reasonable, and the rooms were enormous - larger than many hotel rooms I've stayed at in the U.S., in fact. It's been recently renovated and everything was clean and modern - very much like an American hotel chain.

I couldn't believe how great the location was for the price we paid.
chepar is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 09:15 PM
  #17  
 
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Know the feeling!!Been there done that!

Couple suggestions:
1. Check with the airline you are flying. Usually they have some good specials...for example...British Air has travel dept. and good specials.

2. Take a look at Imperial Hotel, and Royal National Hotel....both around Russell Square. About a block from "tube" on Picadilly Line. Direct from Heathrow. You can view both of theses at www.findlondonhotel.com Both are in your price range.
circa is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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We haven't spent time in the following hotel, but we had planned to spend a couple of nights in London, so did the research. The Avonmore sounds very nice, and it gets good reviews on trip advisor.... all but one. All the other reviews are good. We'd narrowed down our choice to the Avonmore.

http://www.avonmorehotel.co.uk/

Best,
Sandy
sandypaws3 is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 10:15 PM
  #19  
 
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Stayed at the AAron house hotel. Very reasonable, good "authentic British" breakfast. Good location. a lot of the recommendations above are also good but this hotel was a real bargin. http://www.smoothhound.co.uk/hotels/arranho.html Enjoy London!
harvey is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 10:36 PM
  #20  
 
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I found the Cardiff in Norfolk Gardens Paddington OK. There are 2 others nearby in Phaed St (not sure of my spelling there!) the Westpoint and another.
twoflower is offline  

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