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jj Sep 24th, 2002 03:10 AM

hotel in london and getting to normandy
I would like to find a nice hotel in london with friendly owners that is close to transportation and access to the city center. My wife has some mobility problems so something with an elevator would be necessary. For those of you that pointed me to the Cesari in Rome...I'm looking for the equivalent in London. We are also wanting to take a 2-3 day trip to the normandy beaches. What is the best way to get there? We won't have a car in London but will get one in France for those couple of days. Could you please give me a guesstimate on the price of getting from london to ?? (Calais, Le Havre), the ability to pick up a rental car at either point and getting to a base hotel in Bayeaux. Back to the point of the nice owners in the hotel in London...we would like to spend Oct 17-19 in london, leave them with some of our luggage, go to Normandy on the 20th (this is a sunday is that bad??) and return to our london hotel on the 23rd for a 24th departure. Please help. I admit I haven't done my homework because we just got the tickets last night and will appreciate the fodorites expertise! Thanks in advance.

julie Sep 24th, 2002 03:08 PM

This summer we found really cheap tickets to London, but we really wanted to go to France. I explored all of the options (train, ferry, chunnel etc.) on how to get there. The cheapest and most efficient ended up being flying. It was either Brit Air or Air France we took--I can't remember which. Found the tickets on Expedia.

Suzanne Sep 24th, 2002 04:15 PM

I don't know much about transportation via car from city points as I used train transportation all the way. The trains are very convenient and reliable. Check the Eurostar website for Channel crossing prices from London to Calais or Le Havre. It costs approximately $100 USD per person to cross. I don't know the cost with a vehicle though. <BR><BR>Re: the Normandy area, I have stayed in Bayeux 3 times and each time have enjoyed my stay at The Hotel Notre Dame. A husband and wife own this charming hotel with very reasonable prices that include breakfast and lunch. The hotel is centrally located in Bayeux and the best vantage point to the DDay beaches and also to Mont St. Michel in nearby St. Malo. I heartily recommend "Bus Fly Tours" for a terrific, all day tour of the D-day beaches by a local Norman. There are only 6-10 people on the tour so it is intimate enough to ask questions and get fully de-briefed at each site. The cost was approximately $50 USD per person and covered the entire DDay coast and the British/French war museum full of interesting artifacts. Good luck and have a great trip!

Rex Sep 24th, 2002 04:23 PM nonstop from London (Stansted) to Dinard - - less than 20-25 minutes from St. Malo would be a very good way to get to Normandy.<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

Nigel Doran Sep 24th, 2002 05:02 PM

If you do fly from Stansted airport on Sunday, note that there is no train connection. There will be a coach replacement, but it will take much longer and will be perhaps less convenient for your wife. Also, it will still cost the same price as the train! <BR>If you do fly from Stansted on Sunday, search this site for taxi firms that offer set rates from London to the various airports. <BR>You could take the Eurostar train from Waterloo to Lille or Calais and then rent a car. Go to for rates. (Second class is fine. Book as early as possible.)

jj Sep 24th, 2002 05:13 PM

Many thanks to all. Flying it is...mainly due to time constraints. How about the london hotel? clued me in on the Cesari in Rome and I can't thank you enough. Any thoughts on comparable hotels in london??

Ben Haines Sep 24th, 2002 07:38 PM

Trains leave London Waterloo at 2000 and reach Portsmouth Harbour at 2134. Brittany Ferries sail from Portsmouth at 2230 and reach Ouistreham, near Caen at 0600. Their website is A bus takes 45 minutes from the harbour to central Caen, where you can hire a car for seeing Normandy. The boat back leaves Ouistreham at 2330.<BR><BR>Welcome back to Europe<BR><BR>Ben Haines, London

Geoff Hamer Sep 25th, 2002 01:16 AM

The overnight ferry to Caen is by far the best way of getting to Normandy. Bayeux is about 20 minutes from Caen by train. If you have to hire a car, I'm fairly sure there is an office in the terminal at Ouistreham; there is certainly a tourist office open there when the ship arrives and they are very helpful.

Rex Sep 25th, 2002 08:51 AM

Thanks for the kind words, jj - - regrettably, the only two hotels I know in London are mediocre in location (Novotel Hammersmith) or features (blanking on the name right now).<BR><BR>Not on par with Cesari.<BR><BR>Did you see the recent reference to hotels under $150 in Chicago Tribune and LA Times?<BR><BR>;action=display;threadid=283<BR>

Lesli Sep 25th, 2002 09:35 AM

The problem with the hotels listed in the Chicago Trib/LA Times article is that virtually none of them have an elevator/lift. JJ's post says that one is necessary.<BR><BR>JJ- I have no personal experience with any hotels which would have an elevator. You might check the site for special rates. <BR><BR>Although they are larger hotels and part of local chains, the Grange Hotels and Raddison Edwardian group are at least decorated with some "English charm." All are well-located, and would have the amenities you require, if you can find a rate that works for you.

bettyk Sep 25th, 2002 12:28 PM

jj, we stayed at the Rubens-at-the-Palace Hotel in May. It is a 4* hotel across from Buckingham Palace and about 2 or 3 blocks from Victoria Station. They have two elevators, a great buffet breakfast and a friendly staff. They also have a lovely afternoon tea at the hotel. <BR><BR>We booked our room through but you might be able to do better thru the hotel's website, (look at their specials).<BR><BR>It's a great location with many restaurants and pubs nearby. We'd definitely stay there again.

Rex Sep 25th, 2002 02:06 PM

Not knowing "better" (better value - - not necessarily, top of the line) hotels in London, I looked through two good resources this afternoon, and came up with two names. I'm sure you would want to try to find out personal opinions about both here, if either is of intrest to you:<BR><BR>the Goring - - has the highest rating, wit the most number of reviewers on Fodors Rants'n'Raves. 4.7 by 12 people. But quite expensive at about $340 (USD) per night, double, currently.<BR><BR>and<BR><BR>the Gainsborough - - just sounded like the kind of place I would like, much more moderately price - - based on skimming through - - and they have a promo this fall: stay 4 nights, pay for 3 - - at a rate of 135 GBP.<BR><BR>and the Elizabeth seemed like a pretty good runner up - - but maybe too far west to be considered a peach, location-wise? not sure.<BR>

Please Sep 25th, 2002 03:54 PM

Rex - GO AWAY. You know absolutely nothing about London! Just keep making up things about Italy and leave UK alone.

Better Sep 25th, 2002 07:58 PM

to be like "Please" and know nothing about anything, and persist in spewing venom everywhere about everything.<BR>

Rex Sep 26th, 2002 12:37 PM

More on the Gainsborough - - with the full caveat that is all based on other people's input - - no personal experience to cite.<BR><BR>Author: Shell ([email protected])<BR>Date: 08/12/2001, 03:12 pm<BR><BR>Message: Pat, I have stayed at the Gainsborough(10/99) and found it very nice. We(2 40ish ladies) were looking for something small, safe, and convenient. We rode the tube and walked everywhere for a week. Good restaurants nearby. Be sure not to get the small room in the back with the bed that is pushed up right against the elevator (lift) shaft. Had to change rooms. Look first before you accept any room. Shell <BR><BR>==================<BR>and<BR>============= =====<BR><BR>Author: ger ([email protected])<BR>Date: 03/04/2001, 07:31 pm<BR><BR>Message: As Wes says, cheap in Kensington is not easy!!! I have never managed to find a room for less than 100 gbp and prices have gone up substantially in the past 18 months. <BR><BR>I stayed at the Rembrant and it was very nice and convenient - think I paid about 120 pounds a night about two years ago. I also found two small boutique hotels metioned in this website (Gainsborough & Gallery). Three years ago they were less than 100 GBP per night but they may have moved up market. <BR><BR>====================================<BR><B R>The website for the Gainsborough and Gallery, by the way, is - - stands for "Elegant English Hotels".<BR><BR><BR>

top Sep 26th, 2002 02:18 PM

topping for jj<BR>

xxx Sep 29th, 2002 04:15 PM

Another indexing oddity - - cannot be retrieved by searching "gainsborough" nor by searching "gallery"<BR><BR>And yet "London and Normandy" DOES retrieve it.<BR>

YKWIA Oct 2nd, 2002 08:09 PM

Another thread that needs some spot cleaning.<BR>

Rex Oct 17th, 2002 07:31 AM

up, for Len<BR>

Len Oct 17th, 2002 10:45 AM

Thanks for the link and all your help Rex. The Ruben's seems really nice. Do you like it better than the Rembrandt?

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