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Hotel Town Hall in London...any reports

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Dec 30th, 2013, 12:30 PM
  #1
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Hotel Town Hall in London...any reports

In planning for our first visit to London, we have looked at AirBnB options, and we have considered renting a flat. The Hotel Town Hotel is moderate in price (by London standards), and it appears very spacious. Although we had wanted to avoid spending a week in a big city hotel on this trip, we are thinking this might fit the bill. Much of what I have read about the hotel is positive, although there seems to be some debate about the location. It cuts both ways. In two successive reviews on TripAdvisor from earlier this year, one reviewer seemed to feel that the neighborhood was marginal, but the next reviewer praised it as an an artsy, bohemian type of neighborhood. I suppose it could be both. There is also the fact that, in the East End, we are rather far from many of the places we will want to visit, although I expect we are likely to be more than just a stroll away from some major attractions no matter where we stay. So, the questions I'd have for Forum members who may have stayed at the Town Hall are about the feel of the neighborhood and the wisdom of using this location as a base for exploring London. Thanks!
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Dec 30th, 2013, 12:38 PM
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I believe this is Bethnal Green area - definitely not a place I would send a first timer to London. Definitely edgier and more up and coming than I would expect the average tourist to want.

Look for a location inside the yellow circle line on the tube map.

If you are looking for affordable look up Ibis and Premier Inn and again look for one inside the circle line.

Dont make the mistake of going for a cheaper poorly located hotel.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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Although I guess if you are from New York City or another big city you may be comfortable with the area...
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Dec 30th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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That location sucks. There is no "wisdom [in] using this location as a base for exploring London." It's not East End, it's more BFE.

Do you have a specific budget? If so, state it and you'll get far better recommendations than this even at the sub-$200/night range. You can find far more centrally located flats for less.

Look for a location inside the yellow circle line on the tube map.

Um, inside (or within a stop from) the old Circle Line route, not the new re-route that goes from Paddington to Hammersmith.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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It's not the outer darkness (Bethnal Green tube station is on the Central Line, which can get crowded in the rush hours, but at its best gets you into central London pretty quickly).

I have no discomfort travelling around there; but it is a bit rough and ready round the edges and not geared to tourists - off the top of my head, I think you might find the options for eating out or local nightlife a bit limited. I wouldn't over-stress the arty/bohemian aspect either; there's a sort of slow pincer movement from Shoreditch/Hoxton to the west and the posher end of south Hackney around Victoria Park, but it's basically a mixed but nondescript residential area.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 12:59 PM
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Transport wouldn't be an issue, but IMO, just about EVERYTHING else would be. Not a place for a London vacation, and definitely not for a week.

Yes, what is your budget? We can help you find something in a much nicer part of town.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 04:26 PM
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Thanks for the responses, y'all (I'm not from New York City!). I'm not sure we'd be all that uncomfortable with the vibe around the Hotel Town Hall. Although this is our first time in London, we have traveled extensively in Europe (20 trips), and we've been in a few neighborhoods that were edgy, but they had interesting attractions. Nonetheless, from your comments, it doesn't sound like Bethnal Green would be worth a week. We would prefer to spend about $200 per night, but we would range up to $300. We have been able to find excellent places in that price range in most large European cities, and since we usually book early, we have been able to take advantage of some pay-in-advance discounts (e.g. the Aria in Prague). We do try to scout out at least one foodie adventure restaurant on each trip, and I'll have to say that the location of Viajante tucked into the corner of the Hotel Town Hall was an attraction. However, the price range of hotels in London seems higher than just about anywhere we have visited, except, perhaps, for St. Petersburg. Therefore, although the Hotel Town Hall isn't particularly inexpensive (just under $300 per night), it seems to be a good deal cheaper than other boutique/designer type 4 star hotels in London.

Jamikins, we will look up the Ibis and the Premier Inn. We did find a penthouse studio rental on Soho Square that is certainly more central than Bethnal Green and also cheaper. We have made an enquiry to find if it is available. It's about $220 per night. However, we'd be open to other suggestions. As for why we would have made 20 trips to Europe without visiting London...hard to say. Maybe it's because they speak English?
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Dec 30th, 2013, 04:47 PM
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>>We would prefer to spend about $200 per night, but we would range up to $300<<

OMG (!) - I thought you were on a budget. Absolutely NO reason to stay in a c&^p area w/ a $200-$300 budget.

Soho Square is of course more central. For hotels check Londontown.com - you can plug in all sorts of criteria. Or regular old hotels.com which can get you some real bargains (I used them and got the Waldorf Hilton right on Aldwych -- a posh hotel in a VERY central location for $250-ish in late October).

Or look at these apartments. Not posh but nice, clean, cheap, w/ balconies or terraces, some w/ beautiful views of the yacht harbor. The 1 bedrooms are about £100 per night. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hamlet_uk/
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Dec 30th, 2013, 05:55 PM
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London is larger and much more spread out that most european cities. Staying in outer areas can eat up a lot of your vacation time - no mater how pleasant they are. And this doesn;t sound like a charming residential district on the outskirts.

You say we for $300 - is that for 2 people? Or? You should have no trouble finding something for $300 per night much closer to the sights you want to see.
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Dec 31st, 2013, 01:25 AM
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If you want a foodie place there are WAY better places than Viajante in way better locations. We have been and its meh. It is pretty much the only place to eat in that area unless you plan to eat KFC, or similar non brand chicken take aways. Pubs are pretty grim out there as well.

I use www.toptable.co.uk when we go out for foodie meals. The reviews are good and you can sometimes get deals. If you like steak the Sunday Lunch at Hawksmoor in Shoreditch is our favourite.
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