Hotels in London

Old Apr 19th, 2008, 08:10 PM
  #1  
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Hotels in London

We are visiting London in August. I have been looking at hotels recommended at various travel books and web forums, and feel kinda overwhelmed. I would like to hear from you fodorites the places you stayed that might work for our vacation.

We are travelling as a family of 4, 2 boys 7 & 9.

My criteria: price up to £250; very centrally located, i.e. not east of The City, not west of Notting Hill/Earls' Court, not north of Bloomsbury, not south of Belgravia, and located less than 5 blocks from tube stations (The boys whine when they are asked to walk more than 5 min. I know we still have to deal with this issue when visiting a museum).

Another qustion: is AC necessary in August? If yes, we don't like windown ACs, too noisy. Central AC would be great, but not sure how realistic that criteria is.

I am considering PL bidding as well, but totally think it won't work just because we need a quad room, and you don't have a say whatsoever at PL. We can be stuck with a tinny room through PL bidding that fits 2 adults. What is your thoughts on this?

travellerGreenBay is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2008, 08:21 PM
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95% of visitors stay in the area you have laid out. Unfortunately - PL won't work for you at all. In London, priceline only deals in double rooms. You could bid on two rooms - but then you'd have to split up and have a parent and a child in each room.

But w/ a family - IMO, an apartment is a much better option than trying to find a quad room w/ ac in a hotel. Lots more space, for less money, and w/ a kitchen which is a Godsend - especially if either child is a picky eater.

Check out the Citadines - since they do have a/c. Then check vrbo (though finding one w/ a/c will be tougher).

janisj is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2008, 03:10 AM
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You could try a family room at the Premier Inn County Hall. Westminster tube station is just over Westminster Bridge, but the walk is interesting and well within the capabilities of a 7 year old. See:
http://www.premierinn.com/
Londonres is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2008, 04:03 AM
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I would also recommend the Premier Inn County Hall. The London Eye is right outside, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are right across the river. It is an easy walk to Trafalgar Square as well as Westminster Abbey.

Don't forget to check out museum tours designed for children. I spent the week before Easter with a 7 and 8 year old and their favorite London experience was the Churchill Underground War Rooms which are also quite close to the Premier Inn County Hall.

Watch for "Horrible History" books. They make history quite entertaining.

Barbara
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Old Apr 20th, 2008, 04:53 AM
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Go to www.londonguestsuites.com and put these property codes individually in the box in the upper right corner.

Most have a minimum stay but you'll probably be there long enough:

1556
2144
1877
983

They all have a/c but don't specify which kind but are within your price since the site quotes in $$.
Carrybean is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2008, 05:30 AM
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and donīt worry too much about walking to public transpsortation. buses may be an easier ride for you.

one never seems to have to walk much more than a block or so for them.
lincasanova is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2008, 09:13 AM
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I was pleased with Ibis Earls Court. It's (from memory) about 3 blocks from the West Brompton station and 5 blocks from the Earls Court station (same direction). It's actually more like 7 blocks from the "Earls Court Road" exit from the station so beware. Earls Court station is perfect for a lot of sightseeing and from Heathrow as it is on the District line.

Ibis is the equivalent of a Holiday Inn. Clean, basic bathroom amenities, queen bed, TV with about 8 channels, no mini fridge, had a central thermostat. I didn't notice any noise. The information desk was quite helpful, handing us several brochures and maps during the course of our stay all for free. For example, I asked what restaurants might be good to eat in and instead of saying "Oh, our restaurant of course!" he pulled out a printout of the nearby area and circled a few places telling me of half a dozen options nearby. They weren't as helpful as booking Tutankhamen passes for us, but oh well. I stayed in two different rooms at the Ibis because we split our London stay. The first room was definitely better, with an armchair and a desk.

Same-day rate two weeks ago was 65 GBP/night/room, I paid 80 GBP/night/room online a month in advance. There is no free internet, and the fee internet is roughly 5 GBP/hour (they have lobby kiosk and a cable in the room).

I used www.tripadvisor.com to find hotels that had decent ratings at decent prices. But I totally agree that looking for hotels was the most overwhelming and time-consuming part of planning the trip. Good luck!
clara804 is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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How long will you stay in London? Is it your first visit?

It can get humid in London, but one notices it most in small shops and the Tube. Big old stone buildings stay relatively cool, especially if you have cross-ventilation.

If you're staying 4 days or more, do consider renting an apartment. More space, kitchen, etc. Look at www.slowtrav.com for reviews of apartment rentals as well as rental agencies.

By the way, why not south of Belgravia? I consider South Kensington, Chelsea, etc, very central. And it really doesn't matter if you're close to a tube station or a bus stop.
Mimar is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Belgravia is really just across Buckingham Palace Rd from Victoria/Pimlico. So looking at the OPs geographic limits, I just took that to mean inside the Circle Line and west of the "city" . . . . .
janisj is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 08:07 PM
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I have narrowed down a couple of units with ACs from londonguestsuites.com. Unfortunately, some of them are already booked. By the way, we will be in London/Paris from 8/8 to 8/20 (12 nights total, staying 6 nights at each city).

Question 1: how necessary is AC in August in London? We live in Wisconsin, which means we don't take heat well. I usually turn on the AC when the temp during the day high hits 78.

Q2: if I have my pick for the locations, which areas are better, i.e. more restaurants within walking distances, grocery stores, laundry mart, etc -- S. Kensington, Farrington, Baker St., and Holborn/Covert Garden?

Q3. Most of the apts at londonguestsuites.com have a cheaper rate if staying for 7 nights or more (difference is about $40-50/night). Is it worth the saving if we spend 7 nights in London, and 5 nights in Paris? Are we going to miss a lot in Paris if only staying for 5 nights? First time for us for both cities.
travellerGreenBay is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 08:33 PM
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I never worry about a/c - but for some folks it is a deal breaker. The odds are you won't need it - but there is always the chance for a heat wave. Only you can decide how much you need a/c

As for the 7 nights vs 6 nights - I love, LOVE both cities, but I would personally divide your 12 nights into 7-London and 5-Paris.

Reasons being 1) London is much larger and spread out and it takes longer to get to all the major sites, and 2) your first day in London may be lost to jet lag. In Paris 80% of the major sites are in a compact area along and w/i half a mile on either side of the Seine.

You could take an early morning train from London and still have a full day in Paris so you wouldn't lose that much time there.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 08:58 PM
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Another vote for Premier Inn County Hall. Great location - a few minutes walk across the bridge from Big Ben, and right at the foot of the London Eye. Also walking distance to the Imperial War Museum, which may be of interest to your boys. I think they might like all the tanks,etc., along with the WWI Trench.

At the PI County Hall, if you buy the breakfast buffet for the two adults, the kids eat free.
MECindylou is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 09:11 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Thumbs up for both the Ibis and Premier Inn also, its just a guaranteed standard.
London is awful if a heat wave hits,and few places will be a/c so it's a must for the hotel.(I lived 500 miles north of London and would really suffer if visiting London during the summer.)
As for how many nights, if it was just the parents,I would say Paris hands down. I mean, if you have all five senses, or even one, you will always pick Paris. But with kids that age, London is easier, as you won't have to always be worried about translations. PS don't let the kids ask for sodas in Paris,served in wee glasses + three times the price.
(ps as for museums, I used to play a quiet game of "I-Spy" around the museum exhibits/paintings, at least it keeps them looking at them, and always plan a fun treat right afterwards (- Harrod's ice cream parlour once for sure -)or visit the gift shop for tat. (rubbishy inexpensive stuff).
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