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How is this area of London? And ? about UK rental agency, "London Agent"

How is this area of London? And ? about UK rental agency, "London Agent"

Nov 17th, 2012, 09:45 AM
  #1  
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How is this area of London? And ? about UK rental agency, "London Agent"

Apartment:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationR...n_England.html

Reviews are great, however my limited knowledge of London has me curious about the neighborhood. It's between Tube stations Aldgate and Tower Hill. Map is at the link.

Will be traveling with husband and two teen girls.

Thanks
Jinky is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 12:26 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Never heard of London Agent -which doesn't mean much one way or the other. But I have heard of many agencies - just not that one (which seems weird since their website says they've been doing this for 20+ years - but maybe in the past they've specialized in corporate lets??).

That is a very business/commercial area. It is nearer to Aldgate then to Tower Hill. Not the most convenient for getting to other sites but not out in the boonies or anything.
janisj is online now  
Nov 17th, 2012, 01:17 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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We've recently booked accom in Clerkenwell for the first week of December through London Agent. Service has been terrific, including quick response to queries and help in organising transport from Heathrow to make the key collection process easier for our out-of-hours arrival.

Location seems to be convenient for many of the things we want to do in London, with reasonable connections to the rest of the city, and our Eurostar exit to Paris from St Pancras.

Will post a report when we get home.

Link to apartment:

http://www.thelondonagent.com/Super-...ll-Home-2.html
bendigo is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Curious about the "sleeps 3" part, since I count 4 of you.
stokebailey is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 01:38 PM
  #5  
 
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I notice it's only a one-bedroom flat, so presumably two of you will have to keep folding the sofa bed in and out. Overall, it's smaller than my flat, and might be a squeeze for four people.

This is on or just off Minories, which, as janis says, is basically a business district. It will seem very dead at the weekend and most weekday evenings, but I notice some of the the reviews mention a bar being on the ground floor which may get a bit noisy on a Friday night, I would guess.

This bit of Minories is at least not part of the major traffic flow system in the area, and not totally without restaurants, etc, in the area (though on exploring, you'd probably feel more like walking all the way down to St Katharine's Dock or round past the Tower and along Tower St for the collections of restaurants there, which isn't exactly on the doorstep).

Fine for a business visitor who's here to meet contacts in the financial industries, but I'd have thought the location a bit dull for the average family tourist, especially given how squeezed you might feel inside the flat.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 03:43 PM
  #6  
 
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Holy cr-p that place is TINY. Two teen girls and parents and only 463 square feet? That's madness. You need 650-700 square feet just to avoid climbing all over each other all the time.

Would look elsewhere.
BigRuss is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 04:10 PM
  #7  
 
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"Ours" as above - see here:
http://www.thelondonagent.com/Super-...ll-Home-2.html

Two bedroom / two bathroom - still looks fairly small, but is 76 sq metres (about 700 sq ft)- 5 of us to fit in - parents + 3 kids 20,18 & 16
bendigo is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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bendigo: I might wait until you stay there before recommending 'your' flat. It might be absolutely fine - but it is also right on the railroad tracks and not in the most convenient location.

Jinky: "yours" only sleeps 3 and one of those is on a single fold away bed.

Actually - the listing is contradictory. In one place it states sleeps 4 w/ a tuckaway, and in another is states >>A fold up bed can be provided for the third person.<< I'm pretty sure the "4" is a mis-print since I can't see where a double sized folding bed could possibly fit.

The best thing about the flat is the bedroom closet - but otherwise - meh
janisj is online now  
Nov 17th, 2012, 05:40 PM
  #9  
 
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I didn't realize there were 4 of you. Sorry - I don;t think this has enough places to sleep and it is SMALL. (My first one-bedroom felt tiny - and it was 550 sq ft - and I lived there alone.)

Also - while the area is perfectly safe and reasonably central - it is a business area - and likely very quiet at nights/weekends.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 05:40 PM
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Janis,

Not recommending the flat - but it looks reasonable in the photos, and appears to be in an area of redevelopment that is part of Clerkenwell's gentrification. I realise it's on the trainline and hoping it will be good.

Offered by way of comparison - the only endorsement I have given so far is in respect of my dealings with The London Agent. Will report post-trip as to whether my positive feelings are justified or were misplaced!
bendigo is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 06:50 PM
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Bendigo: 76 m2 is just over 800 sq ft, not 700. That's nearly 75% larger than the OP's proposed flat, which the OP should not choose.
BigRuss is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 08:04 PM
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Even better - tho I'm not going to endorse "my" place until after our trip!
bendigo is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 10:36 PM
  #13  
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Thanks everyone.. Yikes, yes - that's small. Heck, just our master bedroom at home is over 425 square feet.

PatrickLondon, thanks for the description of the area. Now I know that's also not an area we'd be interested in.

bendigo: Yes, let us know about that flat.

Also, I am quite surprised at how many flats are already booked up four months in advance. There are several I have inquired about that have already been taken.

Also, it's only for 3 nights, so perhaps that's part of the problem. However, a hotel room would either be either too small, or if it's a suite with 2 bedrooms, (or even a Jr suite with a pull out sofa), too expensive..

Any advice? We have our places for Paris and Amsterdam - (7 nights Paris 5 nights Amsterdam) .. now we just need a place in London. Trying to spend less than $250 if possible.

Thanks so much
Jinky is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 07:00 AM
  #14  
 
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Hi, Jinky. I wonder whether you might consider a Bloomsbury hotel with breakfast included:

Like Arran House www.arranhotel-london.com/ quint basic £155. When we stayed there several years ago, our basic quad room was on the ground floor, very quiet, facing the garden, and the shared bath was kept spotless, hardly ever a wait to use. Not sure why they don't have the quad basic anymore
or Celtic Hotel, formerly St. Margaret's www.stmargaretshotel.co.uk
quad basic £115.
or
Jesmond Hotel, http://jesmondhotel.org.uk
ensuite quad £145.

When we stayed at Arran House, our girls were 14 and 16. They loved it there, loved the breakfast spread and lingering in the breakfast room over tea and a newspaper or in the comfy lounge. You can keep things in the fridge and use the kitchen a little, when it's not being used for breakfast. The human interaction there added to our pleasure, and it was an easy bus ride down to Trafalgar Sq and all the bus connections there.
stokebailey is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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Bloomsbury would certainly be pretty high on my list of areas you're more likely to prefer - if you can find somewhere you like at a reasonable price.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 07:18 AM
  #16  
 
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I'm suspicious of the reviews for self-catering accommodation on TripAdvisor. They bought out another site to get into the apartment/villa-renting business, and the original site allowed owners to vet and reject reviews they didn't like. Hence no bad reviews. And I had a hard time trying to post a villa review there, finally gave up.

I'm also skeptical of www.vrbo.com, though most have reported good experiences dealing directly through the apartment owner. But I am loath to take chances on my precious vacation time.

Have you looked at www.slowtrav.com? Posters there review both a unit and the agency through which they worked. Find a couple of agencies that are well-reviewed and check out their offerings.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:11 AM
  #17  
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stokebailey, I will check those, thanks! One room was enough for all of you?

Mimar, I love slowtrav! We used that site and the accommodations they suggested when we went to Italy last year. (all were perfect and beyond our expectations!). I even suggested slowtrav to a fellow Fodors traveler the other day for Italy. Not sure why I spaced and forgot they also have UK listings. Thanks for jogging my memory!
Jinky is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:18 AM
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Four months is very tight timing for apartments - they rent out much earlier than hotel typically.

Since it is only 3 nights you might consider bidding for two double rooms on Priceline - and might find something within your budget - although lodging prices there are typically higher than Paris or Amsterdam.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:20 AM
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Jinky, my family found our one room to be just fine, since there was also the lounge and the garden if we needed elbow room.
stokebailey is offline  
Nov 18th, 2012, 09:25 AM
  #20  
 
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jinky - I'm glad that you've been so open to the suggestions of the other fodorites regarding this apartment, as IMO you would have spent most of your time getting away from it! Bloomsbury, South Ken and even Westminster are much more the sorts of areas you ought to be looking at unless you want to spend your entire time away from your apartment.
annhig is offline  

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