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london apartment - advice needed

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Sep 20th, 2015, 07:03 AM
  #1
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london apartment - advice needed

DD and I will be in London in November. I want to book an apartment, but I am not sure which area will work best for us. Most days, I have to be at University of London in Malet Street, near the British Museum. We also love going to the theatre (mostly West End). Last year I have paid 200Pound / night for a room in the Strand Palace Hotel. The location was excellent for theatre, but it would be nice to have a kitchen and a room for each of us.

This place is in the same price range:
http://chsrentals.com/properties-lon...ridge-pimlico/

This one is a bit big, but looks nice:
http://chsrentals.com/properties-lon...quare-pimlico/

Can anybody perhaps recommend an apartment that you loved in the Bloomsbury area?
Is Pimlico a good choice? Where else should I consider?

Thanks in advance - yet again!
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Sep 20th, 2015, 08:37 AM
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I really like Pimlico and St Georges Square is lovely (I've stayed in the area probably 8 or 10 times - twice in St Georges Square). But it isn't all that convenient to Malet street/Russell Square having to change at Green Park (fairly long walks w/i the station).

I'd have absolutely no problem staying there -- but if you could find something in Bloomsbury you'd be walking distance to Malet Street.

The flats I've rented nearer to Malet Street (in Goodge street) are no longer vacation rentals so I don't have specific suggestions)

If you like the St Georges Sq one I wouldn't worry too much about the commute . . .
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Sep 20th, 2015, 09:29 AM
  #3
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Thanks Janis, I really value your input! I thought it would be easier to commute duirng the day to Malet street and be a bit nearer the theatres in the evenings. From Pimlico it seems like a +-20 minute trip to Goodge station, with one change. But yes, if I have a choice I do not much like the long walks w/i the station.
I have been in London only twice, and I still struggle to get my head around this sprawling wonderful old city.
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Sep 20th, 2015, 12:26 PM
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Actually -- from Bloomsbury one is much closer/quicker to the main theatre areas either walking or by tube (except for those around Victoria or at Sloane Sq. which are closer to Pimlico)
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Sep 20th, 2015, 01:34 PM
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The Morgan Hotel in Bloomsbury has a few apartments as well as regular rooms. You might google and see if they look at all appealing to you. Breakfast is included, and it is just around the corner from the British Museum.
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Sep 20th, 2015, 09:56 PM
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The best apartment we ever had in London was let through londonconnection.com, who have received fairly unanimously positive reviews here on Fodors. Not knowing your exact dates I just looked at some random November arrivals and see several places around Leicester Square/Covent Garden, even Mayfair that would suit. Pimlico is lovely but not sure it would be the best location for your purposes.
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Sep 20th, 2015, 10:25 PM
  #7
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Thanks everybody! I will follow up on your suggestions and then ask again.
I liked the idea of Pimlico, but it seems as if it gets tricky with trains from there.
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Sep 21st, 2015, 08:13 AM
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Not tricky really -- Victoria line to Green Park then Piccadilly Line to Russell Square and walk over to Malet Street. It is just that the transfer at Green Park is a bit of a walk between platforms. If you stayed in the Bloomsbury/Russell Square/Goodge Street area you could walk to Malet Street w/o using any public transport. But if you like the Pimlico flat(s) they would be fine.
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Sep 21st, 2015, 08:32 AM
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Hi, lucky kovsie. And lucky DD to go with you. I'll look forward to your TR.

I will stick my neck out and mention airbnb, where we have successfully found great apartments, houses, and rooms in several countries. The trick is looking carefully at reviews.

This one at random, not knowing your dates, gets 5 stars:

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3868603...uests=2&s=piPv

Only one bed on that one, of course, but only people who've stayed there are allowed to review a place. You can confirm the address of a place by contacting the host. There is the disadvantage of paying the entire amount up front, but it's refunded if you have a genuine beef and varying degrees of cancelation fee. For our last Paris trip I made an alternate refundable hotel reservation as backup.
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Sep 21st, 2015, 11:50 PM
  #10
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Thank so much SEAMUS, I went with your recommendation for LondonConnection - they get mostly excellent reviews (except one guy who was really angry with them in Paris in 2007).

JANISJ: Thanks for helping to orientate me - I have decided to save Pimlico for another time.

CAROLYN: The Morgan looks like an interesting place - loads of character.

STOKEBAILY: I have used Airbnb in the past, and mostly liked it. Clever of you to have a Plan B with a back-up hotel. And yes ... I do count my blessings!

I have now booked this apartment, which looks nice, gets good reviews and is easy walking distance to my venue in Malet Street:
https://londonconnection.com/propert...helton-street/

Big sigh of relief.
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 06:42 AM
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Oh, that place looks very nice, and should be a fun location. Walking distance is always a plus.
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 09:10 AM
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I was going to suggest London Connection as well. We rented a Covent Garden apartment with them earlier this month and they were wonderful to work with. You'd love all the options for food and activities in the area. Enjoy your stay.
One restaurant I would suggest in Soho is Barrafina on Frith St. It's a stand in line and eat at the counter, a bit noisy restaurant, but we enjoyed the atmosphere, service and food.
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 10:27 AM
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Great location - and just up the street from Seven Dials/Neal's Yard Dairy which is a fantastic cheese shop.

One thing to note -- re Covent Garden Tube station: Until at least a few weeks ago it was exit-only (one couldn't enter the station but could get off there). That may be rectified now since they were replacing the lifts over the last year. Should be open and running normally by the time you are there - maybe check the TFL website.
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 01:59 PM
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Good choice, kovsie! U of L is an easy walk from there. That is also an excellent location for a touristic visit. There is a Marks & Spencer just across from the Covent Garden tube station that offers groceries as well as basic prepared food (sandwiches, salads, etc.) and bakery items. A bit below the station is a Tesco. Not that you will need to load in groceries, as there is a seemingly endless array of eating options at all price points within an easy walk.

One of the reviews mentions Christina as the property manager - our experience with her was excellent. We were in an LC flat in Mayfair when the Icelandic volcano eruption shut down air travel and they made sure we were accommodated. Reviewers also mention David, the driver recommended by LC. We used him for both arrival and departure, could not have been happier. Yes, the price is a bit more than making the transit via tube, but it was worth every penny.

BTW if Coven garden station is unavailable, Leicester Square is an easy walk.
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 07:57 PM
  #15
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This is so amazing! I cannot believe that I pay exactly the same for this lovely flat that I paid for a smallish 'standard twin' hotel room last year.
Thanks for the restaurant recommendation Gailscout! We will look for it.

JANIS: Not long ago I read something about the history of Seven Dials - to buy good cheese at this old, old crossroads will be great.
As far as I can see Covent Garden station is still exit only. Fortunately there are other nearby options.

Great to hear that there are grocery stores nearby. Nice to eat in restaurants, but also very nice to have something simple at home.

SEAMUS: Christina's name is also on our paperwork. Good to know that you were so satisfied with the service. I made a mistake regarding dates and mailed them about it. Within a few hours I received a call from the US helping me with this (I live in Dubai).

JANISJ: Next thing I have to sort: We will arrive at Heathrow Friday 30 October, and take a bus to Oxford for one night. Then return on the Saturday afternoon from Oxford to Covent Garden. What would be the easiest way to do this? I think train to Paddington (?), taxi to the flat. Is there a better way?

Thanks yet again!
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 08:08 PM
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Train to Paddington + taxi works. Or you could take one of the express coaches (the Oxford Tube and the X90). They have stops at Victoria, Marble Arch and in Marylebone. Each would involve a shorter/cheaper cab ride.
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 11:07 PM
  #17
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OK I am trying to work this out. Train Oxford to Paddington can take 59minutes and can cost as little as 8Pounds. However, it says: 'Specified train only. No refunds.' So ... if you miss it for whatever reason, you buy a new ticket:
http://www.thetrainline.com/buyticke.../////Dep/1/0//

Buses leave every 10 - 15 minutes, cost 15Pounds, take 100 minutes - depending on traffic.

Bus thus more expensive and takes much longer, but you can be late.
Train still seems a better choice.

Please tell me if I am perhaps missing something!
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Sep 24th, 2015, 10:13 AM
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No, you're not missing anything. Cheap train fares mean tying yourself down. If you don't want to take that risk, you pay more than the bus. Try modelling various alternatives at www.nationalrail.co.uk (which puts you through direct to the operating company).
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Sep 26th, 2015, 08:37 PM
  #19
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Train tickets bought!
Thank you very good (as the greengrocer in Paris used to say).
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Oct 30th, 2015, 08:53 AM
  #20
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This is just to provide feedback to all of you who helped me to find an apartment in London. I rented a two-bedroom apartment through LONDON CONNECTION. It is in a great location - near Camden Market Tube Station, 6 minutes walk from Trafalgar Square. The service and support from London Connection is excellent. The apartment is really clean, the beds comfy, the kitchen well-equipped. We were booked in by Ricardo, who was waiting for us with an open umbrella in the London rain. Everything is as it should be, and I am looking forward to a great week in wonderful London!

Thanks again to all of you wise and generous Fodorites!
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