London apartment location

Old Sep 24th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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London apartment location

Hello,
We are considering a 2 bedroom apartment for our June 2005 stay in London. This apartment is located on Broadwall St. and is between the Blackfriars bridge and the Waterloo bridge.

The rate being offered is 122 British pounds per night for 4 nights. I found this apartment on VRBO.com.

Is this a safe, relatively central location?
Does the price seem about right for a June visit?

Thank you for your help! Laurie


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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 10:08 AM
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Can anyone tell me a little more about this area?

Just to clarify, it is on the south bank of the Thames and is very close to the OXO Tower.

Thanks for your help! Laurie
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 10:17 AM
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Hi Laurie,

I'd not stay here. This area is interesting during the day (South Bank has a lot of cultural and fun stuff going on, Prince Charles Theatre, Museum of Moving Image, etc.) but I have to tell you it can be a wasteland after dark.

The location is most definitely not central. If you're on foot, it is a little time consuming to walk across the bridge (though you could take public transport from Waterloo.)

I'd recommend you stay in a hotel if this is your first trip to London.

Let me know if you want any suggestions. :_)
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Old Sep 26th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Thanks for your reply, travdog. This is our second visit to London. The first time we spent a week in an apartment in the St. Katherine's Marina area. Tower Hill was the closest tube stop.

We are traveling with another couple this time and we really want the additional space that an apartment can offer.

We also would like to have a kitchen so we can cook and save a little money by not eating at resturants all the time.

As long as the area is safe, I think we will be happy here.

Thanks again for your help.

If anyone else knows more about this area of London, please chime in!

Thanks again! Laurie

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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 06:15 AM
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This is an interesting little enclave, on the edge of, or part of, an area which has been regenerated and rebuilt since the residents got together to resist a more conventional and largely commercially-driven redevelopment (I think travdog's experience may not be so recent). The area as a whole is more an 'up and coming' residential/business area than tourist-oriented, and it may be a bit quiet in the evenings. But this flat is within walking distance of everything going on in the South Bank/Bankside area (National Theatre, National Film Theatre, Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Globe, Tate Modern, and a little further to Borough Market), and right beside a small park which also has a number of cafés/restaurants.

It is some distance from the underground, but there are buses going along Stamford St and over Blackfriars Bridge.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 06:20 AM
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I agree with PatrickLondon. Walking around that area this summer, I noticed a number of newer apartment buildings. We stopped in a little place for lunch and realized that this was as Patrick puts it, "an interesting little enclave". I suspect it is much more "London" than the usual favorite people have of renting in the Knightsbridge area.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 12:12 PM
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PATRICKLONDON, you are correct that I haven't been to London in a few years (esp since you kindly answered my post about new things since 2001/2!)

However, when I was leaving they were touting this as the next residential/business area. There were a multitude of tower blocks going up for monthly rentals, specializing in long term business rentals, and I remember the area as being particularly quiet (boring, but interestingly not unsafe feeling) after dark.

For what its worth, I made my comments based mainly on the idea of poor Laurie and her friends being out to dinner in Kensington or something and having to haul themselves back over the bridge. Also, I assumed from her post that this was her first trip, and thought it would be easier for her to be a little more central, in case she wanted to do the usual London stuff.
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 09:15 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your help with this apartment location. I think we would enjoy the area it is in.
I have emailed with the owner about renting the apartment but I am not sure what we will do because the booking terms are making me uncomfortable.

They require a 200GBP deposit and full payment of the rent 30 days prior to our visit. The deposit is not refunded until after we return home. The owner mails the deposit to our address.

Does this sound a little strict? It seems like an awful lot of money upfront to me. The four day rental price is reasonable though at 122gbp per night.

Arggg! I am so confused! Not sure what to do!

Thanks again for your help! Laurie
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Old Sep 27th, 2004, 10:26 PM
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I would look for another apt. You say the booking terms are making you uncomfortable. Then why stay there? The fact that you have to put a deposit down that you don't get back until after you return home is a rip-off as is paying the full amount one month before you show up. Do a search for apts. on the search box and you will come up with some other suggestions. I would never agree to an arrangement like that. They get my money when I check out and no sooner.
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 02:47 AM
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Don't stay there! The terms sound very dodgy. Have a look at some of the regular hotel-like apartment buildings in London; do a search here. Perhaps something like Citadines would be in the same price range.
These places do not normally charge a deposit.
If you look at laterooms.com there is always an apartment hotel on Queensgate in Kensington that has very low rates. You probably don't want to book last minute, but have a look at it anyway; you can always contact them directly.
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 03:21 AM
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Laurie, what is the name of the company that's setting these terms? It might be worth doing a search on these boards, or indeed the web, to see what other people have said about the company (rather than the area). Naming no names, but I think we all know of one with a very bad reputation.

Travdog, no criticism intended, you might well be right - 'horses for courses' and all that. It's an area that's probably better suited to someone who's been to London before.
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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Hi Laurie,

Re deposit and payment in advance.

It is not that unusual for small owners to require these. That way, they don't end up with an empty property if the customer decides to cancel.

If you rented an apt in the US, you would be asked for one month's rental as deposit and the first month's rent in advance.
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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I've been renting the same flat in London for years and years now. The policy is still the same. I pay 1/3 deposit to reserve (usually 10 months or so in advance of my trip), I pay the full balance 30 days prior to arrival, and I pay an additional $100 deposit for incidentals which I get back about a month after departure (they wait for the phone bill to deduct). I just look at it as having the place paid for in advance.
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 09:31 AM
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There are some weird terms they ask for when you rent a flat in London, but this seems like a standard arrangement.

PatrickLondon, I didn't think you were criticizing me, I was just explaining my reason for the suggestion. I just re-read my post and it sounded defensive, not my intention!
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 08:34 PM
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Hi, Thanks to everyone for their advice. I don't think we will rent this apartment. I am just too uncomfortable with the booking terms. The 200GBP is almost $350 U.S. dollars.

We will keep looking.

Oh, Patrick the apartment is listed by an individual owner on VRBO.com It is listing number 11431.

Thanks again for your help.
Laurie
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 04:59 AM
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Laurie

The apartment is located behind the Oxo Tower Restaurant in the heart of the south bank area - I can see it out of my office window. Not immediately the liveliest of areas but within a short walk there are some very good restaurants and pleasant untouristy local pubs. It?s about 10 minutes to Waterloo Station, perfectly safe and very close to the West End. I notice the apartment has a roof terrace which in June will be a real bonus (weather permitting of course).
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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The rate is very reasonable, and the position isn't too bad, however, consider the following:

If you intend staying out until the small hours, the chances are that you will be in the W1 area, you have to bear in mind that you will need to get a taxi back to the south bank, if that is no problem then take the apartment which is fabulous value.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 05:40 AM
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What an amazing site this is. Where else could someone in the US ask about an apartment in London and have someone (David_London, in this case) respond that he is looking at it out his window and notices the roof terrace. That's what I call concise information.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 09:02 PM
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Yes Patrick, I agree, pretty amazing!

Thank you David London for your comments.I wish the booking arrangements for this apartment were a little looser. I think we would enjoy the area.

Thanks again for your help! Laurie
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Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 09:07 AM
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Well, after much consideration, we have decided to rent this apartment for our stay in London next June.

I will report back about the apartment when we return.

Thanks again to everyone for your input!
Laurie
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