London flat recommendation

Jan 27th, 2010, 01:43 PM
  #1  
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London flat recommendation

Although I think I've narrowed down at least the area of London we want to be in next October (for one week), and the general price range (ouch!), I'd appreciate Fodorite knowledge and recommendations regarding these two properties -

1. L94 on A Place Like Home's listing - listed as Alexandra Court, South Kensington http://www.aplacelikehome.co.uk/prop...t=propertylist

2. #282610 on VRBO - a Bloomsbury apartment. http://www.vrbo.com/282610

The one in Bloomsbury is slightly more expensive (can't really tell yet since the A Place Like Home listing is only a price band of 500-799 GBP whereas the VRBO listing is 850 GBP). Both locations look pretty good. Both seem to be fairly close to tube stop. To the best of my knowledge, both should be in areas that have ample restaurants, pubs, etc.

I'd appreciate any feedback on these.

Knoxville Couple
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Jan 27th, 2010, 04:09 PM
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Hi Knoxville,

I can vouch for using the agency, A Place Like Home. We rented an apartment at Lennox Gardens on the border of Chelsea and South Kensington from them this Christmas. Nick and Adrian, the accountant, were great answering my many questions via email. The apartment was immaculate. They were able to accomodate us for an earlier check in which was very much appreciated after an overnight flight. The deposit was sent back sooner than we expected. We were pleased with their service and we'd definitely book with them again when we return.
tcinct is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 04:45 PM
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I am not second guessing your decision to look for a flat. But if a true bed and breakfast might interest you, we have used the At Home in London agency twice most happily.
(I don't know how many people your group is--maybe too many for a B&B or maybe you want to cook dinner or do laundry.)
(And if you're from Knoxville, Tennessee--Go Vols! from an alum (two of us, actually, DH, too) here in south Texas--with relatives in south Knoxville!)
texasbookworm is online now  
Jan 27th, 2010, 10:55 PM
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The Alexandra Court flat is essentially in Queens Gate. Around the corner from the Natural History/Science/V&A museum and a short walk from Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens/Royal Albert Hall etc, and the Gloucester Rd and South Kensington tube stations.

It is a lower ground or 'garden flat' -- meaning a basement. That doesn't mean a dark and dingy hole like "basement" may bring to mind. It just means you take a stairway down from the sidewalk level.

The VRBO Bloomsbury flat - he doesn't tell us exactly where it is. Could be anywhere between Russell Sq, the Brunswick Centre and St Pancras. It is a good area - but I'd personally want to be at the south end (Russell Sq) than the north bit (near St Pancras). It is a top floor flat -but I don't see any mention of a lift -- if that is important.
janisj is online now  
Jan 28th, 2010, 01:01 AM
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I have no experience of either apartment but agree that A Place Like Home is an excellent agency and has provided me with two of my top vacation rental experiences.

As for the VRBO listing, I got so excited about the Bloomsbury flat with the harpsichord that I totally missed that there is no mention of an elevator. But I have saved the link just in case.
Nikki is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 01:34 AM
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Good heavens, who would trust their harpsichord and clavinova to holiday renters?! I can't image that their insurance company would be too keen!
alihutch is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 08:42 AM
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Yeah - I liked that too. You either get a bed/air mattress --- or a clavinova and harpsichord
janisj is online now  
Jan 28th, 2010, 04:32 PM
  #8  
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Thanks for the advice folks. I decided to take a flat from A Place Like Home, but a different one than mentioned above. It's all of a block from the one janisj said was in Queensgate. The good news is that it is a little less expensive (all of 60 GBP for the week, but that ain't chump change) and a bit bigger. It's actually 2 BR/2 BA, although the agent said that the cheaper price was only for one of the bedrooms. I've sent her another email to verify that they won't rent out the other BR while we're there since we don't really want to share a LR, kitchen, and dining area with people we don't know, although the other renters might be really interesting!

Regarding the clavinova/harpsichord at the other flat, did you notice that the owner is a itinerant conductor? I actually checked out his resume and it's not inconsequential. One does wonder, though, about leaving valuable instruments for renters to enjoy?

And texasbookworm, yes we live in K-town, TN. Daughter is an alum with BA/MA, and wife got her JD there. Go Vols! And we all hope that Peyton does his number at the superbowl.

Thanks again,

Sam
knoxvillecouple is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 05:23 PM
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Hope you can enjoy planning your days now that you have the rooms secured; lots of info here on the Forum to help you; have you been before? I'm returning for my 3rd trip in July/August and can't imagine how I would have planned without this resource! And yes, yea Colts!
texasbookworm is online now  
Jan 28th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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I'm thinking the kind of people who are likely to want to use the owner's harpsichord are not the kind of people likely to damage it. I guess that's what the owner is thinking too.
Nikki is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 07:12 PM
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"he cheaper price was only for one of the bedrooms. I've sent her another email to verify that they won't rent out the other BR while we're there since we don't really want to share a LR, kitchen, and dining area with people we don't know, although the other renters might be really interesting!"

That is very common -- no, you won't be sharing. If a flat is, say 2 bdrm sleeping up to six people, they price it depending on whether they need to furnish linens for the 2nd bedroom and towels for the extra people. So this owner has one price if you need both bedrooms and a lower rate if you only need 1 bedroom.
janisj is online now  
Jan 29th, 2010, 01:01 PM
  #12  
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janisj - indeed I got an email from A Place Like Home verifying that the flat is for us only. And even though we won't be using the other bedroom (other than perhaps to store our luggage) and won't need linens, it will be nice to have the extra space to spread out a bit.

texasbookworm - yes, now I/we can start planning for our week. DW went to summer school at the University of London when in college, but that was a few years ago (actually quite a few years ago!), and I was there in my youth (even MANY more years ago) with my family for 3 days. So we have a barebones structure to start with. We know we want some daytrips, perhaps to Oxford and Canterbury and Salisbury, but we'll be focusing on London. And of course I'll be mining the rich information offered by Fodorites.

Thanks,

Sam
knoxvillecouple is offline  
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