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London hotel for Family and activities for short stay

London hotel for Family and activities for short stay

Jun 2nd, 2011, 12:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 346
London hotel for Family and activities for short stay

Our family of 4 (2 kids) will be in London for 2 days on our way to Italy from New York next month. I am looking for advice on a good hotel that will take 4 of us in one room. It needs to be convenient to Heathrow- we get in at 6.30 am on a Sunday and depart at 9.30 am on a Tuesday. I am flexible on price but we prefer one room rather than two for the four of us. So far I have seen some apartments but prefer a full service hotel. One available hotel with a quadruple room is the Eden Plaza Kensington. The location seems good right next to South Kensington Station- any comments would be helpful. Also, on the hotel itself- there are some very bad Tripadvisor reviews but all from 2009 and earlier, newer reviews seem better. We just need a clean, comfortable room with 4 beds (no pull outs) in any combination, decent service and easy access to/from the airport. We will each have a small roller bag, but it still might be difficult to navigate on the subway. I understand the Heathrow Express will not work as we will still need to take a cab or switch to the subway. Perhaps a car from just airports using justairports. Any other hotels you can recommend for upto $350 per night for all 4 of us in one room- most of the better hotels appear to require 2 rooms for 4.

Also any advice on London sightseeing that will appeal to teenagers- I assume we should do the Tower, St. Pauls, changing of the guard, perhaps London Eye. Given we have almost two full days, from Sunday what London highlights should we touch- first time in London for the kids. Finally a recommendation for a nice fun dinner would be great.

Thanks very much.
AKR1 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 529
Regarding the South Kensington location - we stayed there a few years ago with my family of 4 (at a B&B) and thought the location was great. Though it is not in the heart of any big tourist area, we didn't find that to be a problem. The things we saw were all over London and all we really needed was being close to the tube. We arrived into Gatwick and took the train to Victoria Station and then the tube from there and we each had a roller bag as well, no problem.

My teens favorite places in London: Westminster Abbey, climbing to the top of St. Pauls, The Tower, Madame Tussauds, London Eye. We were able to do all of that in two full days with EARLY morning start for the first Tower tour and booking ahead & going early to Madame Tussauds. Booked ahead for London Eye too, but it was late afternoon of one of the days. We ate good ethnic food (Thai & Indian) but it was just what we saw passing by, so can't tell you the name of a specific restaurant. Had a great time - they loved London
AtlTravelr is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 02:30 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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What's your definition of "kids"? 1 yr olds or 19 yr olds. Are they male, female or a mixture of both.

What is your family in to as that determines which of several hundred attractions they might be interested in - for example there are 3 world class museums in walking distance of South Kensington station but if you aren't into science, natural history or design it'll be a waste of time suggesting them.
alanRow is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Well, you don't really have 2 "full" days as you might not be settled in somewhere (even given early checkin which you will have to arrange) til late morning.

Remember St. Paul's is not open for tours on Sunday. So you might do the Tower Sunday and then go to St. Paul's on Monday, then you have the afternoon to do something else.

Would advise a pass on the changing of the guard with your limited time--too much time needed to stake out a spot and then you just wait--otherwise you don't have great view. So too many other things to enjoy, in my opinion--Westminster Abbey, the whole Southbank, the British Museum, other museums, parks--better use of limited time than Guard.

You will need to be back at LHR really early, too--3 hours ahead is NOT ridiculous, even for this early flight. Plus your travel time from London.

Justairports is great--highly recommend them.
texasbookworm is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,588
You said that you have teenagers? Why don't you get 2 rooms...far more options and probably still within your budget?
alihutch is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Not sure what you mean by 4 beds. I have never seen a room with 4 beds. For 4 people typically you will get 2 double beds. Does that configuration work for your family. (I would definitely get 2 rooms - we always did without kids - so they had their own bath - and wouldn't wake us up if they came in late at night.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 07:18 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 346
Thanks for the replies.

1. AtlTrvler your response on what to see was very helpful. Thanks.
2. AlanRow my kids are a 17 year old boy and 13 year old girl. We love museums, although by experience the kids attention span is limited in a museum- however they have been to several of the worlds great museums like most of the NYC museums multiple times, the Prado, the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, the Uffizi, the Academia, the Acropolis museum, the Topeka Palace etc. We are going to be spending two weeks in Italy and they will see plenty of art, and we will definitely go at least to the British museum in the little time we have in London.
3. Texasbookworm, thanks for the sightseeing advice. I did not realize we need 3 hours at Heathrow- on my business trips I mostly only arrive 90 minutes early.
4. Ok on two vs one room we are happy to do that but want a good hotel. Please make suggestions- the hotels I am familiar with on business are out of our budget for 2 rooms.
5. By 4 beds I simply meant a bed for each which is not a pull out couch. Two doubles or a double and 2 singles are fine. I just want a decent hotel- I will pay up for a good hotel and squeeze into one room, but not two rooms in a subpar place.
AKR1 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 346
I am leaning towards the Novotel London Tower Bridge Hotel for our two nights in London. Please give me your views on the location in the City. I am planning to take a car from Justairports from/to Heathrow. Tower Hill on the circle Line is the nearest tube stop. Is the neighborhood good for restaurants etc and for easy access to the sights?
AKR1 is offline  

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