London Hotel for First Timers

Old Feb 19th, 2019, 05:59 PM
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London Hotel for First Timers

Hello everyone. Planning a trip to London with my sister in June of 2020 with Day trips . We would prefer something central close to a Tube station that would not break the bank - been to Scotland so familiar with the - with a full English breakfast included. Were thinking 12 to14 nights as we are at the early planning stage and deciding our must see.

If you have a favourite company for Day trips, please do share. Im looking at Viator but also at railway tickets/pass for self guided visits. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Feb 19th, 2019, 06:41 PM
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>>We would prefer something central close to a Tube station that would not break the bank<<

Hundreds of hotels are central and close to tube stations. Since we don't know how big your bank is are to say what would break it. What is your actual budget per night?

However -- I go to London frequently (at least a couple of times a year) and have stayed in almost every corner of central London . . . but for two weeks I would NEVER stay in a hotel. For that long I would rent a flat every time. In fact when staying more than 3 or 4 days -- I prefer a flat to a hotel. After that those four walls of a typical hotel room will start to squeeze in one me. For the same quality a flat will cost less, will definitely have more space than a hotel room, and will have a kitchen or kitchenette usually including a washer/dryer.

And after two full weeks of a full English Breakfast - they'll charge you overweight on the flight home Having a kitchen means some morning you can go out, some mornings you can do a full cooked, and some mornings you can just have yoghurt and toast . . . Your choice.
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Old Feb 19th, 2019, 09:15 PM
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We like London Walks for guided walks in London and they also offer day trips. London Walks "London's best guided walks" Time Out - London Walks

Day trips to a lot of places are easy to arrange yourself. Read up a bit on what to see and do, buy train tickets and go. Often the visitor centre in the town will have guided walks which are reasonably priced and interesting. Some places easy to do yourself are Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Canterbury.

Having a small kitchenette for your two week trip is an excellent idea. After a long day out, you can get soup and bread, or whatever, at the supermarket on the way back from the tube and sit with your feet up. No need to go back out and find somewhere for a meal. It's more relaxing and cost effective too. We stayed last year at a budget apartment in Bloomsbury, near Russell Square tube and St Pancras. Loved the area.

Kay
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Old Feb 19th, 2019, 09:45 PM
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Hotel breakfasts tend to be very expensive and not always great. If you are staying in central London there will be dozens of places for a better and cheaper and more interesting breakfast nearby.
Agree that for 2 weeks a flat would be much nicer than a hotel. In addition to the usual airbnb, homeaway and other sites, look at serviced apartments such as Citadines. The ones in Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden have a great location.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 06:06 AM
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janisj, “they'll charge you overweight on the flight home”...funny. No worries, at 117 pounds and my sister being lighter with no cholesterol or blood glucose issues, we’re good.

Years ago, I used VRBO for a month long stay in Paris. I’ll check them out. Thanks for your suggestions on Day trips and things to do in London.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 08:43 AM
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You might also take a look at London Perfect apartments, if you decide to go that route. There are lots of things to do for breakfast besides eating in a hotel. We often stay in apartments just for the space. I rarely cook or eat in the apartment...maybe a snack. I always want to get out and see what's going on. I am already focused on checking out Ole and Steen for breakfast treats while in London in April.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 02:51 PM
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Anothwr happy renter from London Perfect. Beautiful apartments, excellent service from local staff.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 04:40 PM
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I'll comment on day trips from London. Some of them are SO easy to do independently, that I don't see the point of going on a bus tour. Bath, for example.
There is frequent train service. A 5-7-minute walk from the Bath train station and you arrive at the town center, with a Tourist Information Office offering free guided walks. You can explore other corners of Bath, or return to places you saw with the guide, after the guided walk is over. Similarly easy day trips: Windsor, Oxford, Cambridge, even York. Cambridge town center is a fair walk from the train station, but it is walkable, or there are buses or taxis. Again, the Tourist Information centers often organize guided walking tours for a general orientation. To see some of the colleges, a guide is sometimes required (sometimes not, I think) but note that the colleges may not be open for visitors during exams and other time periods. Any of those cities are also worthy of an overnight stay. Unless you intend to rent a car, Stonehenge is good for a bus tour (sometimes, that is combined with a very short visit to Bath).
In London, if you were going to stay in a hotel (or even in a flat) I for locations I find the most convenient are the Russell Square and Gloucester Road tube areas. I like South Kensington also, but it seems to me to be a more expensive area than the other two. If your luggage is manageable, you can get on the Tube at Heathrow, take the Piccadilly Line, and you have a straight run to Russell Square, South Kensington, and Gloucester Road stops--but that's a challenge if you are travelling by Tube during the rush hours.
Which daytrips are you considering?
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 06:54 PM
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janisj, denisea: the though of a flat for a week in London is interesting, if we can keep it to ~$150USD/night. London Perfect, VRBO .... and? We've never searched for a flat, and this is something that booking.com won't do well.

Thanks
EJZ
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 07:24 PM
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>>~$150USD/night.<< equals approx 115 . . . you are much more likely to get a flat for that than a decent hotel. But it is a modest budget for either really.

London Perfect tends to be a lot pricier -- though they do provide good service.

vrbo, airbnb, homeaway are all listing sites that will have properties in all price ranges - but you would be dealing with individual owners/management so there is no standard of service/quality.

>>this is something that booking.com won't do well.<<

Sure they do -- Booking.com lists all kinds of flats and lost of budget accommodations --
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 07:30 PM
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Well, LondonPerfect flats are expensive. We stayed in one during a winter sale, and I was nice, but generally not within our budget. We've done better budget wise with VRBO and AirBnB.

I like every part of London I've stayed in. Last time it was in a budget apartment in Fitzrovia, where we could have picked a better street but it was very handy for transportation.

Favorite day trips have been Salisbury and Winchester. Made a trip to the Watts Gallery, Artist Village and Cemetery in Guildford. We had a lot of fun but that might not be for everyone.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 07:43 PM
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Another possibility for a 12-14 night trip is to choose two or three hotels or apartments in different areas of London. By staying in different areas, I really feel I see different parts of the city up close. If you do this, figure out an efficient method for the transfer so as not to waste hours of your precious tourist time.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 08:19 PM
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>>Another possibility for a 12-14 night trip is to choose two or three hotels or apartments in different areas of London. <<

That will work for hotels but can be harder for flats -- between the 10AM check out and typical 3 or 4 PM check in there is no place to leave luggage. Hotels will generally hold bags either before or after check in/check out. Most the time with flats that isn't possible, unless one stays at aparthotels like Citadines or Dolphin House.
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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 01:43 PM
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Janisj is right about checking homeway, AirBNB, etc...I also agree with her about changing apartments several times during the trip. I would pick a location and stay put. You can always choose a new neighborhood everyday to wander and explore without having to pack up and move again. The fact is that there is no real right or wrong here...your trip, your rules. Take the advice and decide what will work for you and enjoy your trip!
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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 02:12 PM
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I have rented several apartments from A Place Like Home in London. They have always been very helpful and we have had very nice apartments.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2019, 11:51 AM
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We've never searched for a flat, and this is something that booking.com won't do well.
I often rent flats through booking.com. I don't know why you think they don't do it well. You can check off the type of accomodation you want on the left-hand side.

Just last week, I stayed for a week in a lovely flat, rented through booking.com, in Bologna, where my husband was hospitalized. I feel that booking.com give me more security than many other agencies that specialize in apartments.
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