London hotel need help

Old May 27th, 2009, 12:57 PM
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London hotel need help

I have had so many random suggestions of areas that I'm completely confused. We are landing in Heathrow, staying 4 nights, then going on Eurostart to Paris. Then back to London and flying out of Heathrow. For our 4 night stay what would be the area that makes it easy to get in from Heathrow, get out to Eurostar station, and walk to some main sight areas? I tried using the tube map to decide but I don't understand how to read it. I am looking at staying in a budget hotel (would like to spend less than $90 CAD a night).
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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Your best option would be try using Priceline or Hotwire for a hotel in the Kensington area - if you're familiar with either one.

There are at least 5-6 big hotels near the Gloucester Rd tube station. That is directly on the Piccadilly line, which will get you to both Heathrow and St Pancras without any change. The Circle/District lines also serve the Gloucester Rd tube station which can get you to many other sights (such as Tower of London; Westminster etc).

Not too many sights are within walking distance from Gloucester Rd tube station, with the exception of kensington Gardens, V& A Museum, Nat Hist Museum. Harros is about a 30-min walk from there.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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P.S. Another option would be staying at one of the dorms by LSE: such as Northumberland House.
http://www.lsevacations.co.uk/reside...humberland.htm

All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, and its location - right at Trafalgar Sq - cannot be beat. You can walk to plenty of sights there. It does require one change on the tube to get to Heathrow or St Pancras.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:15 PM
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Thanks YK, that's great to know. I wish I knew how to read the darn tube map. Hopefully we figure it out when we get there I like the idea of being around Kensington Gardens for a nice walk and no changes on the tube would be great with our luggage!
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:23 PM
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YK, can I ask a stupid question? I haven't used Hotwire or Priceline before. If I pick a Kensington area bid, is there a pretty good chance it'll be near the Gloucester Rd tube station? I don't want to walk to far with our luggage.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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If you're not familiar with either Hotwire or Priceline, you should either:

1) Avoid using them
or
2) Go to www.betterbidding.com and www.biddingfortravel.com and study both websites in detail before attempting to use PL or HW.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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P.S. since you don't know which hotel you'll get until after you prepay for the entire stay (both HW and PL), it's probably not a good idea of you to use either websites. No one can guarantee which hotel you will get until after you submit payment (and not cancellable), and there is a chance you may NOT get a hotel right at Gloucester Rd tube station.

OTOH, your CAD$90 budget is probably not too realistic to book a hotel via a traditional website. You can try looking at londontown.com.

You can also look at the Travelodge.co.uk hotels... or try Holiday Inn Express

Another suggestion - if you don't mind sharing bathrooms - would be the Ridgemount hotel in Bloomsbury. Fodorite Thursdaysd recently stayed there. A double with shared facilites is £58.
http://www.ridgemounthotel.co.uk/index.htm
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Old May 28th, 2009, 11:27 PM
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I have an alternative suggestion. Rather than stay way out in Kensington (most of it is very nice but it is just too far from the centre of things), consider staying near the Eurostar staion at St Pancras. Assuming you will get the Heathrow express into Paddington you will just need to jump on the circle line (make sure it is going in the right direction!!) and get off at Kings Cross/St Pancras (which is right next to the Eurostar terminal.
There are loads of budget hotels along the Euston Road and surrounding streets including all of the budget chains like HI/Travelodge etc.. There is also a brand new YHA which has private rooms just 100 yds from the station.

You will be right next to the Eurostar terminal for your departure and much better place for travelling to the West End and City via the Northern Line and within walking distance of the British Museum. There are also lots of local restaurants in the Bloomsbury area.

The secret of using the tube map is took just look where you are and your destination in an A2Z and identify the closest tube station then look up the stations on the tube map and find the most direct route between the two.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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"<i>Assuming you will get the Heathrow express into Paddington . . . . </i>"

I personally think anyone on a $90CAN hotel budget would certainly not be looking at taking the VERY expensive Heathrow Express. 2 fares on the HEX would cost nearly as much as your hotel budget. One can take the tube directly to Earls Court, South Kensington, Russell Sq, or Kings Cross/St Pancras for a tiny fraction of the fare on the HEX. And then be on a straight shot to St Pancras for the Eurostar.

But, since $90 is only about £50 - even Priceline will be a tough one. Sorry, but your budget is not terribly realistic for central London. It is a bit more doable in Paris, so maybe you can up your price range a bit for your London stay. Not that you can't find £50 hotel rooms - but good ones are few and far between and get booked up early. Either try PL (after carefully studying bidding for travel/better bidding mentioned above) or one of the college accommodations - but even those may be well above your budget.

I have a question about your return to London -- Are you planning on traveling back to London by Eurostar on the same day as you fly out? If so, how much time are you allowing from arrival at St Pancras to departure from LHR?
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Old May 29th, 2009, 09:43 AM
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Bring insect repellent. If you actually find some place for 50 quid per night in Central London, you'll need it.

And instead of the Heathrow Express, you can take the Heathrow Connect -- it's about 1/2 the price of the H'Ex, but still more expensive than the LONG ride on the Piccadilly line from Heathrow to Kings Cross/St. Pancras station.

I agree you'll be better off staying near Kings X/St. Pancras area than in Kensington given your touring desires.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 09:46 AM
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Several friends, all women,stayed here, all women, and they were quite pleased with the rooms and the breakfast. It is just a tiny bit over your price range. It's very near St Pancras/King's Cross

http://www.hotelmeridiana.co.uk/
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Old May 29th, 2009, 09:47 AM
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You are very unlikely to find a hotel for 90 CDN in central london. You could try looking at the Euro hotel in Clapham (its down the street from where I live) http://www.eurohotelslondon.co.uk/

I believe its fairly cheap...but its in zone 2 and you would need to take the northern line into the city everyday.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 10:18 AM
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For hotels around 50 GBP then look at the Travelodge website...

www.travelodge.co.uk

I'm staying at the Covent Garden one for 49 GBp a night (I've not been there yet but my daughter has stayed there and says it's OK...)
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Old May 29th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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I suggest either using Priceline (see www.betterbidding.com )
or London School of Economics options.
http://www.lsevacations.co.uk/

Either way your budget is probably possible, with decent accommodation. For the LSE choices, I stayed at High Holborn with my daughter, and others on this board have stayed at Northumberland House. Both are super-conveniently located in central London. There are other options too.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 09:11 AM
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It sounds like King's Cross area is where we should be. I'm assuming it's easy to get to the main sights from there? I still can't figure out the darn tube map. If we do take the Heathrow Express (might be worth it to save over an hour of a train ride with our luggage) how do we get from Paddington to St. Pancras?

Also, it looks like a Travelodge will be our best bet for King's Cross/St. Pancras. There are two in the area: Travelode Kings Cross and Travelodge Kings Cross Royal Scot. Does anyone have any experience with either and a recommendation on which would be better? Thank you for your amazing knowledge!
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 09:20 AM
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<i>I still can't figure out the darn tube map.</i>

What's so difficult about it? Each line has its own color. At the stations with the white circles, are where you can change between lines.
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloa...d-tube-map.pdf

<i>If we do take the Heathrow Express (might be worth it to save over an hour of a train ride with our luggage) </i>

You do realize the heathrow Express is £16.50 per person, one-way? That's compared to £4 cash fare (or, using Oyster PAYG, £3.80 at peak and £2.20 off-peak) on the tube. You can take the Piccadilly line (the dark blue line) directly from Heathrow to Kings Cross/St Pancras <u>without</u> change.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 09:41 AM
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I don't get how you can't handle the Tube map. It's not like the NYC Subway where you have to figure out which train stops where, all the trains are local and make all stops.

Here's some help. You will be at Kings Cross.

To get to Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace or Harrod's, take the Piccadilly line (navy blue) to Leiceister Square, Piccadilly Circus, Green Park, and Knightsbridge, respectively. The theatre district is generally in Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square area.

To get to the Tower, take the Circle Line (yellow) to Tower Hill.

To get to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, take the Victoria line (light blue) to Green Park and then the Jubilee Line (silver) to Westminster.

To get to St. Paul's, take the Northern Line (black) to Bank and either walk or take the Central Line (red) to St. Paul's.

Seriously, this isn't difficult.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 11:54 AM
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Big Russ, I'm sorry, I probably sound so dumb. I've never been to a place that has a subway so I have never seen a subway map before. The closest thing I've used is a bus map and ours are so different than this. I guess where I am getting confused is how to get to certain lines. Say I'm in Kings Cross. How do I get on the yellow line you mentioned for the Tower? Also, yk mentioned the white circles mean you can change lines (thank you yk! I did not know that). So, would that mean that at Kings Cross I can access the navy and black lines in addition to the light blue? And thank you for telling me which lines to use for those sights, that will be very helpful for me!
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Yeah, at Kings Cross you can access those lines.

Some more tips: (1) review the map and learn the names of the lines more than the colors -- the Tube operates more based on the funny name of the train line than on the color that represents it on the map. (2) When you enter the underground station (go onto the tfl website yk mentioned and look at the "roundel" -- the underground symbol that designates an entrance to the Tube), there will be signs that tell you where to go. The connections in the various stations can be long distances from platform to platform. At Kings' Cross, you look for signs for the Circle line to get to the Tower, the Piccadilly to get through Central London, etc.

Note that the Circle line runs on the same track or set of tracks with another train line for all of its stops -- at Kings Cross, those lines are the Metropolitan and Hammersmith lines. The Circle Line train will say Circle Line on the top of the face of the front car.

At Londontown.com you can get an interactive map of London that shows you the Tube lines and where they stop so you can determine which one goes near the sites you want to visit.
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Old Jun 1st, 2009, 12:53 PM
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It might (or might not) help you get oriented if you looked at a tube map superimposed on a basic street map of London.
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