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111op Aug 3rd, 2007 09:42 AM

London Hotel Suggestion
 
Hi, I've looking for a London hotel for early Sept. I've some unique constraints.

I'm flying in from Venice to Gatwick, and the flight gets in around 11:30 pm. If everything goes well, I probably will be in Victoria Station past midnight.

The last tube runs around 12:30 am. So it seems like by default I need to stay near Victoria. Also in the morning I need to return to Gatwick to fly to Manchester for a wedding.

Conceivably I could switch hotels for the second night. Since I'm planning to have my mom be in London, it doesn't make much sense to move to a different hotel when I'm not in London that second day (I'll be back early evening).

Some questions:

Recs for hotels near Victoria?

I can potentially go to a different hotel
but how would I get there late at night?

Any tips on Priceline? I've bid in the past, so I'm familiar with BFT, etc. I just don't do it very often and haven't had time to check up on the latest.

Thanks!

highflyer Aug 3rd, 2007 09:58 AM

Have you considered staying at Gatwick overnight? What time is your flight to Manchester?

I wouldn't mess around with transport to and from the airport for one night especially as you get in so late... flight delays might put a spanner in your overnight too!


travelinwifey Aug 3rd, 2007 10:03 AM

I wouldn't count on your flight being on time or making it through customs in time. If you do decide to venture into the city I would definitely take the time to read through biddingfortravel as I would not want to spend that much on a hotel for one evening accommodation arriving late.

111op Aug 3rd, 2007 10:05 AM

The flight leaves at 6:40 am or something like that.

Well my mom won't be flying to Manchester with me, so it doesn't make much sense for us to stay in Gatwick. I'm aware of a hotel at Gatwick that actually charges by blocks of hours.

Also my mom won't be comfortable navigating London on her own so it's not possible for her to travel to central London and check in on her own to a different hotel when I'm in Manchester.

WillTravel Aug 3rd, 2007 10:05 AM

First Capital Connect trains go from Gatwick to other stations besides Victoria (like Kings Cross, City, Blackfriars, etc.). When is the last time of day that those run?

111op Aug 3rd, 2007 10:06 AM

To clarify, I'll be in London the second night. I'll only be in Manchester for a few hours that Saturday.

So yes, I do have a reason for wanting to stay in the city.

Thanks.

111op Aug 3rd, 2007 10:09 AM

Thanks WillTravel, I'll look into that.

Can you comment on Priceline availability these days? I looked at BFT and it looks like no one has tried to bid in Westminster lately. I can actually book Thistle Victoria on Expedia (I think), but the hotel has nasty reviews on Tripadvisor, as does Thistle Barbican.

WillTravel Aug 3rd, 2007 10:13 AM

The problem with the Westminster zone is that it extends south of the river. For immediate Victoria Station access, the Riverbank Plaza (one hotel that comes up quite a bit) is not particularly close.

I can't think of any Priceline bid you can do that guarantees quick access to a station where you can catch a train to Gatwick. But maybe with Hotwire, you could manage that.

111op Aug 3rd, 2007 10:16 AM

I think I'll have to stick to Victoria. There's a train to London Bridge at 0015. Then there's one to Blackfriars at 0230.

Maybe I've to arrange a car transfer? That will solve the problem of getting to the hotel, but I've to worry about getting to the airport in a few hours.

This is getting complicated....

WillTravel Aug 3rd, 2007 10:24 AM

There's National Express coach from Gatwick to Victoria, as well. At that time of night, it probably would be only a little slower than a car transfer, if the timing is right. What are your dates again?

jay Aug 3rd, 2007 10:29 AM

We have stayed at the Reubens at the Palace. It is a block from Victoria and across the street from the royal mews. Very Very easy to get around and the staff is very helpful. The last couple of times we have used priceline and got rooms very very cheap.

111op Aug 3rd, 2007 10:51 AM

Rubens at Palace has very nice reviews on Tripadvisor. Could you comment in more detail how you get this on Priceline? Did you actually bid? It looks like it's in the Westminster zone, but I don't know if I'll actually get this hotel if I bid.

My dates are Sept. 7 (very late arrival) to Sept. 9 (when I leave for NYC). I'll be back on Sept. 8 from Manchester.

Thanks.

jay Aug 3rd, 2007 11:03 AM

Didn't get the Reubens on Priceline. It was a special occaision and we just paid the 117P for the Pleasure. The last 2 times we used priceline we stayed in Kensington at the Copthorne Tara. Paid 98us for it and I'm sure I could have gotten it cheaper.

Cheers

111op Aug 3rd, 2007 11:09 AM

Thanks. Expedia has Rubens at $350 a night, but only for that Friday night but the hotel website shows availability.

Maybe I should think about car transfer or train to Victoria + bus option. Any thoughts about late night buses? Thinking maybe Trafalgar Square or St. Paul's area -- assuming that there're buses from Victoria that go there. But I need to think about this more.

WillTravel Aug 3rd, 2007 11:22 AM

How about train to Victoria + taxi?

WillTravel Aug 3rd, 2007 11:23 AM

Of course you can work out various routes with www.thetube.com .

Hotwire has a 4* in the Westminster zone (which in their case is not south of the river) for $159 for your dates. But I can't say what hotel it might be.

111op Aug 3rd, 2007 11:32 AM

I don't know if it's easy to get taxis late at night. I've always thought that late in the evenings in London people usually call for these gypsy cabs.

There're quite frequent night buses to Trafalgar Square and the ride takes about 10 minutes. To St. Paul's the ride is about 40 minutes. I used the Journey Planner on the London transportation website.

I checked BetterBidding to see if I can guess the hotel in the Westminster zone on Hotwire, but unless I missed something there're no Westminster hotels listed in the BB list for Hotwire.


WillTravel Aug 3rd, 2007 11:36 AM

I thought right at Victoria Station, cabs would be available, although I can't swear to it.

What you can do, if you have a bit of time, is make up some dummy vacation packages on Hotwire, going to London. Then look for a 4* hotel that is in the Westminster zone that has the same listed amenities. This is not foolproof, but it often works to match the hotels. The packages don't list the hotel options by zone, so it takes a bit of time.

WillTravel Aug 3rd, 2007 11:39 AM

It looks like I'm wrong anyway - looking again at the Westminster zone, I think it does go south of the river. That yellow is confusing.

111op Aug 3rd, 2007 11:40 AM

One'd think so too. Does someone else know for sure? Whether cabs are available at Victoria say at 12:30 am?

The other suggestion sounds like a weekend project. I'll look into it.


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