London Hotels - Help me with Location

May 21st, 2005, 12:25 PM
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London Hotels - Help me with Location

I have read every single post, I think, about London hotels, read every review I could find (tripadvisor, Fodors, Frommer's, elsewhere), and I'm still having a difficult time making a final decision on a hotel. There are 3 of us, including my son, so I can't use any of the bidding sites, and need a large double (to fit a rollaway) or a triple.

Both the Montague on the Gardens and Egerton House have offered us good rates (for London), and have been helpful when I called them. The first is in Bloomsbury, the second in Knightsbridge. They both sound like good places to stay, but I can't decide which location we'd prefer.

We're not shoppers, and would prefer to be near where the "action" is - in our case, mostly restaurants, and the theaters too, probably. But we don't want anything too noisy and busy (Leicester Square is not our kind of place).

What area would you suggest? And please, take pity on me, and don't suggest any other hotels, it will only make me more indecisive...

And as a tacked-on question, anybody familiar with Cafe Valerie or Patisserie Valerie - I must go to one of their locations (can you guess my name).
Lexma90 is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 12:29 PM
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I went to the new Patisserie Valerie on Picadilly. Not that impressed. In Paris or Brussels, it would be just another chain patisserie patronized mostly for convenience (like the Teddy chain in Brussels). But they seem to be doing a good business.
BTilke is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 12:42 PM
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Hi "valerie"--I don't know Knightsbridge. We stayed at a large hotel called the Hotel Russell which altho technically at Russell Square, is in Bloomsbury. Depending on the street--as there are loud, noisy (traffic) streets everywhere--Bloomsbury is a lovely area near the University and the British museum, and also relatively close to the theater district--5 min cab ride, 20-30 min walk, don't know about tube....not much help, but...
socialworker is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 01:06 PM
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As a major theatre goer and lover of lots of choices in nice, but medium to inexpensive restaurants, I'd go for the Bloomsbury location over Knightsbridge in a hearbeat.
Patrick is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 01:11 PM
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I'd chose Egerton House..but I'm a South ken,knightsbridge , chelsea person.. loads of cafes and restaurants, grocers, etc very near by and there is a Valerie on Knightsbridge. The tube can get you to theaters in a few minutes. You are also in walking distance to the V&A, nat. History , Brompton Oratory, King's Rd , sloane Sq.

jody is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 01:19 PM
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Thanks for the advice thus far; keep it coming.

Patrick - it seems that Indian restaurants are located all over London these days (except for Southall, and I don't know we'll make it out there); are there Indian places in Bloomsbury? (My husband and son are Indian, we're looking forward to eating lots of good Indian food in London.)
Lexma90 is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 03:40 PM
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My daughter and I ate in the Patisserie Valerie on Cromwell Road, and neither of us especially liked our selections. It is recommended in my London guidebook, but either we made poor choices or BTilke is right and it is just another pastry shop.
carolyn is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Also prefer Bloomsbury over the theatre district and it is a great place to walk around at night. One thing we did notice about the area we stayed at in Kensington/Knightsbridge is that there were an abundance of Indian restaurants around.

Patrick if you happen to come back to this thread, I just wanted to thank you for the Le-Bernardin recommendation for my parents. They ate there last night and said it was terrific. Dad at fluke for the first time! Thanks so much.
travelinwifey is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 04:50 PM
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Sounds like Bloomsbury may be the spot for us, at least this trip.

Hmmm. Cafe Valerie sounds disappointing, despite the name. I was looking for (not necessarily in the same restaurant/cafe) a good place to have croissants and coffee/tea for breakfast, and a good low-key place to have afternoon tea. I'd rather go to a more regular place than do an expensive high tea.
Lexma90 is offline  
May 21st, 2005, 04:56 PM
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We stayed at the Cherry Court Hotel (B&B) behind Victoria Station last time, and we're staying there again when we go in September. They have a triple and a family room that sleeps five. The doubles we've stayed in have been small, but inexpensive, with bath, clean, on a quiet street -- and the location is perfect -- we walked to Buck Palace and Westminster, and the train station was nearby, but not so close you could hear anything.

Mrs. Patel and her family run it -- e-mail them for info and they'll get back to you quickly. Very nice people.

We're paying only $55 pounds per night in September.

Good luck in your search!

jules4je7 is offline  
May 22nd, 2005, 12:40 AM
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It's not that close to either of your hotel options (although you could get there easily by tube), but you'll get better croissants at Le Pain Quotidien
72-75 Marylebone High Street
Tel. +44 0) 20 7486 6154.
Also a chain (based in Brussels), excellent croissants. If it's like the ones in Brussels, you're served coffee in a bowl. I like their fresh-squeezed OJ. Service ranges from very good to maddening, depending on how busy they are.
Harden's (*the* British restaurant guide) says The Wolseley (also on Picadilly) serves the best continental breakfast in town. Haven't had breakfast there myself, but their cappuccinos are delicious and I do like their Viennese-style pastries.
BTilke is offline  
May 22nd, 2005, 01:58 AM
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I suppose Bloomsbury might be a tad more central, but as areas it doesn't compare to Knightsbridge. Stay in Knightsbridge, it's pleasant for evening walks, and is a very safe area....just be wary of having gold watches on show (but that applies to most cities these days unfortunately).
m_kingdom2 is offline  
May 22nd, 2005, 04:13 AM
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"I suppose Bloomsbury might be a tad more central, but as areas it doesn't compare to Knightsbridge."

Bloomsbury isn't a "tad" more central, it's a lot more central. Forget Knightsbridge.
metellus is offline  
May 22nd, 2005, 06:19 AM
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I have stayed in other sections of town, but I prefer Bloomsbury because :
I can walk to and from a goodly number of West End theaters from my Bloomsbury hotel.
Covent Garden's, Soho's and Charlotte Street's restaurants are all within walking distance or are one tube stop away.
The National Gallery and Portrait Gallery are a short walk away, as is Trafalgar Square.
The British Museum is in "spitting distance."
The Tottenham Court Road and the Holburn Tube Stations are nearby.

You might like to try Red Fort, on Dean Street in Soho ,for an Indian meal. I haven't been there in the last year or so ,but have enjoyed the food there in the past.

As for Patisserie Valerie...the original one is on Old Compton Street in Soho and it would be in easy walking distance from your Bloomsbury hotel choice.
I've never taken issue with the pastries there, they have always satisfied my 'sugar' fix.
However, I actually prefer Amato Pasticceria which is near the Charing Cross end of Old Compton Street.

starspinners is offline  
May 22nd, 2005, 06:59 AM
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Everything else considered, I would choose the one closest to a tube station.
SusieQQ is offline  
May 22nd, 2005, 11:10 AM
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Lexma, there is a chain called Richoux that serves meals all day. You can get a full afternoon tea there that costs less than at the hotels or just a "cream tea" that is scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam, and tea that is quite reasonable.

We had an early lunch there once, and there were a number of what appeared to be young locals having late breakfasts that looked good.

Tea at the Orangery in Kensington Gardens is another thought. You can get the full tea service or just order items from the menu.
carolyn is offline  
May 24th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Another vote for staying in Bloomsbury over Knightsbridge.

Lots of good Indian restaurants around the area. One of our favorites is Neel Akash, 93 Charlotte Street. I think the neighborhood is called Fitzrovia but I've seen Neel Akash ID'd as being in Bloomsbury and it's definitely walkable from the Montague. Great for a post theatre curry.

Also take a walk up towards Euston Station and check out Drummond Street. Lots of good Indian food there, many of the places are vegetarian.

I like the atmosphere at Patisserie Valerie on Old Compton. There's great people watching on street below if you can swing an upstairs table by the window. I agree with Starspinners about Amato Pasticceria. It's my favorite.
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