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London - where should 1st time visitors who love to walk stay?

London - where should 1st time visitors who love to walk stay?

Jan 22nd, 2007, 11:42 AM
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London - where should 1st time visitors who love to walk stay?

Hi - I am investigating London neighborhoods for a hotel stay. My husband and I are not averse to using public transportation, but we love to walk: as an example, in Paris we stayed in the Sorbonne/Luxembourg Garden area and loved its liveliness and proximity to major sights. In Manhattan we like to stay at a hotel near 51st and Lexington, from where we can walk to Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Central Park and lots of other places. Is there a similar neighborhood we should be investigating in London? I am thinking Westminster, but don't know too much about it yet.
azzure is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 11:56 AM
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I'd stay near to the Thames - most of the major sights aren't too far from the Thames So my suggestion would be The Marriott County Hall or it's cheap(er) neighbour The Premier Travel Inn county Hall which are on the other side of the river from the Houses of Parliament and right by the London Eye

I'll post a link to my favourite London map - www.tfl.gov.uk/buses/pdfdocs/centlond.pdf
alanRow is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 12:22 PM
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Thanks - the Travel Inn is within our budget but looks a little characterless -- what has been your experience there?

I would like to stay under $200 per night if at all possible.
azzure is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Consider the Thistle Charing Cross. A block from Trafalgar, couple blocks from Thames, few block from Covent Gardens, 1/2 mile from Picadilly, sits above a tube stop so everything else is just a subway ride away.
daveesl is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 12:47 PM
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azzure, my husband and I have been to London three times and stayed in a different area each time--each had advantages/disadvantages. The first time we stayed at the Elizabeth Hotel near Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace. The second time we stayed near Marble Arch (Hart House Hotel) and the third time we stayed in Kensington, on Queen's Gate just below Kensington Gardens (can't remember the name of the hotel). Of these three I preferred Kensington but the next time we go to London we'll probably stay in Bloomsbury for it's central location but also because by switching locations you see different parts of the city.

You'll be walking a lot no matter where you stay so I think you should also choose a location near a good tube station (I always try to get one that links directly with Heathrow, for example) as London is so spread out you'll have to use transit.
outwest is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:11 PM
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Bloomsbury sounds like what we may be looking for. Any specific hotel recommendations there? Would like not to spend more than about $200.
azzure is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:49 PM
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Are you paying in USD?

If so, for sure go to Priceline -- you can get a 4* for $90-140 USD. Since you guys are fine with walking, any of the zones would work for you. Check out biddingfortravel.com or betterbidding.com for recent successful bids. People post what hotel they got...
fishee is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Do a forum search on the Morgan Hotel. It's in Bloomsbury, around the corner from the British Museum. It is a family-owned hotel and serves hot or cold breakfast. Our twin room in October 2005 was £95, which included VAT and breakfast.

Both the room and the bath were small but quite adequate with good beds, and you can easily walk to Covent Garden and the theaters, plus the infamous Oxford Street is just a couple of blocks away.
carolyn is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 10:11 AM
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I think your thoughts of Westminster are spot on. We too are walkers, and for location, location, location, we like the Sanctuary House Hotel, located just a block from Westminster Abbey and close to St. James Park:


It's a short walk to Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, etc., through St. James and past Downing St., the Horseguards, etc. Or you can cross Westminster Bridge and walk along the Thames, crossing at Millenium Bridge or one of the others. For Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Kensington,etc., you can walk through St. James and Green Parks.

The weekday price is a little above your target, but the weekend rate is great. So if your stay includes 2 weekend and 2 weekday nights, it will average out just fine.

The rooms are nice and the bathrooms are huge by London standards. It sits above a pub but we have never found it to be noisy in the evenings (actually, since this is the financial district, I think it's deserted in the evening). We've stayed there on 4 trips to London (so far). We walk everywhere from there, unless we need to save time for some reason.
enzian is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:21 PM
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The last two posts are amazing - I have already e-mailed the Sanctuary House Hotel, and was just looking up the Morgan's trip adviosr reviews. I am also looking into an even less expensive alternative called Luna & Simone -- any experiences with it? It seems fairly centrally located. Thanks to all.
azzure is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:27 PM
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"the Travel Inn is within our budget but looks a little characterless -- what has been your experience there?"

I've stayed there twice in the last year or so - it IS a bit generic, but it's reliable, clean, big rooms, good shower, and great location.

"I am also looking into an even less expensive alternative called Luna & Simone -- any experiences with it?"

Not yet, but I am staying there for a week in Feb. If you can hold on for a few weeks, I'll let you know! It does get great reviews on Tripadvisor.


TaniaP is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:35 PM
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Great! We are not going until October. I am looking forward to hearing what you think. I have already e-mailed an enquiry to them, but have had no reply as yet.
azzure is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:53 PM
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I wholeheartedly second the recommendation for staying in Bloomsbury, especially if you're a walker, like me.

It's close(very walkable) to the West End/theatre/dining and British Museum, and you have several tube stations as well as buses right at your doorstep.

If you're counting your pennies (or pence), there are cheaper, neighborhood-y food places where the locals go just a stone's throw away -- restaurants, takeaways and pubs -- as well as a huge Safeway and a smaller Tesco for budget picnic dinners in the hotel room. But there are also tons of higher-end restaurants, too.

I've stayed the Morgan Hotel twice. It's very nice, though the rooms are a bit small and the staff is a bit detached, though not un-friendly. They may upgrade you to one of their spacious apartments, if they aren't booked, which they did for me (no charge). It was a nice treat.

A good, less expensive alternative is the St. Margaret's Hotel, also in Bloomsbury. It's no frills, but it's spotless and the staff is very friendly. It's a rather large hotel that occupies several Georgian townhouses, complete with high ceilings and interior ornament. Save even more money by getting a room with a shared hallway bathroom/shower. I think we (two of us) paid less than 70 GBP per night sharing a bathroom, which was right nearby, always clean and never a problem. En suite rooms are available too. Breakfast is served in the large dining room downstairs and there are two downstairs lounges, as well.

Good luck... you'll love London, I'm envious!
NanBug is offline  

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