travel advise

Feb 5th, 2002, 08:01 PM
  #1  
Lisa
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travel advise

I'm going to London for the first time on my own and staying at the Millennium Baileys on Gloucester st. I'm coming from Heathrow around 10:30pm on Feb. 14th.
Questions:
--What is the best way to get to this hotel?
--Is Kensington a good place for a single woman to roam around in?
--Is Harrods walkable from this hotel?
--Is there a good Thai place to eat at around there?

Thanks for any travel help you can give me!!
 
Feb 5th, 2002, 08:11 PM
  #2  
Rex
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First advice: re-post this question with the header: "Seeking advice on my stay at the Millennium Baileys in London."

I am not the etiquette police, but I would hate to see how unmanageable this forum becomes if every single question has the title "travel advise".

I believe that there has been a recent question and answer on the subject of gauging walking distances between two points in London. Perhaps I can find it or you might even ask a question with the header "Walking distance between two points in London" separately. It might jog someone else's memory.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Feb 5th, 2002, 08:50 PM
  #3  
Mel
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Lisa, the Millenium Bailey's is at an excellent location. Just across the street from the Gloucester Road tube stop, which has almost all the lines, including the Piccadilly line (blue), which will take you almost anywhere on the "tourist track" you'll want to see in London. You're in South Kensington, which is a great area and you'll be very comfortable walking around--it's quite elegant with lovely neighborhoods. The best way from Heathrow at that time of night will be a car service, as taxi's are expensive (around $70) and the tube at that time of night is iffy, at best. Repost with a heading like "seeking car service from Heathrow" and you'll get some really good advice.

You can easily walk down Brompton Road from your hotel (which is on Cromwell, just around the corner from Brompton) to Harrods and the other stores in Knightsbridge. It's a lovely walk unless it's really cold, rainy or windy.
Funny you should ask about Thai food because there's a restaurant in the hotel that serves great Thai/Indian/Chinese food and is popular with the locals.
Across the street from Bailey's is the Forum hotel. Frequented by tour groups and airline personnel, but it also has a really nice pub that the locals also use and you'll feel very comfortable in there on your own. They make, IMO, the best Irish Coffee in town! The Forum also has a coffee shop called the Gloucester Deli and the waiters are very friendly.
Attached to the tube stop is a Waitrose Grocery store that has great takeaway food.
Have a wonderful, wonderful time!
 
Feb 5th, 2002, 09:42 PM
  #4  
ron
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I would have to disagree with a couple of points in Mel's otherwise fine advice. She claims that the tube from Heathrow at night is iffy, at best. What she thinks it is like at its worst, I can't imagine. I would suggest that the tube would be safe and uneventful at best. At worst you might be annoyed by people who have had too much to drink.

And there is something wrong with her geography in describing how to get to Harrods. Brompton Road is not "just around the corner from Cromwell". Cromwell Road merges into Brompton Road a little over 1 kilometre east of Gloucester Road.
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 09:29 AM
  #5  
ttt
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to the top
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 09:39 AM
  #6  
Mel
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Ron: I mentioned the "iffy" part about the tube because Lisa asked about a "single woman roaming around." I don't think she'd consider being "annoyed by people who've had too much to drink" a comfortable welcome to London. I'd advise any woman traveling alone and arriving in any major city that late at night to take a cab or car from the airport into town. I'm not afraid to ride the tube at night (although sometimes the blue line stop at Piccadilly Circus can be rowdy and more at night). Remember, she's arriving at 10:30, which means she won't get out of Heathrow until perhaps 11:30.
You're right that Cromwell isn't "around the corner from Brompton." What I meant to say was "around the corner from Gloucester." Good catch! She can walk easily from her hotel to the Knightsbridge area by walking Cromwell, which turns into Brompton and it's a straight line to Harrods. Takes me about 15 minutes on a nice day. Thanks for clearing that up for her--badly stated by me, for sure.

 
Feb 6th, 2002, 03:09 PM
  #7  
Lisa
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Mel and Ron,

Thanks so much for your advice. Mel was right in that I'm a little iffy around people who've had 'too much to drink' that late at night in an unknown city. It's my first time here and, altho I can party hardy - midnight in Chicago is a given, midnight in London is not.

Mel,
How do I get a 'car' at Heathrow?

Rex,
Again, thanks for the 'etiquette' advice. This is my first time using a message board..and I certainly don't want to be a boor!

Ron,
How far is Harrods from the Bailey's hotel in terms of miles? I'm a powerwalker and 5-7 miles a day does not intimidate me.

Thanks for taking time to help a first-timer. I hope I can pass along the consideration you'll all shown me.

Lisa
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 03:15 PM
  #8  
Lori
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Lisa,
Do not take the tube late at night (arrival from Heathrow). We always use a driver pick up service (www.london-transfers.com) is VERY good. They pick you up at the airport and take you to the hotel. It's one flat fee (unlike a taxi with a meter). I've recommended them several times and used them several times, it's always been a good service.
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 04:20 PM
  #9  
ron
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Lisa, 1 mile (about 15 minutes for me - probably less for you if you are a power walker) would be the distance and time from Bailey's to Harrods.

On the "iffy, at best" discussion, it was the "at best" that bothered me, implying that at times other than the best, the tube is something like the New York subway system was in the 1970's. The cost of the tube from Heathrow is about £3.50; the car service that Lori promotes is about £35. It seems like expensive insurance to me, but we each have our own priorities and zones of comfort. Enjoy London.

ron
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 07:02 PM
  #10  
Mara
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What about a compromise - you can take the Heathrow Express to Paddington - last train is around 11:40 pm and then a taxi from Paddington Station to the hotel - should cost less than a taxi all the way, I think. You can buy a round trip on the Heathrow Express online for 20 GBP.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 04:54 AM
  #11  
Lisa
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Again, thanks for all the helpful tips.

 
Feb 7th, 2002, 05:30 AM
  #12  
Keith Legg
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Lisa, I'd support the idea of the Heathrow Express/taxi combination. The Heathrow Express fares are such that you probably won't get some dodgy drunk hanging around you, but will still be less than a cab. Additionally, if you get a return trip, you can - with some airlines - check in at Paddington hours before your flight, giving you much more time in London and avoiding the queues at the airport (I checked in at about 8am for a 9.30pm flight to Paris, and a friend has also done this for a flight to South Africa.) Check the website for details - www.heathrowexpress.co.uk
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 09:39 AM
  #13  
Leslie
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Lisa - I don't know if you are aware that the Heathrow Express is a high speed train that gets you to Paddington Station in only 15 minutes. Taxi fare from there should be reasonable. I think that is a good suggestion.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 09:53 AM
  #14  
Arthur
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I stayed in this hotel last month. Is good, and the subway is just across de hotel main entrance.The hotel restaurant is expensive, but lot´s of good ones in the area ( some junk food also);
From heathrow you can take a train ( heathrow express) that takes 15 minutes to central London ( Paddington station)then take a taxi to Baileys Hotel ( 5-10 minutes). By the way, always say Baileys hotel, because no one knows where is Millennium Baileys.
South Kensington is safe, but at nigth, well, be smart;
Harrods is about 2o minutes walk or 5 minutes subway ride;
Don't know any Thai restaurant.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 10:00 AM
  #15  
Grasshopper
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Lisa,

I've stayed at that hotel and in that area by myself. It's a GREAT area. Lots of close by neighborhood restaurants and shops. Easy walk to Harrods. Comfortable hotel. The bar is a great place to eat a meal solo. The advice about Heathrow Express to Paddington and cab to the hotel is perfect.

I prefer to taxi in London because every ride is like a mini tour but the underground is underground and you don't see anything! Plus it's just not that expensive.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 10:36 AM
  #16  
Mel
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Just a thought...

This is a single woman, arriving in London for the first time and coming into Heathrow at 10:30 at night. If she collects her bags and exits Heathrow at 11:30, is the express still running? Even if it is, if you were this person, under these circumstances and at this hour, wouldn't you rather have a car and driver waiting for $35 (a poster above provided info on this) instead of spending $20 on the express, exiting at Paddington, schlepping your luggage off the train and to a taxi stand and paying about $8 to get to your hotel in Ken? Is the savings of about $7 dollars worth the hassle?
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 10:44 AM
  #17  
Grasshopper
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Good point, Mel. And given the fact that it's late at night there will be no traffic. My primary reason for preferring Heathrow Express is that it's so much faster than a taxi. It's taken more than an hour for me to get from Heathrow to town by taxi during the day... 15 minutes by Express. At midnight, I'd opt for a taxi (from the queue! Not a free range taxi driver!).
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 11:48 AM
  #18  
Lisa
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You all put me to shame with your vast what-you-really-need-to-know about traveling.

Mel:
You hit it on the head. I'll be at Heathrow's around midnight on Valentines day!! and would rather just catch a car service to the hotel(I've already contacted London-Transfers). I'm looking forward to Tubing it but not that late at night.

Arthur:
thanks for the tip about calling the hotel 'Bailey's' and not Millenium Bailey's..I'll remember that.

Also,
What is the correct tip to give for most services?
And what is a free range taxi driver? Are these guys pushy? Should I only use a black taxi?


 
Feb 7th, 2002, 12:02 PM
  #19  
Mel
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Lisa:
Black cabs come with advertising all over them now (much to the consternation of a lot of Londoners!), but the unique shape is the same--you can't miss them. There are also mini-cabs which are, for the most part, regulated just like the "black" cabs and I've heard they are cheaper, but that's not been my experience. Only regulated cabs are allowed in the queues. Queues are easy to find at the airport, train stations, good-sized hotels, the theatres in Leicester Square, locations around Hyde Park and, among other places, in front of Harrod's. If you're hailing one from the street, just make sure they have the standard light on top. If it's lit, it's occupied or on a run. You can wave down an unlit one. Free range taxis are privately owned and don't have meters or lights on top. Avoid them.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 01:33 PM
  #20  
Arthur
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The paddington express is very safe, modern and is the best way to thousands of women every day at nigth.Till 9/11 you could even check in your bags at the train station...
Trains in England are nice and very safe.
«Limos» in London are famous for «american» turists who like to spend money...
The average tip will be 5-10%, but people don't get crazy about tipping ( as in San Francisco and LA, well, another story).
Have fun and avoid Aberdeen restaurants ( there millions in London, but all very bad...).
 

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