tube pass & Quality Hotel in London

Old Jan 19th, 1999, 04:10 PM
  #1  
Massey
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tube pass & Quality Hotel in London

We are going to stay at the Quality Hotel on Eccleston in London (Victoria Station area). Has anyway stayed there? We are middle class and don't have to have plush, but want clean and tolerable!! Can we get tube/rail passes at Gatwick airport upon arrival?? travel agent said they were now $40.00 (us $$) Still a bargain??
 
Old Jan 19th, 1999, 08:21 PM
  #2  
Nigel Doran
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Get the Victoria Express or a connex service {both overground and not tube services] on arrival. Take passport photos with you for the tube pass. A weekly pass for Zones 1 and 2, which should take you to nearly all the tourist sites except Hampton Ct. and Kew Gardens, is 17 and is good for all tubes, trains and buses as many times as you like within those zones. If going further, get an extension ticket at the ticket office. $40 might refer to the weekly Zone 1-6 pass which I feel would not be that useful to you, as most of its use would be redundant given that most tourist sites lie within 1 and 2.
Return tickets on the Gatwick/connex services might be available and shd. be cheaper. Just tell them when you are returning and figure it out. Think a single {one-way} is about 7-8, depending on which operator you use. {All train companies are now privatised so some are cheaper than others.}
 
Old Jan 20th, 1999, 02:40 AM
  #3  
Buddie Massey
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Thanks for the information. Are you familiar with the Quality Hotel at all? Also, we have tickets for the Phantom and the seats on upper circle K18-19. Can't find out where that might be??? Hope they are good. We are thinking of trying a trip to Bath & Stonehenge!! Too much to see and too little time. Thanks again!
 
Old Jan 21st, 1999, 06:05 AM
  #4  
Nicole
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I stayed at the Eccelston Quality Inn in 1997 and I do not recommend it. I have traveled in Europe extensively, and have never stayed in a worse place. I found their website once and it looked nice enough (the photo of the lobby was very nice, but that's where it ends). I do not have a large travel budget, but I do like to be comfortable and I usually stay in 3 star hotels that are anywhere from $90-$130 for a double room. This usually provides a comfortable, clean room -- not large or luxurious by any means, and that's fine. But the Eccelston was by no means a 3-star, even though it is rated as such. We arrived at the hotel 8pm for a layover (we had to leave the next morning). Our first room seemed dirty (floor, bath), parts of the ceiling were missing, tiles in the bathroom floor were missing or broken, etc. This is unacceptable for something like 70 pounds per night. We asked for another room, which was slightly better, but not much. I would have moved to another hotel, but it was late at night and we had been travelling all day. But my experience there was pretty bad. Try another hotel. If you do a search on this board, there are plenty of recommendations by others. By the way, London is wonderful -- I lived there for a year while going to school, but I lived on campus so I didn't have much experience with hotels before this trip.
 
Old Jan 21st, 1999, 06:30 AM
  #5  
Brian in Atlanta
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I beleive the train service from Gatwick is actually called the Gatwick Express, and it does stop at Victoria Station (only takes 30 minutes and is, by far, the best way into the city). If you don't have extra passport photos, there are photo machines in Victoria that will do it for 2.5 pounds. Be sure to get a pass on arrival at Victoria as it allows unlimited travel on the tube or buses after 9:30 AM, so you can just jump on a bus on a whim and see where it takes you.

I would recommend a tube trip to the wonderful neighborhood of Hampstead (just on the edge of Zone 2 in the Northern part of the city). It's a nice respite from the always bustling city to the south.

For great pub crawl, just do a yahoo search for "london pub crawls."
 
Old Jan 21st, 1999, 03:46 PM
  #6  
Caryn
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I am also planning a trip to London and am looking for a clean but inexpensive hotel. One catch for me is that I want a bathroom in the room and that seems to bring prices up a bit. I'm looking in Kensington/Earl's Court and Bloomsbury.

Anyway, for all the information you'll ever need about the tube go to
http://www.londontransport.co.uk/.
There is a whole section on train passes. I am only going to by a zone 1 pass (weekly 14.30 pounds). Maybe a zone 1-2 (weekly 17.60 pounds). Personally, I wouldn't trust a travel agent who I didn't know and have a lot of experience with. They don't know you and your preferences and often just try to sell whatever they are being told to sell.
 
Old Jan 22nd, 1999, 04:17 PM
  #7  
Kathy
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I was just in London and stayed at the Harlingford Hotel. It is near British Museum 4 blocks from the Russell Sq. tube cost was 78.00 Pounds eq 127.00 USD inc full cooked brkfast. We had a nice room inc bathroom but sm shower. Great location I would stay there again. I work for an airline and have stayed at the Holdiay Inn in Kensington but even at 1/2 price that is 97.00 pounds.
 
Old Aug 4th, 2000, 09:22 AM
  #8  
kay
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Any updates on this hotel? I see this one bad experience in '99 and in one newer posting a fellow in England says it is great. We can get rooms there (Victoria is the area we prefer) for US$146 double including the VAT and continental breakfast.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2000, 05:50 PM
  #9  
Kathy
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We just returned from London. We took the Gatwick Express into London from the airport. Connex is about 2 pounds cheaper per adult ticket. You can buy your tickets on either train enroute so that you do not need to stand in a ticket line. We purchased London Visitor Travel cards before we left the US. They were very convenient and could be used for travel on the tube at any time. Many travel cards cannot be used before 9:30. We often traveled before 9:30 in order to catch trains for day trips and to be at sites right at opening to avoid lines. We purchased 3-day and a 7-day passes. We exchanged the vouchers for passes at Victoria Station. By having the 3-day pass validated to be used first, we were able to get both cards validated at one time.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2000, 06:22 PM
  #10  
Sue
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Thanks for the timeliness of this question. I'll be in London the week of Sept. 9th with 3 other women. We're just ready to arrange for our weekly travel pass and our travel agent wants $61.00. I've read some of the travel books and this seems very high for the weekly pass. Kathy... your reply about London Visitor travel card is of interst. We would like to use bus/tube prior to 9:30 a.m. Cost? and can I purchase at Heathrow upon arrival? Can I just show my passport instead of getting another photo, or U.S. driver's license?
 
Old Aug 13th, 2000, 07:02 PM
  #11  
wes fowler
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Sue,
The weekly Travel Card, which permits unlimited usage on the underground and city buses at any hour of the day, costs 18 pounds, 20 pence for an adult (that's about $27.50 in American dollars). It covers Zones 1 and 2, where almost all of London's attractions are located. For travel outside those zones you can purchase a supplement at modest cost. The Visitor's Card, available only outside London is far more costly since it covers all zones, (1 -6). The Travel Card is available at Heathrow and all tube stations. A passport sized photo, not necessarily a passport photo is required; showing your passport or driver's license won't suffice. Many tube stations have photo booths where you can get photos made, however London Transport will accept any reasonable likeness so long as it's passport size. The photo is affixed to the card. The Visitor's Card is no bargain; the weekly Travel Card is.
 
Old Aug 14th, 2000, 06:25 PM
  #12  
Kathy
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Sue,

London Visitors Travel Cards can only be purchased outside of the UK. You can order them through Britrail via the internet or over the telephone. Their New York number is 1-888-britrail. Website is www.raileurope.com/us. When the site comes up click on the "find a product" area and go to Britrail products, then click "go". You will find a whole list of passes and vouchers that you can order before you leave, including the London Visitor Travel Card. The price of the card for zones 1&2 (and you really shouldn't need more than that) is 3 days - $21,
4 days - $26, 7 days - $32. Additional price info is one the website. What you will receive are vouchers for each pass which must be exchanged for the pass itself when you get to London. There is an office in Victoria Station and we exchanged ours as soon as we got there. We purchased 3 day and a 7 day passes. They will only validate them four days ahead, so we had our 3 day passes validated first and then they were able to validate the 7 day passes at the same time, otherwise we would have had to come back later to get the second pass validated. As I said earlier, one of the advantages of this tube pass over the others available in London is that they are good at all hours. The only time we got in killer crowds during the rush hour was when we rode the tube around 8:30 and even then it wasn't unbearable. Other days we were riding the tube at 7 or 7:30 and it was busy but not bad.
We also purchased Great Britain Heritage passes. These may or may not be a good deal, depending on what you want to see. We figured out the cost of adult tickets to all the sites covered by the pass that we wanted to see and they did save us some money. An additional advantage was that we did not have to carry so much cash around for admissions.
If you want to do any Guide Friday bus tours you can also order a voucher good for four adult tickets on any of the Guide Friday tours. This saves a couple of pounds a ticket.
I wouldn't recommend prebuying a Garwick Express ticket. From what I can tell, it is cheaper buying it on the train.
You might just want to call Britrail and ask any questions that you have. They do mail the passes and vouchers very promptly. We live in Ohio and had them within a few days.
Hope this is helpful.

Kathy
 
Old Aug 14th, 2000, 09:06 PM
  #13  
Sue
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Wes & Kathy. Thank you for the advise. I'll contact the web pages you suggested.

Massey: Sorry if I stepped on your question & responses.
 
Old Aug 18th, 2000, 06:57 PM
  #14  
sandra
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hi- the transportation discussions have been helpful i am going to london mid oct 2000. i am just now trying to book accomodations. i would like to stay in covent gardens neighborhood. i do not want to pay more than 170 us dollars a night. i know it is last minute any ideas- b and b, apt. or hotel fine-i am traveling solo so i just want to feel safe. i picked covent gardens cuz in the eve. i could take in shows and not have to travel. one week stay planned. thanks
 
Old Sep 11th, 2000, 04:21 AM
  #15  
Kay
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Answer to my own question--we did stay at the Quality Hotel near Victoria last week. The location was perfect for us--we took the Gatwick Express (buy tickets on the train with credit card) to Victoria Station then walked the 3 blocks or so with our roller bags. The hotel was like many in London--pieced together from smaller buildings--so even though the elevator ran to each floor you might still have steps up and down along the corridor. We got a nonsmoking room. The rooms facing Belgrave Street had traffic noise but those in back were quiet--we needed the windows open as it was hot. The rooms were tiny, the decor dated (avacado bath), but clean with big bath towels and plenty of hot water. The staff was very helpful. We booked a double without breakfast for 97 GBP on the chain website. British Airways has a check-in counter at Victoria Station so we just wheeled our bags back to check in.

As I have seen posted elsewhere, combining the tube with rail with bags can be tough as there are many stairs. We did use the tube to get to Paddington for a train and I was glad I just had a wheeled carry-on and a backpack.

We did use the tube extensively on the days we were in London. We bought a day travel pass (buy with credit card--5 GBP to travel before 9:30 a.m. on weekday, less for after 9:30 or on weekend) when we needed one. The tube was PACKED from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and the stations are VERY hot. I don't see how anyone could use them to get to work in the morning without being totally wilted. Mind the gap.
 
Old Sep 11th, 2000, 09:48 AM
  #16  
debbie
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Hi there.
HOTEL : My Mom & her sister stayed at the REUBEN about 5 years ago. They loved it. It is only a few blocks from Victoria station and very comfortable.

Tube pass: when we went back 2 yrs ago, my Mom & I got the Visitor pass and it was worth every penny. ($25 - 30 US if I remember correctly) The best part was the freedom to hop on any BUS at will. We actually only used the Tube a few times, but used the buses all the time. We stayed in a horrible B&B (harcourt house) where the only good point was that it was 2 blocks from Victoria - which happens to be the main hub for the buses.

Definitely get the pass. It made London SOOO much easier to handle.

have fun.
 
Old Sep 15th, 2000, 12:55 PM
  #17  
Elaine
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Message for Sandra going to London mid-October. Go to www.laterooms.com for bargain rates for hotels and apartments in London and the rest of the UK.
 

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