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Why are the lower priced London hotels sooooo bad - and who has a suggestion for one that isn't?

Why are the lower priced London hotels sooooo bad - and who has a suggestion for one that isn't?

Old Oct 24th, 2004, 05:28 AM
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Why are the lower priced London hotels sooooo bad - and who has a suggestion for one that isn't?

I'm looking for a hotel in London for next March and so have been reading all the posts and it sesems I am not alone in having trouble finding low cost but decent hotels in London. I've stayed in 5 inexpensive hotels in Paris and would return to ALL of them. I've stayed in 3 different hotels in London (even 3 star) and wouldn't return to ANY of them. The hotels in London are the only ones anywhere I've been in Europe that I would NOT return to. For everywhere else I go, I just go to the internet booking sites and find something - with a little looking I'm always able to find things I like, and they turn out to be pretty much as advertised on the web. Not so in London. I just can not afford 4 stars hotels, especially for this trip where I'll be staying alone. I'm considering Priceline, but I've never done that and there are some reasons it might not work for me.

So - anyone have any recommendations. I'm going to give much more weight to recommendations I get from Fodorites than what I read on web sites. I'd really like to keep it under $100 which right now only works out to about £55. Thanks
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 05:43 AM
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You mention Priceline but say that it might not work for you. Are there specific reasons why you don't want to use Priceline?

If I was in your situation and I'd had disappointments with 3* London hotels and with a budget of $100, I would definitely consider using Priceline.

I live in London so I am not as familiar with using Priceline for London hotels but I have read that people have got some decent hotels in very good locations for well under your limit.

Before using Priceline, I'd go to www.betterbidding.com for some friendly, helpful advice for a Priceline newbie. Or you can try www.biddingfortravel.com which has lots of Priceline information.

Obvious reasons why Priceline may not work is that you want a room for more than 2 people or you can't risk getting a room with one bed or that you can't handle the fact that you won't know what hotel you'll get. Odds are a 4* will be better than your previous disappointments booking 3* through other booking sites.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 05:53 AM
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Hi isabel,

>...I am .. having trouble finding low cost but decent hotels in London.<

That's because London hotels are very expensive.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 06:02 AM
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While looking for a London Hotel under 150 USD per night, Fellow Fodorite Keith recommended the Park International Hotel. It is only a couple hundred yards from Gloucester Road Station which has three tube stops. He has stayed there 3 times.

In April a small single was £41.13/night including tax and AC, ensuite, refrigerator, hairdryer, color TV, coffee pot, trouser press, telephone and safe.

www.parkinternational.com The online reservation system makes it easy to compare room rates for various nights and room. They responded quickly to my emails and even have a toll free number good from the US. Keith also recommended looking at The "Specials" section of the website for the best rates.

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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 06:36 AM
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Have you considered the Cardiff, Abbey Court or Westpoint Hotels? All are in Paddington near the underground station and Hyde Park, and all are under $100.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 06:54 AM
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I used priceline for my hotel for next May. I reviewed all the hotels listed on biddingfortravel.com and would have been happy with a hotel in Kensington, Mayfair/Soho, or Westminster. I was going to bid on the Kensington area until one hotel started popping up as winning bids (Hilton Olympia). It's not near any tube and I didn't want any long walk for my Mom. So I re-read the hotels in Mayfair/Soho and knew I would be happy with any of them. I ended up with the Thistle Charing Cross hotel for $100/night. After my bidding, I did see where others did get the Holiday Inn Forum in Kensington, but I didn't want to take the chance. As Dave stated, Priceline is for those that are willing to accept Pricelines terms.

Monica
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Another plug for Priceline - you can generally get a 4* for $100 or less. I wouldn't bid on anything less than a 4*. As you've already discovered, there are a lot of dumpy 3* hotels in London.

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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 09:34 AM
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Would you expect a pair of shoes purchased for 50USD last as long, and have the fit, style, and comfort of a pair costing 500USD?

London is the second most expensive city in the world to Tokyo. As a result the price you may pay for a Continental European 4* wouldn't even get you a basic 3* in London. Therefore you have to expect to spend more on you accommodation when you're here.

As for recommendations, I'd second Priceline.com as you can get 4/5* properties for sub 3* prices. I'm curious as to how it's not suitable. At least you can guarantee some quality.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Thanks for the replys.

Twoflower - have you stayed in any of those hotels that you mentioned? They look pretty good. Westpoint and Cardiff are in my price range and got OK reviews on tripadvisor. If you've personally stayed there and recommend them then I'll definitly put them on my short list of possibilities.

Margie - the Park International is £78 plus tax in March. Keith says he wouldn't stay there for that price. So if I find they have a special (none currenlty for March) then I'd definitly consider it, but otherwise it's not worth it.

Priceline does look tempting, especially for London. My problem is that although I know the definite dates of my trip, during the 10 days I'd like to go somewhere else for 3 or 4 nights. That's the part that isn't set yet - I'm going to visit my daughter who'll be in London for the semester. Until she actually gets there and sees how things are, she won't know if she can take a few days off to come with me. So I won't know for a few more months if I'm going at the begining, end or middle of the 10 days. I therefore want to book something that can be changed and with priceline you can't. I don't want to wait till February to start booking something cause I know a lot of the better values fill up early.

So keep the suggestions coming. Thanks
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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I have been very happy with Priceline for London. If that is your scenario, I would reserve a good hotel at a price you can afford with a reservation you can cancel. Then when your plans are absolutely firm, you can then reconsider Priceline, even if it's the last minute.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 10:49 AM
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you may wish to consider a B&B. Bloomsbury (near the British Museum) has some streets which seem to have a fair number of reasonably priced B&Bs. I remember walking down it with a friend of mine a few years ago, and she pointed out the Morgan Hotel, where she stayed, and told me that the street it was on (and some adjoining ones) had a lot of B&Bs, from her research. I can't name names unfortunately, can only offer you that anecdote and hopefully it will point you in a good direction.

also, the Morgan Hotel was pretty popular here at one time (and may still be). it's on Bloomsbury Street.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 11:04 AM
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I've read many positive things about the Travel Inn/County Hall. It's more like a US motel (Super8 sort of) from what I gather and most people are pleased. Not loaded with charm, but fine.

You also might check the Holiday Inn website. There is a Holiday Inn Express near Victoria Station. Again, perhaps not loaded with charm but it has gotten good write-ups here.

Sorry not to be of more help, we usually rent an apt in London.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 11:07 AM
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I've stayed at the Bonnington in Bloomsbury and got a rate of about $55/night on londontown.com two years ago. I've seen deals for it since then in the $75/night range tho now it looks like a bunch of discounters have it listed for $113/night which is a tiny bit above your range. It's a solid 3* in a great location (near Brit Museum). Nothing fancy but a very decent and accommodating place. Large breakfast buffet included in the room rate. The concierge told us it was very popular with Italian tour groups and sure enough there were a number staying there during our visit.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 11:25 AM
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I haven't stayed at any of these hotels, but they have been recommended on another travel board I frequent. They may be worth looking into...

www.travelinn.co.uk
www.oxfordhotellondon.co.uk
www.hotelcavendish.com
www.lincoln-house-hotel.co.uk
www.ridgemounthotel.co.uk
www.montanahotel.co.uk
www.cosmobedfordhotel.com
www.averard.com

I would also check out the hotels on sites like expedia.com and travelocity.com. They sometimes have better rates than booking directly with the hotel. And they may also have more pictures to see what the rooms actually look like (just remember that they will be showing their best rooms in the pics!)

Regarding booking early on Priceline, you don't necessarily get better prices by booking early. So if you waited until your daughter's plans are more definite, you could probably still get a good deal thru Priceline. It's really the best way to get a decent room for a good price in London.



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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 11:31 AM
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I've also stayed at the Bonnington (www.bonnington.com) and would heartily recommend it. It's truly a 3* hotel by US standards. Clean, comfortable and a good location.

This is a hotel you can ususally get cheaper on expedia or travelocity.

Also a very good Italian restaurant close by called Il Fornello (maybe that's why the hotel is popluar with the Italians!)

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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 04:29 PM
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>>Therefore, you have to expect to pay more for your accomodations when you're here. >>

WRONG! As MK2 already knows, I stay in a B&B in the suburbs paying 45% less than I what I used to pay in Central London. The money I have saved in my 2 most recent visits paid for 1 plane ticket and half of another. Off to London in a matter of days with side trips to Holland and Denmark. 4th trip to Europe in 12 months. Life is good and getting better (9 weeks of vacation helps!)
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 07:43 PM
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Ibis is often a good choice and can be fairly reasonable. Check out the hotels in the Accor chain: http://www.accorhotels.com
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 08:46 PM
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I think the other point the poster was trying to make is that 2 and 3 star properties elsewhere are better maintained than similar star levels in London, even at the higher price.

I would also recommend making a conventional reservation now at a hotel you'd be satisfied in and then look at making a Priceline bid for a 4* in your preferred area when your plans firm up. I'm staying at the Hilton Metropole (I wasn't picky on location) in November on a $69 bid - $85/£46-47 night including taxes and fee - and it'll be a double occupancy room, not one of those single closet rooms one usually gets traveling alone.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 09:00 PM
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Have you tried any of the Thsitle Hotels. They are fairly reasonable and are alright. They usually have come with a full English breakfast. Some are cheaper than others, depending on the area they are located.
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Old Oct 24th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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The Thistle Hotel near King's Cross is not the best situation for women walking at night. If you can choose another property, I would.
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