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Are the B&Bs in London like they were in 1975? And, where are they?

When I visited London in 1975, we stayed at a B&B and B&Bs were all over the place. They were family owned with a common room for breakfast and relaxing at night and twin rooms for sleeping. Usually bathrooms were at the end of the hall, but sometimes, they had ensuite accommodations. Are these still available in central London? When I see a B&B or Guesthouse listed at bookings.com or other booking websites, I assume they are like this. However, my daughter, who stayed in London a few years ago, said my vision of B&Bs in London was idealistic and that they have changed. We're looking for 2 rooms for the 4 of us. I've searched apartments, but just can't find anything to our liking and we've decided we won't be in the rooms long enough to care. Breakfast and beds are pretty much all we need. Of course, we parents, would like en suite accommodations, but the girls can tough it out with a bathroom at the end of the hall. :) Any thoughts? Am I nuts? Thanks for any ideas you have.

Posted by
809 posts

I've stayed in two B&B networks in London over the past decade - London Home to Home, and At Home in London. In both instances, it's a network of private homes with rooms to let; sometimes just one room, but several of them have two or even three rooms available. But neither had a common room for relaxing, so that may be gone forever, as Emma said.

I enjoyed my conversations with our hosts in both locations - one was near the Gloucester Road tube station, and the other very near Chiswick. Prices were reasonable, breakfast was tasty, and would definitely use them again for my next London visit. Some have requirements for staying more than one night, but it's all there in the descriptions of each home. Good luck with your trip planning and have a great trip!

Posted by
32 posts

Ah, how time flies and we grow older! I figured the idealized B&Bs were gone, but hoped not. Also, it's not the price so much, it's the atmosphere. We met many wonderful people at those B&Bs. For me, I don't know anything about Premier Inns, but Travelodge does not scream "London" to me! More, "Portland, Oregon airport hotel!" Thanks for your note -- I'll adjust my expectations accordingly --

Posted by
180 posts

My brother and his family went to London this past October, 8 of them, all adults. They stayed in the Celtic, near Russell Square, which was the place they stayed on their first trip to London 25 years ago. And they all LOVED it. From their descriptions it sounds like a small friendly, modest clone of the B&Bs you so enjoyed in 1975. At least worth a look.

Posted by
11450 posts

We found our place in London.. its technically a hotel.. but it ticks all the boxes for us. We stayed there two years ago.. and are booked again for this May.

We have booked a double with private ensuitee for us.. but our daughter is getting a single .. with bathroom down the hall.
Place is lovely and clean. Our room had a beautiful fireplace in it ...

Breakfast is served in a nice room on main level.. served to order breakfast.. lovely.

Family run and owned.

Celtic Hotel , formerly known as St Margarets.

www.stmargaretshotel.co.uk/

It is a bit of a pain getting a reservation.. I have emailed back and forth a few times..( had to change our dates) and the lady sometimes takes days to get back to us.. and once sent same email twice.. So I finally phoned them and they really are lovely to deal with.. I think "mom" Sophia is just not very tech savvy..lol the younger staff are great though..

Posted by
32 posts

I've got a reservation at the Celtic (within the last 12 hours and need to send my credit card info), but am concerned about the quad they have offered and can't seem to find any information on it. All I see in the reviews are reviews for the "family" room as a triple en-suite and they seem to be on the 5th floor (I'm no spring chicken anymore!) They have also offered us two rooms of varying accommodations, but that arrangement is out of our price range. Does anyone know if the quad family room is really a quad and big enough for four adults? Or is it more of a triple with 2 doubles? Thanks for all your input...it has been really helpful. And, if I were going by myself or with one other, I would ABSOLUTELY stay at the Celtic...THAT is what I was/am looking for in my 1975 memories!

Posted by
8293 posts

Can you not phone the Celtic and ask them? The tel. number is on the website.

Posted by
32 posts

Of course! I didn't even think of that, as I remember before cell phones when it was cheaper to call after 11pm and before 8am, so an international call would absolutely be out of the question. I'll think about it tonight, when I'm at home. At work lunch, right now. Thanks for the idea! (Still living in 1975, I guess...) But, I'd also appreciate a non-biased review, perhaps, not from the owner. If she offered this as an option, I would guess she thinks it would be fine for four adults. Thanks again, for your thoughts.