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IHG properties in London

Hello,

I would appreciate recommendations for a centralized IHG property. Points of interest will be Buckingham, National History Museum and Guild Hall Gallery. Hopefully 3 full days will be sufficient to visit those highlights. This forum is a continuous
wealth of helpful and mostly unbiased reviews. Thanks to all.

TK

Posted by
351 posts

It may not be as central as you like, but I stayed in the Holiday Inn Express Swiss cottage on Finchley road about 10 years ago because it was one where I had enough points to stay without paying extra. It was very convenient to the tube, so worked well for us. No idea how well it has aged or anything, but at the time it was adequate with a decent breakfast. There is a huge mall across the street that had places to eat.

Posted by
3459 posts

Crowne Plaza on Cromwell Road ( Gloucester Road Tube )

Posted by
27743 posts

I take it that by saying "Buckingham" you mean the Queen's residence? The name for that is Buckingham Palace.

British names are not generally shortened or given just one word of the whole name. There are many roads in and around London with Buckingham in the name, an entire county between Milton Keynes and Oxford, and the name of the county town.

Unless you are going in the summer months when the Queen is away (her 90th birthday now) you can only see Buckingham Palace from the outside at a distance. That won't take long. Even if you wait the 2 or 3 hours after standing outside to see the Changing of the Guard there that's only 2 or 3 hours.

Guildhall Gallery is an hour or so at most.

So that leaves 2 and a half days for the Natural History Museum.

If you want to spend lots of time there I would suggest the Crown Plaza or Holiday Inn in South Kensington or Earls Court.

If you really want to spend most of your short time more central you could still stay there and just use the Tube or buses. London is pretty spread out so that you can't see everything in a short walk from anywhere.

If you want to be closer to the Palace you might try the Holiday Inn at Victoria or the Mayfair Holiday Inn across from Green Park and Piccadilly, just down from the Ritz.

Expect to pay big for the closer in ones, either in Reward Night points or money.

Posted by
4694 posts

I assume that you are asking because you are using points. There are a number of IHG Hotels that are conveniently located so I will only comment on the four that I have stayed in.

I've stayed at the HI Kensington Forum, the HI Bloomsbury, the Hotel Indigo Paddington, and the Hotel Indigo Earls Court, each using points or a free night certificate. Of those, Indigo Earls Court is my preference because the Indigos have great amenities and are relatively low in number of points required. Earls Court is on the Piccadilly and District lines, so it is convenient to Heathrow and a short tube ride to many sights in London. It is also just a 15 minute walk from the Natural History Museum.

I do not recommend the HI Kensington Forum. It is a huge hotel with lots of tour groups and rooms aren't great.
HI Bloomsbury is in a good location by Russell Square and I got upgraded to a very nice executive room even though I stayed there using a free night certificate.
Indigo Paddington is also nice, but Paddington is not my preferred location.

I'm familiar with most locations for the IHG properties in London so if you narrow it down, I will be happy to comment on the location of your options.

Posted by
90 posts

Nigel,

I haven't had that severe a scolding in let's say, half a century! My bad form was in no way intended. Rather, I pride myself in being a gracious and well informed guest and exemplary host here at home. My apologies from this side of the pond.

Thank you for your assistance.

TK

Posted by
90 posts

Laura,

Thank you for your insight. I haven't narrowed it down yet, proximity to public transport is a major consideration and if the IHG properties provide airport shuttle, I will have to weigh the pros and cons. Most likely, the London area stay will serve as a hub for day trips once I have an opportunity to immerse myself in the fabulous museums and galleries. From there, it looks like Manchester (also a hub for locations which can not be serviced within 2 hours from London).
Mid trip, I travel to Wales and from Manchester, the Conwy area is easily accessible.

How gracious of you to wish to further assist me once I have made decisions…stay tuned, I don't leave for another 9 weeks!

TK

Posted by
27743 posts

That wasn't a scolding.

That was saving you time and money and confusion.

Surely better here where you have 9 weeks to get used to it than putting you in a difficult situation when you are trying to juggle everything and get around and hold onto your hard earned money.

The IHG group has so very many properties in and around London (is it 73 properties or is my memory faulty?) that there is so much choice.

Are we right assuming that you are using points? If so, as hinted above, the number of points required can vary hugely depending on where you are. Some are in better areas, some not so. I've never stayed there but I have been intrigued by some of the HIE locations just south of the River, such as around London Bridge or Blackfriars. They are shoehorned in between the railway lines and imaginatively shaped but quite convenient and would be less expensive than HI or CP.

Posted by
90 posts

Hello Nigel and Emma,

Yes, I will be redeeming some of my stash of "reward night" perks. I will take a peek at the properties South of central as suggested by Nigel. To shake it up, I will also be looking into B and B's. I don't mind living out of a suitcase once the first day's
jitters have subsided.

If, for example, I would choose HI, I have already confirmed that they would gladly transfer my reservation to another property should I choose. That way, I could enjoy the varied neighborhoods. I am tethered to "TripAdvisor" reviews and Fodor which are giving me confidence to book in with some knowledge of the areas I am interested in.

My heartfelt thanks to you both. I'm signing off this forum (for now).

TK

In regards to taking the Tube, I've read about the "oyster card". A must have?

Posted by
823 posts

I stayed in the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum (also on Cromwell) and found it pleasant but very well located. It's a block to Gloucester Road tube station but we usually used Earl's Court, 3 blocks away for the lift (one in our party was mobility challenged).

The #7 bus runs in front of the hotel and past the Earl's Court tube station - very handy.

The hotel has a large breakfast room but the buffet-style breakfast can be a little on the steep side. It is, however, convenient.

There is a pub and a coffee shop on premises as well. The pub doesn't rank up there with a "real" London pub but it is a convenient place to grab a pint before heading up to the room.

The standard rooms are actually a little on the large size for a London budget-class hotel. The bed was at least USA-Queen sized and the en-suite had a tub (unusual in London IMHO).

Would I stay there again? If I needed a place with really good public transport and guaranteed lift access to rooms, then yes. It's definitely not "London Quaint" but it's clean, comfortable, predictable and ticked some must-have boxes for us.

(Taxi rank outside always had cabs and it was GBP10 for the three of us to Paddington Station on departure.)

Posted by
3491 posts

I have stayed multiple times at the Holiday Inn Express London-Victoria. I have enjoyed every time.

This hotel is located a couple blocks from the Pimlico tube station and not too far from Victoria Station (I can walk there but taking the tube from Pimlico is easier). A typical HIE with breakfast included, there is nothing really historical or homey about the place. The rooms are comfortable and very modern reminding me of every other HIE I have stayed at anywhere in the world, the rates are affordable, staff are super nice and helpful, and they have a pub on site. Once I got a single room in the attic. Best part of that room was the view where I could see the Tower of London.

Posted by
1010 posts

My husband and I have stayed at the Crowne Plaza, South Kensington (on Cromwell) also. We have stayed there four times, for up to two weeks each time. Another person on this site recommended this IHG hotel also. It is a great location. It is directly across the street from the Gloucester Tube station also. You can take a short walk to Kensington Gardens. It is one Tube stop away from Knightsbridge (Harrod's). The lobby offers two computers for guests to use.