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London hotel comparison

We are reserved on the Best of London tour in 9/16. We were notified that our hotel will be the Washington Mayfair. Trip Advisor has the usual good and bad reviews, but nothing too bad stands out. We are interested in staying in the same hotel for the few days we arrive before our tour. I accidentally got the names confused and made reservations for the Mayflower Hotel, near Earl's Court Station, for the 3 nights of our pre tour stay. Trip Advisor also has good and bad reviews of the Mayflower, and again, nothing stands out too bad. The Mayfair is ranked around 500 of 1000 on TA and the Mayflower is around 700 of 1000. The one BIG difference is the price. I have a great deal at the Mayflower , about 1/3 of the price we will be paying at the Mayflower. Would appreciate any input from anyone who has stayed at either of these hotels. Usually when you see that kind of price difference, your mind starts saying "you get what you pay for"! The positive of staying at the Mayfair is not moving after 3 days, but the price is certainly higher. We do not need anything fancy, but a clean property is important to me. We stayed at a RS recommended property in Barcelona and although the room was small and the shower was really tiny, it was fine. Interestingly, neither hotel we are staying at with the Best of London and Best of Paris tours is recommended in the RS London/Paris guidebooks. Wonder why?

Posted by
544 posts

I say stay at the cheaper place and use the savings to enjoy your stay even more. Maybe you've found a great deal in London? Earl's Court Station may be a little further away from the center of the city, but only about 15min further out by bus or Underground.

I stayed at the Lime Tree Hotel for Best of London and have been back since. It's very nice, especially the neighborhood and the excellent breakfasts. It is also very expensive compared to places that I would normally stay.

Posted by
3580 posts

The Earls Court area is convenient to the rest of London. I would stay there for the lower rates. RS tours have different requirements than we have as independent travelers. Tour hotels need to be able to house 20-25 RS travelers at once. On the day you change hotels ask the "new" hotel to hold your luggage until your room is ready. That way you won't waste half a day changing hotels. I stayed in the Earls Court area once and found it interesting, with pubs, restaurants, Tube stop, buses, and all the rest. The streets are full of Victorian houses that have been converted to hotels. It is also a nice residential area.

Posted by
8659 posts

Well, I am pretty lazy about staying in one place, so I would stay at the tour hotel. I have not stayed at either of these but to me it is a pain in the neck to check out of one, make your way to the other, leave luggage, then be back to check in and be ready for the Meet-up at 4PM.

I agree with Swan about the tour hotels not being in the RS guidebooks. Sometimes they are, but often, as she says, they have different requirements. Plus if a bunch of tours are running thru there they will stay full most of the time during the travel season and it's always exasperating to have all the hotels in the guide book be full. I have stayed in tour hotels that are listed in the guide book but also ones that are not listed.

I am sure you will have a wonderful time! I did the Best of England this Fall and loved my guide, Tom. What a character! He does the London tour as well.

Posted by
11450 posts

I went on one rs tour( 14 days and it was great) I think only about half hotels are in guide books,,,I don't care a bit about booking a hotel from a guide book, I haven't really screwed up doing my own research yet, and I have likely booked at least 25-30 hotels in europe. So don't worry about that .

I personally would save the money and move...and I have stayed near Earls Court tube and found the area great!

Posted by
2788 posts

I ran a stay at the Washington Mayfair for our stay the first week of May and found that the cheapest room for the two of us (one big bed) was almost $300 average for 6 nights which is out of our budget even for London.

I am sure that RS does not pay anywhere near that amount since he gives them so much business.

Posted by
2788 posts

I just ran a stay at the Mayflower Hotel for 6 nights in early May and got a price average of $160. Much better than the Washington Mayfair. Now I just have to plot the Mayflower on a map of London. I went to its web site and viewed their location on their map but I would like to know its location in relation to Victoria Station.

Posted by
4568 posts

I'm very familiar with the location of the Mayflower hotel because I lived in a flat that was next door on Trebovir Road for several months. Here is the problem with the Mayflower ... It overlooks the tube station which is above ground at Earls Court. If your room is on the station side rather than the street side and you are a light sleeper, you may find the noise from the station annoying. I'd check to see what the reviews say about noise. The screeching of the brakes in the early morning used to wake me up.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced hotel in the same neighborhood, I can recommend both the Nadler Kensington and the Premier Inn on Knaresborough Place.

Posted by
4734 posts

Definitely go for the cheaper hotel when the price difference is significant.

One of our RS guides once told us that RSE always chooses business class hotels for the first and last nights of a tour. They have 24 hour reception desks, and often have airport shuttle service. The in-between nights are more likely to be hotels that are in the guidebooks, smaller, quirkier, family-run. In a city tour, of course, the entire stay is at the pricier hotel so the group does not have to move (twice.)

In our Best of London tour last year, we found the tour hotel to be nice, but way over our budget. We stayed at a much cheaper hotel (that we found in the guidebook) both before and after the tour, and had no complaints. In fact, we're returning to that hotel next spring for before and after our Villages of South England tour.

Posted by
11450 posts

I stayed at the Nadler.. when it was called Base2stay.. it is a LOVELY hotel, but Laura.. it far from economical now. yikes. Guess everyones idea of budget is different.

I would however stay there again in a heartbeat .. lovely room , small but had a tiny mini kitc henette, nice bathroom, comfy beds, nice duvets etc.. and loved the location.

Posted by
4568 posts

Pat, I just stayed at the Nadler last year for 106 GBP a night in September. I guess I should have qualified my statement. While that is certainly no bargain, it is on the low end for London. The Nadler has an early booking discount where the price is 25% lower if you are willing to pay a non-refundable rate. Over the years, I've found the rates there to be hit or miss. Some years I've found a lower rate there and other years I have stayed elsewhere because the Nadler price was too high. I think my main point is that I think the OP can do better than the Mayflower in that price range.

Posted by
117 posts

Thanks for all the perspectives, good to hear that Earl's Court is a nice area. The price difference between the RS hotel we are staying at and the Mayflower is 400 pounds, so unless we hear something extreme, think we will save the money and change hotels. I'd still love to hear from someone who stayed at the Mayflower,. It was most helpful to hear from the person who lived right by. We've decided that the noise from the tube will be worth saving that kind of money. We will need it for our post stay Paris hotel, we've decided to stay on at the RS hotel after our best of Paris tour and that will be a bit pricey. Happy Travels everyone!