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Need Hotel Recommendation for Multigenerational Group

We are a multigenerational group of 6 planning a six or seven night stay in London in June 2023. Dates in June are flexible at this point. The children will be ages 8 and 12. The grandparents - us - have been to London twice before. It will be a first trip for the rest of the group - our son and DIL - and two grandsons.
We need recommendations for a hotel in London. Sites we will visiting /seeing are: Tower of London, Ben Ben, Westminster Abbey, Greenwich (with river transportation at least one way), Parliament, the London Eye for some of us, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park. We will split into separate smaller groups for a day trip to Harry Potter. Other side trips, etc. as time permits. Not everyone will go to everything.
The hotel needs to be close to transportation - tube, river pier, etc. Have been looking at either the South Bank area or the St James area. For the grandparents, the fewer steps the better.
The budget is for two rooms - and we could house one grandson in each room - on a bed - not a sofa bed - or a family style room with two larger beds or one large bed with twin bed and a separate room for the grandparents. Budget is about $1500.00 USD PER NIGHT - could go a little higher if needed.
An included breakfast and restaurants within a short distance would be helpful.

Any recommendations?
Thanks, in advance, for your responses.

Posted by
5521 posts

I would like to suggest either the Premier Inn County Hall or the Premier Inn Waterloo. Both match your requirements and fall far below your budget. The location on the South Bank across from Westminster and near Waterloo make transportation connections quite easy and many sites are walkable. These are my favorite hotels to stay in due to their location.

The twin or family rooms would meet your needs. When it speaks of a "sofa-bed", it is not what we usually think of as a "sofa-bed" where it folds out from a couch. It is a daybed that can be made up to either look like a sofa or look like a bed. I've slept on this before and it was quite comfortable.
https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/greater-london/london/london-county-hall.html

Posted by
5521 posts

Not a lodging suggestion, but on the day the group that wants to go to Harry Potter heads out, you can join them on the train and then just stay on for a bit longer and go to Bletchley Park. If you have any interest in WWII or computers, you will find that this is an extremely interesting site. Just a 5 minute walk from the train station.

https://bletchleypark.org.uk/

Posted by
7991 posts

Bailey’s Hotel Kensington.
For some dates, kids stay free. We like to stay in this area.

Posted by
21312 posts

I, too, have slept on the Premier Inn [corrected] day beds, including at the County Hall location, and I found them quite comfortable. Another plus about that Premier Inn is that the rooms are air conditioned.

Given your Iist of planned sights, this does seem like a convenient location. The Waterloo Premier Inn is very nearby, but I haven't stayed there. There's a Mark's and Spencer food hall (supermarket) in the neighborhood as well as other food sources.

Posted by
387 posts

You have a very generous budget. You might look at VRBO or Airbnb which could house all of you, comfortably and include a living room, kitchen, and perhaps an outdoor area, etc.

Posted by
22 posts

Thank you for the above responses. I am checking each suggestion of hotel out to see exact location, room types, etc. Very much appreciate the idea for my husband and I (the grandparents) going to Bletchley Park while the others head to Harry Potter. We have not visited Bletchley Park and would be an excellent side trip for the two of us that enjoy WWII history sites.
Please keep the recommendations coming!
Trying to hone in on places that have rooms that include a little more space. The grandsons will be tired each night - but a little more seating area might let them spread out a little in a room.
Thanks for the help!

Posted by
21312 posts

With your budget you can certainly find something more spacious.

Posted by
441 posts

Our preference is for apartment hotels. Unlike AirBnB they have a front desk staff, housekeeping etc
We find one that has a kitchen,washing machine/ dryer, multiple bathrooms, and comfortable sitting/ eating space.
Do a search on TripAdvisor for “ apartment hotels London”. There will be photos from actual travelers. We always book directly with the hotel. We think you get better rates, and we know you get better service if there is a scrum.
For example:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g186338-d192124-Reviews-No_1_The_Mansions_by_Mansley-London_England.html

Posted by
13213 posts

I would highly recommend serviced apartments or an “aparthotel” for your group. This means apartments in a building with a reception desk and other hotel amenities, and many apartments so you can book two small ones if there is no single larger one.. You can find such options on booking.com, among others.

One such company is Go Native, and their Native Bankside apartment hotel is a great location, with numerous options. You could get a two-bedroom apartment plus a studio ( in the same building) for six nights in June for a total of $7218, or $1200 per night, which is within your price range. Or two smaller apartments tomsleepm3 in each.

These are very nice modern apartments, on the South Bank close to a pier for the Thames boats for easy and enjoyable transport to Greenwich and other locations. We love this location—we spent 3 weeks in an apartment near there, one of them with our son and his family ( two smaller grandchildren) in a 2-bedroom apartment (no longer available or I would recommend it). It is so much more comfortable than a hotel room for 6 nights, and nicer to have the extra space and a kitchen for breakfast and maybe more if you choose.

Booking a serviced apartment from a reliable company is as easy as booking a hotel, and carries none of the potential pitfalls of booking an apartment through AirBnB or VRBO.

Hopefully this link will come through:

https://www.booking.com/hotel/gb/native-bankside.html?aid=318615&label=New_English_EN_CAUS_7023980785-In3bYf69xYLE_PVvu%2AZcqAS73336484065%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap%3Aneg&sid=b34d939c55e47b86db96974f0bbf3f8f&age=10;age=8;all_sr_blocks=371312005_119834660_0_0_0%2C371312001_119834660_0_0_0;checkin=2023-06-05;checkout=2023-06-11;dest_id=-2601889;dest_type=city;dist=0;group_adults=4;group_children=2;hapos=1;highlighted_blocks=371312005_119834660_0_0_0%2C371312001_119834660_0_0_0;hpos=1;matching_block_id=371312005_119834660_0_0_0;no_rooms=1;req_adults=4;req_age=10;req_age=8;req_children=2;room1=A%2CA%2CA%2CA%2C8%2C10;sb_price_type=total;sr_order=upsort_bh;sr_pri_blocks=371312005_119834660_0_0_0__275975%2C371312001_119834660_0_0_0__188005;srepoch=1659488530;srpvid=690507332d4102e0;type=total;ucfs=1&#hotelTmpl

Posted by
11447 posts

With your budget, you can do better than Premier Inn. (Nothing wrong with Premier Inn but it is a budget chain and most people here are on a tighter budget than you report.)

A serviced apartment is a good idea. With two kids, having access to a refrigerator and a kitchen for breakfast and snacks is a good idea.

Fraser Suites Kensington has three bedroom apartments. They are located one block from the Gloucester Road tube station and a five minute walk to Museum Row. (There is a Waitrose supermarket above the tube station and numerous restaurants on Gloucester Road.)

https://www.frasershospitality.com/en/united-kingdom/london/fraser-suites-kensington-london/?utm_source=google_map&utm_medium=organic

Posted by
28126 posts

We have not visited Bletchley Park and would be an excellent side trip for the two of us that enjoy WWII history sites.

When you go, if either or both of you are from a computer background or interested in them, the most excellent National Museum of Computing shares the same site, although completely independent. Well worth a visit if you are that way inclined...

Posted by
7991 posts

And another do not miss WWII site is Churchill’s War Rooms. Book tickets ahead online.

Posted by
6472 posts

I will let others suggest apartment lodgings…you’ve received excellent ideas so far.

I’m going to suggest taking a look at the London Walks www.walks.website. I take one each London visit. Took the Inns of The Court one last month.
Each walk has been informative.

Things the kids might fancy:

Horseguards Parade Ground Changing of the Guard

Or

Visit Wellington Barracks to see the guard march to Buckingham Palace or watch them return from the Palace Changing of the Guard ceremony. MUCH easier and far less crowded than trying to secure a good spot to see the Changing of the Guard at the palace.

Horseback riding in Hyde Park
https://www.hydeparkstables.com/

Food Hall at Harrods or Selfridges.

Berwick Street Market

Portobello Road Market

Brick Lane

Spitalfields Market

The Tower Bridge Experience. https://www.towerbridge.org.uk/.

The Natural History Museum

Walking across the Millennium Bridge

Thames speedboat ride: https://www.getyourguide.com/london-l57/50-minute-river-thames-speedboat-ride-t134082/

The Emigrates Gondolas over the Thames

Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Postal Museum mail rail
https://www.postalmuseum.org/visit-us/what-to-expect/mail-rail/#

Climb Parliament Hill and then hike to and enjoy a pub lunch at the Spaniards inn

Having a pub lunch. Gorgeous or interesting pubs to consider:

Old Bank of England Pub on Fleet Street
Ye Olde Mitre
Prospect of Whitby
Adam and Eve
The Mudlark
The Blue Anchor

Hamley’s Toy Store

The Mummies at the British Museum

I Visited Bletchley Park last year. Fantastic place.

None of the family will be bored in London.

Posted by
21857 posts

We have always stayed in the Victoria Station area. Very convenient for transportation though out the city. There is a huge selection of hotels along Belgravia just west of VS. We have recently used the Best Western Victoria Palace - annex - a number times. The last time we were there found a 50 lb note in the safe. Appreciated the discount.

Posted by
22 posts

These are wonderful suggestions. We have scheduled a "family planning session" for early September to look at all lodging ideas - hotels, apartment style lodgings, etc. so we welcome all your recommendations! Since this will be the first international trip for the grandsons, we grandparents want so much to make this a very special experience!
Love the list of places to take the grandsons - many I had not thought of or considered. As I mentioned, we will also look for places that meet the individual interests of each of us. The 8 year old loves anything to do with animals, fishing, and being out on the water. The 12 year old is the Harry Potter fan and would enjoy the British Museum mummies I am sure.
After the week in London, our son, daughter-in-law, and the grandsons will select another section of England to visit for one week. The grandsons want to tour and explore a castle - best suggestions?
My husband and I will be heading to Belgium and Normandy.
Again, so appreciate the help. Your responses have helped open our eyes to other experiences and types of lodging.

Posted by
387 posts

If the kids like dungeons and all things torture, they might like Warwick Castle. I think it's taken on more of a family holiday vibe since we visited with our kids 20 years ago. Then, there's always the Yeoman Warders-led tour at the Tower of London--again, some torture stories (my grandsons would love that!). Prior to the ToL, they (and the adults) might like the Ceremony of the Keys tour held @ 9:45 pm and very entertaining!

Posted by
3253 posts

Another winner for the kids: the London zoo. Our 18 yr old daughter wanted to go there in Dec 2014 and they had some animals that the zoos we've been to in the US don't have.

For the 2nd city, I think the kids would enjoy walking the walls at York-maybe spend one night in Durham-the cathedral in Durham has a HP site and see if the castle is open-I'm not sure how good it is-but realistically they could see Tower of London and or take a day trip to Warwick Castle, which appears to have lots of child-friendly activities(check the website for what would be the best day).

Posted by
6472 posts

Second vote for Durham. Lovely area. Cathedral
and Castle.

As far as the youngest grandchild’s love of animals consider visiting Mudchute Farm while you are in London.

Posted by
7991 posts

We have had two excellent experiences renting apts from London Perfect. One time it was just us, the other time with family.

Posted by
13213 posts

Another reason to visit the London Zoo—-it was the home of the real Winnie-the -Pooh (if the 8 year old is familiar with the Milne books). And the real Christopher Robin.

https://www.cbc.ca/kids/articles/the-real-life-canadian-story-of-winnie-the-pooh

Maybe get him a copy of this book with the full story, and some photos; written by Harry Colebourn’s great-granddaughter.

https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Winnie-Story-Worlds-Famous/dp/0316324906/ref=pd_lpo_1?pd_rd_i=0316324906&psc=1#customerReviews

Posted by
22 posts

I so appreciate all the help and advice offered in your responses! The agenda for our family London trip planning meeting in September will include discussion and decisions on: dates in June 2023 for our full week in London, sites we plan to visit (dividing the list into "must see" sites and "would like to see" sites) and including which of the group will go to each site. Will organize the schedule based on "clustering" sites in same vicinity and organize those days we will travel outside the city. We will also select our top two hotels and obtain specific information about pricing, etc. The information you have posted here will be helpful as we plot out location of hotels, transportation from hotels to sites, etc.
The ideas your have suggested as activities or places to visit for the grandsons is extremely helpful. Although we will visit many of the most historical sites while in London, we also want the grandsons to have what will be unique experiences for them - horseback riding in Hyde Park (the older grandson takes horseback riding lessons), a boat ride on the Thames, etc. We have started preparing them for the trip with travel videos, picture books, and a review of photos the grandparents have from previous visits.
I will check back on this site after our planning meeting when I will certainly have additional questions. Again, my thanks. Your responses have guided our trip planning.

Posted by
28126 posts

those grandsons sound very lucky to have such grandparents

Posted by
1 posts

I'll add one more place to consider - Taj 51 Buckingham Gate (https://www.taj51buckinghamgate.co.uk/). It's an all-suite hotel that has lovely, very spacious suites with separate bedrooms, full kitchens and living areas, and the service is truly second-to-none. I stayed for a week last year in a 1-BR suite when I traveled to London solo to run the London marathon and do some sightseeing.

Due to Covid, the risk of testing positive and having to quarantine (no longer mandatory this year, of course) and potentially being unable to travel home for an extended period, I wanted the ability to make/eat meals in my hotel instead of eating indoors at restaurants, and this place was perfect. It is pricey but I believe a 2BR suite would be within your budget. The staff could not be nicer or more helpful.

The location was perfect - near Victoria station (although the St James tube station is even closer), a quick walk to Buckingham palace, Big Ben, the Thames, Westminster Abbey and much more.

What makes this place exceptional are the uniquely spacious and comfortable suites (mine was basically a large one-bedroom apartment), the peace and quiet of the location (mine faced the charming courtyard but the street would've been fine too as it's a quiet side lane), and more than anything, the staff. I have never experienced that level of service before. Everyone went out of their way daily to check in with guests and were genuinely happy to help me with anything. I was nervous to travel to London alone during Covid, deal with the gauntlet of required Covid tests that one had to take in those times, then run a marathon, then take in the London sights, and somehow return home to the U.S. Covid-free. But it all happened and went off without a hitch, in supreme comfort at the Taj 51.

Also there are several great, casual and reasonable restaurants nearby where I picked up a delicious meal to bring back to my suite, especially this one (my favorite): http://bongustorestaurant.com/. And there's a Marks and Spencer market nearby to pick up other goodies and breakfast items, etc.

Enjoy this special time with your grandsons!!