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Hotel Recommendations

WOW -- I've planned several European trips, but am really befuddled trying to find a hotel for our London trip. Here are the facts: We are staying 1 week (July 1-8,2015). We want something moderately priced $200/night US. We are very good at using public transportation but like to be in a neighborhood with restaurants/shopping. We are in our 50's but 50's are the new 40's, right?? In other words, not interested in clubs, etc. just nice restaurants/pubs for a late dinner/drinks. Looking for suggestions on neighborhoods or favorite hotels you've stayed in and would recommend. Don't want a TINY room, but realize this is Europe, not looking for the Taj Mahal. Can't wait to research any and all suggestions! THANKS!! Oh yeah.....Air Conditioning is a MUST! Lift would be nice, but not a deal breaker.

Posted by
4158 posts

If you book with Premier Travel Inn ( I use them often in the UK ) be sure you take one with A/C . As an example , the County Hall location does not provide it , but the new Waterloo location ( just across the street at the old , lying-in hospital does . ) the London Premiers do have lifts . http://www.premierinn.com/

Posted by
101 posts

So, Emma, where have you stayed specifically that you liked? What's your favorite neighborhood to stay in?

Posted by
2232 posts

Jennifer,
Maybe you could try Booking.com or Trip Advisor and put in your perimeters to narrow the choices. Use your amenities priorities, price and the neighborhoods that Emma gave you. We could probably help you narrow from there. Like Steven, we've been happy with Premier Inn County Hall, but no A/C. The staff at PI Waterloo seemed very helpful when the taxi driver dropped us off at the wrong hotel and both hotels are very close. We've done a variety of places in London, but we've never traveled in July. The reason it's hard for some of us to give specific advice is because prices change with the time of year you're visiting. What fit our budget in May might not fit yours in July.

Posted by
8864 posts

Jennifer, going out on a limb here to say Emma might not reply about her favorite hotels as she LIVES in London.

I liked and stayed at the London Marriott at Regent's Park. Not in the center of London but easy tube ride. Swiss Cottage is your tube stop. I liked walking through the neighborhood up to Primrose Hill and then into Regent's Park. You could also check out the Hilton Metropole which I've also stayed at. Other than feeling like a conference hotel in the states, no charm, and charging 15 pounds for internet usage it was okay. Personally, I'd see if there is a room at the Vancouver Studio Apartments. Bayswater neighborhood has two tube stops to choose from. It's vibrant. You can walk into Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Rooms aren't huge but not claustrophobic. Plus you get a well equipped kitchenette. NO lift so ask for something on the 2nd floor. You'd have to ask about AC. Nice Pub, the Prince Edward two blocks away. Countless restaurants, cafes nearby.

Posted by
10344 posts

Jennifer,
Rick says "London is an expensive city for lodging."

We stayed in London more than a week in May 2014.
Here's what I found from our experience 9 months ago: Your budget of $200/night, which was also our budget and currently is about 130 pounds/night, likely will get you a smallish room (compared to what you're used to here, sorry, it sounds zenophobic but is not intended to be offensive, I really do like England and the English, and the rest of the UK too, I just think in this case it makes for clearer communication about room size.

$200/night may also not even get you AC, an elevator, or a Queen-size bed, either.

The same budget is getting us a lot more hotel room in Paris in an upcoming trip, and would get you a nice room in many cities in Europe and in most country lodging in Europe.

We loved being in London, and didn't spend much time in the room except sleeping. I hadn't been in London for awhile and just didn't realize how expensive rooms had gotten, especially in dollars converted to pounds.
If I had it to do over in London, at that time of the year, I would pay more. Or at least for the same money, would have done a more thorough search and carefully scrutinized the various hotels' website photos.

My suggestion is look very closely at a prospective hotel's website, esp. at photos of your room type.
If the photos of the room type show beds against the wall, it probably means narrow, small rooms.
If the room looks small in the photos, it will definitely be small. Even if it doesn't look small, it may be small--many of the hotel photos seem to be shot from the corner of the room with the camera on wide angle, which I suppose makes the room look larger than it actually is.

And if it doesn't clearly say AC, it usually means you'll have a window(s) that will probably open but won't have a screen. Could be a problem in July, even in London.

London is a world-class city, of course--but the facts are that it's an expensive city for lodging, in terms of what you pay and what you get for what you pay, if judged by what you're used to in the US.
IMHO, London is worth it. But it's nice to get a good night's sleep.

Posted by
101 posts

Thanks for all the help! I'm realizing my budget needs to go up a bit. Good news, the rest of our trip is in the Netherlands and I can save some money there because rooms aren't nearly as expensive. I love Hotels.com and earn free nights all the time by using them. I guess I let Rick Steves' words get in my head about missing out on hidden gems because they are not on Hotels.com.

By chance, has anyone stayed at The Belgrave London?

Posted by
2023 posts

We like the Millineum Bailey Hotel located just across from Gloucester Road tube station. We like the neighborhood feel to this South Kensington area--Waitrose, Boots, laundry, etc. This tube station is on a direct line to LHR and there is an elevator. The hotel has an elevator, great staff, and nice room with king size bed.

Posted by
101 posts

I'll check that out, Susan. I've actually never stayed in a Rick Steves' hotel recommendation for all the reasons you stated. I'll go back to my usual way of booking (Hotels.com, Booking.Com, AirB&B). I love RS for his city walks, etc. but have always thought his lodging was either too expensive or too dreadful (shared bathrooms). LOL! I'm getting a handle on this trip.....I think I always panic a bit and get overwhelmed when I first start planning. There's sooo much to read and figure out. I'm getting the bones together for our trip, just need to start filling in the pieces. The other problem is I just love Europe and want to see everything! I will definitely post where we end up and how it goes.

Posted by
341 posts

Jennifer, my husband and I have been to London numerous times and we like staying at the London Lodge Hotel, which is a 7 minute walk from the Earls Court tube stop. The hotel is air conditioned, has a lift, their rate includes breakfast, and there are some great pubs and restaurants nearby. Check out their reviews and rates on Trip Advisor.

Mary

Posted by
2785 posts

Check The London Elizabeth Hotel, 2 minute walk from Lancaster Gate and across the street from Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens. I've stayed their a few times, have enjoyed it. The most recent trip was this past late September/early October.

Posted by
6113 posts

You do not need A/C in the UK. My main concern would be if I was staying in central London that the hotel had double or triple glazing against the noise of the traffic.

Why not stay in a B&B rather than a faceless hotel? Something like www.athomeinnchelsea.com in up-market Chelsea or www.arlingtonavenue.co.uk in trendy Islington? Prices include breakfast. Both are within a few minutes walk of good transport links and local shops and restaurants. You can be in the west end in minutes. Buy an Oyster card for public transport - there is a daily cap on fares so you can travel as much as you want.

The week you are coming is the week before the schools start their summer holidays, so you should have a reasonable choice.

Posted by
16862 posts

For £115 a night you can get a double room at the Captain Bligh house:

http://www.captainblighhouse.co.uk

These are actually small self-catering apartments, but you don't have to cook there. Note that the beds are double, not queen size, and there is no elevator (or a/c). This place is highly rated on Tripadvisor and may well be booked,,but it is worth a try if you like the look of it. Can't beat the price.

Posted by
2791 posts

Nor can you beat the location. Across the street from the I.W.M., easy depending on your activity level walking/bus/tube from almost everything, great pub on the corner. But, alas, no A/C.