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London airb&b worthy on this kind of trip?

Hello! You have helped me tremendously on previous trips, I'm asking for your help and opinions, one more time. Thanks in advance!
We ( husband and I) found what I consider a great price to fly from the west coast to Europe this spring. ( $386.00 dlls!) following advice read hear ,it is a multi city flight LAX -LON / ROME - LAX , British airlines, non stop on the first one, one layover in London on the way back ...the cheapest I've seen for the west coast! Fingers crossed that it will be a good flight.)
Knowing about the great fare, four of our friends wanted to tag along , so there are six of us traveling together.
The plan is this:
* London ( 2 nights, April 12-13 I know, too little time! )
* Prague ( 3 nights April 14,15,16)
* Sorrento ( 4 nights 17,18,19,20)
* Rome (4 nights 21,22,23,24)
* Flying back on the 25th
Flights to Prague and to Naples already bought.
Although I consider that three nights is the minimum you need to start enjoying a city, we chose only two nights in London, probably we'll regret it, I know.
London and Prague will be new cities for the six of us this trip. I'm in love with Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast and I want to show it to my friends whom never been there. We all have been in Rome ( my hubby and I twice ), but only for one night each time and it definetely wasn't enough . I feel that I "owe" Rome, more time.
Because this time we are going to be six people traveling together, we are considering using airb&b ( I" ve used it in my country , Mexico and in USA, several times and I've been very satisfied with the properties we have rented) but I feel a litte bit anxious using it in Europe for the first time) .
I'm the main planner in the group and that alone it's quite a responsibility.
I've read about the tube and areas in London but somehow I don't fully understand which areas to avoid in London . I've found three apartaments with very good prices and good reviews. Could you please help me sharing your experiences using airn&b in Europe and telling me your opinions on these three properties...Which one would you pick ? If it is not too much to ask. 😊
We would like to use airb&b in London, Prague and Rome . In Sorrento we have a bed and breakfast that we just love, Villla Monica b&b .
London is the one that worries me a little bit more due to the size of the city, the little time we'll have there and my lack of experience there. If this info helps, we'll arrive on a Friday to Heatrow around 4:00pm and we'll depart the following Sunday from Gatwick at 6:30 pm.
I appreciate very, very much all the help you can give me.

Posted by
3994 posts

Please delete one post. You have posted the same thing twice.

Posted by
3994 posts

Are the 6 people traveling together couples? Personally I would look at hotels (as per the suggestions in your General Europe thread) or spend a little more money for an Airbnb. Two real bedrooms and one shared bath for 6 people isn’t easy. In all of the pictures and descriptions of your 3 choices, 2 people are going to be sleeping on something in a common open living area with their suitcases taking up some precious floor space.

Posted by
158 posts

We are a group of close friends. My husband and I and four female friends.
Sorry for having two similar (identical!) threads. I was reccomended to put it under the relevant country and I felt bad deleting the first one with the comments that people have taken the time to write.

Important things to consider the ones that you mention, Mona. Thank you!

Posted by
16936 posts

All three are lovely apartments, but are your four friends all comfortable sharing beds? The sleeping arrangements appear to be three double beds in each flat, and one of the beds is a sofa bed in the common area (living room). In other words, no privacy.

All three appear to be in or near the area known as Shoreditch, north of the City of London. It is a trendy, lively neighborhood, with cool bars and restaurants, but not the best for seeing the tourist attractions. And I hope someone who knows that area better than I will chime in, but I’d say connections to and from your airports are not good. The first one can be reached from Heathrow by the Piccadilly line (tube) with a single change at Kings Cross to Old Street, but I don’t know about the other two. And I have no idea how you would get to Gatwick, which is served by train into London, arriving at either Victoria Station or St. Pancras/Kings Cross (or is it Euston?)

With such a sort time in London (one full day) I suggest you pick someplace more easily reached from the airports, and closer to the main things you wish to see in London.

Posted by
158 posts

Thank you Lola for the great information!
I'll adjust our plans. Thank you very much!

Posted by
1332 posts

With that little time in London, I’d just pick a hotel. Why mess around with key pick up and drop off and the slight chance something could go wrong. And, it’s easy enough to find 3 rooms at a hotel in a good London location.

Posted by
40 posts

I recently returned from the UK. Last year I traveled to Rome and Naples. 95% of the time I use a vacation rental for lodging; Airbnb being one of the places I look to find something suitable. We personally like to be away from the built up areas where the hotels are. Plus we find it more relaxing to be in a home-away-from-home atmosphere at the end of a day of touring. But I have yet to do a vacation rental that is less than two nights. Hotels are more suitable for overnight type stays.

I would suggest that you can find a larger house, duplex, or cottage that will nicely accommodate 6 people for less costs than a hotel for that many if you move out west of Heathrow. Our last stay was in one such place that had 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths and only 20 minutes west of Heathrow. As the Brits say "it was lovely". It was EZ to get into London centre by train as well as dropping of the rental car at Heathrow.

It is my preference to have a vacation rental owner meet me because I can ask questions about the place and they are a source of info that helps refine my local tour plans. But I've never had a problem with a lock box. Just make sure they give you the exact location of it. It probably won't be fun looking for it should you arrive in the dark. Also please be aware that if you wish to have an owner meet you, then you must do them the courtesy of giving them a good estimate of your arrival time. That can sometimes be difficult with air travel not knowing the delays involved in getting through an international airport. I use a Wi-Fi based cell phone app called WhatsApp to communicate with owners for that purpose. It's free international calling. You can Google it to find out more.

Please know that doing a rental car pick up at one location and drop off at another isn't an expensive deal like in the US. I paid less to pick up at Gatwick and drop off at Heathrow than I would have if the location was the same.

Speaking of driving, I did that in Naples. What a zoo; especially, in a round about. I asked a local about why no one obeyed traffic signs. Their response was "Oh, those were left over from the Roman Empire. We don't use them".

I flew British Air and was not all that pleased. They changed planes twice and both times cancelled out my paid for seat assignments. I could not get new ones until 24 hours prior to check-in. It was an unpleasant hassle getting them to reassign my group of four so that we could sit together. They worked it out to my satisfaction, but nonetheless it was a chore for me.

Viajes seguros.

Posted by
2599 posts

To add to the previous poster, however, the possibilities of things going wrong with meeting a person for an air bnb rental are huge. We had three air bnb rentals in Greece and had difficulties with 2/3 of them meeting up with a specific person. Only hassle free rental was the one where we got the key from the restaurant below the apartment.

I like key boxes for these reasons!


Posted by
11496 posts

I strongly support Lola's suggestion of a hotel for your brief time in London. Why spend precious time figuring out how things work in an apartment, looking for groceries and supplies even if all you want is breakfast in? I can't tell you how many times we've hit a rental with insufficient toilet paper or some other critical component missing! You only have two nights. Get a place that serves breakfast and devote your time to London.

FWIW, 2-to-3 nights we ALWAYS do a hotel or B&B. For 4 nights, we'll do an apartment if we've been in the town before and know our way around and what the apartment has to offer. For 5 or more nights we will take an apartment so we do not have to eat in restaurants all the time. For less time it is not worth outfitting an apartment with items you need that they may not supply.

Posted by
9899 posts

I would suggest that you can find a larger house, duplex, or cottage that will nicely accommodate 6 people for less costs than a hotel for that many if you move out west of Heathrow. Our last stay was in one such place that had 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths and only 20 minutes west of Heathrow.

This is NOT what you want to do for your first trip to London, and when you have only two nights there.

With the # of adults traveling together and your very short stay, you need to do what Lola, Dale, and Laurel have suggested: find a hotel and don't mess with the AirBnB.

Posted by
5688 posts

You are really only going to have about a day and a half in London, so just get a centrally located hotel. I think airbnb is inconvenient when you have a short stay. You have to arrange to meet the owner and then you usually can’t leave your luggage after checkout time.

Friday - By the time you get into London, it will be around 6pm. With a hotel, you won’t have to coordinate your meetup time with the owner.

Sunday - You will need to leave London around 3 to head to Gatwick. Since many of the sights open later on Sundays, there won’t be a lot of time to squeeze things in. With a hotel, you can just ask the front desk to hold your bags after checkout and swing back by the hotel on your way to the airport.

Posted by
158 posts

Booked three rooms in a very well reviewed hotel very, very close to Victoria Station. I really appreciate your help and opinions.

Posted by
33339 posts

I think that that will work out well for you.

Posted by
2352 posts

hi Veronica
so happy you got the hotels rooms, one less “where”, two more to go. Beer or gin&tonic at a local pub for you all. tally ho

Posted by
2599 posts

I stayed near Victoria station when I was in London a little over a day. We were able to see an amazing amount just the same.