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two hotel options for mother-daughter London trip in November

Making my way thru this forum in prep for taking my 10 yr old to London over Thanksgiving. I have two hotels booekd and I can't figure out which one to keep. First is the Montague On the Gardens in Bloomsbury (across from British Musuem). Super cute, great reviews, and very 'Londony'. The negative is it is further out from city center than I want to be and the rooms are small. The 2nd is the Park Plaza County Hall in Southbank (5 min walk to the eye). For the same price here I got us a suite. Plenty of room to spread out, but a large/impersonal type of hotel. Though also great reviews and much closer to everything. I am comfortable learning to use the tube, but concerned about November London weather. It is a special mother-daughter trip and would like advice on which hotel makes the most sense for us. My daughter is 10, but is quite the endurance little traveler. Thank you in advance!

Posted by
9338 posts

I would much prefer to be in Bloomsbury and for me it feels far more central. If I could afford a hotel like that I would definitely stay there !

Posted by
4669 posts

I would prefer Bloomsbury, too. But when pushed to a coin toss situation, I'd look for the one with better tube and bus access.

Posted by
330 posts

What a wonderful mother-daughter adventure. Both hotels look great; both very well-reviewed on and good locations for transit. I don’t think you could go wrong with either. Things are well-spread out in London but connected with transit at the same time.

We’ve stayed in several areas in London close in and way out and I’d consider Bloomsbury to be “in”. I like the charm of the Bloomsbury neighborhood. You’re not far from a good tube station at Holborn. Buses in London, especially the double decker buses, are plentiful and fun. And if you might be interested in seeing a West End play or musical at night you’re close enough that in some cases you might even be able to walk to theaters.

Posted by
858 posts

Can’t really go wrong with either location. Both are central.

Hotels seem quite different. The Park Plaza is modern, very large and business like (I have stayed here and the suites are great from a space point of view). From the reviews it looks like the other hotel has more of an emphasis on personal service and very traditional, old fashioned decor. It’s personal taste really.

Posted by
8156 posts

I very much enjoy the location of the Park Plaza County Hall. It is one of my favorite neighborhoods to stay in and access to multiple forms of transportation is quite easy. Sometimes, impersonal doesn't matter if you are surrounded by great views and have extra space in your room.

I wanted to provide a link for you for a great mom-daughter activity, Christmas at Kew. If interested, buy tickets now. It will be operating at Thanksgiving time.

Posted by
8480 posts

Going to talk about November weather.

November is my usual month to London. If there’s any rain its early in the morning. Otherwise expect grey sky or more often blue sky for the entirety of the day.

One thing to remember is that will start getting dark by 4pm.

EDIT: Go with the County Hall property. Pretty certain she’ll enjoy walking out the hotel and seeing the Eye. You’ll enjoying seeing the Houses of Parliament.
Really beautiful lit up at night.

Be sure to take the 10 year old to Mudchute Farm.

Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
858 posts

Don’t expect to be as lucky as Claudia. The weather can be very grey in November and it is dark by 4.30. All the Christmas lights will be up and it’ll be getting festive so it’s good in that way.

Posted by
13 posts

Will be fully prepared for dreary weather-which is why I am stressing a bit over the hotel question. But thank you all for the great feedback. HA! Seems to be split 50/50 so responses match my state of mind on this!

Posted by
9338 posts

Well, the good part of that is that you can't go wrong with either choice !!!

Posted by
90 posts

I've stayed in Bloomsbury on three London visits and thought the location to be excellent. It looks like the hotel you've booked there is close to the Russell Square Station on the Picadilly Line. We were able to take the tube direct from Heathrow to Russell Square and had a 6 block walk to our hotel - it was great. With Russell Square nearby, you should have good access to any other locations you want to visit in the city.

Posted by
7081 posts

You have to learn how to use the Tube to have a successful visit to London, wherever you stay. It's actually not that hard. I would prefer the space and comfort of the impersonal "Business Hotel". But that is very much a matter of opinion. We've just been in too many tiny rooms with slumping bed mattresses, but "loads of character" (and a construction site across the street!) We stayed in Hilton London Bankside last time we were in London, for all those reasons. We also took an Executive Room so we could have a quick, light dinner of hors d'oeuvres and wine if we didn't want to go out. (Went out plenty, too.)

Your obligation is to your comfort and desires, not to some mystical idea of real, local life. I mean, you're a tourist in a hotel. That's not a sin. Do you have the number of beds you want in either place?

Posted by
142 posts

For some unknown reason, the Tube is kept roasting hot in the winter months. In my opinion it is much better to use the bus system. The buses are all double decker, so you get spectacular views from the top level. What 10 year old wouldn't want to see London from the top of a red double decker bus. The buses are easy to use and run frequently. I used Google Pay and just waved my phone across the pay podium. It was simple and fast.

Posted by
26 posts

Hello! I’m not sure how many days you will be in London but have you thought about splitting your time between your two hotels? We do this when we are in a big city (London, Paris, Vienna) for more than 4 nights. That way you can enjoy two different hotels, two different neighborhoods, nearby sights, etc. Yes, there is a little extra work packing and re-packing and a ride across town and perhaps leaving your luggage with reception while you go out and explore. We have done it both ways…leaving the first hotel in the late afternoon while they hold our luggage after we check out in the morning or arriving at the new hotel and have them hold our bags until we come back from sightseeing. It all depends on our agenda for the day and each hotels’ proximity to those sights.
We have never regretted our moves.

Just returned from London…stayed near Waterloo station for one part and The Montague for another. I’d suggest you stay at the Montague first as it is a smaller room and move to the larger room next…the longer you stay the more spread out you’ll want to be…based on my experience!

We stayed in a Classic King room at The Montague and did not avail ourselves of the breakfast or afternoon tea which might have enhanced the Britishness of the experience. Would I pay $400 a night in the future for The Montague (and that was with a 10% discount)…I don’t think so, but I was glad to experience it once. Room was classy and clean, concierge was helpful with directions on day, accessing the Russell Square tube was an easy stroll through the square, and a great walk-in shower as opposed to a steep-walled tub. We met some interesting folks in the lobby while waiting for our turn at check in. No regrets.

The H10 Waterloo hotel (a Spanish chain) was soulless (but clean and quiet) in comparison and lacked the friendliness of the front desk and no concierge to speak of, but the included breakfast (when booking on the website) was fantastic! Because two out of our 3 nights at the Waterloo we needed to access the Waterloo train station for day trips, it was worth it for us at $278 a night.

Have a wonderful trip with your daughter!

Posted by
337 posts

I found the tube to be very easy to navigate. Get a tube map (you can also download one to your device). Compare it to Google Maps (or whatever map you use). You'll have no trouble.