Hi All--Quick question on London: my mom and I are traveling to London for 2 nights in May, 2013 and then taking the train to Edinburgh. We are looking for an affordable London hotel with a bar and close to the tube stations and in a cute neighborhood...any suggestions on neighbohoods and hotels? We are royal anglophiles, so I suspect we will be visiting Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, etc...Thanks!!
Sarah ,affordable is a vague term . What is affordable to one person may be expensive to another . Perhaps a little more information would help locate a starting point. Also , big cities like London , Paris and New York generally tend more to a pricey side !
Why a hotel with a bar? There's no shortage of nice pubs on almost every corner. If it has to have a hotel bar, you'll almost certainly going to get a big, pricey hotel chain. Also, don't think of pubs as a bar. Yes, they serve alcohol but there are many quiet, family type establishments. Two nights is not adequate to see much of London. In May, I'm pretty sure Buckingham Palace will not be open for tours. The closest you can get is looking through the fence. Kensington Palace is now open for tours after their remodeling but neither me or my wife were impressed at all. That was on the top of my wife's to do list. Do the verger tour at Westminster for a couple extra pounds. No good royal anglophile should miss the Tower of London but that's a prices and time consuming site. You can see the crown jewels there. You didn't say where you were coming into London from. I typically suggest that people stay near the arrival train station or their departing station. These areas are always near a tube station on the circle line which is how you can get anywhere in London. Buses routes also converge on the train stations so you'll have more options if you want to bus it.
Thanks for the responses...a bar in the hotel was my mom's request...I think she has a certain vision of London that she is trying to accomplish...we've been to Ireland many times and are very familiar with pubs:) I guess we're looking for somewhere under 200 pounds per night.
My husband and I have stayed at the Crowne Plaza, Kensington, three years in a row. It is directly across from the Glocester tube. The hotel is lovely and the area is one of the most recommended. This past June, we stayed at the Doubleyree, Westminister. We were right on the Thames. We could see the Thames to the left, outside our window. We could walk a short distance to Big Ben, Westminister Abbey, Horseguard Parade, Parliament, etc. We used the tube everyday in Kensington. We used the buses while at Westminister. Both are great hotels.
The area around Buckingham Palace is where we usually stay. Victoria Station is a central transportation hub and is close to parks, restaurants and pubs. Check out www.londontown.com for reduced hotel rates.
another thought , Earl's Court . We stayed in the Premier Inn on Knaresborough place just off Earl's Court Gaedens , a block from the tube. Quiet and nice room and ten to fifteen minutes to Westminster .
We just got back from a trip and stayed in the Earl's Court area at The Rockwall Hotel-nice little place, there was a small bar and it included a continental breakfast (could over cooked items at additional charge). It was a couple blocks from the tube station and there was a great little neighborhood pub called "The Kings Head" just around the corner. We got a room on the backside, which was nice and quiet.
The Rembrandt would probably suit you and your mom. It has a bar with a fireplace, great location (Harrod's just down the street), near S. Kensington Tube Station, and is just across the street from the V&A Museum. Wonderful neighborhood. A visit to the Royal Mews to see the horses, stalls, coaches, and uniforms may be of interest to you and your mom. Worth it just to see the Windsor Grays.
We really like Sanctuary House Hotel, a small hotel in Westminster above a nice Ictorian pub. It is about two blocks from Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, and a short walk in the other direction to St. James Park, with its beautiful gardens and pond. Walk through the park to go to Buckingham Palace. Both tube station and boat dock ( for a Thames cruise) are very close.
The London Elizabeth Hotel, http://www.londonelizabethhotel.com/hotel-overview.html it's a two minute walk from Lancaster Gate tube station, three minute walk from The Swan Pub which is great, across the street from Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park. Kensington Palace is right there, you could tour there then have tea at The Orangery, lovely place.
Like Steven, we stayed in the Premier Inn at Earl's Court. It was super cheap and just a block from the Earl's Court station, which is on the District and Piccadilly lines so you can easily get wherever you need to go. The hotel is no-frills but you are only there to sleep, right? There is also a pub across from the tube station though we did not go in so I can't comment on it. We really enjoyed our stay and the breakfast is cheap and great for starting off your day of sightseeing.
I stayed at NUNBER63 which is next door to the Swan pub. The hotel itself has a bar, but no pub atmosphere. NUMBER63 is across the street from Kensington Gardens and walking distance from Kensington Palace. There is a Tube station half a block away (Lancaster Gate) on the Central Line. The hotel is relatively inexpensive and has an elevator! Trains for Edinburgh leave from Kings Cross station, I believe. I recommend using a taxi when moving between hotel and train station. For two people the cost is reasonable and so much easier than using the Tube or bus.
Swan's suggestion of Number 63 is an excellent choice for two women. The hotel is run by the Soroptimists, although one not need be a member. The location is very good and so is the price. We haven't stayed there but I did look closely at the website and reviews.
You can tour through Buckingham Palace and the grounds behind it during August and September each year. I took this tour 2 years ago and it was fantastic!