Planning my first trip to London, will use points to stay at a Holiday Inn. There are many Holiday Inn locations - any suggestions on which one may be best?
Maybe you could list the locations so that we don't have to google them ourselves.
http://goo.gl/maps/slWgB Flip a coin: Oxford Circus, Bloomsbury, Regents Park, and Mayfair are all good locations.
I stayed at Hotel Indigo - Paddington with points and it was great. The room was very nice but cozy. It was close to Paddington Station and several tube stops. We enjoyed the neighborhood. I think London is one of the best value for using your points in Europe.
JFK, Any limits on the number of points you are willing to use or are you looking for something on the lower end? I've stayed at Indigo Paddington and HI Kensington Forum using points. I just booked 4 nights at Indigo Earls Court because it is available for only 30K points. Indigo Paddington hotel was very nice and I like some of the perks of this brand, but the Paddington area is not my favorite area. I prefer the Earls Court to the Paddington area and the Earls Court Indigo is brand new. I lived in a flat near Earls Court for several months when I was working in London and I think this is a very convenient area for getting to and from Heathrow (45 minutes by tube) and since it is on the picccadilly line, still convenient to for many places. It is about 20 minutes by tube to Leicester Square. I didn't really care much for the HI Kensington Forum (humongous very average hotel); however, I like the Gloucester Road area. If points were not an issue, I'd choose either the IC Westminster or IC Park Lane. Other good Locations would be the HI Mayfair, HI Bloomsbury (the one near Russell Square) or CP St James. The Oxford Circus HI gets terrible reviews, so skip that.
My husband and I stayed a the Crowne Plaza, South Kensington, three years in a row. We used our Priority Club points, all three times. There is also a Holiday Inn, just a short distance down the street from the Crowne Plaza. The Crowne Plaza is directly across the street from the Gloucester tube station. We loved our hotel, its location and convenience. We were just in London again this past June. The Crowne Plaza was booked up, due to ESPN booking all the rooms, in preparation for the Olympics. We stayed at the Doubletree Hotel, Westminister and loved that hotel and its close location to Westminister Abbey, Westminister Pier, Parliament,Big Ben etc. We could walk a short distance to so many places. We used our son's Hilton points for that hotel.
Without a doubt, Holiday Inn Kensington Forum. It is about 2 blocks from the Gloucester Road tube stop. Nice rooms and wonderful breakfast buffet. There is a wonderful Singapore restaurant, I believe Burgis Street is the name, nearby. The Hereford Arms pub on Gloucester Road, about 5 blocks from the hotel, has wonderful pub dinners. There is a terrific market in the building adjacent to the tube station. If you can find it and if you can get a reservation, The Grenadier pub near the Wellington Arch may have the best pub food in London.
As I mentioned before, we used our hotel points (Holiday Inn/Priority Club) at the Crowne Plaza. We met some tours at the Holiday Inn, right down the street. We were told by the numerous pilots and airline hostesses, that the airlines put them up at that Holiday Inn. A few of them told us though, that the Crowne Plaza is much newer and nicer than the Holiday Inn. We only had to use the minimum 25,000 points, which were the same as at the Holiday Inn. Now when I checked this past June, it cost 35,000 points at the Crowne Plaza. I don't know what the Holiday Inn charges.