Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

tulips*n*truffles

London first-timer!

Recommended Posts

Just for info - this restaurant (Oriel's) is now closed.

 

THANKS for the update! We ate there a couple times in July 2006. It's a great location overlooking this busy square right next to an Underground station. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well...I'm not necesssarily hooked, but for 700 pounds for 7 nights in a full suite with kitchen (we don't have to eat every meal out), living area, laundry (trying hard not to check luggage), bedrooms, full breakfast, etc... ...I'm at least "hinged". :-)

 

If you're there for a week, and aren't a frantic tourist, this might work. If the area is a nice one, you can get a feel for what it's like to actually live in London, in a real neighbourhood. As long as you're content to come home in the evening and rub shoulders with locals.

 

If I were you, I'd have a peek using google street view, and find out what you can about the area around the hotel.

 

Just trying to put a positive spin on this--if you are the kind of tourist who must see and do everything, non-stop, this is not the place for you. But if you like to stop and smell the roses, it might be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well...I'm not necesssarily hooked, but for 700 pounds for 7 nights in a full suite with kitchen (we don't have to eat every meal out), living area, laundry (trying hard not to check luggage), bedrooms, full breakfast, etc... ...I'm at least "hinged". :-) I've been looking for days at hotels closer to central London, and I haven't found anything even near the value. Definitely stays twice the cost, or half the quality, but not both together. Can you think of any? We're really trying to do this trip on a budget. I think that's really what has me most sold on the location, rather than the hotel itself.

 

It's a choice. I've done London both ways. While I've definitely enjoyed staying in the centre of things - and indeed chose specifically to pay more for a more central location last time I was in London - I have also really enjoyed my stays in the 'burbs. Best was a stay in Mill Hill, a lovely, leafy area. A two-bedroom terrased house for 275 pounds/week. Great place. (Alas, they have since sold this property - such a shame).

 

That being said, if you're staying for a week, there are other options, both in Central London and in suburbia, for equal or less money. Check out Rosamond Rose Properties, as well as holidayrentals.co.uk. Do a search for 'self-catering' properties in London. Last time I was in London I stayed here: http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/p94127, a 5 to 10 minute walk to Paddington Station which has a couple good grocers. Very nice and newly renovated. Budget London can be done!

 

Question about the tube map. There are a couple of symbols I don't understand. One I can't really even describe. It's little and red. Looks like a scratch mark or something. For example to the left of Charing Cross (not the cross, but the symbol next to it). Then the other one is the symbol by Euston or Embankment or others. It's two white circles connected with a white bar. ?? Clearly we don't have public transit where I live! :-)

 

Many thanks!

 

I think the 'scratch mark' you're seeing is the National Rail symbol - this designates Underground stations that are also Rail stations. The white circles are connector stations, and the white bar is indicating where connections are possible between the various tube lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Twickenham: Thanks for the property tips. I really like the Paddington property although once again the smaller bed is a down, but the location and price is great. How early do you need to book for May or June 2011. I'm sure the earlier the better but is Jan to late?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Twickenham: Thanks for the property tips. I really like the Paddington property although once again the smaller bed is a down, but the location and price is great. How early do you need to book for May or June 2011. I'm sure the earlier the better but is Jan to late?

 

May/June is getting into high season for London, so yes, I'd tend to say the earlier the better. Some properties I've seen say they give discounts to early bookings, worth looking for or asking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tulips: Have you considered renting a flat for the week? There are loads of pretty reasonably priced flats for rent in Central London. Check out http://www.aplacelikehome.co.uk/home.aspx for some listings in the Kensington/Earls Court areas. I know several people who've rented through them and they have always had great things to say. FWIW, I love staying in Kensington. Very convenient to Heathrow by tube and easy to get most anywhere else in the city. I've stayed in Earls Court as well and wouldn't hesitate to stay there again either.

 

Check out VRBO.com as well, but be VERY careful as there are a lot of false listings there. Look for ones that have plenty of reviews and don't seem "too good to be true."

 

Since you're traveling with a friend, I hope you're aware of the 2FOR1 deals that are on offer when you use a National Rail ticket? I assume you were planning on getting 7-day Travelcards anyway, just make sure you get them at a National Rail station (so they have the National Rail symbol on them -- the "scratch mark" you were talking about before). Oyster cards aren't valid for these promos, even if you have a Travelcard loaded onto your Oyster.

 

Also, one last thing to be aware of. Most hotels in London, especially the smaller B&B types, DO NOT have air conditioning. I mention that simply because it's important to some people and I'd hate for you to assume they all have a/c like they do in the US. Summers are usually fairly cool in London, but they've had a few stretches of very warm weather which could make for an uncomfortable holiday if you're stuck in a tiny room on an upper floor of a hotel with no a/c!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's fascinating to read other people's view of your place of work.

 

Photos of the tube that is a functional way of getting to work. The London Eye, which is the setting for a spot of coporate hospitality whilst you chat about work taking in the views out of the window.

 

I was born in London, still go there most week for work, and I still think it is one of the most amazing cities in the world (and I've sure seen a fair few)... my only other total favourite is NY.

 

If you like to be organised, you could find a tour company but I think cities are far better taken at your own pace.

 

It doesn't have to be grossly expensive eating out - there are plenty of inexpensive choices.

 

Hotel wise, I would say book a hotel in advance so you have somewhere to stay, then just before you travel go onto laterooms.com or lastminute.com and grab a bargain - then cancel the room you had pre-booked if you manage to get something cheaper.

 

London is ALWAYS busting at the seams with rooms on those sites. I've got £300/night rooms for as little as £50!:D

 

I live just outside London now but sometimes still go and stay there for the weekend.

 

I think most people have covered a lot of places that you would want to see - the list is just endless!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bsquare12:

 

I am a tall Canadian that is spoiled by Queen and King sized beds here at home. It appears that a double sized bed is rather common in the UK. Can you advise where to look for hotels etc that are likley to have queen sized beds. I have found a few such as the Indigo at Paddington which seems to indicate it has Queen beds but am unsure and will likely have to call them. Hopefully you have some inside info to this North American problem.:o. I am ready for a reply such as a) Sorry that is the way it is or b) Suck it up :rolleyes: or maybe c ) request two singles ;) but I am hoping you can have a 4th answer like d) sure , check out ***** hotel.... :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you stick with the North American chains such as Hilton & Marriott, you'll have the option for Queen and sometimes King beds. Of course, you lose quite a bit of the charm of the UK by staying in chains such as these.

 

A little more unique than the chain hotels is The Mandeville Hotel. I stayed there last year and had a Queen bed. Great location, too! Be sure to check the usual online travel sites for some great deals, specifically the one that begins with O (not sure if it's against the rules to post the name).

 

http://www.mandeville.co.uk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bsquare12:

 

I am a tall Canadian that is spoiled by Queen and King sized beds here at home. It appears that a double sized bed is rather common in the UK. Can you advise where to look for hotels etc that are likley to have queen sized beds. I have found a few such as the Indigo at Paddington which seems to indicate it has Queen beds but am unsure and will likely have to call them. Hopefully you have some inside info to this North American problem.:o. I am ready for a reply such as a) Sorry that is the way it is or b) Suck it up :rolleyes: or maybe c ) request two singles ;) but I am hoping you can have a 4th answer like d) sure , check out ***** hotel.... :rolleyes:

 

My husband is tall he's 6'5" so we know all about the bed problem.

 

Here in the UK the term 'queen size' is not often used. It's double (4'6 wide) or Kingsize (5'0) wide. If you managed to find a SuperKing (6'0 wide you'd be dead lucky!).

 

Kingsize is a widely available bed, so you should be fine.

 

As Stace post... the chains like Hilton, Marriott etc. are great (albeit no real charm), but personally I would use laterooms.com and grab youself a real bargain!! London is full of hotels that get reduced. I've paid £50 a night for a hotel who have rack rates of £300.

 

Hope that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bsquare12:

 

I am a tall Canadian that is spoiled by Queen and King sized beds here at home. It appears that a double sized bed is rather common in the UK.

 

I commiserate! I too am spoiled, but we usuallly suck it up when we visit the U.K. or some other European countries. Of course, it helps that we're both fairly short! We have slept in some pretty awful double beds, but now would most likely ask for two singles, although we can cope fairly well in a double.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:rolleyes: OK Wendy... we've got 14 months to steel ourselves:o. We will plan to be sucked up and ready to enjoy London !!!:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has been dormant since April but DW's parents were visiting this week. They will be accompanying us on our cruise next June. Their visit got us talking about the cruise and it got me looking again at accomodations. I have been looking at several of the " vacation property" web sites for a property that is close enough to the city centre and a Tube station for sightseeing but not an impossible cab ride from Heathrow. I have looked at properties in the Kensington, Kennington, Canary Wharf, and Paddington areas. There is LOTS of choice so I have been using sites like "Flipkey" and "Travel Advisor" ( Same thing it seems). The task of filtering through this seems daunting. I like Canary Wharf due to proximity to transit but it seems a long expensive cab ride from the airport. Taking transit from the airport is not really a choice as DIL's are in their 70's and would not be able to manage luggage. Kensington looks like a good choice but the walks to the Tube station "might" be a problem. Looking for advice that hopefully will shorten up my search. Nighly rate of 200 pounds or less for a 2 bedroom with minimum stairs is what I am looking for. Advice, suggestions, recommendaions gratefully accepted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have looked at properties in the Kensington, Kennington, Canary Wharf, and Paddington areas.
I would avoid Canary Wharf and Kennington.

 

Canary Wharf is primarily a business area and is a little out of the way for most tourist things. The ease of getting into town depends very much on exactly where you are; the term "Canary Wharf" is applied by some people to quite a large area, and some of it is not that well served by public transport.

 

Kennington contains a mixture of areas. Some bits that could be described as "Kennington" can be a little scary. Again, it's a bit out of the way for a tourist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would avoid Canary Wharf and Kennington.

 

Canary Wharf is primarily a business area and is a little out of the way for most tourist things. The ease of getting into town depends very much on exactly where you are; the term "Canary Wharf" is applied by some people to quite a large area, and some of it is not that well served by public transport.

 

Kennington contains a mixture of areas. Some bits that could be described as "Kennington" can be a little scary. Again, it's a bit out of the way for a tourist.

 

Thanks Globaliser: I was hoping you would respond. From what I have seen so far, I see your point about Canary Wharf. One attraction to the area is that the transit facilities are apparently modern which might make the stairs and walking easier for the older folk.

I am trying to avoid a walk of greater than the equivalant of one Toronto block to get to transit unless we can get on a bus easily. The walking at the attraction end will be enough without adding to it at the accomodation end.

I also saw one of your posts about how much it cost for a cab from Heathrow to your home. Becasue of that I have been using the web based fare calculator to determine what it will cost to get to prospective apartments. Given that the Heathrow express alone will cost us a combined 60BP or more, the cab is competitive as long as we can use one cab. We don't travel with tons of luggage but is one cab realistic?

thanks for your comments about Kennington, I had seen one property at the Kennington station, however they want a min one week stay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would avoid Canary Wharf and Kennington.

 

Canary Wharf is primarily a business area and is a little out of the way for most tourist things. The ease of getting into town depends very much on exactly where you are; the term "Canary Wharf" is applied by some people to quite a large area, and some of it is not that well served by public transport.

 

Kennington contains a mixture of areas. Some bits that could be described as "Kennington" can be a little scary. Again, it's a bit out of the way for a tourist.

 

I am still looking at various options, in particular Kensington. Regarding Canary Wharf, I have one, two bedroom apartment property in view that is right at the South Quay DLR stop, price is good compared to Kensington or Paddington. From my " never been there " perspective, the connections to London center look very acceptable. I have been further away in other cities. The distance to Liverpool station for departure to the cruise seem OK as well. The downside would appear to be it is a business area and not residential, the restaurants are probably fewer and more expensive. Happy to accept more input. I should add that they will pick us up at Heathrow ( 4 of us ) for 67 GBP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...Regarding Canary Wharf, I have one, two bedroom apartment property in view that is right at the South Quay DLR stop, price is good compared to Kensington or Paddington. From my " never been there " perspective, the connections to London center look very acceptable. I have been further away in other cities. The distance to Liverpool station for departure to the cruise seem OK as well. The downside would appear to be it is a business area and not residential, the restaurants are probably fewer and more expensive. Happy to accept more input. I should add that they will pick us up at Heathrow ( 4 of us ) for 67 GBP.

 

If I were to fly quite a few thousand miles to London it is the last place I would stay. I can't think of anywhere more grim and souless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Regarding Canary Wharf, I have one, two bedroom apartment property in view that is right at the South Quay DLR stop, price is good compared to Kensington or Paddington. From my " never been there " perspective, the connections to London center look very acceptable. I have been further away in other cities. The distance to Liverpool station for departure to the cruise seem OK as well. The downside would appear to be it is a business area and not residential, the restaurants are probably fewer and more expensive.
If you really are right by South Quay DLR, then things are not so bad for local restaurants. Both the main Canary Wharf shopping mall and the Jubilee Place shopping malls have restaurants - mostly chains - and there are more in a big converted warehouse building near West India Quay DLR and the Marriott. There are also a few at Canary Riverside, near the Four Seasons. All of this is easy walking distance from South Quay DLR (no more than 10 minutes). But as sabbrina says, it is pretty soulless because it's primarily a business area.

 

I would still regard it as too far from central London. It would take you half an hour or so to get to the Tower, and 45 minutes or so to the West End.

 

Remember that you're not going to Liverpool station to get the train for your cruise. You're going to Liverpool Street station, which is 200 miles closer to Canary Wharf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If I were to fly quite a few thousand miles to London it is the last place I would stay. I can't think of anywhere more grim and souless.

 

Thanks, Point is taken, I have done the Google street view thing and understand what you are saying. It is a sterile environment with some trees. Not bad though when compared to the Bay and Queen street area of downtown Toronto, high rises and concrete are king.

Where would you put Canary Wharf on the safe vs scary scale compared to other locations. When I have "looked" at other areas via Google street view, the word scary sometimes comes to mind.

 

I would still regard it as too far from central London. It would take you half an hour or so to get to the Tower, and 45 minutes or so to the West End.

 

Remember that you're not going to Liverpool station to get the train for your cruise. You're going to Liverpool Street station, which is 200 miles closer to Canary Wharf.

 

re getting into the city, I would not have guessed it was that far. I will have to take a look at the schedules to get a better appreciation from whichever station I am interested in. Also re the Liverpool station geography vs Liverpool Street, I actually knew that:).

The whole decision is of course a balance of compromises. You either pay $$$ to stay downtown of any major city, or you save some $ but pay in other ways to be further away. I really appreciate your input and welcome any suggestions of where else to look. This may be our only visit to London so want to get the right mix of compromises:rolleyes:. To bad it has to be so short.

Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I probably should point out that though the Canary Wharf location has promise, I am also using at least 3 web sites including Tripadvisor to locate acceptable alternatives. Found one place near the Victoria Station, on the site it looks nice, great location, acceptable price but terrible reviews. There are others but price ,the location to a transit station or the reviews, are usually the problem . Might end up at one of the hotels that interest me, we would prefer an apartment for the house keeping aspects but as I mentioned, a balance of compromises..............

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strike Canary Wharf apartment off the list. Here is their cancellation policy after telling me that a 160 GBP deposit is required, if and when I were to book this.

5b. Blackout periods include the summer months from April 1st to 31st of August and Christmas days between (20th of December and 5th of January). Booking deposits for any cancellations requested for reservations during or overlapping these dates will not be refunded.

Discussion OVER. !!!..........................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any relatively inexpensive hotels in the neighborhood of Liverpool Street Station? Seems to me I saw one in the neighborhood of 70 pounds, which would be remarkably inexpensive, but I can not recall where I saw it.

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found it. It was Ibis London City, and had a 91% positive rating in tripadvisor. Would this be a good choice for a couple of days, considering the need to take the train to Harwich afterward? (One of those two days we would be gone all day on a Windsor, Stonehenge, Bath tour)

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ibis is good basic hotel chain. Nothing fancy but usually good value for money. I have no experience with the specific hotel you mention but have used them elsewhere with no regrets.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had very good luck getting our London hotel for our upcoming pre-cruise stay on Priceline (the one where you bid), although for next June you may be a bit early. It is a bit scary the first time you do the bidding, but you can narrow your search down to specific areas, and with research on the bidding sites-we bid for 4* in Westminster area (sites such as biddingfortravel.com and betterbidding are very helpful) you can pretty much guess where you might end up. We ended up with a very nice 4* star hotel close to Victoria Station for much less than the 2-3 star one we had originally reserved. It also has air conditioning as many of the lesser star properties do not. Might be worth investigating!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...