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nini

London is HUGE! What area to stay- our 1st time there

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So, we will be staying in London pre-cruise for 3 nights in September.

We have no idea what area we would like to stay but want to do as much sightseeing

as possible. Our first Europe trip was about a year ago and we began in Rome, where we

stayed for 3 nights.... we walked everywhere! It was great and our hotel was so central.

It looks like London is much bigger.

We prefer more traditional décor (can not stand the new modern look hotels are getting these

days) and are looking for something more "historical and in a central area.

 

Thoughts on an area and hotel? I have found some that are more historic, like Hazlitt's bit

do not know if that area would be good for newbie tourists. It is in Soho Square.

Thanks!

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Are you going to travel on the tube? If so,try to be near one of the main lines. The tube is fairly easy to master,but it is a lot of walking.

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56 minutes ago, nini said:

We prefer more traditional décor (can not stand the new modern look hotels are getting these

days) and are looking for something more "historical and in a central area.

Doesn't get more classic London than The Savoy-- although it can be quite expensive. 

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I have not stayed in Soho or Hazlitt's, but you really can't get much more central, and from the pictures on their website the place looks gorgeous. I think you're on to a winner.

 

London can seem very overwhelming to the first-time visitor, but public transportation is excellent, making it very easy to get around. For tourists I recommend using buses - you see more than the underground.

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Radisson Edwardian in. Leicester square has charm, is central , near the tube, theatres, Trafalgar square.

Another good choice is at Seven dials, the Radisson blu ,nearer to Covent garden However small rooms..

Really depends what's on your to do list on these 3 days, how mobile you are, what age you are, and how busy you want to make these days. Do you want to do history, iconic buildings, theatres ?

I would say that your to do list is the key, few London hotels are the corporate blocks in the states, most central London hotels have history and also very variable types of room, most much smaller than is standard in the USA. Also AC is not generally included , also most UK hotels include breakfast and are not room only. So how are you considering food?

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nini ~ 

 

Without knowing your budget/ desired price-range, it's difficult to give a definitive recommendation.  However, using your mention of Hazlitt's as a guide, the following hotels (more or less off the top of my head) seem like the sort of place you might be looking for:

 

A couple of friends of ours who visit London frequently swear by Durrant's Hotel, a fairly traditional hotel in the upscale neighborhood of Marylebone. At a quick glance (via the hotel's listing on Tripadvisor), the prices seem quite reasonable.

 

Brown's Hotel, also in Marylebone, was long considered the quintessential quiet, "traditional" London hotel.  The place is rich in history: Among other things, it was a favorite hotel of such famous writers as Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Agatha Christie, et al. Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call in Britain from the hotel.  But prices are on the high side!

 

The Langham is another venerable old hotel, although (glancing quickly through the photos on Tripadvisor), it looks as though the interior may have the sort of modern makeover you won't appreciate.

 

You might also want to take a look at some of the old Victorian/Edwardian railway hotels that have been refurbished in recent years (although, again, some of the modern refurbishment might not be to your taste).  These include the Renaissance St Pancras (the grandest of them all, architecturally), the Amba Hotel Charing Cross, and the Amba Hotel Grosvenor (formerly the Grosvenor Victoria). 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Post Captain said:

Brown's Hotel, also in Marylebone, was long considered the quintessential quiet, "traditional" London hotel.  The place is rich in history: Among other things, it was a favorite hotel of such famous writers as Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Agatha Christie, et al. Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call in Britain from the hotel.  But prices are on the high side!

They butchered the place from a historical standpoint in the renovation under Rocco Forte in my opinion. Brown's used to be like staying at your extremely well to do English grandmother's townhouse and its been thoroughly modernized in a lot of spaces. Lots of happy memories staying there years and years ago but popped in for a drink a few months back after a long time away from it and it doesn't have the same charm it used to.  

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14 minutes ago, Bob++ said:

 

Ha! Most of the hotels on my list, compiled just out of "stuff" (random memories and lots of seemingly useless knowledge😁) knocking about in my head, are on this list!  I was going to add the Bloomsbury too--a terrific location just down the street from the British Museum.

 

Speaking of Bloomsbury and historic hotels...   After a several-years'-long multi-million (???) pound makeover, the Russell has reopened as the Kimpton Fitzroy London.  But I fear all the historic character has been wrung out of the place.  T. S. Eliot and I are not amused.

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1 minute ago, princeton123211 said:

They butchered the place from a historical standpoint in the renovation under Rocco Forte in my opinion. Brown's used to be like staying at your extremely well to do English grandmother's townhouse and its been thoroughly modernized in a lot of spaces. Lots of happy memories staying there years and years ago but popped in for a drink a few months back after a long time away from it and it doesn't have the same charm it used to.  

 

Sorry to hear that. I feared that might be the case.

 

Your characterization of the old Brown's is spot on.

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Wow! You are all a wealth of information. And yes, Trip Advisor is my friend- that is for sure!

Answering a few questions:

1. We are very mobile

2. Budget is not sky high; Hazlitt's ok but probably not the Savoy.

Thanks again!

 

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2 minutes ago, Post Captain said:

Your characterization of the old Brown's is spot on.

I had never heard of Durrant's before you just mentioned it and after quick glance online it actually reminds me a lot of what old Brown's used to be like-- Brown's might have been a little larger and a tad grander but a similar feel to what Durrant's looks like it currently offers. 

 

Will make sure to go have a drink and a look around next month when I'm back over. 

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We found a great Arbnb in Brockley. Again, near a station however not on main line but still only took 40 mins to get most places in London.

When in London if you can make a day trip out to Windsor (simple to do by train) I find is is the most reasonable shopping and nice area to wander. Bath is also wonderful but a little further out. Still doable on a day trip. (Bath house at night is beautiful) 

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As to food, it would be really nice to have breakfast at the hotel and then we 

can get food when we are out and about. 

BTW- Is there somewhere where we can pick up some wine before we get our transfer to the port?

Thanks

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6 minutes ago, Luv2cruz1000 said:

When in London if you can make a day trip out to Windsor (simple to do by train) I find is is the most reasonable shopping and nice area to wander. Bath is also wonderful but a little further out. Still doable on a day trip. (Bath house at night is beautiful) 

With only 3 nights in London, presuming an overnight flight arriving in the morning, you only have 2 1/2 days to see anything. Don't try to go out of the city. There is so much to see and do in London.

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1 minute ago, gnome12 said:

With only 3 nights in London, presuming an overnight flight arriving in the morning, you only have 2 1/2 days to see anything. Don't try to go out of the city. There is so much to see and do in London.

That is definitely our plan. We enjoy historical landmarks, etc. I know there will be tons to

choose from.

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1 hour ago, nini said:

As to food, it would be really nice to have breakfast at the hotel and then we 

can get food when we are out and about. 

BTW- Is there somewhere where we can pick up some wine before we get our transfer to the port?

Thanks

 

I'm sorry, you can't buy wine in London...  🤣

 

You can buy wine almost anywhere. Tesco, Sainsbury's, Mark & Spencer, Selfridges, and even Harrod's, if you're so inclined. If you're going on a cruise, I'd probably skip the £7-10 special at Tesco and hit one of the classic wine shops in town. There are a lot of them. The oldest is Berry Bros. & Rudd, on Saint James Street in Piccadilly (although it appears they've relocated their retail space to Pall Mall), but there are plenty of others. It's a matter of personal choice, but I'd rather carry something at least "nicer" if I'm going to deal with the weight, and you'll save more money on a mid-priced wine. Inexpensive wines have the highest markups in restaurants/cruises. High end (really high end by the bottle) have the lowest, and the mid-priced is typically, well, in the middle.

 

Once you figure out the rest of your plans and your hotel location, ask again, but London is full of really cool wine shops (and whisky shops, and gin shops, and...) and many if not most of them will have very knowledgeable staff that can steer you to something nice and interesting at your price point, especially if you're not tied to a varietal or region (Eastern Europe, Spain, and Portugal all having very interesting well-priced wines these days, with unfortified (not port or Madeira) out of Portugal becoming very good wines and should be readily available in London).

 

On the breakfast thing. If you book a more traditional English hotel, through their own web page or a rebooker that goes through the hotel, you'll probably get a full English breakfast and never even know you're paying for it. That's fine. If you book a historic hotel (such as the St Pancras mentioned above) from the US through Marriott (in that case), you'll have to select the breakfast rate, if offered, or be prepared for a shock at the cost of breakfast (unless you've got the right level of status with the chain and are offered lounge access). So you kind of have to pay attention.

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It probably doesn't fit your idea of an historic building, but we always stay at The Cavendish in Mayfair. https://www.thecavendish-london.co.uk/

 

It has an interesting history https://www.thecavendish-london.co.uk/uploads/documents/A_Brief_History_-_web.pdf but was completely rebuilt in 1964 after the original hotel, had been allowed to decline after the war. We like it, not for the architecture, but for the quality of service, which is second to none in my opinion. They serve an excellent breakfast too.

Edited by Bob++

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18 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

I had never heard of Durrant's before you just mentioned it and after quick glance online it actually reminds me a lot of what old Brown's used to be like-- Brown's might have been a little larger and a tad grander but a similar feel to what Durrant's looks like it currently offers. 

 

Will make sure to go have a drink and a look around next month when I'm back over. 

 

That's what our friends like about it.

 

It's right around the corner from the Wallace Collection (it actually faces the back of the Wallace Collection building), and a short walk from Wigmore Hall. Also very close to Daunt Books, one of the great old London bookshops.

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Durrant's looks nice, but they have no availability for one of the nights.

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19 hours ago, nini said:

As to food, it would be really nice to have breakfast at the hotel and then we 

can get food when we are out and about. 

BTW- Is there somewhere where we can pick up some wine before we get our transfer to the port?

Thanks

 

Believe me, you won't have any trouble finding a place to purchase wine in London!  Supermarkets (such as Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Tesco, etc) have branches all over town, and all carry a basic selection, as does the "food hall" section of Marks & Spencer (department store) -- not to mention the food hall section of Selfridges and of Harrods.  You might also see an off-licence (=liquor store) shop called Oddbins, part of a retail chain.  For more rare/ high-end wines, head to Fortnum & Mason or to Berry Bros. & Rudd.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Post Captain said:

 

Believe me, you won't have any trouble finding a place to purchase wine in London!  Supermarkets (such as Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Tesco, etc) have branches all over town, and all carry a basic selection, as does the "food hall" section of Marks & Spencer (department store) -- not to mention the food hall section of Selfridges and of Harrods.  You might also see an off-licence (=liquor store) shop called Oddbins, part of a retail chain.  For more rare/ high-end wines, head to Fortnum & Mason or to Berry Bros. & Rudd.

 

 

 

Whoops! Just realized I've basically repeated what markeb already said (post#17), without having noticed his post!😁

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28 minutes ago, Post Captain said:

 

Whoops! Just realized I've basically repeated what markeb already said (post#17), without having noticed his post!😁

 

But I appreciate the validation! And I forgot Fortnum & Mason which is worth a visit just because...

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😊 Thank about the wine info! We do not have a drink package so we will

pick up a couple of bottles to take to the port.

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Regarding hotels - have a look at The Rookery (very near Barbican tube.) Historical and unique.

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