Help my parents find a hotel in London
January 27, 2012 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a hotel in London for my parents' vacation.

I've been living in London for 3 months but I'm not really sure where to send them. They're coming for a week in early May and it is their first visit to the UK. Budget in the £120 to £170 / night range, I think. They are mostly going to be doing touristy things but don't mind taking transit to get around. They don't need much in terms of luxury but a high quality bed is very important due to back issues, so super-budget places are out.

They went to Paris last year and loved the relaxed neighbourhood cafe culture. It kind of seems like London doesn't roll that way; too busy, and Londoners have pubs instead of patios. (Parents don't drink, by the way.) I would direct them to the west end so they are close to everything, but prices are a little high there and every time I venture to that part of town it is absolutely mobbed. And despite living here I don't actually know the areas around the middle very well -- I live in the northeast and mostly hang out in the east, in a part of town that is probably too far away from the centre for them to consider, and better to live in than visit in any case.

The ideal spot, I suppose, is bustling and vibrant, but not chaotic, and would be a nice place for a morning or evening stroll, and has fairly quick bus or tube links to all the "stuff". Maybe it's historic and picturesque and "Londony" too. Areas to look in or specific hotel recommendations are welcome.
posted by PercussivePaul to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The Chamberlain down on Minories is in the City area, up the street from Tower Bridge and St. Catherine's Wharf. It's typically a business travel type hotel, but reasonable, clean and nice, and near Aldgate station and Tower Bridge.
posted by rich at 9:22 AM on January 27, 2012

I stayed at The Grange Clarendon a couple of weeks ago (although at a Sunday evening rate considerably lower than that), and I thought it was pretty nice. In Bloomsbury, so I guess it depends what you want to be central for. A bit far from the West End, but near the city. And the squares are nice to stroll in.

But yes, I think one of the linked ones might be worth a look, anyway.
posted by ambrosen at 9:29 AM on January 27, 2012

A couple of years ago we stayed at the Holiday Inn - Regent's Park. It's not elegant or fancy, but it was perfectly kempt, I recall the bed being comfortable, and it was really easy to get nearly anywhere you'd want to get as a tourist in London - easy walking distance to many things (the park, obviously, and also the British Museum, etc.), including the Tube. It was also not a million dollars a night.
posted by rtha at 9:32 AM on January 27, 2012

Perhaps a little bit out the way, but we stayed in the Novotel Greenwich for a few days and it was great. Transport links into the centre are very quick (DLR is next door, tube is nearby if there are problems with that), and Greenwich is a pleasant neighborhood with plenty of life - cafes, shops, and there's interesting stuff within easy walking distance - the park, the river, museums etc.
posted by crocomancer at 9:33 AM on January 27, 2012

The Grange Tower Bridge is down the street from the chamberlain. For the money, I liked the Chamberlain better, though the Grange is a more 'modern' in its decor while the Chamberlain is more quaint. But both are clean, provide room services, etc..
posted by rich at 9:48 AM on January 27, 2012

Is Kensington too far west? Both of the Hiltons are nice, with good transit links, close to Kensington High Street, Notting Hill, Hyde Park, Holland Park, etc. More cafes than pubs in that area it seems. I've stayed at the Hilton London Kensington and it was very comfortable and in their price range. Not at all historic though - but the Hilton Hyde Park is pretty picturesque.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:49 AM on January 27, 2012

Response by poster: Kensington's not too far west. Actually that is an area we were considering but specific hotel suggestions are helpful as there are a ton. (a tonne, rather)
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:54 AM on January 27, 2012

Best answer: You may consider this too budget, but the County Hall Premier Inn is in very good location for the touristy stuff and does what it does well. Nothing fancy but the building has a bit of history behind it in case that's a selling point. I don't remember any complaints about the beds when I stayed there.
posted by oclipa at 10:05 AM on January 27, 2012

I stayed at the Morgan, which is basically right behind the British Musuem. It is low priced and not fancy at all, but absolutely is pleasant and "good enough" (e.g. clean, not smelly, quiet, etc). Just not fancy. I recall our bed was only a double, but fairly comfortable. They do have larger beds, so just ask for a room with a larger/nicer bed if that is a concern. They also include an extensive English breakfast. Overall, thumbs up, and good central location.
posted by annie o at 10:25 AM on January 27, 2012

I stayed at the Radisson Edwardian Kenilworth when I was in London. It's across the street from the British Museum and a 5 minute walk from the Tottenham Court Road tube stop (plus there's a bus stop right by the hotel). Rooms are small but comfortable (the bed was extremely so) and it's in their price range (albeit on the higher side). I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:46 AM on January 27, 2012

Given their relatively flexible standards, I'd suggest trying Priceline or Hotwire. You can specify general location and star level - even a 2 star should get them a decent mattress, but you could do 3 star to be safe. A few years ago we used Priceline and ended up at the Holiday Inn Regent's Park for US$100; the person checking in just before us paid the equivalent of about US$900.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:24 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Apart from the fact that it is £190 a night, the Rookery Hotel fits a lot of what you are looking for - especially given how central it is and how atmospheric the area it is in.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:59 PM on January 27, 2012

Best answer: I've stayed at the County Hall Premier Inn @oclipa recommended and I also recommend it. The beds seemed fine (five years ago) and the location absolutely can't be beat. You're also right next to the Thames, so you can actually get outside, walk and have some personal space. Their rates are only 100 pounds per night in May. The rooms are decently-sized, good priced and the staff were really nice when we were there.
posted by cnc at 2:46 PM on January 27, 2012

Russell Square has a medicore hotel for that price in a lovely location. My folks stayed there and it was fine.
posted by k8t at 10:34 AM on January 28, 2012

My fave London hotel that's a good compromise for price, niceness (it's not the Ritz but it's clean and serviceable) and location (10m from Paddington station - you can get the Heathrow Express from the airport, 10 min to Hyde Park + tube) is the Abbey Court
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:09 PM on January 28, 2012

Response by poster: My parents just booked at the County Hall Premier Inn. It was on their list before I shared these recommendations and had the best mix of location and value of all the options they were looking. Hopefully they have a great trip! Thanks.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:01 PM on February 26, 2012

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