Accomodations in London, Belgium & The Netherlands
March 23, 2008 11:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to London, Belgium and the Netherlands from May 10th-24th, and I'm looking for great places to stay.

My tentative itinerary:

London (5 nights - 5/10-5/15)
Brussels (1 night - 5/15-5/16)
Bruges (2 nights - 5/16-5/18)
The Netherlands (6 nights - mostly Amsterdam, but other cities as well - 5/18-24)

I'm traveling alone, and I'm interested in hearing from those who are quite enthusiastic about a certain place and want to tell me how great it is.

My basic requirements:

-- Located in or very to close to the city center, preferably away from tourist areas as much as possible.

-- Decent value. Less than $200 a night in most places, though I will go up on that in London or if it's a really spectacular place and gives a nice bang for my (floudering) buck.

-- No hostels.

--Big bonus points for buildings with nice, old-timey architecture.

For the Netherlands, I'll be spending a good deal of time in Amsterdam, but I would also be interested in hearing about other towns and cities that might be worth an overnight stay or long day trip.

As a point of reference, I stayed at the Strand Palace in London last year and, though I found it a bit shabby, it was a steal at under $200 in an incredibly central but not too touristy area. I don't mind staying there again, but would love to try something different if you can recommend something.

Thanks, y'all!
posted by dhammond to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: For London, I can highly recommend Base2Stay in Kensington. I had a week in London on my own last October and this was perfect for me. The single rooms are small, but well-designed, with a small kitchenette (sink, microwave, toaster, kettle, crockery and cutlery, but no hotplate). The bed is a single, which might be a deal-breaker for some, but it's comfortable. They have single rooms available for your dates at £93, which meets your budget, although when I stayed I was able to get a better rate by booking through Very close to Earls Court Station on the Piccadilly line (so you can catch the tube direct from Heathrow). The staff were friendly and accommodating (which was lucky for me as I arrived a day late (my fault)).
posted by Tawita at 1:20 AM on March 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

When in London a couple of years ago we stayed at the Ridgemount Hotel in Bloomsbury. Good rates for London, a quiet part of town right near the British Museum and a few minutes walk from the Tube. The single rooms with ensuite are £54. We had an ensuite room overlooking the street but it was still very quiet and pleasant; nothing fancy but suited all our needs. The only down side was the long walk up the stairs at the end of a busy day! We're going back this year and hope to stay there again.
posted by andraste at 1:42 AM on March 24, 2008

I've stayed in a few "value" priced places in London, and Base2Stay is definitely my favorite so far.
posted by tomcooke at 1:57 AM on March 24, 2008

I stayed at Earl's Court Studios last year, and it was brilliant - really reasonably priced studio appartments - with bathroom/ kitchen/ tv etc, a minute away from Earl's Court tube station. The rooms are obviously kind of basic, but they had everything I needed, were very clean and the appliances etc are all pretty new. I can't remember what I paid last year, and we stayed in a double room, but the website is listing single rooms for £45 a night at the moment which is crazily cheap.
posted by schmoo at 3:24 AM on March 24, 2008

For Bruges, you should stay here: Absoluut Verhulst B&B. It's in the thick of everything (right off a canal), reasonably priced and absolutely lovely-- it's a B&B in a tastefully renovated house from the 1600's. Here's a couple of photos of the room we had: 1 , 2
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:18 AM on March 24, 2008

The '9 straatjes' is a very characteristic neighbourhood in the Amsterdam city centre - a favorite of Amsterdammers. I'm sure you'll find a great hotel there. It's just outside the drunken, stoned tourist crowd, but close to the Vondelpark and the Westergas area. These are both great places to hang out in the sun, go to concerts, or enjoy a picnic with a bottle of wine and the friends you've met. Enjoy your stay, and memail me for more tips!
posted by Psychnic at 5:23 AM on March 24, 2008

Do an overnight in Haarlem. Short train ride from Amsterdam, and there are all sorts of little hotels on the main square. Mmm, the Netherlands!!!
posted by Meatbomb at 6:09 AM on March 24, 2008

Best answer: In Brussels, I recommend the Phileas Fogg B&B.
posted by jrichards at 6:22 AM on March 24, 2008

In Bruges, I recommend the Kwalito B&B.

I was just in Amsterdam and stayed at the Art Gallery Hotel. It wasn't bad, I'd stay there again if I were on my own. However, I wouldn't recommend it for what you're looking for. It's a budget hotel, not the boutique hotel they try to claim it is on the website. The price is good (I paid 125 Euro for two nights in a single) but if you can spend a little more I am sure you can find something nicer.
posted by cabingirl at 7:49 AM on March 24, 2008

The Bridge Hotel in Amsterdam is quite nice and inexpensive.
posted by Maias at 8:18 AM on March 24, 2008

In London, I stayed at the Pavilion Hotel in Hyde Park last year; it's a bit shabby, but not in a bad way. It's close to everything, about a 10 min walk to Paddington tube/rail, and there's several good pubs in the area. It's about £100 a night for a double - and the rooms are small enough that, even if traveling alone, you'll want a double.
posted by pdb at 8:24 AM on March 24, 2008

If you happen to find yourself in Zwolle, I recommend the Hotel Fidder. It is family-run, nice rooms, very reasonably priced, good food, very cozy.

Last time I was in Amsterdam (November 2005) I stayed in the Lloyd Hotel, which I would recommend, especially if you like architecture.
posted by charlesv at 10:32 AM on March 24, 2008

StudioFlat rents nice, clean (albeit tiny) apartments at the rate of £450/week. The flats are in a beautiful Georgian building right in Notting Hill (although this might not meet your away-from-tourists preference).

I can also recommend the Hotel Filosoof in Amsterdam. It's a nice walk from the center, provided you don't get lost (but expect to get lost lots of times!) Also, look into the Amstel Botel - it's a hotel on a boat a la the Queen Mary, only the boat is new and it's cheaper.

Have fun!
posted by Lillitatiana at 11:48 AM on March 24, 2008

Response by poster: A belated thank you to everyone who chimed in. I had a great time on the trip and really appreciate the suggestions.

I ending up staying at base2stay in London and Phileas Fogg in Brussels, both of which were nice (if a bit expensive).

In Amsterdam, I went "offlist" and booked a few nights at the Hotel Brouwer, which I wholeheartedly recommend for both price (60 euros a night) and location (right on the Singel canal about a 10 minute walk from Centraal Station, just close enough to be convenient and far enough to be quiet). For Bruges, I stayed at Hotel Adornes, which was quite comfortable and a reasonably good value. They have free bicycles and a very helpful staff, so I would definitely recommend it for others.

If anyone has any questions about those locations, feel free to MeMail me.
posted by dhammond at 2:35 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

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