Planning a trip to London for the first time, using points for my stay. I'm considering several central London locations, the number of points are all equal. I'm considering the London Edition, both Grosvenor properties, St Ermins, CountyHall, Marble Arch & St Pancras. Important to me are location to tourist attractions, location to public transportation, concierge lounge offerings and clean and quiet rooms. Anybody have recommendations on past stays? Have I overlooked a place I should consider? Or have insights into any of these properties?
An excellent choice, just a little further out than the Grosvenor properties, or Marble Arch is the Kensington Marriott. I definitely like it better than Marble Arch. It is a nicer hotel with a wonderful C and a great staff. Very close to Kensington Palace and the Victoria and Albert museum. Very close to the Tube and a nice block of shops and restaurants across the street, including a laundry shop where they will do your laundry and have it ready the same day for a fraction of what the hotel charges.
Great thread, bobpar! I have never been to London, so I don't have any recommendations. However, I did find some good threads that may be of interest to you.
This is a very timely posting.
I just booked 6 nights at the JW Marriott, Grosvenor House (never stayed before).
I've been to London before but on business; this trip is mostly playing "tourist". Its in late November so I know its not the best time of the year for that but I don't mind the rain!!!
Looking forward to parking my brain for a few days and enjoying London Town!!!
Any recommends for good pubs in the vicinity is appreciated...
Congratulations, you have made a wonderful choice!
You can walk to Harrods, and so many great places from there, and do take the "Big Red Bus", which you can catch across the street, next to Hyde Park. It will take you all around London at a low price.
Walk out the Front Door, away from Hyde Park, to one of the most fun Pubs in London, The Audley!
Returned last week from London town and spent a few hours (well more than a few) at your recommended pub "The Audley". As you suggested it was fabulous, great beer (London IPA) and the fish & chips were to die for. Great staff wonderful atmosphere and magnificent surroundings!!!
Thanx for the great suggestion...
BTW the JW Marriott was awesome too, they are doing some reno's in the foyer but the Executive lounge is new and the drinks are all comp and the food & staff were great.
Glad you had a great time at The Audley!
It is really a special place, especially when staying at The JW, or any Marriott nearby. Just get there early!
Cynthia, is my favorite server! She makes you "Think you are Single, while seeing Double"!
Taking into considerations your vacation plans, here are my picks. .
1st Option - JW Marriott
2nd Option - County Hall
if you are planning to take an Eurostar -Train then stay one night at the St Pancras
Ignore Marble Arch !
Also at this MR Rewards Site search for "London" you will great information as what to do, where to go, etc.
My work takes me into London most months, and I've visited for leisure purposes many times. Although the reputation here in England is rainy weather, it's very unlikely to rain for more than an hour or so in any day. But there's no denying that London is grey and damp during November.
Just as well there's so much to do! But let's start by weeding out the Marble Arch Marriott as a redemption choice. It doesn't hold a candle to the rest! Grosvenor Square and Grosvenor House are very close to one another as is the Park Lane Marriott, which unlike the Marble Arch hotel is actually on Marble Arch and right next to the tube. All 3 are walking distance (up to 30 mins) from the V&A, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Buckingham Palace and Harrods and very close to Oxford St and Hyde Park.
St Ermins (Autograph) and County Hall are very much in the Political area. Both are a simple walk from Downing St (not much to see thanks to the railings), Parliament, The War rooms, Leicester Sq, the Thames, the Eye and The Tate Modern. County Hall offers Parliament views, is actually almost in the Thames and right next to the Eye. All the open top bus tours stop next door.
The Edition is geographically the most central of Marriotts London offerings. Oxford St, Soho Sq, Cavendish Sq and Russell Sq are all in walking distance. Many Londoners actually live in the area meaning theres a big range of eating and drinking options nearby.
Threadneedles is another Autograph and within walking distance of the city, St Pauls, Thames and the Tate modern (from the East).
Finally there are 2 more remote choices but which are (just) within the Zone 1 tube, making them still central, but definitely more on the edge of the city centre
Firstly comes the Ren St Pancras which lies just within the city centre. For Plats only this has easily one of the best Exec lounges in the world (the Chambers club). It lies next door to the British library and within walking distance of Russell Sq. Its big attraction though is its rail connections as it sits on top of Kings Cross tube station and St Pancras International where the Eurostar runs directly to Paris, Brussels and Lille. It also offers Plats a concierge accompanied boarding for the Eurostar where you meet the Concierge in the lounge half an hour before Eurostar departure and he breezes you through the checkin and onto the train. Another more remote choice is the Kensington Marriott. It has the advantage of being a Cat 7 and is within walking distance of Hyde Park, the museums and Harrods. Also in an inhabited area it has plenty of eating and drinking choices. It's important to realise that although these are by no means in the thick of it, they are in zone 1 and so easily accessible to all London has to offer.
You indicate lounges as being important. Well the Edition, Threadneedles and St Ermin do not have Excec lounges, but all the rest I've mentioned do. As mentioned above the standout lounge is St Pancras club (Plats only), but a very good second is Grosvenor House. All the London lounges are open 7 days and serve beer/wine during "happy hours" that last anything from 2 to 10 (St Pancras!) hours. As for tube connections, all are withn easy walk to the tube and along bus routes too. As for tourism, well London is a huge city, so nowhere is within walking distance of everywhere but Leicester Sq, Oxford St, Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye are the very most popular tourist spots.
So, to my recommendation. For a first visit to London where popular tourism is the primary focus I think you'll struggle to beat County Hall.
That would easily be my first choice as well! No matter where one stays in London, County Hall, should be a place to stop, enjoy, and see while in London. The staff is outstanding!
Thanks bobpar for starting this post. I am researching London Marriotts for (hopefully) a late March trip to London. I lived there in the mid 80s but haven't made it back across the pond since. I worked near the embassy in Grosvenor Square so am partial to that area but had a flat in West Kensington so that Kensington Marriott also appeals to me. I recently saw something on TV about St Ermins and that it has lots of spy's in residence during WW II and it looks like a lovely hotel. Since I'm currently platinum and will be into 2016, and plan to use points or points plus cash, I would like to take advantage of the concierge lounge benefit.
Where exactly is County Hall? I've read a lot of previous posts about it being the best in London.
If I had to choose today, I'd probably opt for the Grovesnor Square Marriott but mainly due to nostalgic reasons. That said, any information about recent stays there on this thread would be greatly appreciated!
Great answer, let me provide a few photo's:
Sunset view from my room. The Thames, with Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The Eye all in front of you. An easy walk to Buckingham Palace, and a little further walk to Trafalgar Square. This place has it all!
The Eye, Aquarium, and
The interesting, (London Dungeon), is fascinating. That's my room directly above it! Stayed at most Marriott's in London, and this can be a tough place to get a reservation on points. No matter where you stay, BOOK ASAP!
Anybody have a recommendation for the best central London hotel to accommodate 3 in a room? Seems this hop across the pond is turning into a reunion of sorts. Currently there are 3 of us who are looking at going over end of June/early July. Looks like having a group of 3 is adding some booking difficulty! Right now Park Lane and Grosvenor house are in the running. Looking to hear from folks who have stayed at those 2 hotels, stayed 3 in a room at ANY central London hotel, or other search suggestions that may help. Thanks road warriors, insiders and lifetime platinum folks - especially brightlybob CariJ Lindsey Chilson jerrycoin joshfsc
While not one of the people you've listed, I do have experience of 3 to a room. We had 3 at St. Pancras and chose to do an "at checkin" upgrade to Chambers suite as it was 10 more pounds per night then a rollaway and gave us a lot more space that included a comfy couch for the 3rd person. I've also stayed at Grosvenor House as well which is lovely. As you are platinum both have fantastic lounges though the breakfast at St. Pancras is hands down one of the best I've ever had while traveling!
Hope that helps
Marriott Kenginston works on that first trip to England. You take the Picadilliy line from the airport to Earls Court with no changing of trains and the airport station and Earls Court have elevators so stairs. You come out of the station, cross the street and go down the side street by the bank for three blocks. You will then see an overhead pedestrian bridge and you walk under it and up a brick driveway ( doesn't look right but it is) into the Marriott. The executive lounge has eggs, pastry sausage, cereal for breakfast and house wine, decent cheese and beer at happy hour. within walking distance is the
Britiana pub for great food and best fish and chips in London. Patrick's is a very nice French bistro and there are some ok pubs with burgers, Thai food and a supermarket. You are better located than Marble Arch and St. Pan ( unless from St Pan you are going by train elsewhere in GB or France) The hotel rooms are nothing special but clean decent and if a tourist you will only be sleeping there.
BAR NONE absolute favorite hotel in London is the Ren St. Pancras! Stunningly beautiful hotel attached to St Pancras station and Eurostar if you plan to go anywhere else via train. Also right at King's Cross station for easy tube access. I've stayed there twice, both times upgraded into an AMAZING junior suite courtesy of the wonderful executive assistant there Christina H. The club…where should I start? The breakfast was fantastic. Better chocolate croissants than in Paris! Full English/American breakfast. Cocktails, wine and appetizers in the afternoon as well as high tea all complimentary. The club is the nicest I have ever been in. The service is also the best of any Marriott I have ever stayed at bar none. I will attach my trip advisor review of this hotel. You will NOT be disappointed! But be sure to stay in the Chambers club and not the older smaller rooms.
I'm a big fan of the Renaissance, and it can't be beat for a stay when travelling in the Eurostar. It's very much on the edge of the city centre though and unless you're a big fan of walking you'll need the tube to get to anything, though it's true that London is such that you'll need to tube to see all the sights, no matter where you stay. The Chambers rooms and suites are undoubatably fabulous but you cant redeem to them and the hotel has a policy of NOT UPGRADING elites to chambers rooms. So any upgrade will be within the Barlow wing where the rooms are better described as comfortable than luxurious. Also worth rememebring, only Plats get access to the chambers club, gold have to buy a chambers room to get access...
Wow they must have changed the policy since I was there last year. I am a platinum but thought both gold and platinum members had access to the club. I can email Christine Huelwohl my contact there and ask if anyone is actually interested in reserving here. I used points and cash for upgrade to the Chambers room and was upgraded from a basic chambers room to an absolutely amazing junior suite. For me it was worth it. I wouldn't stay on the Barlow side personally...
So if you go to the hotel website, put in your dates and search for rates you will get rates for the Barlow wing and the Chambers Club side. The Chambers club are the beautifully ornate traditional rooms from the original building that have been redone and are gorgeous. I have not personally stayed on the Barlow side but to my understanding it's just a wing of the hotel that they have refurbished rooms and are less expensive. Just regular hotel rooms, noting special but not bad either from what I understand. It depends on what you're looking for. An amazing hotel experience or a place to lay your head that is centrally located. We took the tube everywhere and the hotel experience is all part of the trip for us so we try to stay in a hotel where we will get that experience. In my review I have quite a few photos as well as the amazing view from our room. I just plugged in some dates for next spring and a Barlow room is 45,000 points for one night and a Chambers junior suite is 45,000 plus 120 BPS per night. Well worth the upgrade charge in my opinion.
II've stayed in both the historic main building (Chambers rooms) and the new build Barlow wing. Barlow rooms are nice enough, new and we'll set out but totally unremarkable. You could be in any upper upscale hotel room in the world. Chambers wing rooms and especially the junior suites are a truly memorable experience, each one unique, some with views of the front, others with views of the statIon. The bathrooms are beautiful and the Chambers Club is approached directly from the chambers wing corridor via a flight of stairs.
The nightly upgrade charge is typically £120 for a chambers suite if booked at the time of reservation, £100 if available on checkin. The risks of non-availability on checkin are small if your stay is only a night, but much bigger for a weeks stay.
Hi rhoke813, et al
I am have the St. Pancras booked for next week and have been emailing with guest services. Not realizing the Barlow wing did not have club access, that is where I booked (I don't plan on being in the room that much - it's London!). Emanuela from guest services said that Plats *can* get access to the Chambers Club, but it is based upon availability and you may not know until you arrive, which would be a kick in the pants to not have it. It seems from all of the other posts that there is 0% chance of getting upgraded to the Chambers from Barlow, which is a bummer to say the least. It also says on the St. P website that you have to pay for wifi in the Barlow wing, which hopefully does not apply to Plats?
I also have the JW Grovsner booked. It is more central and Plats appear to get very good treatment there from what I have seen on this board. But....the St. P looks pretty amazing!
This absolutely shocks me! I am on a Delta flight home from a business trip and just discovered all of the changes in Delta for perks Platinums used to get that we aren't getting anymore…i.e. Delta comfort comped seats. It seems more travel perks for status members are being taken away anymore. I will email my contact from the St Panc and ask her about this.
Thanks! I tried to message you, but I am not sure it went through. The St. P did just confirm my Chambers Club access for the week, so that is helpful! I am sure they have heard every story in the book and hold tight to their no upgrades from Barlow to Chambers policy, so they probably won't give a hoot that this trip is a major birthday milestone present to myself! Are the amenities in the Chambers Wing *that* much more spectacular to spend the $$ to upgrade (totally subjective, I understand).
Also, is the neighborhood around the St. P suitable for coming and going at night? I have heard conflicting thoughts on that.
Safe travels and Go Big Ten!
Hi! Sorry for the delay. Lots of travel this past week and again this week. My contact is no longer at St. Pancras. Bummer. I did get this as a contact email however so give this a try
Have a great trip!
Llooking at your earlier post rhoke813 you didn't get a free upgrade, you paid points for the standard Barlow room redemption and a cash upgrade into a Chambers room. Once you've booked a Chambers room as a Plat you stand a chance of being upgraded to a suite in the Chambers wing. The St Pancras Renaissance policy DOESN'T upgrade elites FOC from Barlow wing to Chambers wing, with the sole exception of Plat Premiers.
In my case I booked a standard Barlow cash room for 3 nights and on arrival enquired about upgrades. I was offered a Junior Suite upgrade for £100/nt which I took. Overall I saved over £500 during my 3-night stay against the cost of booking the junior suite at the time of reservation. Of course I did take the chance that no upgrades would be available for my stay at the time of checkin.
brightlybob, here is my post from earlier in the thread: "I used points and cash for upgrade to the Chambers room and was upgraded from a basic chambers room to an absolutely amazing junior suite. For me it was worth it. I wouldn't stay on the Barlow side personally."
I'm not sure where you read that I suggested that I was upgraded from the Barlow side. I've never booked there. I have always booked the Chambers side. Actually if I recall I booked a basic room in Chambera and got the suite upgrade. I may have booked one night in the reservation in a Barlow room, I can't recall, but the entire stay was upgraded to a junior suite.
We stayed at the London Marriot Grosvenor Square in April/May of this year. The hotel was very nice. We found that the London Underground was rather pricey (couldn't buy the Oyster cards due to our stay being split up), so we just used cabs which were more convenient anyway. We found there were always cabbies around the corner from the hotel. Hotel is not that far a walk for Bond Street area. It is quiet and a bit secluded--hard to tell it is a hotel. On a side not-- I would not recommend Gordon Ramsey's restaurant, Maize, which is in the hotel. It was pricey and the service we got was not impressive. While other tables were shown cuts of meat for their selection we were lucky to get an order in with our server. And then my steak was not cooked properly. It was a disappointing meal to say the least.