My wife and I will be in London for a 3 day weekend (Friday noon-Sunday night) in mid-September, following a stay in the Lake District.
Looking at lodging options, we've identified 3 possible hotels:
1. Marriott Grosvenor Square
2. Grosvenor House
3. Marriott County Hall
The rates are within a few GBP of each other, so the cost is not the issue.
We've both been to London before, but this is the first time together without kids. We have theater tickets booked for Friday night near Covent Garden - that's the only scheduled/planned activity at this point. I've seen the War Rooms, but my wife hasn't, so we think we'll do that Sunday morning when other things are closed. We expect to walk/tube a lot, are open to 'things to do' suggestions.
I see on some of the reviews that County Hall has been undergoing renovation, are they done? The two options in Mayfair have comments like 'tired', is that still the case?
Has anyone stayed at any of these 3 recently? We're Platinum, have you gotten any upgrades/recognition?
Are there other options we should consider that I haven't thought of?
My three Brothers, this week, stayed at County Hall!
There are few hotels that are as historic or central as this. This is always my first choice in London. The other properties are wonderful as well, having stayed at most Marriott properties in London, this is a great place to walk to it all!
Great insight here, Insiders!! Wanted to shed a bit of light for you all. Renovations at the Marriott County Hall are still currently underway. They are scheduled to be completed by the end of summer, however no set date is planned at the moment. So, oldguy28613, should you choose this as your hotel, the chances of it being freshly renovated are high.
carat, thanks for the info - we're also worried about being awakened at 7:00 am by construction workers! Is there a way to contact the hotel directly to make requests?
It's a special anniversary (50 since we met), I want this to be perfect!
They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
As I had 2 seperate business trips to London in the recent month, I had the chance to stay at County Hall in May and at St. Ermin's Autograph Collection last week. At both hotels I got upgraded.
Both of the hotel's rooms have been either renovated or are in very clean and good condition. But, between the two, I found County Hall to be more preferable, due to;
- The room and bathroom size : County Hall rooms/bathrooms are bigger, hence, more comfortable.
- Rooms in general : Both hotel rooms are nice and cozy. But, in St. Ermin's hotel, I found that an eletric condensor is placed under the writing table and this condensor was making a low "buzzing" noise which was not comfortable when sleeping at night...
- Lounge : As a Platinum, I always try to find hotels which have lounges, but, although St. Ermin's hotel homepage shows that it has a lounge, when I checked in last week, the hotel informed that they do not have a lounge...Hence, after I had checked in(at around 6:30 pm) to the hotel I went out to get some refreshments from outside stores nearby.
- Breakfast : Personally, I found County Hall to be more preferable in terms of food quality and settings of the restaurant.
- Location of Hotels : St. Ermin is located right next to a tube station, and County Hall is located very near to a tube station, about within 5 minutes of walk. Hence, for transportations, both hotels are in good locations. Actually these hotels are only about 10 minutes of walk apart from each other and both of them are located very near to the London Eye and Big Ben. The County Hall is located right next to the London Eye and St. Ermin is sort of behind the Big Ben(about 5 minutes walking distance)
Due to above, personally for myself, I have concluded that I will use County Hall for my future trips to London, but for St. Ermin's, I would rather try some other Marriott hotel properties rather than St. Ermin's.
Hope this helps...
Excellent! Thank you for this info! I'll check out County Hall and Marriott Park Lane as mikiegfla suggested. I want to really enjoy the stay as it will be 4 or 5 days. The no lounge thing for St. E is a let down.
My reply isn't exactly in line with your request, but since you offered somewhat of an "open question" as well, here are a few suggestions (from my experiences in England):
LAKE DISTRICT: My favorite place to stay in this area is the Linthwaite Hotel (a B&B) just outside the town of Windermere, (see below) and overlooking Windermere Lake. This is not as busy as the town and only a few miles from heart of the city, and the food and accommodations are wonderful!
While it's not as convenient as a downtown London Marriott hotel, I'd prefer to stay in the small town of Horley, a short train ride from Gatwick Airport, and take the train into London each day, and then use a "hop on-hop off" bus to see the desired city sites. The hotels in Horley, (including Marriott), or nearby towns, where you can find a number of B&B's, are substantially cheaper than London hotels, but then you don't have the charm of being in the city as well.
For what it's worth.....
fschumpert, thanks for the Lake District hints - we've booked a cottage near Coniston, but plan on popping over to Windermere for at least one day.
oldguy28613 - you can scenic drive around the lake at Ambleside (north of Windermere) then south toward Low Wray and Hawkshead and then take car ferry from Far Sawrey back over to Bowness--on-Windermere.
fschumpert, we sort of did that in reverse - from Coniston, we took the back road to Hawkshead, then over to Ambleside, Windermere, and then the ferry and home again after visiting Beatrix Potter's place in Near Sawrey.
On another day, enroute to Grasmere via the Hawkshead route, we got stuck behind a tour bus that was taking up the entire road, and having to back up constantly to get around corners. We decided to find another way, and discovered a charming little pub in the middle of nowhere (actually Barngates) called the Drunken Duck.
Have a wonderful trip!
Thank-you for respecting a suggestion from me! I just hope your stay is as enjoyable as mine have been. Please say hello and share any London travel desires with "Nic", the Head Concierge. He is a real pro and can help you with your needs at County Hall!
Please let us all know how your trip goes!
Thanks, jerrycoin, we're off soon. One night in Manchester at the Marriott V&A (don't want to try driving on the 'wrong' side on no sleep!), then off to the Lake District for a week of hiking (or, based on the forecast, slogging through the rain until we give up and go go sit in the pub ), then off to London for a weekend of theater and food. The CH staff have been great so far by email, I'm sure we will have a great time!
Sorry for delayed reply, jerrycoin. We had a great time - the staff was fabulous, the room was beyond fabulous! I've lived in smaller apartments.......
We tend to not do a lot of 'tourist' things when we visit a city we have been to before. We did have dinner and take in a show near Covent Garden on Friday night, then spent most of Saturday just walking through neighborhoods in Mayfair and window shopping on Oxford and Regent Streets.
Sunday, (before heading for Heathrow late in the day to position for an early morning flight) we did do the Churchill War Rooms. I had seen them when they first opened back in the '80s, but they have expanded tremendously and now have a fascinating Churchill museum in the middle - that took more time than we had anticipated, so we didn't get to the Tate Modern for lunch as planned.
I had booked our Heathrow Express tickets online several weeks out, so the trip from Paddington to the airport was quick and inexpensive. We stayed at the Hilton at T4 (blasphemy, I know!), but it made getting to our flight on Monday very easy.
Did you book your tickets for the War Rooms in advance? I read the best time to go to things is when they first open as the lines are shorter. I think even if I buy a ticket on line, they are still "will call" and I have to pick them up somewhere.
I am excited to see the Churchill War Rooms!
We just showed up right after they opened - there was about a 15 minute wait, as I recall.
Things were a bit confused, as it was some sort of 'open day' at many buildings in London, including several of the ministries located next to and above the War Rooms - lines kept tangling, and folks weren't where they thought they should be!
Since we weren't certain when we would go, we didn't buy in advance. I think the will call is right at the entrance, there was a French tour group ahead of us, and their guide just went to the front and picked up their tickets and they moved en mass to the door. The audio guide was excellent!