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Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

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Detroit, Michigan
posts: 980
reviews: 15
Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

My boyfriend and I will be heading to London the first week in May for 6 nights. Our primary reason for going is to attend the Cream reunion concert at RAH, but obviously while there, we want to see as many sights as possible.

I'm seeking advice on a base of operations (lodging). Concerns: quality of neighborhood overall ie: safety; restaurants, shops, grocery; tube and bus.

We are flying into Gatwick and plan to take the Express to Victoria station.

I have done a lot of research/reading, including the reviews on this site, but I would still like feedback from the very knowledgeable folks on this forum.

Room: double ensuite, non smoking, CLEAN!!, VAT and some kind of bfst included -- all prices in #s 75-95 GBP range

In Pad/Bayswater I have found:

Balmoral House - 65

Barry House - 72

Troy Hotel - 79/95 (double with king bed & jacuzzi)

Darlington Hyde Park - 85 ( special if you email them; 48 hr time limit to book - I have one more day to respond.)

Mornington - 92

In Belgravia/Victoria - (most on Ebury St.)

Collin House - 82

James and Cartref - 85

B+B Belgravia (new place) - 89

Westminster House - 90

Windermere - 99

Wildcard:

Montana Hotel in S. Kensington - 79

Obviously I'm not listing everything I found here, just some of the highlights.

I'm leaning toward the Darlington, given its rave reviews here, as well as James/Cartref or B+B Belgravia, which sounds cool.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,569
reviews: 15
1. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

AddieBee - have you ever done your homework! Well done.

Paddington and Bayswater are north of Hyde Park, Belgravia south of the Park, and much closer to Victoria Station.

The places you've selected all seem reasonable, and you'd likely be pleased in any of them. I prefer south of the Park by a tiny bit, but it's completely my own view, and not at all a diss on Bayswater.

No doubt other TAs will know of/have stayed at/had a friend stay at one or more of your choices, so you and your BF should get set up nicely.

Have a fabbo trip.

Detroit, Michigan
posts: 980
reviews: 15
2. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

I also considered Bloomsbury, but some people on this site said it was rather quiet at night, as in - not much in the neighborhood. Would be nice to walk to dinner, or have the option. Since Belgravia is adjacent to Knightsbridge and on to Kensington, thought it might be a good choice, even if our destination isn't walking distance.

My BF is visually impaired and walks with a white cane. So am also concerned we don't get "hassled."

Toronto ON
posts: 676
reviews: 19
3. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

Bloomsbury is an easy stroll to Covent Garden and Soho as well as the new trendy areas around Hoxton to the east. I think its a very good location - beside the action but actually not in it. We walk back to the Bonnington from Soho at night rather than try to flag an 'oh-so-hard-to-get' Cab after midnight. In your price range the usual Bloomsbury recommends (Bonnington, Bedford, President, St. Margarets, Harlingford etc) warrent a look see.

Watford
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 35,540
reviews: 27
4. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

You have been busy!

The Darlington is good value but the area isn't as central as Belgravia or as nice as Kensington where the Montana is situated. A lot depends on what you want to do in the evenings. I might be tempted to try The B&B in Belgravia because it does sound different.

Wish I could be more decisive but the choice is yours!

Adam C

Detroit, Michigan
posts: 980
reviews: 15
5. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

AdamHornets - what a helpful chap you are!

RE: evenings. At least one evening will be spent at RAH. One night we would like to take in some of the fab theater London has to offer. One night at the Troubador or another club. My BF is really into music so that's what he'd like to do. We also would like to be able to walk to dinner - neighborhood places to eat if we're tired out from sight-seeing and don't want to hassle with other modes of transport. Maybe one night go to Chinatown for the experience ... We're not kids so staying up all night drinking and dancing isn't an option ;-)

We may go to Salisbury/Stonehenge in a day trip.

RiknPat say don't rule out Bloomsbury for lodging.

Also, an area where it is easy to pick up sightseeing tours.

Is it safe to be in the Vic Station area after dark, coming up out of the tube and then walk to Ebury St.? No worse than NYC, I'd imagine. And would that be about the same arriving at the Paddington Stn underground?

Frankly, at this point, I'd just like to "pull the trigger" and book something. My BF says it's up to me, as long as we stay in our price range. The Darlington has a fridge and a room safe - two good selling pts to me. I just don't want to stay in a dump - been there, done that.

NYC
posts: 24
6. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

The B+B Belgravia is cool. Very modern and contemporary. Comfortable beds, feather pillows, quality linens, power showers, breakfast freshly cooked to order or you can have continental which is fruit, yoghurt, cereals, toast, brioche, croissants, pain au chocolate. There is tea and coffee available 24/7 (great machine that makes expresso, latte, cappuccino etc) flat screen TVs with 12 channels and free Internet access in the room and in the guest lounge on the lap top. Very friendly staff ....it's just like home from home.

Detroit, Michigan
posts: 980
reviews: 15
7. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

Garfield,

B+B Belgravia was my SECOND choice, but I went with the Darlington Hyde Park because of some room features - like a safe for belongings and a mini-fridge. (It was also just a touch less expensive). I will say that the staff at B+BB responded promptly to my emails with good info. And it was a very tough decision. I also suggested they beef up their very cool web site with more details.

Cheers!

Watford
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 35,540
reviews: 27
8. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

Sorry Addie, I missed you posting of Feb 15. I think you are all set. The area around Paddington isn't the nicest in London but it's not dangerous and the hotel is an easy 5 minute or less walk from the tube.

Have a wonderful time and please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

Adam C

adamhornets@yahoo.com

Detroit, Michigan
posts: 980
reviews: 15
9. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

Thanks, Adam. I know there are classier neighborhoods, but as I said, I liked what the Darlington offers.

I may tap your extensive knowledge of L-town as the trip gets closer. So... BEWARE!! :-)

Adrien

chicago
posts: 3
10. Re: Paddington/Bayswater or Belgravia?

addiebee,

I don't know if this is typical, but I booked the Balmoral on Sussex Gdns near Paddington Station after much research and well ahead of time in 2003. I exchanged several pleasant emails with the manager. When we arrived on a Saturday evening, we were told they had no reservations for us. The woman said that her son had been having a lot of family stuff going on and must have been stressed. She sent us to the Hyde Park Radnor about a block away. It was fine. Nice bathrooms.

Pat, Chicago