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Thistle Hotels, London - advice please!

(21 Posts)
janh Thu 30-Jan-03 16:13:17

Because they are not coming to Spain with us at Easter I have promised my DDs (20 and 17) a weekend at a London hotel.

We have just had a special offer with Thistle hotels and I wondered if anybody could recommend a particular hotel/district? Also, is it easier to get rooms during the week or at the weekend?

The most likely ones look to be Kensington Gardens, Lancaster Gate and Barbican (the cheapest!) or else Bloomsbury, Trafalgar Sq, Kensington Park, Kensington Palace or The Selfridge, Oxford St.

DD1 fancies Barbican because it has "Otium Health and Leisure Club" but how convenient would it be for shopping etc?

(You'd never think I spent the first 28 years of my life living just outside London!)

bossykate Thu 30-Jan-03 22:27:19

barbican would probably be the worst for shopping. oxford st or kensington for shopping (although oxford st is horrid all the large department stores are there). other shopping areas (high st ish) are kensington high street and kings road. for more select shopping try sloane st (kensington hotels best for this) or bond st (oxford st hotel best for this). kensington probably better placed for the big museums, trafalgar sq for national gallery and national portrait gallery and not a million miles away from buckingham palace, royal academy (aztecs exhibition on at the moment). without knowing exactly what you're interested in i'd say barbican is the worst choice - it is in the city so largely commercial area, although it's close to the excellent museum of london, st pauls and if you were feeling energetic you could then walk to the tate modern across the millenium bridge. *however* they are all relatively central and barbican is far from *impossible* for shopping or major sights so if cost is a big factor don't rule it out.

hth - let me know if you have a specific question.

bossykate Thu 30-Jan-03 22:35:31

or of course knightsbridge for shopping (kensington) but don't forget barbican is close to theatre and concert space if that's your bag. lancaster gate - not really near too much except hyde park (nice walk across hyde park to knightbridge). bloomsbury - handy for the british museum and furniture stores along tottenham court road, reasonably close to west end.

janh Thu 30-Jan-03 22:44:24

I think Oxford Street etc shopping is what they are mostly interested in, bossykate - is "The Selfridge" part of Selfridges, do you know? Would that be the best one for shopping and generally getting about? I suspect they will not be looking for much in the way of culture but I'll work on that!

(They will be going on their own btw!)

bossykate Thu 30-Jan-03 23:04:06

hi janh, according to this , it is not part of selfridges but very close. that would be a great place to start for shopping. it is very central so getting to other places of interest would not be a problem. it's not far to hyde park if you fancy a breath of fresh air, and from there it's just a step to harrods and harvey nicks. oxford st has most of the well known stores represented, other than selfridges and john lewis it's a bit tacky and very crowded, but still i think if you're a visitor you've got to, right?

try Time Out for more info on what's on atm and places of interest. or alternatively, try Evening Standard

hth and enjoy your trip.

prufrock Thu 30-Jan-03 23:26:44

I came rushing here to nswer your plea abov janh - only to find that bk had got in first with all the right answers. Bit like the pub quiz

Only problem with Oxford Street might be that Central line is down for at least the next two weeks so would make tube travel more difficult there. Having said that it is also making Oxford Street a lot more peaceful. Not sure how soon you were thinking of making it.

bossykate Fri 31-Jan-03 07:40:14

but jubilee line is still running from bond st

tigermoth Fri 31-Jan-03 11:56:19

Janh - I'd choose Trafalgar Square over The Selfridge if shopping is a main concern. You are still close to Oxford Street - a short bus ride away or a 30 min walk, but you are also close to Covent Garden.

Imo Covent Garden is far better for shopping. You have lots of high street names, plus many quirky and one off shops to explore. And lots of places to eat. Your boys might like to check out the skate board wear shops, sports clothing shops and shoe shops in Neal street.

The theatre district is in Covent Garden and nearby Leicester Square, of course, so it would be easy to catch a show in the evening.

bossykate Fri 31-Jan-03 12:22:17

good point, tigermoth! i didn't think of covent garden last night, but you're right.

janh Fri 31-Jan-03 20:01:10

Thank you very much, ladies, loads of useful information there!

I did hear about the Central Line etc on the news last night, may not be back to normal until the end of Feb, but that is when we are thinking of going anyway so that's OK.

Traflgar Sq sounds like a good bet to me, and I love Covent Garden, but teenage girls like it tacky and crowded (I suppose they will grow out of that) so Oxford St might suit them better. Is there still that big H & M at Oxford Circus? I will have to consult with them.

All really helpful - thanks again!

Marina Fri 31-Jan-03 20:13:31

The H & M is still big and busy in Oxford St but although the Neal Street/Seven Dials end of Covent Garden has heaps of shops for discerning women and men, Covent Garden proper is the jam-packed trash-fest beloved of all teenagers these days - and has good branches of chains like Next along Long Acre, so there is a bit of everything there.
I *think* the Trafalgar Square location must in fact be Haymarket or Lower Regent Street so they would also be conveniently placed for Soho and Chinatown there, not to mention several good cinemas and theatres. Plus Leicester Square....mmm, nice. But essential I guess, like Oxford St.
What I wouldn't give to be 17 and on the town for the weekend again! I hope they have a fab time!

janh Fri 31-Jan-03 20:35:53

Thanka, Marina! You're a girl after their own heart/s!

janh Fri 31-Jan-03 20:36:22

Oh god - thankS! I meant thankS!!!!!

bossykate Fri 31-Jan-03 21:27:50

janh, all the locations you mentioned are quite central and without sounding too much like a typical londoner (you'll see the different opinions here anyway!) there's too much to do in a weekend anyway so wherever they stay they'll be close enough to the action. hope they have a great time and let us know how it went or if you have any more questions

CAM Sat 01-Feb-03 18:26:53

They could stay in the Thistle Charing Cross Hotel (at the station) as its a few minutes walk from most places mentioned here. I've stayed there and thought it was good.

tigermoth Mon 03-Feb-03 11:09:14

janh, you can tell your daughters there's a big H & M store in Covent Garden


janh Tue 18-Feb-03 10:57:06

Hi, all, thought after your lovely helpful advice you might like to know where they decided to stay in the end...after much consultation of guide books, and ignoring strong representations from me for Trafalgar Square (for the Art Galleries, obviously, don't all young ladies spend their free time there?) they will be at The Selfridge. It appears to be quite handy for Bond St tube which is also on the Jubilee Line (it is, isn't it??? Our map's a bit small) so presumably they will be OK even if the Central is still shut.

We got fantastic train tickets too, Leeds-London return for £19 each. And the first available train back at that price was 8.30pm on the Thursday so they will effectively have 3 days there - they are very excited and only slightly nervous. DD2 will be going over to Leeds on Monday evening and I will be picking her up on Friday so her 2 nights in London covers practically the whole week!

We will do some swotting up on places to go at the weekend. DD1 was home last weekend and we were supposed to do it then but naturally she was out both nights and recovering the rest of the time so that was a non-starter .

bossykate Tue 18-Feb-03 12:53:05

don't worry bond st is on the jubilee line. for more info on the tube, click here .

janh Tue 18-Feb-03 18:09:24

Oh, good, thanks, bk!

bundle Tue 18-Feb-03 18:19:09

the London eye is good if you get a nice clear day, or go up at dusk. you can pre-book tickets and I went up once on my birthday, it was fab

CP Tue 18-Feb-03 18:39:14

The Science Museum is fabulous, we went there last Friday and had a really good day. They also have a kids play area which although advertised as from 3 years up, younger ones are welcome too. Our dd (15 months) loved it! Entry is free, you can have lunch at one of the restaurants/cafes or take a packed lunch so it is not a terribly expensive day either.

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