Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where to stay in London?

I love London! I could definitely live there. London has always been my "hub" while traveling in the Europe/UK area. I always fly in to London and then go from there. Whether I'm going to Paris, Scotland, Ireland or a Contiki Tour accross Europe.

While in London, I've stayed at major hotels (Marriott's of course since I work for Marriott and get a sweet discount!), bed & breakfasts and once I also rented a room for a few weeks. All of my accomodations have been different and amazing in different ways.

Marriott Hotels:
It's nice to stay at these hotels every once in a while because they are much bigger than your typical "European" hotels. So if you've been hosteling it or staying in little European Inns where you've been sleeping in a tiny twin beds, this will be a nice luxury. However, I definitely endorse trying out a bed and breakfast at some point for some English charm!

A few I've stayed at:

London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
I think this is my favorite one. Near Oxford Street (5 min walk) which has tons of shopping and restaurants. Closest tube stop is Bond Street. Great location.

London Marriott Hotel Regents Park
I liked this one too. Closest tube stop is Swiss Cottage Station.

Renaissance Chancery Court London
For me, this one was a little out of the way. Renaissance is still a Marriott, but it's fancier. Closest tube is Holborn Station.

London Marriott Hotel Marble Arch
I didn't stay at this one but my friends did. Still very nice. Closest tube is Edgware Road or Marble Arch.

Bed & Breakfasts:
(the one I stayed in is second on the website! my room was the one with the red twin bed!!)

I stayed at the "Kiln House" with my host Lee. She was super nice. I had a room on the main floor. The only room on the main floor. I had my own bathroom too. She had a continental breakfast set up for me each morning. However, she figured out what I'd actually eat and would just leave exactly that (instead of her huge spread of breakfast foods). She even made me hot water for my hot cider a few times! Her house is actually a historical landmark and has been featured in tours and in a book. Her house was an actual kiln. The kiln is now actually a dining room.

What I loved about staying at a bed and breakfast, is that you just get a whole different experience than if you were staying in a hotel. Just make sure your house is within walking distance to a tube station!

The "Kiln House"

A few more London Pics....

Tiffany's Taxi?!

Oh how I miss Pret a Manger!!

Ciao World Travelers!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Train Rides to Scotland....

Rail Europe Travel….

I found a few pictures I had from traveling on the Rail Europe train. We traveled from London to Edinburgh, Scotland. You can check them out online. . They also have discounts for travelers 25 years old and under!

They have different classes of seating with different restrictions. We just got the economy seats. If the seats are not full, you can actually sit wherever you want. My friend and I got seats with a table to ourselves. Awesome!

I did find out that I can not face backwards while the train is moving. Nauseaus!! So I had to make sure my seat faced forward. Luckily my friend didn’t have that same problem so we were able to sit at our own table. And spread out our stuff. The views were great. Lots of green, lots of water and lots of sheep! They also have a snack car if you get hungry.

The train leaves from Kings Cross station in London. Kings Cross like in Harry Potter! Look for Platform 9 ¾ if you have some extra time. It does exist!

Gotta have your tunes on a trip like this. I'm not gonna lie, I totally have a Europe Trains playlist. Ha ha. Such a dork.

Train ride essentials: travel journal (my friend's), reading material & water of course. Oh and of course the previously mentioned iPod/Zune/etc.

Previous post on Scotland:

Good Day Travel Peeps!!