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ALTERNATIVE TO IMPERIAL HOTEL
- travel advice
- 12 responses so far
You don’t get scammed, but you do have to be careful. People know that the area is popular for tourist starting tours. so keep an eye on the valuables.
How much are you willing to pay for a nicer hotel?
The area that these hotels are in is pretty good so anything else around there will be pretty expensive.
If you want “cheaper”, around Earls Court is good but it’s another area where many tours leave from so you may have the same concerns about staying there (except for the icky rooms).
Tune have opened a new hotel, just four stops from Piccadilly Circus with rooms starting from 35quid. They are basic rooms and small but they’re clean and the reviews have been great.
Realistically though, if you’re happy to travel (by tube or cab) on the morning of the tour to meet the group/leave then it won’t matter where you stay…just look for something that better meets your needs.
I didn’t care for either of the contiki hotels. I stayed at the Le Meridien Piccadilly for four days before the start of the tour. I did the inspiration last June and I think out of all the hotels on the trip their hotel in London was about the worst. This is with the exception of the hotel in Venice that was like 45 mins away from the city and had the toilet in the shower.
The thing I really dislike about the hotels that contiki uses in London is that they only give you one key that you have to turn into the front desk any time you leave the hotel.
this thread peaks my intrest because I had some of the same concerns over hotel reviews before I went to Ireland last year with Contiki.
I read reviews about hotels I would be staying in once I got the official package and everything was confirmed…none seemed any good from what the reviews seemed to say and you would have thought 2 of the 4 were absolute dumps.
Apparently, most of the people complaining about the rooms were seemingly expected the rooms to be covered with gold and they expected to be eating food from 5 star chefs that had built their pedegree cooking for the elite of Europe.
The rooms were dated and bland in 2 of the hotels to be honest, but they were clean, comfortable and the staff was extremely nice and accomodating to us in every place we stayed at. You are getting cheaper hotels with Contiki, but odds are, with the tours and the free time to explore, you aren’t going to be using the bedroom too much, and when you do, given my experience, it might be alot better than what you have heard from people on various websites
Obiviously i don’t expect 5star resorts on contiki. But i would like to be assured that my LOCKED suitcase is not going to be broken into, in my room.
But i have had my passport stolen before so am a little bit anxious about theft in general. Esp after reading one review of the royal national where one girl had her whole room completely cleaned out (all her shopping included).
It doesn’t appear that this kind of theft from the rooms are “once offs” either. Wee bit nerve racking.
Just wondering if people had used any other hotels before meeting for the tour. (would be great to know prices etc)
Hopefully this will help, here are some photos from my stay last May: Photos
The room was clean and basic. I think we were on the 4th level. The room was very hot even though it was only mid-May and had no air conditioning. The only major problem with the room was that it was hot and when we opened the window there was a lot of road noise.
I was actually staying at a 5-star hotel in London before the tour started, the night in London at this hotel was included in the price of the tour so I thought why not? I know that the person who wrote about people expecting a 5-star hotel was being sarcastic, but coming from the states our expectation of hotels is very very different from the standard in Europe. This room would go for around $40 in the states yet costs around 4 times that.
London hotels are very very expensive and for the price this is an okay hotel to stay at. If you want to save money you may be able to find a near by hostel. My suggestion is to stay at this hotel the night before your tour because the bus leaves very early in the morning and it is nice to be close.
If you want a nicer hotel that is cheaper and has free wifi I would suggest staying at the Sheraton hotel next to the airport which can be had for usually under 75 GBP. It is about 40 mins tube ride from the city center, so if that doesn’t bother you it’s the best bang for the buck.
Otherwise, on safety… Your things can be stolen at any hotel, even a 5-star one. Now which hotels see more things stolen I would probably say hostels and hotels like the Imperial based on tripadvisor reviews.
Only been to the Royal National and I found it fine for what you pay. Basic rooms but I didn’t expect anything else. I did find pretty much all the star behind the desk extremely rude though, that was the only thing I disliked about it.
I have the same thoughts as you. I originally was going to stay at the Imperial this december but decided to chose my own hotel. I’m staying at the Arosfa Hotel its an 8 min walk from Russell Square. I’ve heard nothing but good reviews on trip advisor. good luck <!--graemlin::)-->
Last time I stayed near Contiki I stayed at Hotel Russell. Look up Hotel Russel – Principal Hayley. It is a four star hotel. Allot better than Imperial and Royal National. It is clean and you can get decent priced rooms. It is more expensive than the other two contiki reccoments.
Remember you get what you pay for.
I just stayed at the Imperial and had no trouble. For the price it’s a good hotel in a good location. I thought it was well maintained for an old hotel and the staff was actually quite friendly for the most part. Yes, it could use a major update, but it was clean and offered a good place to sleep. If you want to stay somewhere else because of the bad reviews then I suggest you look for some place MUCH nicer. I wouldn’t bother going with another 3 star hotel in the city because you’ll pay more money and not get anything more for it. I would go at least for 4 stars, but you will pay a lot more money. There are a lot of hotels in the Russel Square area, and it’s a convenient area and the morning of the tour you’ll be glad to be nearby.
The rooms in both hotels aren’t too bad. They old but clean and comfortable enough. Russel Square a great location in central London.
Definitly stay at the Royal National. Everyone else from your tour will be there.
I stayed there 3 nights before my tour started and meet up with people from my tour as they started to arrive.
It was so good knowing a few people before we all came together as a contiki group. It gave us a good “bonding” time with a smaller group before you got intro’d to the rest of them (52 on my bus!)
People on my tour that did’nt stay in RN wished they did cause everyone meets down at the pub in the RN (THE LONDON PUB) and hangs out and goes and met at each others rooms to do stuff. It just makes it that much more complicated trying to organise meeting up with someone not staying there.
You may save a little bit of money staying somewhere else but you’ll miss out on forming bonds right at the start of your trip….
The more tight knit your tour group is the more fun your gonna have.. Turst me <!--graemlin::)-->!!!
I just want to be back there with all my contiki buddies…. CONTIKI IS AWESOME!!!
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