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Her Best Sleeps in London


Evelyn Hannon

Our sincere thanks to all those JourneyWomen around the world who sent us their tips on interesting accommodation in London. It's always so helpful to read another travelling woman's opinion when you're making your own hotel plans. We are especially pleased to post these recent suggestions because they're both varied and original -- from budget Girl Guide digs to a high-end Knightsbridge hotel and plenty more in between.

P.S. We always welcome your ideas as well. Just send us a mini hotel review (up to 100 words) addressed to: and we'll add it to this article. Please remember to put the words, "London Accommodation" in the subject line.


A neighbourhood treat in Hampstead...

My favourite place to stay is Dillons Hotel in Hampstead, London. I have been staying there for years and no matter how long a time elapses between visits I am always treated like an old friend when I arrive; it is amazing that the staff just doesn't seem to change! Dillons is located on a residential street and in some ways is more like a B&B than a hotel which may be because it is a renovated house. There certainly are things about the place that are Fawlty Towerish but these tend to be more endearing than inconvenient although it does need to be noted that there are 3 floors and no elevators so lugging luggage up to one's room can be a trial espcially if you are at the top. The rooms are not fancy but certainly comfortable and well taken care of. A continental breakfast is included and is served in a nice large room which exudes a dining room rather than a restaurant ambiance. It is now possible to get simple evening meals there as well but I have not tried any of these to date.

One of the best things about this hotel, however, is its locale and the neighbourhood feel to its surroundings; it really is an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of central London. Right around the corner is a nice little "village" shopping area which boasts among other usual types of shops, a green grocer, an Odd Bins, a wonderful deli, a good Italian restaurant and a launderette that also provides laundry service at a reasonable rate. A few blocks up the road is Belsize Park Village - more shops and restaurants, a movie theatre and lots of coffee shops. The more trendy Hampstead shopping area is also relatively nearby as is the Royal Free Hospital if one is concerned about being close to medical services.

And Dillons Hotel really is the ideal place to stay if one is a dedicated walker. Hampstead Heath is quite close and, although it is a fair hike, one can walk to the center of London passing through Camden Town and Regent's Park on the way. And there is a lot to see in Hampstead itself. Maps for walking tours through Hampstead are available or one can sign up for a commercial walking tour. Some of the interesting spots within realtively easy walking distance of the hotel are the Sigmund Freud Museum, Keat's House and Kenwood House. However, if one isn't all that keen on walking, tube and bus services are available not too far from the hotel.

Dillions is not a place for anyone wanting all the amenities of a posh hotel or easy access to the heart of London. But for anyone looking for a hotel that feels like a "home away from home" it is an ideal place to stay. For more details visit:
Carol, Suva, Fiji

Best breakfasts in town...

I just saw your request for London tips. Here is my favorite place to stay. The Harlingford Hotel -- in Bloomsbury, close to King's Cross Station. The rooms are quaint, the personnel friendly, and they serve ENORMOUS breakfasts in the morning -- best breakfasts in London! Visit their website. They've just finished renovating.
Eva, New York, USA

A Bloomsbury hotel...

A friend and I stayed at the Morgan Hotel on Bloomsbury Street when we were in London. It had been recommended to us by another friend. The location is great--right around the corner from the British Museum and minutes away from Covent Garden, Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, etc. and near all tube and bus lines. The hotel is small, as are the rooms. It also has some apartments, which I understand are very nice. The breakfast was fine -- eggs, cereal, juice, coffee, etc. I don't have an e-mail address for them, but I do have their fax number. From the US it is 011 44 171 636 3045. Their address is: 24 Bloomsbury Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3QJ England. Rates are about $US150 for a double.
Florence, New York, USA

My father's recommendation...

While in London, I stayed at Hart House Bed and Breakfast Hotel, a short walk to the Baker St. tube station. It was recommended to me by my dad (he's smart!) and is quiet, well run and clean. Seems to attract Canadians for some reason. Website:
Louise, Canada
Ed. note: This hotel was recently awarded their 4th Diamond by the AA & London Tourist Board hotel inspectors.

College dorms in London...

College dorms in London have saved my budget many times. (1) The Imperial College of Science and Technology, with a pub and a pool (email: located on Exposition Road behind the wonderful Victoria and Albert Museum, and (2) London School of Economics ( both have what used to be deliciously called "summer letting schemes" and are now called "Summer rents" (how dull). It pays to look into these dorms.
Ginny, Placerville, California, USA








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