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On the Spot: A London lowdown

Readers offer suggestions on reasonable lodging in England.

May 02, 2011|By Catharine Hamm | Los Angeles Times Travel Editor
  • Savings calling
Savings calling (Mark Shaver / For The Times )

Question: Can you ever get too much of London?

Answer: Maybe. This is being written before the royal wedding, so you may be sick of the jolly olde place by the weekend. But next year promises to be a big one for London, which is one of the world's more expensive cities.

A couple of weeks ago, reader Patti Black of Pacific Palisades asked about inexpensive accommodations in London; she'd heard of convent and monastery stays but wondered whether there were other ideas she should consider. Our experts offered ideas that included Crashpadder.com and AirBnB.com, both of which offer rooms in private residences, and Happy-homes.com, Priceline and Getaroom.com.

We also asked readers to share their ideas, because 2012 will be a banner one for London with the queen's jubilee and the Summer Olympics. Here's what they had to say:

Scott K. Milling of Valley Village likes Hostelling International, whose private rooms are "clean, well-run and in major tourist areas." And they're reasonably priced too, says Milling, a former hostel manager in Israel. Robert Crawford seconds the hostel idea and likes Youth Hotel Assn.'s choices.

Kevin Moss, an ex-Brit who lives in Corona, notes that a vacation package might offer good savings. "A number of travel sites like Expedia offer packages of flight and hotels, but I find that Virgin Atlantic and British Airways seem to offer the best deals."

For hotels that readers recommended, we looked at one day in May (May 9) to get an idea of rates for two.

Richard Nelson of Newport Beach likes the Premier Travel Inn chain, which has many London properties. Rates as low as $113 (nonrefundable).

Hans Loeffler of Balboa, visiting a daughter in school in London, likes the recently remodeled Hyde-Shaftesbury on Westbourne Terrace, whose website,  lists prices starting as low as about $140 a night for two, including breakfast.

Clarissa Raaen of Simi Valley likes the Royal Court Apartments, 51 Gloucester Terrace, London. "Make sure you ask for a renovated room as they are much nicer," she says. Rate: $202 for an apartment that sleeps two.

Jade Kemble of Rancho Bernardo reminds us not to forget VRBO.com — Vacation Rentals by Owner, where we found a West Kensington studio apartment listed at $163 a night. You can find info on home exchanges on the Times website.

We had mentioned Trish Clark's "Good Night and God Bless" convent/monastery guides. Eileen Barish of Santa Barbara notes that "The Guide to Lodging in Britain's Monasteries," one in a series of her guides, lists more than 100 monasteries in England, Scotland and Wales.

Reader Patti Black ended up reserving at the Convent of the Augustinian Sisters for about $50 a night, including breakfast.

Readers, as you return from London this summer, please be sure to share your finds with us at travel@latimes.com.

Have a travel dilemma? Write to travel@latimes.com. We regret we cannot answer every inquiry.

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