Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments
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Travel Blogs from London
After a reluctant farewell to Liverpool, we boarded the first class carriage of the Virgin Train, Liverpool to London for a 2 & 1/4 hour super smooth, super quick trip to London, arriving in at Euston Station.
There followed our introduction to London traffic - it makes Sydney CBD look like a ghost town. 45GBP & …
Putting our frustrations aside at yet another day of transport woes in London, that led to us missing three things we wanted to see, we still managed to have an excellent day in London.
We had set off this morning to see the Horse Guards Parade at St James Palace, to be followed by the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and then …
What a day we've had....look at all the things we did!
We've got a bit of a challenge on our hands this weekend, because the main circle line of the rail system is closed for maintenance (courtesy of the upcoming Olympic Games in Sept, half of London is undergoing maintenance!), and 6 other lines are closed in part, so we'll have the …
I'd booked this day tour before we left home, but poor Stuie was feeling poorly this morning, so I went on my own. So glad that I didn't stay home in sympathy with him, because, yet again, I had a brilliant day and was left in awe, finally seeing sights that I've only previously dreamed about.
I think what I also liked about today is that …
... down in 1220. How they built a 400 foot tall spire at that time just amazes me. Inside, there is very interesting art, the world's oldest working clock (1386), and the best preserved copy (of the four remaining copies) of the original Magna Carta sealed by King John himself in 1215. Seeing the Magna Carta was something truly amazing as well, as it is the document that inspired our United States Constitution. I really didn't want to leave Salisbury yet, so ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments London
Good location, less than great experience
Stayed here with a friend as part of a package from gotoday to London & Paris in early December 2004. Found that when we checked in that our rooms (we each booked a single) could not have been further apart in the hotel. I would have thought that being the low travel season and that it didn't seem that busy in the hotel that we might have been put closer together. My room was on the corner of the hotel and it could get rather loud as it was right on street level (also could smell smoke on occasion, wasn't sure if it was coming from the room next door or from outside). The bedroom was OK, but my bathroom smelled musty and did not have a toilet paper dispenser. 3 nights into our 4 night stay I went to get into my room to find I was locked out, the front desk had checked us out (they told me that according to their system I had checked in the day before for one night). Eventually I was able to go into my room and show the front desk person my booking confirmation, however I did not feel that the staff showed any concern or remorse regarding the inconvenience they caused, I will still need to check to make sure we were not billed for an extra day.
What I did like about this hotel was the location (only a 5-10 min walk to the Bayswater tube) and the fact that the rooms do have small kitchenettes (great for longer stays-cuts down on the expense of eating out).
Nice hotel, bad, very bad staff
I gave "OK" to this hotel because of the rooms. Staff is not nice, too serious, trying to look too "profesionals"... i hate that, because i was with another man and he gave a double room... and then problems at checheck out... hate it... as i said, nice hotel, bad staff
Loved the place
Our family of four stayed in a 2-bedroom unit in Nov 2004. The staff was always available and helpful and the unit had all the conveniences. Location was excellent--the immediate area was quiet, but a few blocks away were plenty of restaurants, shops, internet cafes, and 2 tube stops. The bed had the best hotel mattress I've ever slept on. Nice bathtub too. Take note that the 2 br units are on the fifth floor but the lift only goes to the 4th.
2 weeks at the Somerset Bayswater
My wife and I stayed here for 2 weeks. I've been wanting to come back since I spent the Fall of '94 in London as a student. I can't compare the Bayswater to other accommodations (except the flat I had in the Maida Vale section ten years ago) - just against my expectations. The Bayswater worked really well for us. I think the reviews on this web site are accurate. It's a good base for exploring the city. Here are a few practical tips for your stay:
The Somerset Bayswater is right across from another Somerset (Kensington Gardens, I think) and diagonal from the Somerset Notting Hill. This area is on the edge of Bayswater and Notting Hill. I got the feeling that the Bayswater was rated one star higher than the one across the street. Helpful staff at the desk. They do enforce the no-check in rule before 14:00, but you can dump your bags in a locked room (along with everyone else's bags) if you happen to arrive early, which you probably will if you take the typical overnight flight. You might as well take the tube from Heathrow to Bayswater, (with a little wait changing lines at Earl's Court), unless you have somewhere you need to be real fast, otherwise you are just rushing to get there and wait. We stalled by exploring the area on foot.
The building is recently renovated. I think the rooms in the back are brand new, and we stayed in the renovated portion in the front. We were given a room on the 4th (5th to us) floor. It was like navigating a maze to get to our room. I suppose this is what happens after multiple renovations. We got used to it. It was only annoying when I did laundry or when our cards became de-magnetized. That happened twice - the cards seemed to be sensitive to security checking x-rays.
I think our studio was one of the smaller ones, but it was fine. It looked a lot like the one they show on the virtual tour at
the-ascott but we didn't have a couch. We had two suede chairs. It was like living in one of those IKEA displays. Nice. Modern. Shower was a little odd. No curtain, but a glass partion that went half way along the tub. If you used the water at anything over 1/2 power, it would bounce off you and spray everywhere. Again, you get used to it. I thought the maid went out of her way by cleaning up our dishes.
The continental breakfast that came with our package was all we needed in the morning. They had a nifty instant coffee/tea/hot chocolate machine that gave about 7 or so choices, some baked stuff, jellies, yogurt, fruit, cereal.
The place is convenient to two tube stations, which are oddly within one block of each other. The more useful one was Queensway, which had access to the Central line that goes straight into town. Bayswater station accessed the District and Circle Lines, which always seemed to be a tad slower. But it was nice to have the different options. Buses run along Westbourne Grove, and you can take a 12 minute ride on Route 23 (the pink line in www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/pdfdocs/cen_bus.pdf - the Westbourne Grove stops are not listed on this map, but end up being between the Ladbroke Grove and Paddington Station interchanges) to a giant Sainsburys. Hey - if you are living in an apartment, you might as well live less like a tourist and more like a resident. A trip through a grocery store here can be pretty interesting. Just make sure you get on the bus going in the right directions when you return. Woops. After looking in several stores, by the way, we could not find any vegetable oil to cook stuff in that came in really small containers. If you don't like throwing a lot away (even if it is only 68p), then pack a little bit. I'd suggest soap pellets too for laundry, but I wonder if compatible stuff is available here in the states. You can buy two pellets at the desk for a pound (which was a better deal for me than buying a whole box at the store). Incidentally, use of the laundry machines was free.
Queensway is described as something of a peculiarly exotic street in London. It has the densest concentrations of restaurants outside of Soho. Lots of interesting choices, but we only ended up trying a french patisserie once, and bought some overcooked fish and chips at a Halal. It helped me appreciate the much better fish and chips I bought at Geales in the Notting Hill area (Farmer Street - a 10-15 minutes brisk walk. I'd suggest that guests at the Bayswater choose alternative streets to return to the hotel once in a while just to get a realistic feel for what the neighborhood is like, so they aren't overwhelmed by Queensway.
Speaking of Queensway, if guests don't want to ride the bus to a Sainsburys, there is a new Tesco Metro that opened across from the Baysater tube, and the Marks and Spencer in Whitleys has a large grocery section. Lots of prepared meals (cooked and uncooked) there. Lots of retail shopping at Whiteleys, but for me, its more fun to visit Oxford Street, Picadilly, Knightsbridge, etc.
Great value and location in London
We stayed at the Somerset Sept 22 04 for 3 Nights. We booked a studioette and got a free upgrade to an Apartment. So 70 pounds a night seemed cheap for a Studiotte to get an Apartment instead for 70 pounds was outstanding. The Apartments are two storied - living upstairs and bedroom and bathroom downstairs. Our Apartment was in the old part of the Hotel on the inside (so not facing the street) So very quiet.
Location is very central and close to the Subway and Hyde Park etc. It's a good (read expensive) neighbourhood to so we never felt any concerns about walking around at night.
Only quibble would be the Air Conditioning, although we didn't really need it as it was late September the two units in the Apartment were either working so poorly you might as well not have bothered or I simply wasn't operating them correctly.
One note on the staff - we found them helpful and interested and even got some good advice on how to get to Heathrow (Private Cab little bit more than a shuttle and none of the hassel).
Wonderful...will stay here the next time
I stayed here for 7 nights (Sept 6-13, 2004). The room was quite large (studio) with a full size bathroom, a small kitchen area, safe, entertainment system (TV, Radio, DVD player). The front desk will even loan you an adapter (must place a deposit) if you forget yours. I stayed in the front part of the building right next to the street. The street was quite noisy so be sure to bring your earplugs or get a room at the back of the hotel.
It was quite warm in London (about 77 F) and there was no A/C in the room. I am told that the older section that I was in does not have A/C but the newer section at the rear of the hotel does have A/C. Could not keep the window open at night because of the street noise and security concerns ( I was on the first floor) but there was a ceiling fan that was helpful but I can't imagine staying in the room during a heat wave.
The breakfast that is included consists of toast, coffee, tea, croissants, sweet buns, cereal, and milk. The breakfast room is quite nice and very clean. The staff in the breakfast room were very nice.
The hotel is just a short walk to the tube station and there are plenty of restaurants close by. Whiteley's a small mall is just down the street (2 minute walk) and there is also a gym next to the mall. The fee for the gym per day is £9 or you can take a class for £5. There is also a fairly nice grocery store just a block away.
I would highly recommend this hotel. I booked through Virgin Vacations and the rate was $130 per day. The Virgin rate for the hotel was the lowest I could find but comparing it to the rates for a London hotel I believe that the $130 was a bargain.
Worked for us
The Somerset Bayswater worked out well for us on a recent trip to London for a friend's wedding. We have an 11-month old and needed a suite hotel to make life easier with his feedings and bedtime. Make sure you ask for a room in the newer back portion-just beware-there is no lift in this part of the facility, so a ground floor room is better if you have a lot of stuff with you. Staff was a bit unhelpful, but seemed no worse than typical British service with a scowl. That said, our room was wonderful and large and new and air-conditioned, the hotel is a quick walk away from Whiteley's/Hyde Park/tube, it is easy to get cabs in the area, and all in all it was blissfully convenient. Despite the room move due to a clogged toilet and 20-minute wait time for extra towels, we would stay here again.
All round thumbs up!
Stayed at the Somerset Bayswater for 3 nights in May 2004 after reading other good comments about it. Although only a "studioette" size room, the room was clean and modern with a full size bath and heated towel rail, etc. Nice and quiet location, with friendly staff to help with directions, advice, etc. Close to the tube and lots of other great stuff. We were first timers in London - but would certainly stay here again.
Fantastic Apart Hotel
Stayed at the Somerset Bayswater for 5 nights (April 2004) after getting a good deal on lastminute.com
Had booked what was termed a "studioette", which led me to think it might be a very small room, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The room (on the 1st floor) was clean, bright, and very big. Very large and extremely comfortable double bed, nice sofa and contemporary furniture.
Tv, DVD and separate Cd player, small kitchenette, nice ceiling fan, heated towel rail, ironing board, room safe, nice sized desk in front of window overlooking square gardens. Loads of hot water at any time of day or night, and the place was spotlessly clean. I can't fault this place.
The lack of restaurant facilities might be a nuisance for some people, but with this location literally 2 minutes from Queensway (Bayswater & Queensway tube stations) there was plenty of choice for eating out or buying in food.
Excellent location, discrete staff, and daily maid service. I will be back.
Having stayed at a number of other apart'hotels in London this place by far exceeds the standards of the others. I highly recommend and will be back.
The Somerset Bayswater Hotel staff were all helpful and accomodating.
When a much needed extra bed would not fit in the 2 bedroom flat, we were given an adjacent room at no charge. (We went during the off season.) The rooms are clean and modern. The continental breakfast was very good. (Great coffee) The location is just right. Near two tube stations. I highly recommend it.