Travel Blogs from London
... 35 each. Not bad really! We went soft sleeper as there was four of us, but as you know from my previous travels, hard sleeper is cheaper, and fine when there aren't four of you.
Once we arrived at Xi'an we were collected by Michael and our driver who drove us to the Terracotta Warriors to start our tour of the city. I wasn't originally convinced that we needed a driver - I have now been to Xi'an three times and was certain that ...
... well as St Paul's Cathedral. I also visited the Tate Modern, which had some interesting artwork, and also walked by Shakespeare's globe.
My first problem with booking as I went came for the 12th, London seemed to be pretty packed so I ended up getting a hotel which I though was near Cambridge, but ended up being in Peterborough. So the days of London will be a bit split ...
We headed out to the popular bar area around 12:30 and did some recon on bars that would be fun to go to when the rest of the group arrived as well. The drinks were delicious but I learned a very valuable lesson; never try to go drink for drink with an Irish man, it will never end in your favor. Needless to say I drank too much but it was such a blast. But now all I want is a cheeseburger or a giant chiptole burrito, or actually just anything at this point, but have no ...
Early out to Baker Street and Madane Tussaud's. Sydney has a branch of Madame T's - it is not too bad and I would suggest that one or t'other is good enough. London has a kitschy but fun black cab ride at the end - Marcus enjoyed it as his black cab had his initials. Once we got spat out of the tourist sausage factory we headed into the beautiful serenity in Regents Park - just gorgeous. Headed up to Primrose Hill for the view ( no phone piccy) and walked back to St Johns ...
... we will both share my Santa suit. Turns out you didn’t even need the blooming voucher!
As we got dressed – I became aware that it was going to be somewhat difficult to run in this silly Santa suit! Being challenged in the height department I had to roll the legs and the arms up so that I could at least attempt to look like a normal Santa.
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Byron Hotel London
We were very pleased with it
We got the Byron as part of a Virgin Vacations package, and we were pleased with our choice! We arrived very early and jet lagged and had been promised an early check in, but our room wasn't available yet. So we came back 2 hours later and the room still wasn't ready, so the woman at reception gave us a triple on the 1st floor since the lift was broken (fixed later that day). Our room (#3) had a double and single bed. Dresser was old, large closet, working TV though we really didn't watch it. Beds were comfortable enough. The bathroom was always cold, that was the only complaint. Plenty of hot water and the room was relatively clean. We were on the back of the hotel so it was dark and quiet at night. Heat for the room was adequate but not as warm as we would have liked. Breakfast was nothing fancy. I actually preferred the continental over the English breakfast. plenty of meats, cheese, bread, cereal, yogurt, milk and OJ, and all the tea and coffee you could drink. Stick with the tea though, it's better in the UK than the USA. I would definitely stay there again, especially if it were summer because it is one of the few budget hotels that actually has central A/C.
Well, um, it's a good location
First of all, no matter what you may read elsewhere, don't be lulled into thinking that this hotel is anything other than what it really is.
In the U.S., a room in this hotel would be no more than $35.00 per night. I don't know what that would equate to since I understand that Motel 6's have been upgraded in the recent past. But it is not nice, never was, never will be. The rooms are small as apparently they are every where in London. But, it's more than that. Since it was once a private residence, the building has been chopped up pretty badly and is very difficult to navigate. Hallways are tiny and narrow and so is the lift. Very closed in feeling. The TV in the room didn't work and after 4 days of complaints, we got a new TV which afforded us 4 channels of barely viewable reception. The maid never swept as far as we could see and it was next to impossible to get a clean glass. The bedroom and bath were always freezing although we could tell the heat was on. The fixtures on the sink were almost too difficult to turn. The bathroom door would not stay open and, after complaining, someone made a door stop from a chip of wood. (We were grateful to get it.) The breakfasts (continental or hearty) were impossible. Coffee as bad as it comes. We were prepared for what we might get and, therefore, the hotel was as we expected. But, if where you are staying means the difference between a good or lousy vacation, you need to upgrade from this place. The area is nice and convenient to everything via the fabulous public transportation and there are much, much better places in the area. If you are a walker, Nottinghill is not a bad stroll and Kensington Palace is very near. If I can answer any specific questions, feel free to ask.
A Delightful Stay
I stayed at the Byron from Jan 14 - 21, 2004. The room was small, as are European rooms, but comfortable. A friendly staff, a pleasant sitting room and atrium, and an above average continental breakfast were all included in the price.
The location was excellent for catching either the tube, the red bus, or the train.
Plenty of shopping and eating opportunities two blocks away on Queensway.
I will stay here again next time in London.
A terrific place to stay
I could not disagree more with the previous negative reviews of this hotel and despite the assurances otherwise, I have no doubt they were submitted by pampered Americans spoiled by 'all suite' hotels in the US. The Byron is a perfectly acceptable 3-star hotel near Kensington Gardens in funky, diverse Bayswater. Near three tube stations. A most helpful and accomodating staff. None of the negative comments previously submitted in any way resemble the hotel where I recently spent 9 nights. The rooms are small and front-facing rooms are vulnerable to street noise, but this is London after all. I would happily stay there again.
Stayed for a month - plan on staying again
I had stayed at the Byron about nine years ago and my memories were good. I returned this year and stayed for a month. My stay there was very pleasant. A friend also stayed for two weeks and was quite satisfied. Rooms in London are smaller than in the US. I met people who had stayed previously in first class hotels (which are much more expensive) and they seemed quite pleased also. The Byron has things that you always find in New York, but not all that common in London,i.e., air conditioning, elevator, etc. The staff is very pleasant and very helpful. The room was kept very clean the entire time I was there. Plenty of hot water for a shower and clean towels each day. The stay included a full English breakfast but having tried it once, I decided my cardiologist would not approve. I look forward to staying there again.
Dirty and run-down
I disagree with the last message posted. I do not come with U.S.-based expectations, but the Byron is still not an acceptable hotel. There were stains on bedding and carpet, very conspicuous debris in the corners, and non-functioning appliances. Having to sign up for a breakfast time was most inconvenient.
I'd stay again
I would disagree with most of the other reviews. You do get what you pay for , but it was a good value. Staff was very friendly and helpful.
Rooms were small with few extras (to be expected in europe), but they were clean and niecly decorated. Great location close to two underground stops and many retail stores, pubs and restaurants. Eat Chinese at the Four Seasons if you get a chance. Overall, it can't be compared to top US hotels, but you have to adjust your cultural expectations when traveling in Europe or pay $300 per night. Good hotel in a great, safe, convienant location.
You get what you pay for?
We stayed here one night, and were happy we weren't booked for more. We had the penthouse suite (not for elegance, but to accomodate kids on a sofabed). The bedding (on the regular beds, not just the sofabed) was less than comfortable, the shower did not work at all (minimal water flow, which turned to scalding as the valve shut off the cold water), nor did the air conditioning system in either room (unfortunately, we were in London during rather warm weather). And my daughter found a long hair on top of the pillowcase when she turned down the sheets (I don't think it had been used, just left when the bed was made up, but it didn't make her happy in any case). The breakfast was pretty regimented (sign-up times, no deviations, such as decaff coffee, etc).
That said, my parents, who had a lower level room, had a better experience (their shower was at least partially functional, and their room not quite as warm), and they found the staff accommodating (they even left luggage at the hotel when they left London for a few days, and then returned for 2 more nights at the hotel).
I suspect this is a case of you get what you pay for--the price is at the lower end of London hotel prices, and it seems the amenities are commensurate.
We stayed at the Byron in 2000. The front rooms were very noisy so we asked to be moved to a back room. We had a lovely, but very small room, in the back with a huge window overlooking a tree. It was on an upper floor. It was quiet and we could keep the window open at night. The furniture was sort of period british and we thought it was decorative and fine. The breakfasts were heavy (eggs etc) but my husband liked them and I brought in yogart and kept it in their fridge. The best part of the Byron is the location. It is two blocks from the park and one block from some fantastic reasonably priced ethnic restaurants. We are going to London this summer and are going to stay there again. It's not a luxury hotel but it definitely has character. I must admit though, I am not looking forward to the saggy bed!!!