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I recently returned from London after a week-long visit to the beautiful city. I was able to fly on Virgin Atlantic, on the new 787 Dreamliner from LAX to London Heathrow. If you have the opportunity to spend a little extra money, I highly recommend to fly Economy Delight! You’re able to board early, have time to store your luggage in the large overhead compartment, and you get the much needed extra leg room. On this plane, there is a wide variety of entertainment with on board video monitors for each seat.
Once arriving to London, instead of getting a cab to the city center, I pre-purchased a ticket on the Heathrow Express, which takes less than 15 mins to the Paddington station, and costs about 22 GBP.
I was able to stay 2-nights at the Landmark Hotel, a 5-star luxury located in central London in the Marylebone area. The hotel lobby is grand, it has a large atrium where they serve breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is a full continental breakfast, with eggs made to order and a wide selection of freshly made pastries, fresh fruit and traditional English options. My room was a large family room with two double beds and a large sitting area with two chairs and a couch. The bathroom had 2 sinks, a large bath tub and a separate shower.
I suggest, if you’ve never been to London or have not been there in a while, to grab the Hop-on Hop-off Bus the day you arrive. This a great way to see London! It allows you to get the lay of the land. I took the #3 bus the full tour, which takes about 3 ½ hours, costs about 20 GBP, and is good for 24 hours.
Did you know that you can go to Paris for the day tour? I highly recommend taking advantage of this. I booked a day tour from EvanEvans. They offer a wide selection of tours throughout the UK. The tour I purchase was Romantic Paris with lunch at the Eiffel Tour and River Seine cruise for an hour. The cost is $330, which includes train tickets, lunch, river cruise, full escorted tour, with a guide the entire time.
You can also purchase a tube pass, also known to Londoners as an Oyster Card, for The Underground rail system. Thise allows you to travel on the tube and overhead buses throughout London. This is a great way to see London! You can also take a cab, which are very easy to get in the city.
I then checked into The Curtain Hotel for 3-nights. It is located in the hip area of Shoreditch. This area reminded me of Melrose here in Los Angeles. The hotel is fairly new, there are two tube stations within walking distance, lots of restaurants, and bars. The hotel reminded me of an old factory that was gutted and rebuilt. The rooms are a good size, with dark woods and exposed brick. They have a roof top swimming pool and a sitting area where breakfast is served daily. They also have a full restaurant, which is not only for guests but for locals too! Bands play nightly there, which makes the hotel seem ideal for a young demographic.
Next, I checked in for 2-nights at the 5-start Beaumont hotel in Mayfair. The hotel sits back off the main road, so you don’t hear the main road traffic. The hotel staff pride themselves on customer details. The rooms are beautiful! I had a 1-bedroom suite, which has a separate guest bathroom, separate sitting area with sofa sleeper, seating area, a desk and a TV. The bedroom is a nice size, the bathroom has heated floors, a large bathtub and a shower. At night, the general manager and the duty manager walk each room to make sure the turn down service is up to hotel standards.
When visiting, make sure you take a visit to Harrods, one of London’s most famous department stores. They are known for their spectacular window displays. You’ll be wowed by every inch of the store. I had fish and chips at their food court and they were some of the best fish and chips that I’ve ever had!
I highly recommend considering these hotels and attractions on your next trip to London!
~ Dan Marroni