Best SPG Redemption in London

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by jkchan83, Dec 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jkchan83

    jkchan83 Silver Member

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    My wife and I are planning an anniversary trip to London. Which SPG property would you recommend? The trip is for 7 days/6 nights: we arrive Sunday morning and leave the following Saturday afternoon.

    We are currently leaning towards the Le Meridien Picadilly for 5 nights (fifth night free) with a night at a Hilton property (free weekend certificate from the Citi Reserve card) at the start or the end.

    We are looking for the best redemption value, good service, etc. We plan to do the touristy things, so a central location is also appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for your suggestions. Also, ideas for what to see, do, and eat in London are also appreciated! I trust MPers more than a guide book.
     
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  2. jparker

    jparker Silver Member

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    I've been to London about 25 times and never tire of it. Think of it as Boston, New York, Washington, and Philly all rolled into one. If you stay in Picadilly, you are within walking distance of most of what you want to see and easy public transport to Tower of London, Harrods, and some of the outliers.

    Without knowing what type of stuff you might be interested in, I'll give you a couple of things that might not be on the top of the guidebook lists, although you absolutely want to see a lot the top attractions.

    If you like art, specifically Impessionism, consider the Courtauld Collection at Somerset House on the Strand. It is a smaller musuem but has some of the best known masterpieces from that movement including Manet's The Bar at the Folies-Bergeres.

    For an interesting lunch, try Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet St., just down from St. Paul's. It was a haunt of Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, and many other notables. In fact, just around the corner from Johnson's house and try to eat in one of the below ground levels, if they are open.

    I always recommend Momo's on Heddon St. for a nice dinner in Moroccan/Northern African flavors. One of my favorite restaurants in London. Wagamama is a nice chain stir-fry option.

    Don't spend your time on the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. A much better option is the Changing of the Guard for the Horse Guards which is a much more elaborate and interesting ceremony that you can get much closer to.

    There is a nice little artisan market on Piccadilly as it heads West from Piccadilly Circus in the courtyard of a church there. A really great local photographer sells his wares there and I've bought several. I can't remember the name of it, but it shouldn't be hard to find.

    For Hilton properties, the Trafalgar couldn't be more "central" for the West End. Green Park is not too far away and the Park Lane Hilton is right in the area, as well.

    Hope that helps, happy to answer specific questions that you might have..
     
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  3. jkchan83

    jkchan83 Silver Member

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    @jparker: Thank you for all of the interesting suggestions.

    I am actually a big impressionist fan and will have to add the Courtauld Collection to the trip. Seeing Monet's Waterlillies up close at the Musee d'Orsay was the highlight of my visit to Paris (and so much less disappointing than the Mona Lisa at the Louvre).

    We were planning to see the Buckingham Palace changing of the guards, but my wife wanted to see the stables, too. Given your advice, we might skip the first and see the Horse Guards, instead.

    Of those 3 Hilton's, which would you pick for a one-night stay either heading from or to Heathrow with luggage? Or does it make more sense to just pay for the 6th night at the Le Meridien (using points) so as not having to deal with changing hotels mid-trip?
     
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  4. jparker

    jparker Silver Member

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    I've gotten lazy and don't tend to change hotels too much within a trip unless compelling reason. Unless you stay out at LHR on the final night, the difference between the other hotels is neglible. They are all within a short distance of each other.

    If you are going to the airport early on your departure day, a taxi might be the best option. It would be a little more expensive than taking the Heathrow Express but not too much more assuming you take a taxi from your hotel to Paddington Station to catch the train. As a note, you would not probably want to cab to Gatwick as it is a much further trip, but sounds like you are going from Heathrow.

    Check when the Horse Guards change is, I can't remember off top of head, but it is less frequent than the palace one.
     
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  5. VeryGoodPoints

    VeryGoodPoints Silver Member

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    I love the LM Picadilly! It's awesome. Depending on how much luggage you have, you may not want to deal w/changing hotels. If you have little luggage and it's easy to carry...switch. Otherwise, if you have heavy bags you could spend as much getting to the other hotel as you would on another night at LM.
     
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  6. jkchan83

    jkchan83 Silver Member

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    I ran it past my wife again last night and we decided the 20,000 SPG points for an extra night were absolutely worth not having to change hotels mid-trip. Looking forward to it!!!
     
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  7. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    For seeing the sights, and taking in the touristy bits, add this voice to the LM Picadilly choir. If you're a SPG Plat, you'll have access to their lounge which serves not only decent morning brekkie & evening apps G, but snacks & tea in the afternoons, which would definitely save on your food budget from having to eat out all the time, thus making it a great "base" from which to come/go as you please & re-fuel between your explorations. ​
     
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  8. jkchan83

    jkchan83 Silver Member

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    @ Skye1: Thanks for the additional info. I just got SPG Plat this year and am looking forward to those benefits in 2013. We have stayed at a couple of Westin's since I got status and getting appetizers and especially breakfast, have been awesome.
     
  9. snowymt

    snowymt Active Member

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    We stayed at LM in 2011 and loved it. Used points for a junior suite which got us club access and we made use of it thoroughly! Great for breakfast, tea and evening appetizers and helped us save on our food budget quite a bit (more for shopping!!) Have a wonderful time!!!
     
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  10. RAPC
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    RAPC Silver Member

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    The Sheraton Park Tower is my SPG 'home' in London these days for work trips (thanks to a decent corporate rate) but the points costs would have me agree with everyone else and recommend the Le Meridien as well.

    Great location, a decent lounge and if you are staying for a week, I would recommend cashing in the Platinum amenity for bigger breakfast spread in the main restaurant instead of the lounge. The rooms are all renovated, but with original features. The property has a good track record of looking after SPG Platinums, but it is a very popular hotel with high occupancy rates, so you may strike it lucky or not get much of an upgrade at all. As long as you don't expect the moon, I think you should have a very nice vacation.
     
  11. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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