I've always wanted to go to London. I don't know when this longing began and I don't know exactly why, but London was just my place to be. The English accent, the pastel houses in Notting Hill, the cheeky humor, double decker buses, and red telephone booths -- I wanted everything touristy and I couldn't wait to have it all. So, naturally, as I trekked across Europe this winter, I was sure to book a few days in London. The big question remained, where would I stay during such an iconic trip?
Whenever I travel to a city that is unfamiliar to me, I find it crucial to stay as close to the center of life as possible. It allows you easy access to anything and a sense of comfort in learning the ropes on how to get around. Naturally, the Conrad St. James was the perfect fit! I was so thrilled when they invited me to stay in their stunning hotel in the heart of London. Literally. The Buckhingham Palace and Big Ben are down the street, a major Underground metro stop is across the street, and New Scotland Yard is just around the corner. Even more unique, the Conrad St. James is very creative when it comes to helping guests experience the most out of London. Curious what that could mean? Keep reading below!
As someone who is all about creative and colorful travel experiences, I loved that the Conrad St. James recently started a program titled "Stay Inspired." Essentially, it asks you this question: if you had 1, 3 or 5 hours in London, what would you do? Luckily, they don't leave you hanging with just the question. Instead, you get a plethora of options to choose from, ranging from shopping stores to hit, parks and streets to stroll down, bar and food places to explore, and afternoon teas to enjoy.
Given my tight time frame in London, I did a spin-off of their suggestion to explore Kensington galleries and shops in one hour. So, I took off to South Kensington and walked around the colorful streets of Notting Hill and Portobello Market. I discovered not only a massive overdose of pastel colored houses and buildings, but also cute and trendy vintage shops and English cafes. Indeed, in just one hour I was able to soak up a lot about this part of London, without feeling too guided or stifled by touristy attractions.
I have many more London sites to see and places to check out that I'll reveal soon. For places to stay? I think the Conrad St. James is, hands-down, your best bet all around.
Have you ever travelled to London before? Let me know what you think!