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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The ART of finding a room for 3 in London. This will help you understand my job.

So The Today Show aired a story about the new exhibit coming to Buckingham Palace - KATE MIDDLETON'S WEDDING DRESS! The display including her shoes, tiara, earrings, veil, the cake (less the couple layers they ate) would all be in the room the Queen hosted the reception in until October 3rd. I HAD to go.
Although fully booked with trips I had planned for us, Chrissy agreed to fly to London with me. Within just a couple hours we had our tickets booked and paid for and tickets to the exhibit bought! A couple of hours later Chrissy called with the question that changed where we couple stay...."Can my mom come?" Without hesitation I was like "Sure! I like your mom!" We booked her ticket and entrance and now for the hard part, finding a hotel room that sleeps 3 adults. Sounds easy, right? Nope.
Most hotels in Europe have either a double or a twin bed (sometimes 2 twins). Some luxury hotels have a king bed but it is rare to find one with 2 queens or 2 doubles.  I suppose if I had more advance notice (It's only 6 weeks until we leave) I might have had more options but we didn't.
I hunted and hunted around. A lot of hotels say "triple" allowed but it's 2 adults and 1 child because they are going to bring in a small cot. Some hotels have a triple because there's a "sleeper chair" which is the case at The Melia Whitehouse property which was mentioned on as one of the best Triple rooms in the city. I'm sorry but a sleeper chair does not sound appealing for 1 night let alone 4 nights.
I thought I was in luck. I had points to stay 1 free night at the Fairmont Savoy which is one of the top properties in London. They said on their website they allow 3 in a room. It gave me the rate of 315 pounds a night and with 1 night free I thought this is GREAT! Nope again. When I called (because it was unclear on their website) I was informed it would only have a king bed in the room and they would have to bring in a cot which will be an additional 75 pounds. I'm sorry but this hotel standard rate is around 600 pounds a about $1,000. I'm not sleeping at a $1,000 a night hotel on a cot. It would suck the experience out of it for me. I decided to just save my points for another trip.
I probably spent a good 15 hours just looking online at different hotels, going to trip advisor to see if it was a good deal, emailing the properties to see what the bedding situation is like, etc. Even "American" properties like The Sheraton only had 1 king or 2 twins. I did come across a couple of hotels like The Langham London which would have 2 big beds in the room but it was out of our price range.
We ended up selecting The Mercure London Bloomsbury which offers a room with 3 twin beds! Yay! No one has to sleep on the dreaded sleeper sofa. It is located in Bloomsbury instead Kensington but Kensington was not worth the cot or sleeper sofa in my book.
This hunt really validated my job for me. It is sooo time consuming and I know what I'm doing! I can't imagine working full time and trying to do this for myself in the evening. Travel Agents are worth every penny.

I'm going to be standing right there in 6 weeks!


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