If there’s one place that gave me everything I wanted and missed it was definitely London. From the history embedded in it’s buildings to Christmas markets around every corner and more neighborhoods left for me to explore the chilly weather couldn’t dare keep me away from exploring you. I may have spent a few more pounds than I intended, but it was worth every pound you placed on my waist. Oh, London! You were everything I expected you to be and so much more.
I’m always interested in staying in hotels that have more to offer than a place to lay my head. There are many boutique hotels that offer unique style and helpful perks. One of those places is Good Hotel. Good Hotel is located in Newham’s Royal Docks. Sharing a characteristic from homes like the ones known in its hometown Amsterdam, I was immediately attracted to seeing this hotel floating in Newham’s Royal Docks. While staying here, I’d suggest getting a room with a view. Crack open the window and hear the peaceful waves as you drift asleep in the very comfortable bed. There were many pluses but, I’ll only give a few so you can check out the rest on your own.
+Location: The Queen Victoria station was a short walk across the street. The location is not too far from the city centre (approx. 15 min).
+The Dining Room: Oh the food at the restaurant! I’m not a fan of eating at hotels. They typically serve very basic things so I opt-out and choose to go elsewhere. Well after glancing at Good Hotel’s dining menu and loving the waterfront view, I decided to give it a try. And boy, was I pleased!
+Handy: The hotel provided a device called a “Handy.” We took it everywhere. I mean, EVERYWHERE! So what is this “handy” thing you speak of? It’s a cellphone with 4G internet service and free phone calls. You’re able to take it with you while you explore the city. This became so very useful for navigating the neighborhoods and especially knowing exactly which tube to take using Google Maps. So necessary for any explorer of new lands!
+Environment: Living room, dining room, bar, and work spaces- There are many areas on the ground floor to dive into your creative flow.
Since this was my first time going to London, I knew I had to get all of the touristy stuff out of my system on the first day. I didn’t have many on my list, just the musts. Except the one thing I didn’t get to do was take a picture with the guards and their hats. You know, like in the movie What A Girl Wants with Amanda Bynes. Eh…maybe next time!
I have seen many bridges around the world and this one is now one of my faves. The Tower Bridge, not to be confused with The London Bridge, is beautifully constructed with twin towers providing opposite horizontal ways for a pedestrian walk and vehicle accessibility. The bridge crosses over the River Thames, providing a nice place to overlook parts of the city. The first thing that brought me to awe was the vibrant blue, white, and red painted on sections of the bridge making it one to remember. I did not get a chance to go on a tour but if you’re interested in learning about its history and have time during your travels, check out the landmarks website here.
A few other landmarks to visit:
+Tower of London
+Palace of Westminster
London is so rich in history I think your time would be best spent taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour. This was a first for myself and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I chose to take The Original Tour. At the time of our visit they were offering a 48 hr pass which included admission on several of their bus lines, a radio/ in-person tour guide, and a free Thames River cruise. Though I did not get on a bus that had an in-person tour guide, I found the radio tour to be a great mix of history and humor. Where was she when I was taking World History II in undergrad?
My only disappointment:
So the one thing I did see but didn’t really get to see was Big Ben (hints why I have no photography of this well-renowned landmark). He was too busy getting a “face lift” the day I arrived, with so many construction materials around each side…this was a bummer. But I’ll be back for ya in the summer, so you better be looking good!
“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” -Anita Desai
I ended up grabbing a quick bite at Pret A Manger and dined at Good Hotel which was perfect after a flight and a day out touring the city.
Have you ever been to London? What was the highlight of your stay? Share in the comments below.