Renting an apartment in London is a great way to get maximum space for money in this ultra-expensive city. With the huge growth in vacation home rental sites such as AirBnB, there are countless options available, but not without some risk. For this reason, we like renting from a reputable agency with high-quality inventory and stellar service, such as onefinestay.
Their Orsett Terrace apartment was our home base for a recent family trip to London. It’s an outstanding choice with kids, and we were impressed with our onefinestay experience from start to finish.
Besides the cost savings, I love that staying in an apartment versus a hotel allows you to experience the neighborhood and the city like a local. Families visiting London during high season will appreciate escaping the throngs of tourists at the end of the day to relax in their home away from home.
Having a kitchen also is a huge plus — not only does it cut down on the dining bill, but there’s no need to drag tired kids to a restaurant. My family enjoyed grocery shopping at Marks and Spencer and trying British brands of yogurt, cereal and snacks.
A onefinestay greeter was waiting for us in the apartment upon our arrival and gave us an iPhone for use during our stay. It was loaded with lots of info about the area, including local restaurants reviewed by past guests. Having the phone and unlimited data for Google Maps and local calls was wonderful. Our greeter also gave us a tour of the apartment and explained how to work everything from the French press coffee maker to the tricky locks on the door.
The most valuable part of onefinestay’s service is that local staff is available 24/7 for questions or problems, which gives families great peace of mind.
Orsett Terrace is on a quiet street in Bayswater near Notting Hill, a short walk from Paddington Station and Bayswater Underground Station. Thanks to the tube access, the major sights of central London are easy to reach. There’s a small park with a playground across the street from the apartment, a perfect spot for young kids to let off a little steam.
The bright, airy two-bedroom/two-bathroom apartment is on the second floor of a building with no elevator. The living room is outfitted with comfy sofas—plenty of space for everyone to relax after a busy day of sightseeing. The kids’ bedroom had twin beds, which my girls loved because it meant they didn’t have to share.
Closet space in both bedrooms was ample; bathrooms were new and modern; and the kitchen was well-equipped. The apartment includes an all-in-one washer/dryer. It’s a cool concept for space savings, but we had trouble getting the dryer settings to work properly.
TIP: If you’re a light sleeper, inquire about noise levels prior to booking an apartment. The master bedroom faced the street, which was surprisingly quiet, but the girls’ bedroom faced the courtyard. With the windows open (necessary during our summer visit — like most London homes, Orsett Terrace has no air conditioning), they heard a fair amount of music and loud talking at night.
In addition to classic London sights and attractions, we did a bicycle excursion with Fat Tire Bike Tours. The meeting location was super-convenient, just past the Bayswater Tube station. Our tour route took us mostly through parks, making it suitable for kids of all ages. It was a fun way to get an overview of the city.
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Editor’s Note: Sandy received a media rate in order to review Orsett Terrace and onefinestay for Ciao Bambino. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Sandy Pappas.
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