Let me start my saying I have NEVER booked an apartment (vs. a hotel stay) for a family vacation especially one outside the U.S. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure what I would get. After staying at the Vauxhall (the actual name is the Drake House, 14 St George Wharf Apartment) for a week, I can tell you without a doubt that this is the way to go! Let me summarize the high and low points (very few) about the Vauxhall property.
• Spacious (about 1200 sq feet), clean and modern apartment – we rented a 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit equipped with a full size kitchen (with stainless steel appliances), dining area and a large living room (by London standards).
• The apartment complex is brand new and well insulated – you won’t hear your neighbors on either side or above
• All modern furnishings and amenities – cook ware, silverware, linen and just about anything you need for an extended stay is included at Vauxhall
• Apartment comes with washer-dryer combo – we didn’t have to bring a full week’s of clothes as as a result
• Excellent broadband speed– we had about 7-8 devices connected to the apartment wifi without interruption or degradation in performance
• Complex sits on the Thames riverbank so you have gorgeous views of ferries, promenade and London sunset; you also have a decent city view of London
• Restaurant galore within the compound – we counted 6 and ate at a couple
• Mini-grocery store is right around the block – prices are decent (by London standard) and a great way to save on breakfast or snacks
• Tube station is several hundred yards away – very convenient!
• Still Life (weird name for a company) management staff is courteous, helpful and prompt – most of our correspondence was via email and a couple of phone calls, nevertheless, I found the staff eager to help.
• The compound is across the street from the MI6 Building (as featured in the James Bond movie, Skyfall). MI6 is equivalent to our CIA branch – so we felt pretty safe during our stay!
• No daily housekeeping – you make the mess, you clean up the mess
• Two words – NO AC!!!! We were fortunate that we experienced only one day (over 90 degrees) during our stay. It was not a pleasant day/night.
• Washer-dryer combo – unit is very small (capacity is equivalent to half a load by US standard) and the flipping thing takes 1.5 hrs to wash and another 1.5 to dry….so be patient.
• Beware-if you leave your large patio door open, you will hear noise from restaurants below
• There’s no management on site – that means you are own
• Bring your own soap, shampoo, conditioner – this is NOT a hotel.
• I would not HESITATE to stay at Still Life Vauxhall again. I have already shared my recommendations with a couple of colleagues who are planning to a trip to London in 2016.Apartment living is the way to go. My wife, two teenage kids and I found plenty of personal space at the apartment after a grueling day of sightseeing. No hotel in London will afford you the space and amenities for the price of booking at Still Life Vauxhall. Go for it. One more thing – there are limited reviews on TripAdvisor so checkout the reviews on bookings.com if you are still undecided. However, book through trip advisor and you will save money over bookings.com
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