I’m not sure I can describe just how special this flat truly is- the listing really cannot do it justice. In the past, I’ve always stayed in high-end hotels and various flats around London- none have competed with my experience here when it comes to value, comfort, space and location.
First, I have to say, the hostess is remarkable! If you have the pleasure of getting to know her, you are in for a treat- she may very well be the most outgoing and friendliest woman in Britain. If and when you prefer privacy however, she instinctively respects that as well. She and her family absolutely made this trip one of the most memorable European experiences to date.
The flat itself, has been renovated with love and insight. I was impressed with the roomy design and layout, and how they managed to use windows and light to give the feeling you are in a garden flat, vs. a basement flat.
- The apartment is extremely well-stocked; My 5 year old and I were here for close to 2 months and had everything we needed for a comfortable stay (Thank you for a fabulously well-stocked kitchen, Hannah- what an Airbnb rarity!)
- Meticulously clean. You can tell Hannah and her cleaning staff take their time making sure the flat is not only clean, but sterile and that everything is up to par for their next guest.
- The furniture is very comfortable, and every room is wide and spacious (another Airbnb rarity for the London area!) I personally don’t like tight spaces so I was thrilled with all the open space.
- The abundance of toys in the cupboard, were a huge hit with my son; Hannah had everything from sweet little baby rattles to a full dinosaur train set, as well as children’s books and kids kitchenware. If you are traveling with children, I cannot imagine there is much else you would need to bring. If you are coming without the kids, the items are neatly tucked away and out of sight.
- Despite the train station being across the street, no need to worry about the noise. The track itself is far/high enough that any noise it makes cannot be heard from where you are. If you TRY to listen for it at night, you might hear it- but it would take effort. You do hear footsteps from above during the day but it’s really nothing. If you are a light sleeper and prefer to sleep past 9 am, you can close the doors to the bedroom and bathroom and you won’t hear much. Honestly, it didn’t bother us at all and I was glad I didn’t have to worry about keeping the noise down myself 🙂
- The flat also has a bit of history, as it was originally an old pub- the details of that were just icing on the cake for this history buff!
The location is absolutely amazing. I can’t believe I didn’t opt to stay in this area in the past, vs in central London. You wake up in the morning to birds chirping, step out of your flat and walk a few minutes to the historic royal parks nearby where Kings and Queens have strolled for centuries. How amazing is that! OR, you can walk across the street, hop the train and be anywhere in London in minutes.
- There are spectacular walking/jogging paths EVERYWHERE- something you just don’t get in central London, and especially without the crowds.
- You are surrounded by Royal Parks. If you haven’t seen Bushy Park, Home Park or Richmond Park- you are in for a treat. These are not merely plots of grass- they have historic tree groves and pathways, deer that come right up to you, and incredible photo-ops everywhere you look.
- Hampton Court Palace is basically your neighbor (the reason I chose this location- I’m obsessed with Hampton Court Palace history.)
- You can stroll along the stunning River Thames and visit the Ancient Market in Kingston (Google it; Under-rated coolness factor!)
- The oldest church in England is also in Kingston along with other historic sites all within walking distance.
- You can walk a few feet across the street and hop the train, putting you anywhere in London in minutes, or to one of the hub stations (ie. Liverpool, Waterloo etc) where you can comfortably travel around England to see Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford etc. (Tip, get a Network Railway card and download the GWR (official) or Trainline (less buggy) app to purchase tickets. This will save quite a bit of time and $ when purchasing train tickets, plus no paper tickets to keep track of.)
- The bus stop is also only 2 doors down.
- Waitrose grocery store is right across Kingston bridge (I’ve never had such a lovely walk to a grocery store!) but there is also Priya’s 2 doors down; an impressively well-stocked convenience market.
- Countless restaurants within walking distance.
- Even the post office is a very short stroll down the street.
- If you do have a car (I did, although I really didn’t need it) you can find free parking on the street about a 5 minute walk away. You also have the option to park at the train station across the street for 30 pounds a week. It’s possible to park your car and forget about it, since so much is within walking distance & the train/bus are so ridiculously close.
Overall, I cannot recommend this flat enough. As I said, this is an extraordinary value considering the quality, the comfort, the location and the superb hosts. I would not hesitate to stay here again!