Hilton London Metropole, England – Hotel Review

Hilton London Metropole, England – Hotel Review

Below is my hotel review for the Hilton London Metropole.  This hotel was well located, accessible, modern, clean and luxurious.  Everything you would expect from a Hilton hotel.  I booked my reservation 3 months prior to arrival using Hilton Honors points.


Hilton London Metropole – Hotel Review

225 Edgware Road, London W2 1JU, United Kingdom



My 3 night stay at Hilton London Metropole was during the summer month of August.  This hotel has more of an international “business-y” feel and was busy and bustling during my stay.

My hotel room was clean, beautiful and overlooked Edgware Road.  There was not any outside noise that could be heard despite the Edgware Road location which is on a busy, trafficked street.  The room amenities are modern as is the whole hotel.  My favorite part of staying at this hotel was the Walker Shortbread cookies that were part of the complimentary coffee/tea offering.  Every day those Walkers were replenished and I just couldn’t resist.

Downstairs, there is a café where you can buy coffee, pastries, snacks, etc.  This was very useful and convenient.  There are some good grab and go options for breakfast in case you don’t want to sit down at the hotel restaurant or need something quick.

Onsite, there is a gym, pool, restaurant and complimentary wi-fi.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to try them out.

Nearby is shopping, restaurants and retail.  Marks and Spencer is across the street from the hotel.  You can’t miss it if you are walking from the metro station.  As well, along Edgware Road, there are a lot of different ethnic restaurants, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, a pharmacy, etc.  One of my meals was Middle Eastern/ kebabs from Halal Restaurant on Edgware Road.  I would recommend this restaurant.


Getting to/from:

Hilton London Metropole is located at the Edgware stop on the brown/Bakerloo line, the pink/Hammersmith & City line, the yellow/Circle line and green/District line for the Underground/metro (in zone 1).   From the underground stations, the hotel is a short walk away.

Because there are so many different underground station options, getting into the center of London (or anywhere) is very convenient and easy.  Also, there are many city buses that pass on Edgware Road.  I used to take the bus along Edgware to get a sense of the neighborhood and see what different shops were around.

If you are coming from Heathrow airport, you can also take the Heathrow Express train and get off at Paddington stop (brown line).  From there, you can walk or take the metro one stop over to Hilton Metropole.



For my 3 night reservation, I used Hilton points.  At the time, there was a promotion with Hilton Hotels to stay for 3 nights using Hilton points and get the 4th night free/complimentary.  Sounded good to me!  For this stay, 25,000 Hilton points were needed per night.  Thus, 75,000 Hilton points total for the stay.

I wasn’t charged a “city-tax” like my Italy Hilton stays – or other incidental fees.

To check how many points you will need for your stay, go to Hilton.  Since my stay, the Hilton points need for this hotel have increased a lot.  However, the British pound is now almost at par with the US dollar versus when I visited.   It was 2 USD for 1 pound when I was there.  This means you can now book this hotel for 50% off just based on currency.


Recommend (Y/N): Yes

I would stay here again and recommend this hotel.


**Feature photo by William Santos.



Is the London Pass worth it?

Is the London Pass worth it?

The London Pass is an awesome, time-saving, efficient and valuable resource when planning your trip and time in London.


What is London Pass?

London Pass is a sightseeing city pass that you pre-pay ahead of your arrival.  This Pass allows you to fast-track entry at many of London’s top attractions while giving you a discount to entrance prices.  You can choose a 1 day, 2 day, 3 day, 6 day or 10 day pass depending on the length of time you will spend sightseeing in London.  As well, there’s the option to add on a Travel pass or Oyster pass (good for transportation around London).

I bought a 3 day London Pass when I visited London for the first time and it was so efficient and easy.  That’s the best part of this pass – it makes your sightseeing and vacation so effortless.  Every city should have a similar Pass that is so smooth and efficient.  Also, if you buy your pass online, you can start planning out your itinerary (at home) based on time so you’ll know exactly which attractions you want to see when.

Note: for Royal fans, Buckingham Palace isn’t included in London Pass.

You have to go to the Royal Collection website to buy a separate ticket.  As well, Buckingham Palace state rooms is only open during summer (July & August) for viewing.  I highly recommend buying your tickets online ahead of time (especially during summer months).


Is it worth it?

So the price for a few days for 1 adult London Pass can give you sticker shock when you first happen upon it.  But if you dig a little deeper and take a look at the prices for key attractions (that you will definitely want to visit), then you will see the savings.

Let’s take a look at the normal entrance prices for top visited London attractions:

Westiminster Abbey – £20

Tower of London – £22.5

London Bridge Experience – £26.50

Kensington Garden – £16.3

Windsor Castle – £20

Hampton Court – £19

Thames River Cruise – £18

Hop on Hop off Bus – £25

From this list, you can see that if you visit 3 attractions per day, then the pass does help you to save.  For a 2 day adult London Pass, you pay £75.  If you see 3 major attractions each day at an average of £20 per attraction, then the pass is really valued at (3attractions X 2 days X £20 average) £120 (versus the £75 you paid).

Thus, it may be helpful to look at what attractions you want to visit, how many days you have in London and even an estimate of how long you will spend at each attraction.  Ie. Is it 1 day and you’ve been to London before OR is it 5 days and you’ve never been to London?  Depending on your answer, a 1 day adult London Pass may or may not be worth it depending on what you see.


Two Scenarios:

1.  If you see Hampton Court, Kensington Gardens and the Thames River Cruise (total regular admission price = £53.3), then the £65 1 day adult London Pass may not make sense.

2.  If you see Westminster Abbey, London Bridge Experience, Tower of London and use the Hop on Hop off Bus (total regular admission price = £93.5), then the £65 1 day adult London Pass makes total sense!  And yes, you could complete that in 1 day if you start early and crank it.

As you can see, the London Pass value comes down to what you want to see in the time you have.

When I visited London, I crammed as much as I possibly could into my 4 days.  I left a day for Buckingham Palace only and some of the other squares like Piccadilly or Covent Garden.  I would advise that both Windsor Castle and Hampton Court are half-day attractions.  This is because of the travel time it takes to get to both destinations.  Hampton Court also has beautiful gardens that you’ll want to explore.  Windsor Castle also has the town of Windsor to explore.

Overall, I highly recommend getting the London Pass.  It really helped me plan my vacation and I felt like I got a lot of value from the Pass rather than buying individual attraction tickets.


Note the Closing Times while Planning

Another thing to note about the London Pass is that the majority of attractions close around 4-5pm.  Westminster Abbey closes at 3:30p and Hampton at 6pm in summer only.  With Hampton, even though the Hampton Court building closes at 6pm, the gardens remain open a bit longer as I remember us lingering there for a while.  We eventually got shooed out of there because someone was having a gala at Hampton in the evening and there needed to be preparations.

Consider opening and closing times for major attractions:

Westiminster Abbey – 9:30am – 3:30p

Tower of London –9am – 5:30p

London Bridge Experience –10:30am – 5 pm (weekday)

Kensington Garden -10am – 6pm (summer)

Windsor Castle -9:30am – 4:15pm

Hampton Court –10am – 6pm

Thames River Cruise -10am – closes ?

Hop on Hop off Bus -8:30am – 4:30p

*Times are approximate; check the individual attractions for changes based on time of year.

What this means is that in order for you take advantage of your pass, you’ll have to get going early.  Try to get out to Windsor Castle early so that you are there when it opens.  Hampton you can do in the afternoon as well as the Thames River Cruise.  In the summer, you can take the Thames River Cruise all the way to Hampton Court like a Royal!  Or vice versa – take it back to London.  But you have to check the times of operation.



For me the best feature of this pass is that you have complete flexibility.  In other words, you can plan out your itinerary (on paper and your mind).  But you don’t have to commit to any attraction until you are there at the door.  Therefore, you can switch it up if you want to see something different or if you feel like you will not have enough time to travel over to an attraction and there is one closer that you prefer.  It’s all up to you – and what you want to do.  You can see completely different attractions than the one I list above as well.

For example, after visiting Tower of London, my family and I decided to take the train out to Hampton Court.  This wasn’t planned but we had the time and so we just did it.


Ease of Use

When you arrive at your selected destination/attraction, you present your London pass.  Then, it’s checked or stamped and you enter the attraction.  I was there in August/ summer and I don’t remember having to line up in any long lines to enter anything.  Very organized and seamless.  I wish all travel could be that smooth.  I believe the website calls this, Fast Track Entry – and that would be correct.


Customer Reviews

On the London Pass website, it showcases a 94% customer approval and positive review rate.  I consider this to be a testament to the value and ease of the pass.  You can read the reviews online yourself for ideas and validation.  On their site, they also list out itineraries which I recommend to consider.  Go to www.londonpass.com


Finally, please note: I am not a travel affiliate with London Pass and receive no income from mentioning them on my blog or from any links.

How to get around London? Travel Card or Oyster Card?

How to get around London? Travel Card or Oyster Card?

How to get around London?


Figuring out how to get around London may seem daunting at first.  London’s transportation infrastructure appears extensive and comprehensive. Luckily, it is also very organized.  And once you get the hang of it, it will not seem so intimidating.

During your visit, you’ll find no shortage of transport options. It all depends on where you want to go and how much time you have to get there. Your main transport will include the Tube and/or local city buses. Let’s take a look at what you have to work with:


The Tube

The Underground, also known as the Tube, is London’s extensive subway system.  To start, take a look at this color-coded route map to get your bearings. The map includes tube stations in, around and outside London as well National Rail lines (train). To find the nearest station in walking distance, there is also a map pdf that shows walking times between stations. Check out the Transport for London site for more details.

I found the Tube to be very useful if you want to go across large areas. However, remember that you are underground and the view is better above ground.  While I was in London during August/summer, some of the subway cars didn’t have a/c and during certain times of the day, it was very, very crowded. That said, if you want to get out to Windsor or Hampton Court, it’s much faster to use the Tube.

Tube pricing is variable meaning that you pay more for longer distances travelled (ie. Zone 1 through zone 9 travel). For Tube fares, check this link.  As of Jan 2, 2017, tube pricing for single one way (pay as you go) and single paper tickets are frozen until 2020.  Note: not all Tube pricing is frozen.

For more information on taking the tube, check out the other tab, Travel Card or Oyster Card?

City Bus

These are the iconic red double-decker buses that you’ll see all over London. The bus operator company is Transport for London. I loved travelling around on these buses and much prefer them to the Tube. At various points during my vacation, I would just get on the bus, head to the top deck, and see the different neighborhoods where the route travelled.  For various routes, click here.

You can’t use cash to pay for your bus fare. Therefore, you’ll have to get a paper single day ticket, a Travel Card or an Oyster Card (click on next tab for more info). A single one way fare is £1.50. For bus fares, check this link. As of Jan 2, 2017, bus pricing is frozen until 2020. There can be a £20 fine if you are without your ticket.



National Rail is a fast, efficient and easy option to travel out to other towns in England. There may be a connection depending on where you’re headed (or maybe not). Although rail is more expensive than taking the bus, it is faster. The bus will take longer but will be more scenic.



Travelling in London by the River Thames is one of the most relaxing and beautiful journeys – and I highly recommend it.  You can even take the River cruise from central London all the way to Hampton Court (summer only) which is probably how the Royal court did it back in the day.  Although it is a lengthy journey.  Click over for a route map and fares.



Taxis are always an option but this is a very expensive option. If travelling with multiple people, then this could work out in a more economical way.


Car Rental

I would advise against renting a car for use while in London as there are so many options available within the city. As a tourist, there is really no need unless you are heading out to the countryside. And even with that, I would advise the rail option or bus (the former is faster but the latter more scenic). Also, there may even be some type of fee associated with car parking in London but I’m not 100% sure.



In conclusion, I think you’ll find that transportation in and around London is numerous, efficient and for all budgets. With a little pre-planning, you will get around London like a local.  My recommendation for tourists is bus, tube/metro, river cruise and rail to airport or outlying towns.  It’s easier, faster and lets you spend more time at the destination rather than in getting to the destination.

Featured Photo by Josh Wilburne.

Travel Card or Oyster Card?


A Travel Card is a paper ticket and an Oyster Card is a plastic smartcard. The Travel Card is for 1 day or 7 days and you purchase based on which zones you plan to travel. With the Oyster Card, you add money and use as needed as you travel.

Whether you should get the Travel Card or Oyster Card depends on how long you’re staying in London, how frequently you’ll be using public transport and which zone your hotel/accomodation is located. Transport pricing is variable and based on zone and time (peak vs. non-peak). Make sure to make a note of what you plan to see, how early/late you plan to travel and where you’ll be travelling to/from.

The Oyster Card is for UK residents but visitors can buy a Visitor Oyster Card from Gatwick airport, Stanstead airport or the London Pass website while in the UK.  You cannot purchase a Visitor Oyster Card in London.  However, you can purchase them in advance, online and have it mailed to your home.  These can be purchased online at The Oyster Visitor shop, VisitBritainshop.com, the London Pass website or Superbreak website. When used, Oyster Cards give a 50% discount on Tube rides.

The 1 day Travel Card can be purchased from the Underground stations in London – and also online.  However, you cannot buy a paper 7 Day Travel Card from Underground stations in London – it can only be bought in advance. If you try to buy a 7 day Travel Card from Underground stations in London, it will be loaded onto an Oyster Card and you will have to pay an additional £5 fee.


Example of Pricing:

Type of Travel                                   Travel Card                          Oyster Card

A Single journey, zone 1-6:                     £6                                        £3.10 non-peak/ £5.10 peak

Single day, zone 1-4 anytime:             £12.30                                  £9.50 (capped)

Single day, zone 1-9 non-peak:          £12.30                                  £12.10 non-peak/ £17.20 peak (capped)


My take:

Firstly, check out this chart (scroll down on page) to determine which option makes sense for you. Keep in mind that the majority of “touristy” sights are condensed in zone 1. Some exceptions include: Hampton Court (zone 6), Kew Gardens, Windsor Castle and Heathrow airport (zone 6).  It seems that with some of the Travel Cards, you’ll pay for zones that you will not use.   Although you pay £3 to activate an Oyster Card, it may make more sense (or cents lol) to choose this option. Thus, check the chart for your specific situation.


Where to buy?

For where to purchase tickets, click here.

Also, a nice thing about the Oyster Card is that you can get a refund of any remaining £ credit by using a ticket machine, visiting a London Visitor Centre, or posting your card to Transport for London.


Airport Travel:

As it relates to airports, you can take the Piccadilly line zone 6 to Heathrow from London.

For Gatwick airport, while you can’t use the Tube, you can use your Oyster Card to pay for your rail travel on Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express trains.

  • Thameslink / Southern trains: £14 peak, £8 off-peak
  • Gatwick Express trains: £19.80


Revisit this Checklist to make your selection:

1. How long will you be in London?

2. Where is your hotel located (which zone?)?

3. What do you want to see (which zone?)?


Then, check the chart for your best selection.

Click here for more information on how to get around London.