Thursday, February 28, 2013
Bloomsbury is one of my favorite neighborhoods in London. Right smack in the middle of the city, it is home to the famous British Museum, the beautiful Russell Square, and lots of literary lore (ever heard of the Bloomsbury Group? Yeah, that’s there). So when I had an opportunity to staycation there last week, I didn’t hesitate to go.
I was invited to stay at the Holiday Inn London – Bloomsbury Hotel, which was located a convenient block away from the Russell Square tube station. The hotel put me up for a night on its executive floor, and I had the freedom to explore the area.
The British Museum was only a 10-minute walk away, and I couldn’t resist a visit to one of the world’s greatest collections. I will never get tired of seeing so many amazing treasures in one place, all in the comfort of my own city.
Nearby, Russell Square was awash in yellow from the golden crowns of its resident daffodils. They brought a welcome bit of spring to the grey London weather.
Back at the hotel, I settled in for a quiet night. Well, almost. The first room I checked into happened to be adjacent to one where another guest was belting out the lyrics to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” at the top of her lungs. Thankfully, the friendly reception staff moved me to another room without issue, and peace prevailed.
The room itself faced an inner courtyard, ensuring that there would be no street noise. Inside was a king-size bed with pillows of varying degrees of firmness, a desk, chairs, a flat-screen TV, a closet with an iron, safe, and hair dryer, and a coffee and tea station. It was spacious and warm, which was welcome given the weather outside.
The bathroom was pretty, with white and blue tiles and a range of cosmetics (but no conditioner, which is always a challenge for my increasingly long hair). I particularly liked the little sign by the sink that said that if I forgot my toothbrush or other toiletries, they would bring up a new one with their compliments.
The hotel had offered me complimentary WiFi access, which is usually chargeable, so I spent some time working and then watched TV before going to bed.
The next morning I went downstairs, where I walked past the bar and lounge areas to get to the restaurant. A big buffet breakfast awaited me there. From the Full English to fruit, pastries, and cereal, there was a good selection on offer.
After sampling everything from hash browns to yogurt with berries, I checked out of my room and headed back to the tube. 20 minutes later, I was home in my flat, freezing cold and facing an empty fridge. It made me miss my staycation in Bloomsbury, and even more excited that I was leaving for San Francisco in a few days…