Nov252014

Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street London convenient for LHR arrival and departure

Club Carlson members have a large selection of hotels to choose from in London. I picked the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street as our first of three hotels for six nights in London. The hotel worked out well as a convenient location for us as tourists arriving from London Heathrow Airport – LHR on the London Underground.

There are many options for airport transportation into London from LHR. Navigating the London Underground can be challenging for a novice. Reading the London Underground map is confusing with many colored lines. London Underground operates all the way to Heathrow Airport on the Piccadilly Line. The convenience of Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street London is its proximity to Leicester Square Underground Station on the Piccadilly Line. You can board the Underground at London Heathrow and ride all the way into the city in about an hour without changing trains. Leicester Square station is less than ten minutes walk to the hotel.

Rad Mercer exterior

Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel entrance is located directly on the roundabout at Seven Dials. The location is off the main traffic streets. There are truly seven roads intersecting at Seven Dials. Mercer Street is the road on the left side of the hotel entrance.

The location for London is great for walking around Covent Garden and Soho in the area of London’s theater district . For a tourist unfamiliar with London, here is my quick take on these three areas based on two days of wandering around the neighborhoods near the Rad Blu Mercer Street.

Covent Garden – shopping galore and this is Christmas shopping season. On Sunday night there were thousands of people on the streets in the shopping district.

Covent Garden

Radisson Blu Mercer Street is surrounded by the theater district for plays.

Commitments

Soho is a mixed bag of pubs, trendy shops and sex shops. Even if some of the shops might seem seedy, the crowds make the area safe feeling. The number of trendy boutique stores appear to be displacing the porn and massage stores of Soho. Chinatown is in the midst of all these places.

In short, Radisson Blu Mercer Street is a central location for many of the activities a tourist is likely to want in London. Park Plaza Westminster Bridge and Park Plaza County Hall are by the Thames River and convenient for London Eye, Parliament and Big Ben attractions, government and Royal sites with Buckingham Palace about a 20 minute walk.

Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street

Radisson Blu Mercer Street has seven floors. Business Class rooms on the 7th floor offer views of the surrounding area. The only room type available were two twin beds when I booked two nights for 50,000 points using the free night benefit as a Club Carlson Visa card member. At check-in, the receptionist said he was upgrading us to a larger room with a King bed on Floor 1. Turns out Floor 1 has steps to the elevators and steps in the hall, while other floors do not have steps.

A small, nicely equipped,  fitness center is on the basement floor.

Rad Mercer bed

A large room in London might be an oxymoron.

Rad Mercer tv

Kelley pulled a tape measure out of her bag and said, “I thought you might need this for London.” The room is comfortably spacious and two chairs is a desirable feature.

Rad Mercer bath

It surprised me to measure the space as 16 ft x 14 ft with the bathroom being especially large. A room size of 224 sq. ft. sounds so small.

Rad Mercer sink

The hotel rate was $400 per night at the time I booked and even higher when I checked rates a couple days ago.

Rad Mercer-2

Room features include two complimentary bottles of water. There is an empty refrigerator holding salad and perishable food items I purchased at Whole Foods Market about ten minutes walk from the hotel. A hot water carafe and instant coffee and tea.

Between Ireland and London, I have only had instant coffee for the past six days. Starbucks are all over central London, but I refuse to pay high prices for coffee in the States, and I don’t even want to see the price of Starbucks coffee in London.

Rad Mercer closet

Kelley called reception to ask for a blow dryer. She was told to check the closet. Sure enough, the blow dryer was attached to the closet wall. She asked me to mention that she had to stand next to the closet door to blow dry her hair which she found a nuisance. There is a mirror on the inside closet door.

Rad Blu blowdryer

There is an extensive selection of TV channels and convenient electrical outlets above the table.

One word of warning about the Mercer Street hotel are the number of steps in the hallways with steps to the elevator and steps along the room floors.

Rad Mercer steps

One serious complaint about the hotel is the noise level from the street with our room on the first floor. The room windows have no soundproofing at all. It sounds like the windows are wide open with every sound from the street 15 feet below audible, including people’s footsteps, conversations, and especially trucks passing by the hotel. Fortunately there is not a steady stream of vehicle traffic and the traffic dwindles to a trickle at night. On top of that is the poor seal of the windows as I sit at the table in my sweater feeling the cold air pass through the window sill onto the back of my neck. Even cigarette smoke drifts into the room from people walking by on the sidewalk.

Rad Mercer lobby

Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street hotel lobby.

Rad Mercer lobby-2

Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street is a convenient location for travelers coming from or going to London Heathrow Airport with its close proximity to the Leicester Square Underground station on the Piccadilly Line with direct trains to the airport.

Be mindful of the steps when on Floor 1 or ask for a room on a higher floor to reduce the street noise in your room.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. We stayed at the same hotel this past September and can second your comments re its superb location. You can easily walk to a number of tourist spots, such as the national Gallery and the British Museum, and we did. Our room was on the 5th floor in the rear so traffic noise wasn’t an issue. We came across a number of Radisson Blu Edwardian hotels on our walks, including two in Leicester Square and two near the British Museum. Seems like if you have enough Club Carlson points, you could stay a month in London for free without much trouble!

  2. Are there lots of steps at the Leicester Square Underground station or a lift ? I have considered taking the Piccadilly Line to LHR but hauling a suitcase up and down many steps is out for us two seniors. We have taken the Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station and then stayed at the Paddington Hilton attached to the station twice on points which is highly conveinent and no steps.

  3. We got off the Piccadilly Line at Covent Garden. It is more or less the same distance. We took a lift to ground level. No steps at all.

  4. @TomSAN – Kelley and I exited the National Portrait Gallery yesterday evening and I saw the Radisson Blu Leicester Square and walked over to it. There were dozens of police directing people away from the area and I wondered if there was a demonstration or riot or security issue?

    The only people allowed to pass were guests at the Radisson Blu hotel.

    Turned out it was an event for last night’s Leicester Square Odeon red carpet British premier of Unbroken, the film Angelina Jolie directed. We saw her on TV last night.

    http://www.itv.com/news/2014-11-25/angelina-jolie-war-hero-louis-zamperini-my-inspiration/

    @Paul W – there are steps to navigate in most London Underground stations.

    Thanks TomSAN for the tip about Covent Garden elevators.

    As TomSAN stated, there are two Radisson Blu hotels near the British Museum with Rad Blu Bloomsbury and Rad Blu Kenilworth. The hotel entrances are about 10 meters apart.

    At Leicester Square the two hotels are also across the street from each other with Rad Blu Leicester Square and Rad Blu Hampshire Hotel. This allows a Club Carlson Visa card member to spend two nights at each hotel, paying for one night each with points and simply walk across the street with your luggage to check-in to the second hotel.

    Four nights for 100,000 points is a great deal in London considering these hotels typically run around $300 to $400 per night.

    We are finding London easily walkable. We bought two 20 GBP Oyster cards for London transportation and I don’t know if we are going to be able to do that many trips on the Underground. We have only taken one ride on the Underground since arriving from Heathrow three days ago and that was to move our luggage to The May Fair Hotel.

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