15 Nov Review: Staying in London with Roomorama
My journey to London for World Travel Market didn’t get off to the best of starts but at least I had my Roomorama apartment to look forward to.
What is usually a quick 2 hour journey on Virgin Trains from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston turned into an 8-hour nightmare due to damaged power cables! Plans for the evening had to be put on hold as my train started to stop and start, and eventually came to a halt at Rugby and were were all left stranded, with no trains running into London Euston.
There was supposedly a train leaving from Platform 6 to Watford Junction, so we all piled onto that one, but were then informed that we had no driver, since he was stuck on another train. After an hour-or-so wait, we eventually joined up with another train and were on our way, but they could make no promises that we could get as far as Watford Junction.
Some passengers started calling taxi firms asking for a quote to London because by this point, it was getting pretty late in the day. However, to a round of applause, the train driver announced that we would be making it to Watford Junction after all, and from there we could hop onto the Overground into Central London.
As you can imagine I was pretty stressed, tired and hungry, but thankfully I had my Roomorama apartment to arrive to. I received one night’s accommodation with Roomarama, and had the opportunity to choose an apartment from the list available on their website.
With all this drama, I was concerned about checking-in, as I was due to arrive at 2pm, but instead I arrived at around 8pm. I kept in touch with the host Jackie via telephone during the train fiasco, and she was very helpful. Since Jackie lived across the road from the apartment, she told me it was no problem and to call when I arrived safely into London.
The Booking Process
I found the booking process to be a bit more complicated than anticipated. When you do a search for accommodation, it comes up with a list of apartments for your dates, but you then have to contact the owners through the website to check if their accommodation is available. Many of the apartments I liked were unavailable and my inquiries rejected, which took up time and I found a bit frustrating. If you are having trouble finding something, you can post a shout out though, so that hosts can make offers. Other than that, it seems quite simple. You sign up, make an inquiry, wait for them to respond and confirm it is available, then make the booking.
I had chosen Broadway Market Studio in Shoreditch for the night since it is one of my favourite areas of London, with great nightlife and fab Vietnamese restaurants. The closest tube stations are Old Street and Bethnal Green, although both are a bit of a walk away, so I took a taxi from Old Street because it was getting so late.
Jackie was waiting for me at the apartment when I arrived and was very welcoming. She showed me around, helped me get my bearings and told me some of the good places to eat in the area. Checking-in was a quick process and all I had to do was tell her my Roomorama code that I had been given after booking.
The ground-floor apartment was amazingly luxurious and a step-up from the hostels I would usually stay at in London, but at the same time it was cosy and homely. It was immaculately clean with modern furnishings, and was equipped with everything you could think of, including fluffy towels, a mini-ironing board and hairdryer! The bedroom had a TV plus books and magazines, whilst the kitchen had a washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, utensils, tea, coffee and other essentials. The shower was also one of the best showers I’ve ever had!
One thing I really appreciated as a blogger was fast, reliable Wi-Fi Internet, and the password was available in the welcome folder.
To check-out I simply had to leave the keys and shut the door behind me. Simple!
My Roomorama apartment was certainly more luxurious than a night in a hostel somewhere in London or sleeping on a mate’s couch. When I’m backpacking solo I usually like to stay in hostels so I can meet other travellers and make friends, but there are occasional times when you just need to kick back and relax, and have some space to yourself. Particularly with blogging, sometimes you need some decent Wi-Fi and a place that feels like a home away from home. I would definitely recommend an apartment stay in a city like London, where the hostels are often fully-booked and are quite impersonal anyway.
Would I do it again? I think if I was renting with someone else or a group of people, I would consider booking an apartment stay again. I like to do things cheaply, so if I could find an apartment in my price range for the destination I am travelling to, I would do it.