This Is the Best Way to Explore London If You’re Visiting for the First Time

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Onefinestay combines the thoughtful touches of luxury hotels with the local experience.

James Shakespeare/Getty Images

Over the past 10 years, I’ve traveled to London more times than I can count — the first time, as an iPhone-free 20-year-old, navigating via printed maps and iPad screenshots, and most recently as a seasoned travel writer, armed with first-hand experience and a good handle on the nuances of the city and England as a whole.

On this trip — which also happened to coincide with the hottest day in the history of the United Kingdom — I stayed for a few nights in a onefinestay rental between Covent Garden and St. James’s Place. Onefinestay’s mission is to “deliver a level of personal service and professional hospitality unmatched in the private rental industry.” That means when you book, you’re directly connected with a onefinestay advisor in case you have any questions or concerns ahead of (or during) your stay.

This came in handy when I realized I’d be landing at Heathrow several hours before the flat’s 4 p.m. check-in time. While I was fully prepared to do a bit of jet-lagged sightseeing, I needed somewhere to store my luggage; hauling a 50-pound suitcase around London in the middle of the day wasn’t my ideal scenario. I reached out to onefinestay, who quickly set up a reservation at a nearby storage unit where my bag could be left until the flat was ready.

<p>Courtesy of onefinestay</p>

Onefinestay offers a check-in service as an additional perk. Onefinestay staff will ensure that your temporary home is set up and clean. There’s no stressing when you can’t find the key or you’re searching for a lockbox code in your email (and realizing you don’t have any service). I was shown the location of the Wi-Fi and how the fans could be controlled, as well as how to lock the doors after I had left the building. The onefinestay team is always available to guests, so they can reach them whenever they need. I was enquiring about an additional fan to keep the temperature down. 

London is a big city. This is what most people notice when they visit London for the first-time. I’m a frequent visitor, and yet I’ve still only seen and experienced a tiny fraction of the neighborhoods Tourist attractions.

That said, while staying in central London can be pricey, it’s your best bet if you want to hit all of the highlights — including Big Ben, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye. The onefinestay I booked was down the street from Trafalgar Square and just minutes from some of London’s most beautiful green spaces. If I were to book with onefinestay again, I’d also consider listings in Mayfair Or Marylebone.

<p>Courtesy of onefinestay</p>

While I didn’t take advantage of onefinestay’s additional services — like grocery delivery, private airport transfer, childcare, or experience curation — they are available to guests for the duration of their stay. If you aren’t exactly sure what to do with your time in London, the concierge can help curate your perfect first trip across the pond, complete with afternoon tea reservations, tickets to a show in the West End, or a private helicopter tour over the River Thames.

Explore all of onefinestay’s luxury rentals here.

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You can read the original article here Travel & Leisure.

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