Housing a population of eight million people, London, situated in the South-East of England is not only a great place to live, but it’s a great place to visit too. Its tourist attractions include the London Eye, Big Ben and Tower Bridge in its top ten, not to mention it’s thriving nightlife and shopping. So of course there is an array of London hotels to suit everyone’s tastes.
If you want to see London properly you’ll have to stay for at least a long weekend, if not a whole week, and choosing a hotel is an important part of your stay. You want to be comfortable, happy and close enough to London’s attractions so that you can enjoy them all.
Location is an important part of choosing the right London hotel, as is your budget. London is made up of 32 different boroughs and the more central you are, the more expensive your hotel is likely to be. Luckily, there is a wide choice of hotels which range from five-star to cheap hotels.
If you are coming to London for business it’s a good idea to book a hotel in the main business district. The City is based around Liverpool Street and Bank, while it also extends to Canary Wharf. It’s the home of London’s financial centre, so staying here could mean a shorter commute for meetings and business in general.
If you’re looking for a five star hotel, consider The Threadneedles Hotel, which is the first luxury boutique hotel in London’s Square Mile. Originally a banking hall built in 1856, its rooms offer queen beds complete with Egyptian cotton sheets and duck down duvets, stylish decor, wood furnishings and soft innovative lighting. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper hotel in the city, chain hotels such as the Holiday Inn and Days hotels offer competitive prices for their rooms.
Hotels in the West End
London’s main tourist area is the West End, with Theatre Land, shopping and various types of nightlife almost literally on your doorstep. Choose to stay in a hotel in Leicester Square and you’ll be close enough to Chinatown to get a midnight takeaway; Oxford Street and you can shop to your heart’s content, while Trafalgar Square will give you history and art to take in.
However, because you’re so close to the action, prices for hotels will usually be steeper than in less touristy areas. If you are looking for a cheap deal you could opt for a hostel instead. Book into the Piccadilly Backpackers hostel, located right next to Piccadilly Circus, and you’re in the heart of the city and London’s nightlife.
If you are looking for a more upmarket hotel, The Sanderson Hotel is a classic choice. Located close to Oxford Street it’s a five star accommodation which really is original. It has a distinctive lip-shaped couch as you walk into reception, which you really can’t miss.
Hotels in Kensington and Chelsea
You would think that staying in Kensington or Chelsea would be expensive. It is famous for its designer shops on Kings Road, department stores such as Selfridges and its museums and art galleries. But if you’re a creative sort and want to be close to the arts then you can still do it on a budget. Even though they’re still three or four stars, hotels such as the Grange Strathmore and the Henley House Hotel are relatively cheap. Both are located close to train stations and near to some of London’s best museums. If however, you’d like to be closer to some greenery in London and you’re prepared to pay more for a London hotel, then the five-star Royal Gardens Hotel could be a good choice. Overlooking one of the biggest green spaces in London, Hyde Park, it is just a short distance from the Royal Albert hall and has panoramic views of the park.
If your time in London is best spent viewing art galleries such as the Tate Modern or Tate Britain and taking long lunches by the river, then you might be better suited to booking a hotel on the South Bank. Depending on the weather and time of year, booking a hotel on the South Bank can be a great idea and you can enjoy the long summer nights as you walk down the Thames or sit outside one of its many pubs with a glass of wine.
Chain hotels in London
Many of the chain hotels such as the Comfort Inns and Holiday Inns offer good budget hotels all around London. If you book in advance prices can be very cheap. They offer good deals on the South Bank too, most of which are located right near the Thames.
Luxury hotels can be found on the South Bank too. The Marriott Hotel County Hall is just one of them. Centrally located, this luxury five-star hotel has amazing views overlooking Big Ben and the River Thames. The luxury accommodation includes a spa, an indoor pool, a gym, a restaurant and a cocktail lounge.
Central London is also home to another member of the Marriott family, the ultra luxurious Marriott Grand Residence Club at 47 Park Street. Frequent travellers to London may even choose to buy timeshare at this Mayfair residence, rather than investing in a second home.
Other notable areas in central London to stay include Notting Hill, which is seen as the trendy part of London. Located in the west of the city, it puts on the famous Notting Hill Carnival every year, has a lively market and an interesting history. And if you’re interested in seeing the city’s history, of course Westminster would be a great place to stay; close to Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey.
Hotels in London Boroughs
The inner boroughs of London won’t be as close to the London attractions but you can find some cheap and luxury hotels in these parts too. In North London you’ll find Camden, which is known for its markets and alternative nightlife, or choose Hampstead for its famous Hampstead Heath. The East End houses trendy Hoxton and Shoreditch, with swanky galleries and bars. Greenwich is south of the River, while Hammersmith and Fulham are west of the river.
So, depending on what experience you want from your London hotel, whether it’s a cheap chain accommodation near to the nightlife or a luxury five-star hotel overlooking Hyde Park, there really is something for everybody.