Insight Guides: Pocket London - APA (2016)
There are hotels all over London, and while accommodation here is generally fairly expensive for what you get, there is a growing number of new hotels offering affordable accommodation in a central location. Many of these belong to mid-range chains, in convenient areas such as the South Bank and the City.
In general, hotels in the West End and Mayfair tend to be expensive, with plenty of upmarket options but little choice at the lower end of the scale. The Bloomsbury/Marylebone area to the north is a clever option – it’s central and characterful, but prices are more reasonable. There are some delightfully old-fashioned hotels in Victoria, and the streets close to the station are full of terraced bed-and-breakfast accommodation. There are also streets full of townhouse hotels in Kensington and Chelsea, offering dependable comfort in the middle-to-upper price bracket. Most hotels have free Wi-fi in the lobby areas.
The Youth Hostel Association (YHA; www.yha.org.uk) has seven London hostels including the central 104 Bolsover Street, W1 (tel: 0845-371 9154) and 36–8 Carter Lane, near St Paul’s (tel: 0845-371 9012). Beds from around £20/night. Independent hostel groups include St Christopher’s (www.st-christophers.co.uk), which has seven hostels in London.
As a basic guide, the prices listed below are for a double room, not including breakfast.
£ under £110
££££ more than £280
THE WEST END
Hazlitt’s ££££ 6 Frith Street, W1D 3JA, tel: 020-7434 1771, www.hazlittshotel.com. Spread across four early 18th-century houses in the heart of Soho, elegant Hazlitt’s (named after the great English literary critic) is packed with gorgeous antiques and full of character.
The Savoy ££££ Strand, WC2R 0EU, tel: 020-7836 4343, www.fairmont.com/savoy. This large London landmark, set back from the road, has a solid reputation for comfort, tradition and personal service. A massive £220m refurbishment has restored its reputation as one of London’s very best hotels.
Strand Palace Hotel £££ 372 Strand, WC2R 0JJ, tel: 020-7379 4737, www.strandpalacehotel.co.uk. Good-value central hotel offering 786 contemporary rooms near Covent Garden and the river. Two restaurants and three bars on-site.
The Waldorf Hilton ££££ Aldwych, WC2B 4DD, tel: 020-7836 2400, www.hilton.co.uk/waldorf. Renowned Edwardian hotel with 292 rooms. Modernised and with a superb location, close to Covent Garden and Theatreland. Rooms come with plasma TVs and original Edwardian washstands. Restaurant, patisserie, bar, gym, sauna and swimming pool all onsite.
Brown’s Hotel ££££ 30 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP, tel: 020-7493 6020, www.brownshotel.com. A distinguished, very British, Victorian-style hotel with 117 rooms in a smart Mayfair location. The spa offers a wide range of relaxing treatments.
Claridge’s ££££ Brook Street, W1K 4HR, tel: 020-7629 8860, www.claridges.co.uk. This London institution with splendid Art Deco reception has long had a reputation for dignity, graciousness and lack of pretension. Lovely central location. Health club and spa.
Covent Garden Hotel £££ 10 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9HB, tel: 020-7806 1000, www.firmdale.com. Understated and chic boutique hotel, popular with visiting film stars. As well as its 58 rooms styled with a contemporary English aesthetic, the hotel offers a luxurious film screening room, a DVD library, a gym and a beauty salon.
Lanesborough Hotel ££££ 1 Lanesborough Place, SW1X 7TA, tel: 020-7259 5599, www.lanesborough.com. The stately neoclassical facade of the former St George’s hospital complements the opulent Regency-style interior of this deluxe hotel overlooking Hyde Park Corner. Converted in 1991, it is now one of London’s finest hotels, and dining includes Apsleys restaurant.
BLOOMSBURY AND MARYLEBONE
The Academy ££££ 21 Gower Street, WC1E 6HG, tel: 020-7631 4115, www.theacademyhotel.co.uk. This delightful boutique hotel is housed within five elegant Georgian townhouses and attempts to recreate for its guests life in 19th-century Bloomsbury (only with all mod cons). The 49 guest rooms are furnished in romantic style in keeping with the architecture, and there are two lovely gardens. Bar and dining room for breakfast only. Complimentary fruit. Three floors, no lift.
Grange Blooms Hotel £££ 7 Montague Street, WC1B 5BP, tel: 020-7323 1717, www.grangehotels.com. Located very close to the British Museum in the heart of Bloomsbury, this elegant, traditional hotel in an 18th-century townhouse has 26 en suite rooms decorated in traditional style, a pretty paved garden and breakfast room.
Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel £££ 108 Baker Street, W1U 6LJ, tel: 0844-415 6740, www.parkplaza.com. Named after the famous sleuth who supposedly lived nearby, this loosely-themed chain hotel is well placed for Oxford Street and the West End. The 119 rooms are decorated in a stylish modern take on traditional style.
The Regency Hotel £ 19 Nottingham Place, W1U 5LQ, tel: 020-7486 5347, www.regencyhotelwestend.co.uk. An elegantly converted mansion with 20 comfortable rooms close to Regent, Oxford and Harley streets.
Hotel Russell £££ Russell Square, WC1B 5BE, tel: 020-7837 6470, www.londonrussellhotel.co.uk. Landmark Gothic building in the heart of Bloomsbury with 373 rooms, all en suite.
St Pancras Renaissance ££££ Euston Road, NW1 2AR, tel: 020-7841 3540, www.marriott.co.uk. Glorious Victorian-Gothic public areas at Sir George Gilbert Scott’s restored Midland Grand hotel by St Pancras station. There are 245 rooms, including 38 suites with butler service. Amenities include the Gilbert Scott brasserie run by Marcus Wareing, a Victorian-tiled pool and a spa.
THE SOUTH BANK
Mad Hatter £ 3–7 Stamford Street, SE1 9NY, tel: 020-7401 9222, www.fullershotels.com. Thirty surprisingly stylishly designed rooms above a Fullers pub in a good location just a short stroll from Tate Modern and the other attractions on the South Bank.
Premier Inns ££ ‘Tate Modern’, 15a Great Suffolk Street, SE1 0FL and Bankside, 34 Park Street, SE1 9EF, central reservations, tel: 0871-527 9332, www.premierinn.com. For value, it’s hard to beat Britain’s biggest budget hotel chain. There are a number of Premier Inns in central London with two of the best-located near Tate Modern and Borough Market, on the South Bank. Clean, modern, no-frills accommodation.
Andaz Liverpool Street ££££ 40 Liverpool Street, EC2M 7QN, tel: 020-7961 1234, http://london.liverpoolstreet.andaz.hyatt.com. In the heart of the Square Mile, Andaz (formerly the Great Eastern Hotel) offers a different approach to guest services. The ethos is ‘casual luxury’; instead of a reception desk, a member of staff will greet you and then look after you throughout your stay. The über-stylish contemporary decor should appeal to both corporate and creative types.
easyHotel £ 80 Old Street, EC1V 9AZ, www.easyhotel.com. This frill-free 92-room Barbican hotel is clean, convenient and extremely well priced. The earlier you book, the cheaper the room. Other branches at Earl’s Court, Heathrow, Paddington, South Kensington and Victoria; also in Luton, handy for London Luton Airport. Internet bookings only.
Fox & Anchor ££ 115 Charterhouse Street, Smithfield, EC1M 6AA, tel: 020-7250 1300, www.foxandanchor.com. For a sense of the atmosphere of Victorian London, this immaculately restored pub near Smithfield market is a heritage attraction in itself. The six individually styled rooms combine modern comforts with period features, including roll-top baths, leaded windows, plush furnishings, Bose sound systems and luxury toiletries. The gastro-pub downstairs serves scrumptious British cuisine.
The Hoxton Hotel £ 81 Great Eastern Street, Old Street, EC2A 3HU, tel: 020-7550 1000, www.hoxtonhotels.com. An innovative hotel with an urban funky look, the Hoxton is well situated both for the City and for some of the capital’s best nightlife. The well-designed rooms offer outstanding value and the latest in hipster chic. Watch the website (or subscribe to the mailing list) for the periodic and unsurprisingly popular offers of rooms for only £1.
London Hotel − Tower of London ££ 7 Pepys Street, EC3N 4AF, tel: 020-7709 1000, http://doubletree3.hilton.com. This large contemporary hotel in the heart of the historic City is now part of the Hilton chain. All guestrooms are equipped with Apple iMac TV/computers. There is a fitness studio and a rooftop lounge bar.
Malmaison ££ Charterhouse Square, Clerkenwell, EC1M 6AH, tel: 0844-469 30656, www.malmaison.com. Located in a beautiful Victorian building on the edge of the City in the fashionable Clerkenwell district, the Malmaison has atmosphere and style without sky-high room rates. The 97 rooms are designed with stylish fabrics and smart bathrooms, and the brasserie and bar come highly recommended.
VICTORIA AND EARL’S COURT
My Place Hotel ££ 1–3 Trebovir Road, SW5 9LS, tel: 020-7373 0833, www.myplacehotel.co.uk. Modern amenities with Victorian ambience in Earl’s Court area. 50 en suite rooms, bar and lounge.
The Nadler Kensington ££ 25 Courtfield Gardens, SW5 0PG, tel: 020-7244 2255, www.thenadler.com. Taking the principles and style of boutique hotels to the budget market, this 4-star hotel innovator offers no-frills luxury. Rooms have their own fridges, microwaves and media facilities, providing the freedom of a flat with the ease of a hotel. It’s great for singles, too, either travelling on their own or, in a ‘luxury bunk’, with a friend. Also a slightly more expensive branch in Soho.
The Rubens £££ 39–41 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 0PS, tel: 020-7834 6600, www.rubenshotel.com. Traditional hotel with a smart location near the Royal Mews, but also conveniently close to Victoria station. Ten suites, 143 rooms, and eight ‘royal’ rooms named (and themed) after British monarchs.
KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
Berkeley Hotel ££££ Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL, tel: 020-7235 6000, www.the-berkeley.co.uk. Many rate the sumptuously decorated Berkeley as the best place to stay in London. Facilities include a health suite and pool. Among the restaurants is Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, serving modern European cuisine.
The Gore ££££ 190 Queen’s Gate, SW7 5EX, tel: 020-7584 6601, www.gorehotel.com. Idiosyncratic 50-roomed hotel on a quiet street close to the Royal Albert Hall. Every centimetre of the walls seems to be covered in paintings and prints, and the rooms are sumptuous. Popular with a lively, fashionable crowd. The excellent Bistrot One Ninety is on the ground floor.
Knightsbridge Green Hotel £££ 159 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7PD, tel: 020-7584 6274, www.knightsbridgegreenhotel.com. This hotel offers brilliant value for money considering the upmarket area. It is unusual in that it consists mostly of suites, doubles and family-sized rooms.