Accommodation Guide

We think London's hotels overcharge by an insulting margin (Mark Twain was of the same opinion one hundred years ago on his visit) - but this reflects London's high property prices - there is no shortage of luxury hotels charging upwards of £200 per person per night, though if you shop around a hotel in the centre can be had for £50-70 per night - it's often worth bargaining. Service varies from the snidely obsequious to the genuinely friendly, but this is not calculable from the price.

You can book accommodation at the VENERE HOTEL RESERVATION SERVICE which is a centralised service taking a small cut from the hotels featured - it works out cheaper to the hotels than offering a web-based shopping cart secure service. Our editor always books his hotels worldwide on the web and hasn't been let down yet - we actually recommend Venere - we booked our last holiday (in Sicily) through their hotel service and got great rates, but we haven't tried them in the UK - if you have any feedback we'd be grateful!. But he always cross-references with another site or with a guidebook -or - though you have to be able to read the personalities and nationalities behind the commments. For late(r) bookings try LATEROOMS

The 'Official' London Tourist board, (tel: +44 (0) 800-London ) can also book a room for you. If you don't mind waiting until you arrive, there are hotel booking booths at all the major airports and stations - you can often get a very good deal there - a kind of clearing house with often good discounts on the standard 'tourist' rates. There are also many hotel booking sites on the web. Few of these will present a truly objective picture of a hotel, as they're trying to make a living, but it's not in their interests to send you somewhere terrible.

Our Hotel Booking links have been chosen because they offer booking for many of the hotels we personally recommend - but we feel we can only honestly recommend the hotels that feature on this page - though there are undoubtedly many others which offer a good service - we just haven't either visited them ourselves or received enough reports to give their details here. (Reports on hotels always welcome - by email, please).
Most of the commercial hotel guidebooks (even those published by the AA and RAC) actually charge hotels for entries and (Johansen's guides charge hotels up to £2,500 for entries) - they are never objective and we wouldn't trust them as far as we could throw them. The only guidebook we can wholeheartedly recommend is 'The Good Hotel Guide' (but beware of imitations) which like ourselves and Harden's Food Guide, as well as the 'Good Food Guide' remains fiercely objective. The Good Hotel Guide can pay for it's cover price in discounts in a small number of London Hotels.

If you want a special treat, you can rent one of the Queen's guesthouses on her Sandringham estate - see our trips page for details. Increasingly apartments give better rates than hotels.

You should also be aware that the English idea of comfort can be quite spartan, as befits our stoic nature. Character is often more important than comfort, and if you're likely to get upset over little things (separate hot and cold, not mixer taps) then you should pay more for your hotel than is necessary to enjoy your stay.

Our two personal favourites, which we've sent spies to investigate, would be The Hoxton Hotel and the Judges House (private let). But all the hotels on this page come from personal recommendation. Some of the recommendations are a couple of years old and we're always on the lookout for updates - if you'd like us to add (or delete) something from the list please contact: .

Our top tips for Hotels:

Stay in an 'unusual' location. Lots of London is both near the centre and unfashionable and with good transport links to boot. Think centring your search for hotels on City of London rather than Westminster. For example Borough and Bankside, minutes walk from St Pauls, not traditional tourist dormitaries, offer better prices, and are more convenient than posher places in the west. Bermondsey St, our manor, despite being 5 minutes walk from the City, was neglected until the late 1990s (it actually had WWII bombsites until the early 1990s) and then took off like a rocket, becoming fashionable, and expensive, within 3 years (location, location, location...)
The area bordered by Tower Bridge Road, Long Lane/Marshalsea, Blackfriars Road and the river is still hugely undervalued and there are many hotels there. The East End is another very good place to start. Check out this article on decent cheap accommodation in the east end.

Stay in University Halls if you're coming in vacation time (summer, easter or christmas) - not hotel standard, but usually better than B & B, very good value accommodation right in the centre. Contact University College London (0707 387 7050), King's College London (0207 836 5454), The London School of Economics (0207 405 7686) to find out which halls are renting rooms. The LSE runs a good operation from its Bankside Halls, tel: 0207 633 9877 - open May-Oct, right behind the Tate Modern and convenient for the City and St Pauls. Also recommended are their halls on Rosebury Avenue and in Fitzrovia (near the Post Office Tower).

De luxe Hotels Average hotels Budget Hotels Apartments Hostels and rooms

De Luxe

Brown's Hotel Has been removed from our listings after some truly dreadful reviews. It is not, apparently, what it was in the 80s and early 90s by a long chalk. Our reviewers recommend the Duke’s Hotel, 35, St James' Place (0207 491 4840), the Stafford, 16 St James' Place (0207 493 0111), or the St James Club 7, Park Place (0207 629 7688) which does actually rent rooms to non-members. All are a few minutes walk South from Green Park Tube. An alternate recommendation is the Goring at Beeston Place, Grosvenor Gardens, (0207 396 9000), a short walk from Victoria Station, which is very convenient if you are flying to Gatwick.

Hazlitt's, 6 Frith Street. This is a deconstruction (in Structuralist terms) of an 18th Century gentleman's house - it's not labeled as a hotel and doesn't like to think of itself in those terms. It's named after William Hazlitt who died there in 1830. If you want a true period experience this is for you. Single from £130, double £170. Tel: 0207 434 1771. Tube: Leicester Square (Northern) or Tottenham Court Road (Central). Website. Their offspring hotel, THe Rookery in Smithfield is an equal delight and costs an equally large amount, access through the same website.

Cannizaro House - a Georgian Country House converted into a hotel, in Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon. Although it's owned by a chain it does have a special feel. Tel: 0208 879 1464. Tube: Wimbledon.

The Capital, 22, Basil Street - has a Michelin star for its restaurant and receives glowing reports from guests. We've not been able to source the rumour that Lady Diana saw it as a watering hole when shopping, but it probably originated with the management. Single room about £185, double £245.

The Connaught Carlos Place, W1. A better bet than Browns according to reports - a similar time warp and a similar dress code. Royalty and film stars stay here, and the health club and pool facilities (shared with other hotels) are superb,. Sadly the price is astronomical: from £280 single, £360 double. Tel: 0207 499 7070. Between Bond St and Green Park Tubes (Piccadilly, Jubilee, Central)

Basil Street Hotel, 8, Basil Street - built on top of the original Knightsbridge Tube station, it later came to incorporate the building when it fell out of use. It dates from 1910 and has been in the same family since 1919. SOme rooms overlook the street and can be noisy, despite double glazing. Excellent service. Tel: 0207 581 3311. Tube: Knightsbridge (Piccadilly) Single rooms from about £130, double £190.

Blake's - 33 Roland Gardens SW7. Created by fashion designer Anouska Hempel, each room is individually decorated, and the clientele can be starry. Tel: 0207 373 0442 Tube: Gloucester Road (Piccadilly, Circle)

Halkin Hotel, 5 Halkin St SW1. Unlike Hazlett's this Georgean facade hides an ultra-modern interior. Very Italian in style, though more Milanese minimalism than Amalfian rococo. Tel: 0207 333 1000. Tube: Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly )

Malmaison, Charterhouse Square. Chain of very trendy urban hotels. Great place and good City location. Good food, too in the basement restaurant which is where we eat when in the area, our only gripe is that the menu changes slowly. Tube: Barbican (Circle) St Pauls - 500 yard walk (Central). Website.


Fielding - 4 Broad Court WC2. Very atmospheric Victorian place opposite the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The building is older, 18th C and has an original gas lamp outside. Tel: 0207 836 8305. Tube: Covent Garden (Piccadilly) Holborn (Central)

Aster House - 5 Sumner Place SW7. B & B in South Kensington - beautiful, small garden. Tel: 0207 581 5888. Tube: South Kensington (Piccadilly, Circle)

Draycott - 24 Cadogan Gardens, SW3. Just off Sloane Square, these two converted and joined houses provide a comfortable service, with rooms over a pleasant garden. Tel: 0207 730 6466

Durrants - George St W1. Based in an old 18th Century coaching inn, but reflecting more Victorian taste, this hotel has been family run for 75 years. Somewhat formal. Tel: 0207 935 8131. Single rooms from about £100, double £140. Tube: Marble Arch (Central)


Hoxton Hotel Perhaps the best bargain of London. Trendy arty hotel in the vibrant Hoxton area - great for restaurants, bars and nightclubs (but not so great for tourist sights). A little off the beaten track, but right in the City, which we reckon is a great place to be... see the website   for details.

Langorf Hotel 20 Frognal, Hampstead. In the beautiful Georgian village of Hampstead, up in north London. Singles from £80, doubles from £100. Tel 0207 794 4483.

Sandringham Hotel 3 Holford Rd, NW3. Another Hampstead bargain - similar prices to the Langorf. Tel: 0207 435 1569.

Cheap but cheerful

Budget hotels cluster round Bloomsbury, south of Euston Station, Victoria, and Earl's Court, (round King's Cross they tend to offer hourly rates.....) There are booking agents in these stations. All the below offer singles under £60 and doubles under £80 - though this may change...

Abbey House, 11 Vicarage Gate, W8 . On Trendy Kensington Church Street that links Notting Hill and Kensington...great for shopping and restaurants. Tel: 0207 727 2594.

County Hall Travel Inn - right opposite the Houses of Parliament, in the County Hal building that also houses the Aquarium - very central. Tel: 0207 902 1600.

Five Sumner Place SW7: B& B in South Kensington - tel: 0207 584 7586.

La Gaffe, 107 Heath Street, Hapmstead. Italian Restaurant with rooms. Tel: 0207 435 8965.

Lime Tree Hotel, 135 Ebury Street, SW1. Tel 0207 730 8191.

La Reserve 422 Fulham Road. In Chelsea/Fulham, good for antiques shopping and small trendy restaurants, as well as the football ground (so watch out on Saturdays). Tel: 0207 385 7662.

Thanet Hotel, 8 Bedford Place WC1. Bloomsbury Georgian House, well run. Tel: 0207 636 2869.

The hotels below were mentioned in our interviews with tourists in London - it reflects their opinions, not ours.

First Choices:
Park Hotel 64 Belgrave road, Victoria, SW1 Tel: 020 7834 3118
Abbey House (see above) 11 Vicarage Gate, Kensington W8 Tel: 020 7727-2594 Vicarage House (see above) Website
Park Lodge Hotel, 73 Queensborough Terrace, Bayswater W2 Tel: 020 7229 6424

Other recommendations:
Carlton Hotel - 90 Belgrave Rd SW1 tel: 0207 976 6634
Park Hotel - 64 Belgrave Rd. SW1 Tel: 0207 834 3118
Central House Hotel - 39 Belgrave Rd SW1 Tel: 0207 834 8036
Luna-Simone - 47 Belgrave Rd. SW1 Tel: 0207 834 5897
Melbourne House - 79 Belgrave Rd. SW1 Tel: 0207 828 3516
Dover - 44 Belgrave Rd. SW1 Tel: 0207 821 9085
Collin House - 104 Ebury St SW1 Tel: 0207 730 8031
Chester House - 134 Ebury St SW1 Tel: 0207 730 3632

Hotels recommended by inspectors, but not top of our list:
Claverley: 13, Beaufort Gardens, SW3 - Knightsbridge, Tel: 0207 589 8541
Craven Gardens: 16 Leinster Terrace W2. Tel: 0207 262 3167
Mitre House: 178 Sussex Gardens, W2. Tel: 0207 723 8040
Averard: 10, Lancaster Gate, W2. Tel: 0207 723 8877
Colonnade: 2 Warrington Crescent W9. tel: 0207 286 1052.




The apartment phenomenon grows apace with new entrants like Orion and Citadines (0207 543 7878) chain members springing up all over London. Best to go through an agent though there are loads of private advertisements on and similar sites. An apartment is perhaps the best way to do London if you've got children.

i London Apartments, 159 Gloucester Road , SW7 Tel: 20 8878 0990 HERE OR HERE

Holiday lets is a very good site for apartments.

Accommodation London offers rooms from four nights to one year at fairly reasonable rates. Shared houses, studios, shared apartments and hostels. You can do it all online HERE

Central London Apartments, 39 Bedford Square, WC1 Tel: 0207 323 1192 Website

Go Native, 26 Westbourne Grove, W2. Tel: 0207 221 2028, Fax: 0207 221-2088, Website

Euracom, 52-53 Margaret St, London W1. Tel: 0207 436 3201, Fax 0207 436 3203. Website

John D. Wood , 39 Foley St, London W1 Tel: 0207 436 6666 Fax 0207 436 1333. 

Hostels: Three beautiful YHA youth hostels: near St Paul's 36, Carter Lane 0207 246 4965, in Holland Park: 0207 937 0748, and on the waterfront at Rotherhithe: 0207 232 2114. The others are at 79 Euston Road, opposite the Station, 14 Noel St in Soho, and 38 Bolton Gardens in Earl's Court. All recommended.
There are plenty of other hostels about:   Ashlee House  in Grays In Road, near King's Cross,   St Christophers (London Bridge and other locations), the Piccadilly Backpackers, in an enviable location in Soho, right next to a celebrity gym/health food store, patronised by Britain's former EU commissioner, of all people.
The daddy of them all is Generator, in a huge former doss-house (now refurbished) in Bloomsbury, just round the corner from the refurbished Brunswick Centre at Russell Square tube. Decent facilities - though it's a bunk in a dorm - and in a good area. Another popular one is the Clink (not connected with the Clink in SE1, this one's near King's Cross) which is a former Courthouse
A selection of hostels can be accessed through this Website, but remember they can also booked direct.
See also Accommodation London entry above.
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