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 TripAdvisor.com - 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: .
top tips for Hotels:
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.
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)
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.
Cheap but cheerful
The hotels below were mentioned in our interviews with tourists in London - it reflects their opinions, not ours.
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
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.
VENERE HOTEL RESERVATION SERVICE
LATEROOMS HOTEL BOOKING SERVICE
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 www.gumtree.com and
similar sites. An apartment is perhaps the best way
to do London if you've got children.
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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