Having recently stayed in a few central London hotels, I wanted to write a short article to share my experiences, so you can make a more informed decision should you need to book a hotel in London.
First off I’d say download and book via a hotel booking app such as booking.com because it’s very easy to use, plus you can regularly book a hotel with free cancellation right up until the day of your stay!
What with London being the capital some hotels can cost big money. But having said this, it doesn’t need to, and I have highlighted my best London hotels with my second choice costing less than £50 per night!
Park Lane Mews Hotel (4/5)
A quant hotel just tucked away from the main road within seconds walk to bars, restaurants and shops in Mayfair, and not forgetting the beautiful Hyde Park just a short walk away. The boutique 4 star hotel itself gives a warm welcoming and has modern facilities to accommodate visitors and is located very close to Knightsbridge, Oxford Street, Green Park, Piccadilly, Buckingham Palace, Regents Street and Hyde Park.
The room I stayed in was quite small which isn’t unusual for London, but clean and homely, and noticeably warm, which I liked! The room had a window looking down the street and the bed was comfy! If you stay here, I’d definitely recommend having their traditional self service English breakfast. There wasn’t many people around when I stayed which meant no waiting, as although the breakfast is self-service, drinks are brought to you by table waiters. On their website it quotes a single from £99 per night or a double from £119 per night. When I booked through the app, I paid £89.10 for a double room with breakfast included.
Britannia International Hotel Canary Wharf (3.5/5)
A modern glass-fronted building situated on the water’s edge at London Docklands with panoramic views. I haven’t tried their breakfast nor had the chance yet to visit their swimming pool and leisure facilities because my London trips are very busy and I’m not there for long. However for me, this place is perfect and depending upon when you book, is very reasonably priced. I stayed here on a Sunday and paid just £49 for a double room (without a window view – but got upgraded for free). As a side note, if you book via the booking.com app, I wouldn’t get sucked in too much by the “today” discounted price. Don’t hold me accountable but there’s been times it’s been on sale at £55 for the double room per night, then the next day is reduced further to £49.
Breakfast is an additional cost, as is parking, however the fact they have an underground car park which always has a space is a massive bonus for me, as I drive most times I visit the big city. If you arrive after 6pm parking is cheaper and if you check-in before 6pm you need a 24 hour parking ticket which is £20 but super convenient. It’s a large hotel so doesn’t have that boutique feel, but with the convenience of parking and a great location again, this place is an excellent choice with quite spacious rooms and great views (if you book a room with a window view). There’s definitely more fancy hotels, but it’s nice, clean, in a great location with parking, and earns its place in this list because of its price/value for money.
Rafayel Hotel and Spa (4/5)
If the price of London hotels doesn’t matter to you, this is by far the most exquisite stay of the 5 places listed. On the riverfront, this 5 star boutique has a spa, 2 restaurants and a bar with river views. Clapham Junction station is just a 10 minute walk away and the hotel has parking. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and if you do decide to book here make sure you take photographic ID as they request this upon check-in. The reception area has that wow factor about it with amazing decor and signed memorabilia on the walls from global sports superstars. The 2 metre wide corridors leading to the rooms give an instant impression of spaciousness and this is even more obvious when entering the rooms. Everything about this place oozes style and they have gone the extra length wherever you look. The bedrooms are massive, the bed is very comfy and the bathroom designed with ‘Roca’ porcelain fittings and Murano glass mosaic tiles and feature body-spray showers. The only negative from my stay was the fact the room was on the ground floor and I was hoping for a high view overlooking London. However, the stay was still very enjoyable and cost just £139 which is a bargain considering it’s often listed at over £350 per night. An easy 5* but personally, I am not happy to pay so much for a hotel for one night (if I didn’t get the cheap rate), hence me scoring this 4/5.
H10 London Waterloo (4/5)
For me parking is important, so this place is not that convenient, however, if you’re travelling by train this is ideal with Waterloo station just 450 metres away! This newly-built hotel has a unique and modern style interior design, and offers bright comfortable rooms with great views, right in the heart of London. You can enjoy excellent signature cuisine specialising in Mediterranean and international gastronomy at the Three O Two restaurant, and/or treat yourself to a cocktail at the Circus Bar located in the hotel lobby. As always prices vary but my stay here cost just £131 and the room was really nice with great views. It does overlook the high street but you can’t really hear much so it’s still a peaceful stay.
Prince Regent Hotel – Excel London (3/5)
A very warm welcome by the owner and you can tell immediately this is a well run independent hotel, located just 5 minutes walking distance from the Excel Exhibition and just minutes from London City Airport, the O2 Arena, Stratford and Canary Wharf. You’re made to feel extremely welcome and there is a shared kitchen with glasses, crockery and cutlery, a fridge and free cold bottled water which is a lovely touch. Prices vary depending upon events at Excel and The O2 Arena, but I paid just £44.99 and there’s permit free parking so no extra charge to leave your car overnight. The rooms are small though, very small and it’s a shame because in my opinion this lets it down.
If you are staying in London, why not read our top 5 Things To Do In London article.