London Hotel Tips by hayward68
London Hotels: 320,921 reviews and 1,838 photos
Darlington Hyde Park Hotel
This small but comfortable hotel is supposedly quite popular from what I saw of reviews online, and I'd have no trouble recommending this place as long as you get a decent price.
It's located on Sussex Gardens which is a street filled with hotels. About a 5 to 10 minute walk to Paddington Station so handy if arriving from Heathrow and taking the Heathrow Express.
My room was on the 1st floor though actually it was half a floor up, which meant I took my suitcase up one flight on the lift, down the end of the hall and down half a flight of stairs. Realized later that I could have done past the lift, through the doors and drag suitcase up half a flight of stairs. The hotel takes up two Victorian townhouses which is why some rooms are not on the same level as the elevator.
However, my room was a decent size for a single and the bathroom was quite nice. What was great about the bathroom is that, although it only had a shower stall, there was a large ledge most of the way around the room which allowed me to spread my stuff out, always a plus. The towels could be hung over the heater, doubling as a towel warmer or drying rack if doing some laundry.
My room was a bit different in that you opened the door into a hallway which the bathroom was off of to the right, then at the end of this small hallway was another door leading to the room. It's a fire door so must remain closed. And the room and bathroom were bright as there were lots of windows, 3 in the bedroom alone.
The bed was a small single, a TV supplied along with tea and coffee making facilities, and biscuits!
The hotel was a lounge in the reception room if you feel like hanging out there and reading a paper, someone was doing this while I checked out.
Access to the hotel is either by your hotel room key (like a credit card) or by buzzer. When you first arrive you must buzz reception to get in until you receive your room key.
Unique Qualities: A great feature to this hotel is the rooms all come with a small refridgerator which makes it easier to eat cheaply in the city. I had a long bus ride the following day so was able to stock up on food and store them until I left for the bus.
Breakfast is included and is available in the basement of the hotel but this room is bright as there is a skylight. There's a buffet and a hot cooked breakfast is available as well. I helped myself to juice and buns until my breakfast arrived.
I managed to get a price of ?55 for my single room, rack rate is ?95, from www.londontown.com
I went back to this hotel Feb 2009, still pleased with it, rooms seem to have been updated. Had a tiny bathroom this time around, smallest sink I've ever seen! But it was very clean and updated. Reception was great when I showed up at 7am with my bags, sent me downstairs to the loo to freshen up and they stored my luggage until my room was ready. Prices higher, paid 65 for a single this time around.
Address: 111-117 Sussex Gardens
Comparison: about average
Directions: One block down and one block over from Paddington if you come out of the train station to Praed street via the alley like street near left luggage. Go down London St one block, cross the street and turn left, down a block.
Phone: (020) 7460 8800
We paid just under £80 for a twin room with ensuite. If you book online through their website you get a 10% discount. The room was tiny and the bathroom even tinier. If you're a large person you might have difficulty here. We didn't spend much time in our room so it was ideal for us but not much room between the beds.
Unique Qualities: Nice, friendly hotel. Rooms were small but clean. There's a bar in the reception area that stays open later than the pubs. We kept the bartender up late on his last night of work. (He was going home to Corfu the next day)
A full English Breakfast is included with the room.
Address: 68-76 Belgrave Rd., Victoria, London
Comparison: about average
Directions: About 10 minutes walk from Victoria Station, or a 2 minute walk from Pimlico Station
Phone: (0) 20 7834-2738
Triple room showing double bed
This hotel is in good location a minute's walk from Hyde Park and about a 10 minute walk (or so) from Paddington Station. The location is fairly quiet as it's tucked away up a street that doesn't see through traffic.
It's a little tired and the wear is starting to show but I had a good four day stay here. I'd booked a double room but was given a triple room that was quite unique. The room was clean but the skirting boards were showing wear and the curtains were coming down in some spots. The bed was fairly comfortable. The bathroom was quite large but not sure if that's the case for all the rooms. Mine was on the ground floor facing the street. There is even air-conditioning and it was needed one day as it was quite warm outside.
There are the usual coffee/tea making facilities but the great thing about this hotel was the refrigerator that comes with the room. Just a small one but perfect for storing food if you're on a budget.
If you forget your toiletries there is soap/shampoo/conditioner, etc available in the bathroom.
Breakfast was a continental style and not worth the bother actually. The croissants were slightly crispy but I filled up on tea. This breakfast is served in the basement, like a lot of this type of hotel.
There is a lift if you've got a room on an upper floor.
Not a fantastic hotel but okay if you can get a cheap deal, especially because of the refrigerator. The largeness of the room was ideal because I had room to move around and store my suitcase. It could do with a bit of an overhaul but I'd hate for it to lose the charm of the period details in the room such as the high ceilings, sash windows and high skirting boards.
Unique Qualities: My triple room was interesting as it was on different levels. As you entered the room you could see a staircase in front of you. To the left were a few steps which brought you to the main part of the room. There was a double bed on one end and single on the other. No dressers or desk but there were night tables on either side of the double. The tv was on the wall in the corner by the single bed. The stairs led up to a landing where the closet was. I was quite impressed with the closet as it was very large. Beside the closet was the small refrigerator which had the coffee/tea making items. The built in hair dryer was also out here, a mirror on the wall was also there. Handy for doing your hair. This is where I'd plug in my curling iron as well as there was no plug in the bathroom, something I find common with a lot of UK hotel rooms.
The bathroom had a large tub with a so-so shower, it tipped a bit, and the water pressure wasn't huge but adequate. The was a heater over the toilet which I used to dry clothes after I'd washed them in the tub. A small alcove off to the right had a shelf and drawer where you could store your makeup, etc. There was also a mirror over the sink.
If you need an iron and ironing board you can get one from reception.
Address: 36-37 Lancaster Gate
Comparison: about average
Directions: About a block from Lancaster Gate tube stop
Phone: 020 7402 1101
Bonnington Hotel single room
This hotel is billed as a 4 star and, for London, pretty much deserves its rating. It's a big, clean and friendly hotel situated on a busy but central London street. It opened in 1911 and has held up well over the years, I believe it's a favourite with business travellers.
The front lobby is very large and makes you feel confident that you've made the right choice from the moment you walk in the door. The reception counter is off to the right and I was checked in and on my way to my room within minutes. Also available in the lobby is a counter which deals with all matters tourism, whether it's finding an attraction or getting a car to the airport they're the ones to help.
The elevators are to the left, same side as tourist counter, and further along the same wall is Waterfalls restaurant where you'll partake in your buffet breakfast. The breakfast was included in the price of the room.
Across from the restaurant, also available for other meals, is a small sports bar, named Malt Bar, where you can also purchase meals. I had a meal in here one night while watching a football game on the huge screen on the wall. There were a lot of people in there watching the game and filling up on drinks from the bar.
In between the restaurant and bar is a small lounge where you can rest and wait for people.
I stayed for 3 nights and quite enjoyed my stay.
The prices on their website are high but you can do much, much better checking elsewhere. The normal rack rate for the room I had is £130 but I paid £60 by booking through the British Airways website.
Unique Qualities: My room was a single and was of decent size with a full bath. If you've been in British hotels you know that they tend to be on the small size unless you're paying big bucks, and even then they sometimes aren't huge.
The bed was comfortable and the room was nice and clean. In the pic I'm standing in the bathroom to take the picture. Behind the door to the left is a small desk and the door to the hall and to my right is a small cupboard to hang clothes, and I do mean small. There's also a trouser press so you can stay somewhat presentable ;-)
The usual tea/coffee making facilities are included in the room along with a hairdryer.
I'd been warned that rooms facing the street can be slightly noisy but I didn't have the chance to find out as mine faced inside over a small roof.
There is an Executive Wing that I didn't see but it sounds nice from the website.
The buffet my favourite kind of breakfast in England, it has all the makings of a traditional English Breakfast but you can have as much or as little as you want and avoiding what you don't want. Of course, cereal and cold food are available as well. The wait staff will bring you coffee and tea but help yourself to the various juices that are availble. I think the staff also brought you your toast as well. Don't seat yourself when you arrive, wait at the entranceway and a member of the staff will find a table for you.
One big plus for this hotel is its location. It's between two tube stops, Holborn and Russell Square and no more than 10 minutes walk, at my pace was about 5, from either of them. The British Museum is about 5 minutes walk away along with numerous pubs, restaurants and shops. I even purchased an extra bag just down the street as I'd purchased so much on my holiday.
Stops for shuttles to the airport are not far away and KIngs Cross Station is only two stops away, though I took as taxi as my bags were heavy.
Address: 92 Southampton Row, London, England WC1B
Comparison: about average
Directions: Between Holborn and Russell Square tube stops, no more than 10 minute walk. From Heathrow take Picadilly line to either stop or journey on the Airbus to Russell Square.
Other Contact: Fax: +44(0) 207 8319170
Phone: +44(0) 207 2422828
Price: US$180 and up
Georgian House Hotel single room
I paid £48 for a single with ensuite. Cheaper rooms are available that have shared facilities if you wish to save your money. There's no lift so be prepared to haul your bag up to your room on your own.
The room had phone, tv and kettle for making your tea or coffee. A small wardrobe will let you hang your clothes to air them out.
Unique Qualities: It had small rooms but great service. The room was tiny but I had my own bathroom, that's a luxury, even if it was teeny, at least it had a shower, no tub though. I think some rooms might have better bathing facilities.
Full English breakfast was included in the price.
The fire alarm going off in the middle of the night my first night was not appreciated though!
Fantastic location about 8 minutes away from Victoria train station and Victoria coach station. It's within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, Green Park and other attractions.
Comparison: less expensive than average
Directions: 35 St. George's Drive, SW1 (near Victoria Station)
Other Contact: 834 1438 (phone) 976 6085(fax)
Sheraton Park Lane
A regular night cost around £300 , which we did not pay, we were lucky and got our suite for £100. This place is just down the steet from the Ritz.
There's a Big Bus Company tour stop across the street and down a bit, up beside the Ritz.
Unique Qualities: This was a beautiful place. We would never have been able to afford it if my friend hadn't known someone who worked for Sheraton Hotels. The deal we got was unreal so we did it. Our lovely suite was fabulous and overlooked Green Park. The shower stalls had the rainfall shower heads and I didn't want to get out. My friend practically had a swim in the huge tub, all marble bathroom with that lovely invention - heated towel racks. The towelling robes which are supplied were much appreciated.
The location is fantastic, across from Green Park, a short stroll away from shopping in Picadilly and tons of restaurants.
Address: Picadilly St
Comparison: most expensive
Directions: across from Green Park, down the street from Green Park tube stop
Other Contact: http://www.sheraton.com
Phone: (44) (20) 74996321
Price: US$180 and up
Holiday Inn Ariel
Part of the Holiday Inn chain, quite a decent hotel and extremely close to Heathrow Airport, though this didn't make it a noisy place. Clean, quiet rooms and excellent service from those at reception. There is parking available but most of it is uncovered, though there is a row at the back of the hotel that has a roof and this came in handy since it was pouring when I arrived.
The main car rental agencies are only about a 5 minute drive away, so this was great for dropping off the car before heading to the airport.
There's a bar and a restaurant on the ground floor and I really recommend the restaurant, though it's not that cheap. You can even watch planes landing as you have your meal. Starters were around ?5 as were glasses or wine. My entree was about ?12 and it was delicious, pork medallions with a cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and some veg. My starter was a melon platter with canteloupe and honeydew melon along with a scoop of sorbet.
Wine per glass was about ?4-5 though I skippped it and drank Pepsi, no Coke available.
The dessert menu looked excellent, though I was too stuffed so couldn't find out if they tasted as good as they sounded.
The Hoppa Bus comes to this hotel so it's easy to get to Heathrow if you don't have a car.
Unique Qualities: The building is round and this means the rooms are wedge shaped. This didn't make it small though. My room faced the inner circle so the smaller end of the room was the windows. The bathroom was a decent size with a full tub, and my favourite, a heated towel rack. There's a notice in the bathroom that if you've forgetten any essential such as a razor, just call reception and they'll give you one for free.
I had ordered a single room and the bed was larger than a typical single bed, closer to a small double actually and very comfortable.
A trouser press is in the room along with a hairdryer though the hair dryer is in the bedroom rather than the bathroom, in fact, it was in a drawer.
There's an additional pillow in the closet however my bed had two anyway. You can even request a different pillow if you need a softer/harder one, etc.
Tea and coffee making facilities are available in the room though no biscuits which I always like to find.
There's a mini bar but the prices are still extortionate so I wouldn't bother.
Pay movies are available on the TV along with video games to pass the time. Of course, there are regular TV channels to watch as well.
I booked on the Holiday Inn website and got my room for ?48, booking it in the morning of the day that I checked in.
Address: 118 Bath Road Hayes, London UB3 5AJ
Comparison: about average
Directions: Very near Heathrow Airport
Other Contact: 0044-208-5649265 (fax)
We paid £50 for a twin room with ensuite.
Unique Qualities: Small, clean hotel. Our room was quite spacious with lots of room to move around. They need to work on the breakfast though. We asked for tea in the morning and expected to be either given a pot of tea or have tea poured into our cups, but they made it with a tea bag in the cup and added the milk to it already. Not a good way to serve tea. But the food was good.
Comparison: less expensive than average
Directions: 8 Eltham Green,
Right off the roundabout at the end of the Eltham Hill, watch for the white wall, we didn't see a road sign.