If you're looking for a hotel for you and your family to stay in during your visit to London, or even if you're hoping to splurge a little on yourself for an upcoming holiday, the sky is the limit when it comes to finding a perfect hotel in London.
With over 120,000 hotels to choose from, London's hotels range from budget chains, quirky gems, and, of course, some of the fanciest and most expensive hotels in the world. Unfortunately, however, many hotels in London come at a high cost, and tourists are sometimes trapped into spending the majority of their savings on accommodation alone.
If you're hoping to stay in a hotel in London but you don't know where to start your search, or even if you're hoping to save some money on accommodation, here are some tips to keep in mind:
A rough guide to hotels in London
Whether you're looking for a recognizable chain hotel to stay in, or even a quirky, independently-owned, you'll certainly find it in London.
If it's your first time in London and you're not familiar with the city, then choosing a major hotel chain is normally the way to go. Many hotel chains in London are located in the more touristy areas, and they offer free WiFi and a breakfast buffet, shower gel, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. Some major hotel chains even have their own restaurants or bars serving meals, drinks and refreshments throughout the day or night, so you won't have to worry about finding your way home after a fun night out in London.
Luckily there are a ton of different major hotel chains in London to choose from, and most have locations scattered around London's most touristy areas. There's a Holiday Inn Express located on Old Street, Victoria and Earl's Court, as well as several hotels in the outskirts of London, and both Ibis and the Premier Inn (which is the largest hotel chain in the UK) have tons of hotels scattered around central London as well. Travelodge is another great budget option, as it has over 50 hotels in London alone, and they even offer free breakfasts for children with a paying adult.
But if you're looking for something a little different when it comes to hotels in London, there's also a variety of independently-owned, quirky and unique hotels in the city as well. There's an Africa-theme hotel (The Safari Hotel), a Cuban/Mexican theme hotel (The Church Street Hotel), and even futuristic hotels (like CitizenM), and historic hotels (like the Georgian House Hotel), and many, many more.
No matter what kind of hotel you're looking for, all you need to do is spend a good half hour searching on the internet, and you're bound to come across a hotel that offers everything you can hope for when it comes down to finding the perfect accommodation in London.
Where to find the best hotels in London
Let's face it: London is expensive. And accommodation aside, you could spend a ton of your money on transportation costs just to get from point A to point B. That's why the most important decision you could make when it comes to booking a hotel in London is choosing what area you're going to stay in.
Luckily many of London's major hotel districts are located close to London's most popular tourist attractions, but they come at a high price. Not only that, the majority of these hotels have rooms that are a little on the small side, but make up for it thanks to their prime locations.
The majority of hotels in central London tend to be located in Kensington, or the areas surrounding Hyde Park. There are also a ton of options in Mayfair and Soho, as well as a handful in the areas between The Regent's Park and Hyde Park.
You can also find several major chains in the City of London, though they tend to be tailored more to the business clientèle staying in London during the work week, as well as a few hotels in South Bank near the Tate Modern and the London Eye
Also, if you plan on using the London Underground for the majority of your stay in London, it would be a wise idea to book a hotel that is in Zone One, or at the furthest, Zone Two; otherwise you could be paying an arm and a leg just to get from your hotel to central London.
Where to book hotels in London
If you have a specific place in mind, you an always book a room on the hotel's official website using a credit card. However, if you're unsure as to which hotel to book, the smartest option would be to use a search engine on a hotel comparison website which will help narrow down your choices.
Booking.com is one of the most popular websites to use when it comes to finding hotels in London, as it has various filtering tools which allow you to see which hotels are the cheapest or closer to the city centre. You can also narrow your search results by selecting how many rooms you want, how close you want to be to certain attractions and landmark, and what types of facilities you're looking for.
Hotels.com is another great option, as it sometimes offers discounts on rooms which could save you up to 50% on your total accommodation costs, and HotWire.com has also recently partnered with various hotels in London to help get rid of any unsold rooms at a much lower rate.
Lastminute.com is another great option in finding great last-minute deals on hotel rooms (hence, the name), and Tripadvisor and Trivago claim to be some of the best hotel comparison websites on the web as well.
How to save money on hotels in London
If you really want to save money on a London hotel, you could always book a hotel in areas outside of the city centre. However you will need to factor in transportation costs, and the fact that it may take longer periods of time to get to and from the hotel during a day of sightseeing.
Obviously booking a hotel room well in advance (as in at least three to six months before your holiday) is the best way to save money on London hotel costs. Also try to avoid staying in a hotel during any sort of event or holiday like The London Marathon, New Year's Eve, etc. If you are in London during a special event or holiday but you still want to save money on a hotel, you may have no other choice than to book a hotel outside of central London, as hotels get booked quite quickly; (sometimes a year or more in advance!)
Also, try to avoid staying in a budget London hotel over the weekend when it tends to be pricier, as hotels tend to tailor to weekend shoppers, university students and concert-goers heading to London for a fun weekend getaway. Business hotels in the City of London on the other hand, offer bigger discounts on the weekends due to the fact that their regular clients tend to go home for Saturday and Sunday.
But just because you plan on staying in London over the holidays doesn't necessarily mean every hotel jacks up its prices. As a matter of fact, some lesser-known hotels with lower score ratings tend to drop down their prices in order to compete with each other. Places like Tune Hotel near Liverpool Street and easyHotel Old Street offer one week stays during the holidays which cost around £450, but they don't necessarily have the greatest reviews. So if you truly want to save every penny possible, you may have to bite the bullet and stay at a hotel that doesn't have the greatest ratings
Also, if you're booking for a large group and/or family, it tends to be cheaper if you book two hotel rooms rather than one large family room; however the rooms may not be next to each other, it's well worth it when you factor in the amount you save.