Today London has over a thousand hotels which can lead to a frustrating search for that perfect hotel, let us help you in choosing the right hotel or apartment for you in this guide.
A few of the hotels are tourist traps, some are excellent but very expensive and over priced, and others will simply provide you with a perfect stay and enhance your visit to London.
We will show you what you should look out for when choosing the right hotel, how to save money, how to easily compare prices from multiple websites, where to read real and relevant reviews of the hotels, what are the best current deals, and of course, our personal recommendations for hotels at different price points. So sit back, relax, and continue reading our must know hotel survival guide.
- Where to sleep in London?
- London Hotel Price Comparison Site
- Recommended hotels in London
- 5 star hotels in Central London
- 4 star hotels in Central London
- 5 star hotel just outside Central London – Shoreditch
- 3 star hotel a short journey from Central London
- Cheap hotel in Central London
- Recommended Hostels in Central London
- Staying with locals in London
- Flats and Services Apartments in London
- Apartments in Kensington
- Secret Hotels
- Current deals and offer on London hotels
- Where not to stay in London
Where to sleep in London?
Finding the right hotel for you will first start with defining your budget, identifying your level of luxury and how long you are willing to travel each morning and evening to get to and from your hotel and Central London.
Although London has many hotels, there is also a near constant demand for them, so don’t be surprised if a hotel you have chosen now will be fully booked within a couple of hours as you make your decision, especially during peak holiday seasons. It is good to use the comparison sites, as many of them provide you with the option to book a room now, but cancel it within 72 hours of your first night without a penalty, many sites will also allow you to pay for your stay only when you arrive at the hotel, so no need for a deposit, that is why we recommend you book your hotel early to ensure you get the best room and price combination for yourself. Always check the terms and conditions on the site to ensure you are able to cancel the hotel and what fees, if any, are chargeable.
London Hotel Price Comparison Site
One of our first recommendations would be for you to compare the price of the hotel you have chosen on a few different sites as the prices can vary hugely, although don’t worry as there is a specific hotel search engine to help you do this.
You should make sure the offers, terms and conditions are the same when comparing multiple websites, for example, that they are the same room type, include breakfast, or late check out, as some websites may include these and others may not, also important is to check the cancellation policy for each site and hotel.
We recommend you start with Hotels Combined, which is a great comparison site and will save you time trawling through many websites and may even save you some money.
Recommended hotels in London
So where would be a good place to sleep in London? London is a big and busy city with over a thousand hotels, it is important to compare a few hotels and chose the right one for you, especially as a bad hotel can ruin your whole trip and a good hotel will make your days and nights better, imagine coming back to a nice hotel after a long day of shopping or sightseeing and having a comfortable bed waiting for you, it could even feel like a second home. The following suggestions are all hotels we know well and are ordered by price. For those of you on an even tighter budget we have also included a section on hostels.
5 star hotels in Central London
In this case, it is very easy for us to recommend the Langham London which is located just off Regent Street in Central London and is one of the better hotels in London with great service, good size rooms, and many amenities. Although be aware, the price will match the service, so it won’t be cheap but you should still compare prices. If you would like a more intimate 5 star hotel and want to feel closer to the Queen, geographically at least, then we would recommend you check out Hotel 41, a hotel with only 30 rooms, don’t forget to compare prices before you book.
4 star hotels in Central London
A personal favourite of ours is situated just minutes walk from Regent Street but is in a quiet and upmarket neighbourhood called Marylebone. The hotel is close to many shops, has a very nice swimming pool and is called The Marylebone Hotel, you can compare prices here.
If you are looking for a slightly cheaper 4 star hotel, we recommend the Holiday Inn Regents Park which is in a part of London called Fitzrovia, and is walking distance from both Regent’s Park and Oxford Street, you can find comparison prices here, alternatively there is the Melia White House Hotel which is also close to Regent’s Park.
For a different view of London, we recommend the CitizenM Bankside Hotel on the southern side of the Thames River, next to the Tate Modern museum and Borough Market, a great little food market. It is a short walk from the City of London and the Underground. The hotel is part of the CitizenM group of hotels, a concept we really like, where each hotel is uniquely designed, decently priced, and no extra charges for in-room internet, free movies to watch, a large comfortable bed, ability to easily control the temperature, the colour of the room lights, the TV and the curtains all from a single touch screen controller. In addition, they have beautiful lobbies to sit in. You can book directly at the hotel’s website, and if you use our special code WINTER, you will receive a 12% discount until 29 February 2016.
5 star hotel just outside Central London – Shoreditch
Want to stay in an interesting and cool hotel with a young vibe and high quality service? Then try the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch. You can always compare prices here. Shoreditch is London’s hipster area with many pubs, coffee shops and a great atmosphere.
3 star hotel a short journey from Central London
Central London hotels can be very expensive and if you try to look for something cheaper in the centre, chances are the hotel will be of lower quality too. Therefore, it is our recommendation that for good 3 star hotels you should look a bit further out of Central London, and find a hotel in Zone 2, close to an Underground station and local busses. One such hotel we recommend is the Quality Hotel Hampstead, and you can compare prices here.
Cheap hotel in Central London
The cheap hotels in London are usually very basic for those looking for a no frills offering with running hot water, a shower, and a clean bed, this is exactly what Tune Hotel is offering, although you should note that everything else is extra, including a TV, Internet, towels and such.
A cheap chain of hotels all over England, including London is Travelodge, their London hotels are more expensive than the rest of the UK, but are still cheaper than some of the hotels covered in this article.
Recommended Hostels in Central London
Staying with locals in London
So you want to save money and live like a true local, while experiencing something different from the normal hotels or hostels? Then try HomeStay.com the place to find locals you can stay with in London and across the globe.
Flats and Services Apartments in London
A great option for families travelling with children and staying more than a couple of days is to find yourself a flat tor serviced apartment, this may be cheaper than a couple of hotel rooms, will give you that second home feeling and will include a kitchen where you can cook your own food.
HomeAway is a great site for renting large flats for families all over Europe.
OwnersDirect is a site with over 70,000 houses all over the globe with many interesting options in London.
Airbnb is probably the world’s largest and best known for short and medium term flat and serviced apartment rental, although don’t expect to find anything particularly cheap in Central London. Prices are close to those of hotels in the area, if you do find something that looks very cheap, be sure to check out the reviews, to make sure it is real, unfortunately, there are a lot of fake properties on the site, and no matter what you choose, make sure to always only pay via the site and not via a third-party. If you have never used airbnb before, send us an email or contact us through our App and we can send you a £13 discount code for your first rental or £50 if you are renting out your own place.
Booking.com also has a nice range of flats for short-term rent in London and you can read reviews before booking.
Hotels.com has a range of flats for short-term rent in London ordered by distance from the centre of town.
Always remember to read the reviews, check the location and do some research before booking your flat or serviced apartment in London. You are more than welcome to write to us and ask for a personalised recommendation.
Apartments in Kensington
Kensington is one of the better, more upmarket areas of London, close to the centre, near a number of good museums, and near the Kensington High Street, a street filled with some of London’s top shops. 51 Kensington Court is an apartment block that could be ideal for a family, with good service, a good location and, from our experience, nice and friendly staff. You can compare prices here.
Secret Hotels are hotels that until you have confirmed your booking, you are not told what hotel you will be staying in, and usually there is no option to cancel your reservation. Using this method, hotels can lower their prices and sell more rooms without letting those people who are willing to pay full price, or have pre booked with the option of cancellation know about the special offer.
Two sites that offer secret hotels are Hotwire.com (owned by Expedia and hotels.com) and Priceline.com (owned by booking.com). Both are recommended and can save you a lot of money and time as you don’t need to pick and chose a hotel, they do that for you, although be aware, you wont know what hotel you are given until you have confirmed and paid.
On these sites you will however see what part of London the hotel will be in, as well as recommendations and the services offered by the hotel, e.g. TV, WiFi, etc. We believe in most cases, not knowing the hotel is worth it for the discount you get.
Current deals and offer on London hotels
Hotels.com always has good offers in London.
The upmarket hotel chain, Red Carnation Hotels are currently offering one night free for every stay of 4 nights or more at their Chesterfield Mayfair hotel when using the code 4for3, and The Rubens at the Palace hotel is offering the 4th night free with the code OneMore.
Further deals and offers in London can be found on our London Deals page.
Where not to stay in London
London is a big city, not just from what there is to see and do, but also from a geographical perspective, covering a large area. There are areas that are very far and hard to get to from the centre of town (think over an hour using public transport), there are also areas without an Underground station, making getting to and from the centre very difficult and time-consuming. London is one of the greatest cities in the world, but there are still some areas that are best avoided at night (and maybe even during the day).
Generally, areas best avoided are those with limited public transport and no underground stations, as well as those far south (past the River Thames), or east past Whitechapel.
Never book a hotel or apartment with bad reviews, always check the star rating and don’t stay in hotels with less than 70% approval. It is always good advice to read recent reviews on the site you are booking and on other sites too, although know these reviews are just that, nothing is ever perfect, so best to follow your instinct.
If you are not sure, you are always welcome to contact us for a personalised recommendation.