Visit London Blog » Accommodation http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:05:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Hotel News: 5-star Shangri-La Opens at The Shard; Jazz Returns to Bloomsbury; Plan a Girl’s Night in http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/hotel-news-5-star-shangri-la-opens-at-the-shard-jazz-returns-to-bloomsbury-plan-a-girls-night-in/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/hotel-news-5-star-shangri-la-opens-at-the-shard-jazz-returns-to-bloomsbury-plan-a-girls-night-in/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 10:00:54 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38773 The Shangri-La, The Shard

As summer excitement builds, there’s plenty of London hotel news to delight visitors, from jazz and theatre-themed nights to pampering packages for women and cool treats for kids. There are also new openings to explore, with the eagerly awaited The Shangri-La Hotel having opened its doors at The Shard this month.

New arrivals

The most hotly anticipated opening of recent years, The Shangri-La, At The Shard, opened earlier this month. Nestled high up within Renzo Piano’s impressive building, this 5-star hotel offers more than 200 rooms and sweeping views of London. There are also dining options at TĪNG, which serves modern European food with Chinese twist, and the deli LÁNG; while cocktails can be sipped at GŎNG on level 52, where there is also a stunning infinity pool.

Further west, the suburb of Brentford is welcoming a new arrival. Opening on 9 June, Novotel London Brentford is in a great location for exploring Kew Gardens and Richmond, and is just 20 minutes away from Heathrow. As well as 202 contemporary and spacious rooms, there will be on-site refreshment in Elements restaurant and bar as well as a pool, fitness centre and sauna to enjoy.

Get your culture fix

Meliá White House's Kids & Co. clubIt don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing at The Bloomsbury Hotel from this month. The hideaway just off Oxford Street has relaunched its monthly Jazz & Swing evenings, providing guests a chance to sample the best of the wide-ranging genre through live performances (tickets: £25 per person).

The Landmark London is also in the limelight, with its From West End to Broadway gala dinner featuring the best of musical songs, on 27 June (tickets: £95 per person).

The Doyle Collection is offering visitors a chance to really get to grips with London, with the Discover London package at its hotels: The Bloomsbury Hotel, The Kensington Hotel and The Marylebone Hotel. Available Thursdays to Sundays, guests are given a Zone 1 and 2 day travelcard, a concierge pack with top tips on what to see and do, breakfast, late check out and a welcome drink with their overnight stay (£225 for two people).

Kids rule, OK!

Kids will be made to feel right at home at Meliá White House. The swanky hotel near Regent’s Park has introduced a crèche enabling the little ones to play to their hearts’ content, looked after by nannies. It has also added the Kids & Co by Meliá service concept that sees children given a designated check-in area, a glass of milk and homemade cookies upon turn down, and their own welcome letter.

Girls just wanna have fun

Girls Night In at The BerkeleyIt’s not all about kids; however. The Berkeley has relaunched its Girls Night In package. Crammed full of girlie delights such as Diptyque candles, chick flicks, manicures and a pink hat box containing scrumptious goodies, it’s the perfect treat for those who want to relax away from male interruptions (available weekdays and weekends from £630 including English breakfast for two people).

Fresh for foodies

And finally, there are a number of recent additions to London’s hotel dining scene. Lee Westcott heads up Typing Room, which replaces former Michelin-starred eatery Viajante, at Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel, ; acclaimed chef Simon Rogan is now serving a menu based on “wild food” at Fera in Claridge’s; while all-day dining venue Pantry at 108 is now open at The Marylebone Hotel.

More London hotels

 

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Grace Kelly’s London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/grace-kellys-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/grace-kellys-london/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 07:30:40 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38624 Blog post by Kate White

Grace Kelly and James Stewart in Rear Window. Courtesy of the BFI.

London has always been a magnet for the famous and fabulous, and Hollywood royalty Grace Kelly was no exception. As one of the world’s most stylish women, it’s no surprise that the actress-turned-princess loved the finer things the capital had to offer. To celebrate the upcoming release of new biopic Grace Of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman, we’ve rounded up a few ways to experience London Grace Kelly-style, without having a movie star’s bank balance.

The Connaught

The Connaught
Grace always checked-in at plush Mayfair hotel The Connaught. You might balk at the cost of the penthouse suite, but in their charming cocktail bar you can indulge on a smaller scale. You’ll be in good hands because the bartenders there can knock you up a cocktail inspired by their famous former guest. These delectable drinks aren’t on the menu so only those in the know now request them. It’s a divine way to toast Princess Grace and end your night feeling as fancy as royalty.

Ray StitchLearn to make a Grace Kelly-style dress at Ray Stitch
You can’t think of Grace without picturing a wardrobe to die for. Ms Kelly has never gone out of fashion and Islington-based sewing school Ray Stitch is running a special course where you can make your own Grace dress. Their experienced teachers will guide you through a Vintage Vogue pattern and, after you’ve created your gorgeous gown, you can hit the Big Smoke knowing you look good enough for your close up. The class takes place over four Friday evening sessions, beginning 20 June.

Alfred Hitchcock

The Alfred Hitchcock London Locations Walk
She became a professional princess but who could forget Grace’s other day job on the silver screen? It was in front of Alfred Hitchcock’s camera that she really shone and the pair collaborated on three iconic movies – To Catch A Thief, Rear Window and Dial M For Murder. Take film historian Sandra Shevey’s fascinating walking tour to get the lowdown on the legendary director, his London locations and the story behind the Hitchcock blonde. The walk runs three times a week and lasts for three hours, plenty of time to grill Sandra, who met and interviewed Hitchcock in 1972, about Alfred and his obsession with Grace.

Cafe de Paris

Café de Paris
Her own style was classic and elegant so it’s no wonder that Grace’s favourite restaurant in London was Café de Paris. Built in 1924 and located in the heart of the West End, the sparkling cabaret club is still bewitching guests to this day. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal and to take in one of their legendary stage shows, all the while turning heads as you swish around in your bespoke Grace gown.

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Video: London’s Top 5 Most Luxurious Hotel Suites http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/video-londons-top-5-most-luxurious-hotel-suites/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/video-londons-top-5-most-luxurious-hotel-suites/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:47:55 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38343 Have you ever wondered what happens when royalty, film stars and wealthy individuals visit London? Where do they sleep? Which hotels do they stay in?

Watch these videos and take a sneaky peek into five of London’s best hotel suites to see what life is like for the rich and famous.


The Royal Penthouse, Corinthia Hotel London 
Regarded as one of the best luxury suites in London, the Royal Penthouse at Corinthia Hotel London is as good as it gets. The two-floor, 465 sq. m (5,000 sq. ft) space is filled with indulgent opulence: an oval 10-seat dining room, a private spa suite, a butler’s kitchen, a walk-in wine cellar, and private roof terrace overlooking the EDF Energy London Eye. The suite is £15,000-£18,000 per night (plus VAT) which includes private butler service.


The Cinema Suite, Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, Suites & Residences
All of the rooms within the luxury Cinema Suite at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, Suites & Residences reference Hollywood and Bollywood in some way. The suite is just minutes from Buckingham Palace and it overlooks one of London’s most outstanding alfresco spaces; a real hidden gem during the summer. The suite is 170 sq. m (1,832 sq. ft) with an 85 inch, high definition 3D screen as its focal point. The suite is £5,100 (plus VAT) per night, including full butler service.


The Royal Suite, The Savoy
The Edwardian interior of The Royal Suite takes up the entire fifth floor (325 sq. m or 3,498 sq. ft) of The Savoy hotel. There are eight windows allowing views along the Thames from Canary Wharf to the Houses of Parliament. A Savoy butler is on call 24 hours a day and the suite is yours for £12,000 per night (inclusive of VAT) which includes free transfers to any London airport or train station.


The Royal Suite, Claridge’s
Claridge’s in Mayfair is the perfect hotel for the person who wants it all. There are fantastic shopping opportunities along New Bond Street, Royal Parks beauty in nearby Hyde Park and Green Park, and Michelin star restaurants galore in the surrounding Mayfair district. You may just decide to stay in the hotel and enjoy The Royal Suite’s grand piano, original Edwardian furniture, wood and marble fireplace, and 12-person private dining room. This 223 sq. m (2,400 sq. ft) suite is £4,500 – £6,500 (plus VAT) per night. A complimentary Mercedes S-Class airport transfer from London Heathrow Airport is included in the price.


The Infinity Suite, The Langham
A stay at The Langham hotel will appeal to shopaholics, due to its proximity to Oxford Street and Mayfair. The 236 sq. m (2540 sq. ft) Infinity Suite boasts a lovely bay window overlooking All Souls Church, a king-sized four-poster bed, a 72″ TV with Bose sound system, and a bottle of champagne. This suite is £15,600 per night (inclusive of VAT) and includes butler service.

Find more luxury hotels in London.

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Hotel News: Easter Treats, New Suites and Long Sleeps http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/hotel-news-easter-treats-new-suites-and-long-sleeps/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/hotel-news-easter-treats-new-suites-and-long-sleeps/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:00:42 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38438 Easter afternoon tea at The Royal Horseguards

There’s a distinct foodie theme to this month’s hotel news with tasty Easter treats and new activities to make wine- and cake-lovers salivate. Away from the table, there are new luxury suites to enjoy and a special project to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Last-minute Easter egg-citement

There are plenty of Easter offerings at London hotels this weekend. Among them, The Royal Horseguards has introduced a special afternoon tea menu as well as children’s treats such as Easter bunny macaroons, egg nest cupcakes and egg decorating. While over at Hilton London Metropole, you can try tempting cocoa-based creations at the EG Chocolate Corner in the lobby.

Foodie delights

The Royal Garden Hotel has seen the re-opening of its Park Terrace Restaurant this month after a £1.5 million refurbishment, and it’s celebrating by offering guests a free glass of wine with any two- or three-course meal during April or May.

Waldorf Hilton's Patisserie MasterclassContinuing the foodie theme, Waldorf Hilton will be running patisserie masterclasses from 24 May. Aimed at helping enthusiastic beginners, the hotel’s pastry chef David Conlon will share his top tips for making the perfect cakes.

Wine-lovers will be licking their lips at The Landmark London’s new wine and cheese evenings on the third Wednesday of every month. There are six different tipples to tantalise the tastebuds, complemented by cheeses from a specific country at each tasting in its twotwentytwo restaurant.

Jumeirah Carlton Tower has introduced a ‘gentlemen’s club’ experience featuring a golf simulator and private dining in the on-site Rib Room Bar & Restaurant. The hotel has also announced it will be running a Fitness Retreat in July with weekend sessions providing inspiration and guidance on getting fit and staying healthy.

Suite treats

Next month sees the opening of refurbished suites and apartments from Flemings Mayfair, including a stunning penthouse and a roof terrace. This follows hot on the heels of the launch of a new suite at The Kensington Hotel last month; the Kensington Suite comes complete with its own private decanter bar, a daybed and plunge baths.

Flemings Mayfair's new apartmentsAnd it’s goodnight from me…

The Corinthia Hotel London is introducing the Power of Sleep project next month, in which it aims to highlight how important a good night’s sleep is.

There will be a sleep coach on hand to give advice, special spa treatments to indulge in and sleep packages to enjoy. The on-site restaurant, The Northall, has also introduced a new snooze-friendly Sleep Menu featuring essential ingredients for a good night under the duvet.

More London hotels

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48 Hour Gay Guide to East London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/48-hour-gay-guide-to-east-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/48-hour-gay-guide-to-east-london/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:00:16 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38310 A guest blog post by Adam Groffman, author of travel blog Travels of Adam

London’s East End is one of the capital’s coolest neighborhoods. A longtime working class area, East London is now home to some of the city’s best restaurants and bars. And while London’s gay scene is traditionally in Soho, most hipsters have moved further afield to Shoreditch and Hackney. Here’s our guide to a fun weekend in East London, including gay nightlife and tourist attractions:

Shoreditch

FRIDAY NIGHT

Stay at The Boundary Hotel
A former Victorian warehouse, Shoreditch’s Boundary Hotel is a great place to stay if you’re visiting on a romantic weekend as it has a rooftop restaurant and bar, as well as a boutique style which make the place seem homely yet elegant. Rooms from £200 per night.

A Taste of the East
Rather than splurging on a meal at the rooftop bar in the hotel, visit the popular Indian restaurant across the street Dishoom. The garden and laid-back style make it a great place to chill out before heading out for the night.

Loungelover

Cocktails at Loungelover
For a Friday night nightcap, take a short stroll to the trendy Loungelover bar, which has won countless awards for its menu as well as its design. Every room is luxuriously decorated.

Shoreditch grafitti

SATURDAY

Enjoy a food tour
To get a taste of East London, skip breakfast at the hotel and instead make your way to Spitalfields Market. There, at 10am, the East End Food Tour begins. At £59, the walking food tour includes enough food to cover both breakfast and lunch taking in some of East London’s best eateries. It also covers Brick Lane and a bit of history about Jack the Ripper. On a budget? Free Tours by Foot offer pay-what-you-like food and history tours of the East End.

Vintage shopping at Broadway Market
Broadway Market takes place at the foot of London Fields park every Saturday. It’s basically a food market, though some of the shops along the street include bookstores and vintage shops. If you want to visit an authentic London pub, enjoy a pint at The Cat & Mutton.

Dining out in Shoreditch
After a long day of walking through East London, a relaxed dinner near Shoreditch High Street is in order. Keep an eye out for one of the food trucks to grab a light snack. Across the street from Shoreditch Box Park on the High Street is a canopied food hall (inside you’ll want to try Tulum Tacos or Yalla Yalla). Across the street is the trendy Hoi Polloi restaurant inside ACE Hotel. They’ve got a selection of small food plates and great cocktails to go with them.

Gay clubs in East London
For a proper night out, there are a few great options for gay clubs in East London. Dalston Superstore is a classic. Check their website for a calendar of events. East Bloc  is where all the indie boys and girls go — so you’ll be sure to get some good music and fun nights there. But if you’re after a more British setting, go to the George & Dragon pub on Hackney Street for a sample of the Shoreditch hipster scene.

Columbia Road

SUNDAY

Brick Lane and Columbia Road Markets
Sunday is arguably the best day to be hanging out in East London. With the Columbia Road Flower Market in Hackney and the massive Brick Lane market, there are more than enough things to do and see. Here you’ll find vendors selling everything from street food to vintage clothing.

Tramshed

Art gallery in a restaurant basement
To top off the weekend, make your way to the trendy Tramshed Restaurant on Rivington Street. In the basement is a small gallery space featuring a wide range of artists — not just established ones, but local up-and-coming ones as well.

TRAVELS OF ADAM focuses on the most hip and cool things to do around the world. Follow Adam on Instagram and Pinterest to discover his latest cool travel finds.

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Hotel News: Booking Opens for The Shangri-La At The Shard; Chocolatey Easter Delights; Orient-Express Rebrands http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/03/hotel-news-booking-opens-for-the-shangri-la-at-the-shard-chocolatey-easter-delights-orient-express-rebrands/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/03/hotel-news-booking-opens-for-the-shangri-la-at-the-shard-chocolatey-easter-delights-orient-express-rebrands/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 10:00:37 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38115 The Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard

One of the most anticipated hotel openings in recent years is now a step closer this month,  while there’s plenty to look forward to at Easter. March has also seen the rebrand of a major hotel group; and there are delights for foodies and bookworms to enjoy.

Shangri-La Hotel Open for Bookings

The Shangri-La Hotel, At The ShardThe most eagerly anticipated opening of the year is inching that bit closer as booking lines are open from today. The Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, which opens in May, features a stunning infinity pool as part of its cocktail bar on the 52nd level as well as a restaurant with panoramic views and a ground floor patisserie.

Its restaurant, Ting, and its opulent rooms are now available for bookings ahead of the confirmed opening on 6 May. Ting will serve European dishes with a hint of an Asian twist and will be found on level 35 where 360-degree views will afford the perfect opportunity to marvel at London’s skyline.

The hotel‘s cocktail bar, Gŏng, will become London’s highest champagne and cocktail bar upon opening in July, when it will be far too tempting not to take a dip in the magnificent pool.

Easter Excitement

Easter will soon be upon us, and with increasingly spring-like weather and daffodils in bloom where better to stay than with views across the green expanses of Hyde Park? Throughout April, London Hilton on Park Lane has a chocolate-themed Suite Easter package, which includes a stay in one of its luxury Park Lane Suites, a Confessions of a Chocoholic afternoon tea and a handmade chocolate gift.  Served on a painter’s palette, cakes included in the afternoon tea can be hand decorated by the guest using an edible glaze. The price of the one-night package is £1,015.

Confessions of a Chocoholic at London Hilton on Park LaneThe Corinthia Hotel London is also going cocoa crazy, with a chocolate masterclass on 5 April. Guests can learn the ropes from Head Pastry Chef Kimberly Lin-McCartney. Secure your spot for this one-day only event for £175.

In Other News…

The parent company of the British Pullman, Orient-Express, has re-branded its hotel offering under a new name, Belmond. The company’s only asset to keep the Orient-Express moniker will be the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train.

Finally, Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes has opened an online bookshop featuring a collection dedicated to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective. Watson’s Lounge Bookshop has been set up in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, with 10% of its proceeds going to the charity.

More London hotels

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Hotel news: Treat the Parents, Live Film Screenings, New Shoreditch Hotel Announced http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/02/hotel-news-treat-the-parents-live-film-screenings-new-shoreditch-hotel-announced/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/02/hotel-news-treat-the-parents-live-film-screenings-new-shoreditch-hotel-announced/#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2014 11:00:36 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=37823 Winter Cinema at The Berkely

With Valentine’s Day breaks behind us, it’s time to look forward to Mother’s Day. There are also some fantastic cultural attractions offered by London hotels this month, from film screenings to Shakespearean tours.

Foodie delights

Mother’s Day will be here before you know it, so get your treat organised early by booking brunch in the Chelsea Riverside Brasserie at Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour; the £45 menu for 30 March can be upgraded with unlimited champagne for an extra £10.

Hilton London Metropole's Chocolate CornerThe Athenaeum makes sure fathers are not forgotten. Its Gentleman’s Anytime Afternoon Tea features traditional savory selections such as wild boar sausage rolls and miniature steak and ale pies paired with whiskey or tea (available until 30 June).

Something sure to appeal to those with a sweet tooth, Hilton London Metropole has opened the Chocolate Corner; an intimate shop in its lobby stocked with indulgent truffles, ganaches and pralines.

Cultural curations

To mark the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth this year, Jumeirah Carlton Tower has launched a Midsummer Night’s Dream package. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted by Oberon and then whisked off on a tour around London’s Shakespearean landmarks, before returning to The Rib Room for cocktails named after the barb’s works.

As the official hotel partner for the BRIT Awards, ME London is hosting a photographic exhibition focusing on past winners in its Marconi Lounge Bar until 10 March. And don’t miss the man-sized replica of the award itself in the hotel’s atrium on the way.

ME London's BRIT Award sculptureEmbracing the big screen, The May Fair Hotel is mid-way through its season of live screenings in partnership with the Royal Opera House, with Sleeping Beauty, The Winter’s Tale and Manon Lescaut still to be shown in the hotel’s 201-seater theatre. Meanwhile, The Berkeley has turned the rooftop terrace of its health club and spa into a private six-seat cinema, with two screenings every weekday night of Marilyn Monroe’s Some Like it Hot.

For the little ones, the story of Barbar The Elephant is combined with afternoon tea at The Kensington Hotel this month. Part of the programme with the National Youth Theatre, kids can sample sweet treats while listening to the charming story recited by actors.

New openings

Hampton by Hilton London Waterloo became the brand’s first Central London property when it opened earlier this month. The 297-room property follows the recent addition of Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport North Terminal.

See Shakespearean sights with Jumeirah Carlton TowerThere’s another new hotel to look forward to next year, with the announcement that CitizenM – which already owns London Bankside – will open another boutique hotel in Shoreditch.

Get connected

GLH Hotels now offers fast and free ‘one-click’ BT WiFi in all of its Thistle hotels. Introduced earlier this month, the internet service enables guests to make Skype calls, download films securely and stay connected in all 31 of its hotels.

 More London hotels

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London’s Top 10 Coolest Hostels http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/londons-top-10-coolest-hostels/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/londons-top-10-coolest-hostels/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 10:00:13 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=37427 Safestay

A stay in London doesn’t have to be expensive; it is possible to live it up on a budget in the capital. If you’re looking for an ideal location, comfort and (most importantly) fun, there are plenty of hostels dotted around the city just waiting to show you a good time; you just have to know where to look.

Hostel booking website Hostelworld has selected 10 of the coolest hostels in London:

The Dictionary, Shoreditch

Welcome to Shoreditch, the birthplace of London’s hipster scene, and what better way to enjoy the trendy area than staying in the first youth hostel ever to be built there? More than just a place to stay, The Dictionary offers a self-catering kitchen and super-friendly bar and café, making it impossible to leave here without new friends.

Safestay, Elephant and Castle

Just minutes away from London’s biggest tourism hotspots – including the South Bank, the Houses of Parliament and Borough MarketSafestay hostel gets top marks for convenience. It’s also a fine example of elegance on a budget; the chic Georgian building and artwork from up-and-coming British talent will add a touch of luxury to your budget stay.

Palmerslodge

Palmers Lodge, Swiss Cottage

With a free breakfast, funky décor and just 11 minutes from the centre of London by tube, Palmers Lodge is ideal for budget travellers with an upmarket taste. The historic building and committed staff have helped the hostel chain win numerous awards over the years, including one for Best Accommodation in the UK.

Clink78

Clink 78, King’s Cross

This Victorian beauty was once the home of Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist was penned within its walls – along with being a former courthouse, where The Clash stood trial in 1978 for shooting a prize pigeon. Besides a seriously colourful history, Clink 78 is also a famed party hostel, ideal for impoverished backpackers in need of new friends and a good time.

Astor, Hyde Park

Kensington used to be an exclusive playground for the elite, but thanks to the budget-friendly Astor, shoestring travellers can now set up camp just minutes away from Kensington Gardens and The Serpentine. The townhouse boasts a stunning layout and free Wi-Fi.

The Walrus Hostel, Waterloo

Free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and right above a traditional English pub – what more could you ask for? The Walrus is just a short walk from the city’s main attractions and provides a booking service for tours around the country – Stonehenge is a popular choice.

Pride of Paddington, Paddington

Choose from a comfy private or shared dorm above a pub that serves some of the most delicious food in London. Not only does Pride of Paddington offer a free full English breakfast – with all the trimmings – but as a guest you are entitled to a discount on everything on the pub menu. Put that together with Portobello Road market, Oxford Street and Covent Garden all within a 30-minute walk, and you have everything you need to enjoy all the capital has to offer.

The Gallery, Hyde Park

Within easy reach of the central, circle and district tube lines The Gallery is perfectly positioned to explore London’s centre. If shopping on Oxford Street or dining in Mayfair doesn’t suit your budget, have no fear. Hyde Park is right on The Gallery’s doorstep, perfect for long scenic walks and people watching, and it won’t cost you a penny.

Generator London

Generator London, Bloomsbury

If you’re into eccentric interiors and have a healthy appetite for partying, stay at Generator Hostel. Their facilities are extensive – including a bar, travel shop, lounge, café – and the location is probably as central as is possible to be in London. With hostels across Europe, the Generator attracts tourists from all over, so you’re guaranteed to make friends with some seasoned travellers.

Destinations at The Rose and Crown, Borough

The Rose and Crown is the perfect way to experience old fashioned English pub fun, with regular quiz nights, karaoke and hearty real ale. The warm and cosy atmosphere right below this Destinations hostel is ideal for a touch of homeliness in the big city.

Hostelworld.com is the world’s number one hostel booking website. As well as featuring independent and official youth hostels, the site now features campsites, self-catering accommodation, B&Bs and budget hotels. It currently lists over 27,000 properties in more than 180 countries.

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London Hotel News: Valentine’s Day Hotel Packages, New Openings, Taj Group Rebrands http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/london-hotel-news-valentines-day-hotel-packages-new-openings-taj-group-rebrands/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/london-hotel-news-valentines-day-hotel-packages-new-openings-taj-group-rebrands/#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2014 10:00:57 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=37247 Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour

With its iconic sights perfect for snuggled-up selfies, green parks for romantic walks and range of shows and restaurants to suit all couples’ tastes, London is hard to beat for lovers. What’s more, celebrating Valentine’s Day in London is made even better by offers at some of London’s most romantic hotels come 14 February.

Rekindle Romance with Valentine’s Day Packages

If 2014 marks a special anniversary – or you just want to splash out to show how much you care – treat your loved one to a stay at one of London’s world-famous hotels. The Ritz has an option that includes accommodation and a dinner dance (packages from £1,155); while at The Dorchester, couples can indulge in breakfast in bed, canapés and champagne during their stay (packages from £630). Or, for the ultimate in wooing, book a Royal Suite at Jumeirah Carlton Tower during February and receive red roses, champagne and an in-room massage as part of the deal (packages from £8,160).

Stafford London by Kempinski For something a little easier on the wallet, the DoubleTree by Hilton Victoria has a Valentine’s Luxury Package that includes a bottle of bubbly on arrival, a five-course dinner in the on-site restaurant, accommodation in a deluxe or executive room or suite, and a re-invigorating breakfast the morning after. Packages from £268.

In vibrant Covent Garden, the boutique-styled Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel is offering a deal on its signature Deluxe Rooms and Suites with chocolates, champagne and breakfast in bed thrown in to help make the night even more special. Packages from £320.

Ramp up the romance by looking out at the statue of Eros (the god of love) from Hotel Café Royal as you enjoy pink champagne, a five-course dinner and a hot bath run by a butler. Wake up to breakfast in bed before making the most of two 50-minute spa treatments. Packages from £595.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries are sure to win your way into your companion’s heart. The Stafford London by Kempinski combines these tasty morsels and pink champagne with an overnight stay a few footsteps away from green spaces of Hyde Park and St James’s Park (packages from £285). Further west, Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour also includes these fruity delights as part of its package alongside truffles, river or marina views, a full English breakfast and a late check-out at 2pm (packages from £288).

Hotel Update

The London EDITIONIn case you missed these latest openings in a flurry of pre-festive panic, budget brand QBIC opened its first venture in London late last year: the uber-cool QBIC Hotel London City in Shoreditch. In Holborn, the new 5-star Rosewood Hotel now provides plenty of glamour within an Edwardian Grade-II-listed building; while The London EDITION has brought its mix of modern designer touches and restored grandeur to Fitzrovia.

Also towards the end of 2013, Malmaison London re-opened after a major refurbishment and now includes the Strip Bar & Steak restaurant on its ground floor, street art murals and luxury designer touches you’d expect from the boutique brand.

From this month, The Crowne Plaza London St James and 51 Buckingham Gate, which fall under the Taj Group brand, have been renamed St. James Court, A Taj Hotel, London, and 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences respectively.

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Accessible Budget Accommodation in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/09/accessible-budget-accommodation-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/09/accessible-budget-accommodation-in-london/#comments Tue, 10 Sep 2013 10:14:56 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35211 Accessible London

It can be a challenge to find inexpensive places to stay in London when you or your travelling companions have access requirements.

We asked Gordon Couch OBE, accessible travel expert and author of the highly regarded Access in London guidebook, to share his advice and recommend some London budget accommodation.

“London offers a wider choice of accessible accommodation than ever before, though it’s not always easy to find your way through the mass of information. All the Access in London information and recommendations are based on visits by experienced international travellers who need to take access issues into account.

“London is big, and much of the transport system was designed a century ago. In spite of a great deal of progress, travelling around in London is probably the biggest challenge/problem for the disabled visitor who wants to be both independent and mobile, and to see many of the sights.

“Consequently the location of your accommodation is of enormous importance. Then, with a little determination, almost anything is possible.

“You can choose to stay somewhere near an accessible tube or DLR station. (A step-free London station map is available).

“Hotel prices vary substantially depending on the demand for accommodation on a particular night. There can be substantial savings if you can book early. Some hotels only offer accessible rooms with a double bed – suitable for some, but not for others. Whatever you decide, it will be a compromise.”

Top five choices for accessible budget accommodation:

• The Generator Hostel London which is a large back-packers hostel in Bloomsbury, with accommodation designed for disabled visitors on its lower ground floor.

• The YHA Thameside hostel just over 2km downstream from Tower Bridge. It has an accessible riverside pub/restaurant 100m away, and is about 750m from the accessible Canada Water Tube station. I have stayed at the hostel and found it to provide excellent value.

• The Tune Hotel Liverpool Street near Old Spitalfields Market.

• The Premier Inn London Waterloo is in a superb location for getting to the South Bank and to Westminster (for starters).

• The Travelodge London Central Covent Garden is close to the West End theatres at the top end of Drury Lane, with the possibility of a parking space.

All have several accessible rooms, all offer the possibility of separate beds, and two can provide parking. All have location advantages and disadvantages, and much depends on what you want to do, where you want to go and how confident you are about getting around. If you can master the bus network, your horizons can extend far further.

In addition to the five mentioned, there are several more Premier Inns in very central locations. There are Ibis hotels in Greenwich and Stratford, and near Earl’s Court. In each of these areas, there is local interest, together with easy accessible transport links to the centre of London.

Remember that the best accommodation gets booked early.”

For more information see accessinlondon.org

Download a step-free London station map.

Read Visit London’s page on accessible public transport in London and watch TfL’s accessible transport video

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