Today, I represent you my second hotel guide and this time, everything's about the British metropolis London. London is big and there are dozens of hotels in every price range you can choose of. But this doesn't make the choice any easier. Not too far from the city center, since you want to see something. But also not too expensive and so on and so forth.
I've been living in a residential community during my time in London but on my other, shorter stays, I've tested a bunch of accommodations around the city.
But there's one thing, you should always brace yourself for, if you're booking a bed for the night in London. The very small rooms. The English architecture is very narrow and there isn't much space, which you'll experience in most of the affordable hotel rooms. But there are difference between a neat and tidy room or a smothery closet. I am going to present you my best and worst choices of accommodations around London and hopefully, I'll be sparing you some hassle. But before we're getting started: finding a hotel in London can become expensive. If you found a room a bit further outside the city, you'll pay extra for the travel costs. If you're in the city center, you'll pay more for your hotel room but less for public transport. Transport of London has six districts. As a tourist, you'll stay in district one and two, most of the time. Hardly anyone leaves those two districts. But if found shelter in a hotel somewhere around district five, you'll pay a lot more for getting into the center with the tube. But I've got something for everybody.
Let's start in Hounslow – district four. Hounslow has the one advantage, which would be that it's really close to the international airport Heathrow. The area is quite nice. A typic British suburb, whose image is characterized by it's Indian inhabitants. If you want to get to Piccadilly circus from Hounslow, for example, you have to calculate 38 minutes by Piccadilly line to get there. My choice back then, was the Civic Guest House, just a few minutes from Hounslow Central underground station. The Civic Guesthouse is a small bed & breakfast and you pay 26 pounds per person, per night for a double room with a shared bathroom – breakfast included. 26 pounds isn't too bad for an accommodation around London, it's an expensive city. If you're choosing the Civic Guesthouse, you have to lower your sights. We were lucky back then and the hotel wasn't booked solid, so we didn't have to share the bathroom, located down the hall, with a stranger. For English standards, the room was pretty big. Two single-beds, one closet, a sink with a mirror and, of course, the British standard feature: an electric kettle, tea, coffee and cups. They served continental breakfast and you could order eggs. I can't tell, if I'd choose the Civic Guesthouse again. If so, I'd book a room with an en-suite bathroom, a bathroom that's included in the room, and not one without. If you want to stay close to the airport, the location of the hotel is great. If you want to see a lot of the city center, it's a pretty unsuitable. The manager of the hotel was friendly but the house itself was in need of renovation. So, if you're just planing to stay in London for a very short layover, then this bed & breakfast would be your choice, if you want to stay longer than one night in London, better keep your hands off it.
From Hounslow, we're off into the city center of London, namely close to baker street. The Blandford Hotel. This is a onetime location and the rooms are also positively okay. Especially the bathroom was pretty big and modern, it even had a bathtub. Here, too, continental breakfast gets offered.
If you want to be right in the hustle of bustle of London, you cannot do anything wrong with the Blandford Hotel.
It's right next to Regent's Park and all other attractions, every tourist want to visit, are close by. The rate for a double room, bathroom included, is 67 pounds per person, per night.
Another hotel, I'd really like to recommend to you, which is also located very central, is the Travelodge Central City Road, close to Old Street Tube station. For a very spacious and modern double room with two big beds and an American breakfast included, you pay 36 pounds per person, per night. I highly recommend the Central City Road Travelodge to you. Great location, clean rooms and big bathroom, also a bathtub. If you book without breakfast, you'll pay 26 pounds per person, per night. But I'd book breakfast included. It's a great buffet and you don't have to be finished by nine am like with most bed & breakfasts around London.
Next up are two candidates, you definitely don't want to end up booking.
First, the Elmwood Hotel right around the corner of King's Cross. Once again, a onetime location, which is worth a mint but this hotel is just a sheer rip-off. The rooms are not just small, they are shoe boxes and the bathroom looks like it was a closet once. If you're using the toilet, you have to shove you knees below the sink and I don't even want to start on the mouldy shower. The beds have also seen better times, except if you want a permanent coil spring massage. The breakfast is also nothing good to remember. It just doesn't taste. Not even the great location is able to eradicate this disaster of a hotel.
You think, it cannot get any worse? Well, you're wrong. Even more worse is always possible and in this case, I'm talking about the Dover Castle Hostel & Bar at the Great Dover Street, near Borough tube station on the other side of the river Thames. From the outside, the hostel makes a good impression, but only until you step inside of your room. You'll get a bed in a eight-bed shared room for only 15 pounds per night but what you get for those 15 pounds, is almost nothing.
Squeaking bunk beds, feeling like they're about to break down any second, once you're trying to turn around. Windows, that are not really closing and a communal bathroom, that'll give you athlete's foot if you want so. So, don't let yourself get blinded by the cheap price, you definitely won't have a fun night there.
But enough beefing and bitching, my last hotel is another recommendation. Another Travelodge, only this time located in Stratford – also district four but on the other side of London. Admittedly, this hotel is located further outside but therefor you're only a few minutes by foot from the Westfield mall. A great place, if you want to start a shopping spree. There is nothing to complain about the Stratford Travelodge itself. It's a bit smaller than the other Travelodge at Old Street Station and rate is 45 pounds per person, per night – including breakfast – but the rooms are big and clean, as well as the bathroom and there is also a fresh and great American styled breakfast offered. So, if you're okay with a longer travel time into the city center, I'd definitely recommend this one.
And that's about it. My best and worst accommodations around London. Keep your eyes open while choosing your place to stay.
Until then, happy traveling.