London, England

Ultimate Guide to the Best Places to Stay in London

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London is one of the best cities to travel to because it’s filled with so many amazing things to do. Before you can even start planning your itinerary, you first have to decide where to stay in London!

Below, find some blogger’s favorite places to stay in London.


Budget-Friendly Places to Stay

Clink78

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image courtesy of Fiona from Travelling Thirties

Are you brave enough to spend the night in a Jail Cell?

Clink78 is a hostel located in Kings Cross, London. Before it became a vibrant youth hostel, it was the Clerkenwell Magistrates’ Court. Not only is it a world-class hostel but Clink78 has its own interesting history. It was amazing staying somewhere, where once upon a time Charles Dickens worked at the Clerkenwell Magistrates’ Court as a court scribe and the punk band “The Clash” once stood trial and were fined.

The hostel opened in 2008 after spending more than 200 years as a courthouse. The old prison cells have been converted into bedrooms that still feature bared windows and prison-style bunk beds. If the original prison cells with the original heavy metal doors aren’t for you, there is the option of classic mixed dorms, private rooms, and the female only birds’ nests.

The hostel has a late-night bar which was named after the Clash, a cinema in the old courtroom and a self-catering kitchen. The reception is open 24 hours and we found it a great place to purchase discounted tickets to London’s attractions and West End shows.

If you are able to free yourself from your jail cell for the day, you’re only a short walk from the King’s Cross International overground and tube stations.

We absolutely loved Clink78 for the location and cleanliness of the facilities. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in London on a budget, this is a fantastic option.

One night at Clink78 starts from £14.31 a night, private rooms and jail cells are more expensive but still reasonable at £45 – £60 a night.

Recommended by Fiona from Travelling Thirties


Safestay Holland Park

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image courtesy of Sydney from A World in Reach

For travelers wishing to stay in a great hostel that’s both affordable and close to all of London’s best attractions, consider staying at Safestay Holland Park. Located right in the middle of beautiful Holland Park in the upscale neighborhood of Kensington, Safestay Holland Park is the perfect budget-friendly place to base yourself for your visit to London.

Safestay Holland Park has both dorms and private rooms, making it perfect for solo travelers wanting to make new friends or travelers who prefer privacy but want to have the hostel experience. Many dorms have en suite bathrooms, and each floor has a large, clean bathroom with toilets and showers. The hostel has a large lounge that serves up snacks and is the perfect place to hang out with your new friends – the bar does not serve alcohol; however, you’re more than welcome to bring in drinks to enjoy.

Holland Park is located right off Kensington High Street, where there are tons of shops, restaurants, and pubs. Hyde Park and Kensington Palace are two of the major attractions within walking distance, and the nearby High Street Kensington tube station makes it easy to travel around the city to visit other spots in the city.

Dorms at Safestay Holland Park start around £16 per night, making this the perfect place to stay for budget travelers exploring London.

Recommended by Sydney from A World in Reach


Travelodge Gatwick Hotel

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image courtesy of Pixabay

I particularly loved the Travelodge Gatwick Hotel for its location, which is around 10 minutes walking from Gatwick airport. However, you can get its shuttle that stops on both terminals, North and South, and costs 4 GBP to board on. It takes around 15 minutes to take you to the hotel and operates 24/7, which makes it convenient to use if you have lots of luggage.

The hotel has been recently renovated (2 years ago), which completely transformed the hotel. Nowadays, it is equipped with everything one would need on his layover. For the price of 50 pounds, you will get a double room with a dreamy king-size bed with soft plump pillows. On top of that, they have very nice power points to charge all of your devices and you do not need to buy an adapter – just use your USB. Also, if you are tired and just want to rest you can simply pull the curtains or watch some movies on the LED TV.

What I loved most in the hotel was that it provides you with all of the amenities to make yourself at home. In the room, there are tea and coffee making facilities that I used, as my flight was very early in the morning. In addition to that, the Bar Café is open 24/7, which is nice, because you can have a nice breakfast, as I did.

Travelodge Gatwick hotel is near Riverside Garden Park, which is a very beautiful park where you can spend some time while waiting for your next flight at the hotel. It takes around 5 minutes to get to it and will for sure fill your soul with joy.

Recommended by Earthosea


Mid-Range Places to Stay

DoubleTree by Hilton: Tower of London

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image courtesy of Mary from The Travel Journal

I love visiting London and when I do I want to stay somewhere central. That’s why I opted for Doubletree by Hilton near the Tower of London. This is a relatively affordable option as far as London is concerned, costing approximately between £105 and £130 a night.

The real appeal of this hotel is its proximity to major tourist attractions like the Tower of London, the Sky Garden, Tate Modern, and Shakespeare’s Globe. The hotel is also close to the Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral and is within easy walking distance of the Barbican, where you’ll find ample exciting restaurant choices.

The interior of the hotel is modern and clean. I personally love the decor. From the glass ceiling to the trailing vine leaves this hotel screams class and elegance. And on quite a budget too!

One of the major perks of staying at the Doubletree by Hilton is the rooftop bar. On our first evening, we grabbed a cocktail and relaxed with amazing views of Tower Bridge. All lit up at night it really is spectacular. The cocktails were delicious which bodes well for the food too.

The staff was friendly and helpful. You couldn’t really ask for more. We even got a free warm cookie on arrival!

Recommended by Mary from The Travel Journal


hub by Premier Inn London King’s Cross

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image courtesy of Elina from Empnefsys & Travel

Hub by Premier Inn is a modern budget hotel chain with properties currently in London and Edinburgh. Their rooms are stylish, smart, and relatively cheaper than other modern hotels in central London.

I stayed in a standard room for two nights in their King’s Cross hotel and although the room was small, it felt very comfortable. Expect to find under-bed storage for your luggage, an expandable desk, a smartboard to control room lights and temperature, a TV with different entertainment options, and free Wi-Fi.

Prices range between £80 and £120 per night for a standard non-refundable room. For an additional £7 per person per day, you can get a delicious continental breakfast.

The hotel is strategically located to be a short walk away from the King’s Cross and St. Pancras transportation hubs with national and international rail links and 6 underground lines (including links to London Heathrow Airport). This means that in a few minutes you can be in any place in London you want!

The area around the hotel offers plenty of dining options with restaurants along Pentonville Rd, such as Camino, one of my favourite Spanish restaurants, and Granary Square with a colourful dancing fountain. There, you can also find a weekend market (there is another one outside King’s Cross station), a lovely path to walk along Regent’s Canal, and even a bookshop in a canal boat. A little bit further, you can find the Wellcome Collection, a museum with medical antiques and other interesting rotating exhibitions.

Recommended by Elina from Empnefsys & Travel


Sunborn Yacht Hotel

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image courtesy of Kylie from Between England & Iowa

A unique place to stay in London is the Sunborn Yacht Hotel! This is a permanent hotel docked in the Royal Docks, opposite the Excel Exhibition Centre.

It feels very luxurious but the price isn’t that bad for a London hotel! Dock-view rooms start from around £132 a night and river-view rooms from £149.

There are 135 rooms altogether and they are surprisingly very large. The bed is amazingly comfortable! Each room has an iPad available for guest use and complimentary toiletries, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, 2 bottles of water, and 2 packets of biscuits. You’ll also find a restaurant onboard that is open for breakfast, dinner, and Afternoon Tea and the Sundown Bar which serves a range of drinks and bar food.

I really liked sitting on the outside deck and enjoying the views of the river and across to the London skyline with the O2 Arena and the Emirates Air Line cable car on the other side of the dock.

Sunborn Yacht Hotel is a short walk from Custom House station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), but my favourite way to reach it is to get off at North Greenwich on the Jubilee line and then ride the Emirates Cable Car across the river!

Recommended by Kylie from Between England & Iowa


The Tower of London Hotel by Citizen M

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image courtesy of Tara from Tara’s Travels

The last time I visited London was the first time I absolutely loved my hotel. The Tower of London Hotel by Citizen M is a boutique hotel with every modern convenience. It is located directly above the Tower Hill tube station and has rooms overlooking the Tower of London. The whole atmosphere of the hotel is very chic with well designed communal spaces and compact but efficient rooms.

Everything is very high tech from the moment you walk in. The welcoming ground level feels more like your living room or a coffee shop than a reception lobby, because of its self check-in and cozy interior design. However, my favourite spot was the 7th-floor rooftop bar. It’s called Cloud M and is perfect for sunset drinks as it overlooks the River Thames and the Tower of London. Even if you aren’t staying there I would stop by for a happy hour. 

The communal areas are functional and comfortable, which really made me feel at home, while the rooms have been reduced to the basics, but are anything but boring. Every room is loaded with modern features and equipped with the comfiest king-sized bed that is pushed right up against the window to emphasize the view.

Rooms start at 100 pounds a night, but for everything you get – the central location, view from your bed, and feeling like a VIP – it is the only place I will be staying in London from now on.

Recommended by Tara from Tara’s Travels


Luxury Places to Stay

The Cavendish Hotel

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image courtesy of Unsplash

A beautiful and luxurious 4-star hotel based in the famous Mayfair area of London, The Cavendish is a hotel I will be heading back to. The hotel entrance is from Jermyn Street, which is arguably the most famous street in London for tailor-made men’s clothes.

The Cavendish sits amongst rows of residential homes, which have been lived in by some very famous residents over the years, including Isaac Newton.

As The Cavendish is based in a popular area for businesses and traders, we found that it was cheapest to book over the weekend where the local businesses are not open for trading.

A weeknight can cost approximately £279 for two adults, whereas a Friday or Saturday night can be as low as £165. Perfect for a weekend getaway in London!

The location of this hotel is perfect, as it was just a short 3-minute walk to Piccadilly Circus, and just stone’s throw away from Regents Street and Oxford Street, which are some of the most famous shopping streets around the globe.

From the smiling doorman right through to room service, the staff are very helpful and will happily direct you to which ever famous London site you plan to visit.

Recommended by Manpreet from Hello Manpreet


The Chesterfield Mayfair

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image courtesy of Ting from My Travel Monkey

Part of the Red Carnation group of hotels, The Chesterfield Mayfair really delivers in terms of location and luxury. If you’re looking for an English hotel with traditional interiors, excellent customer service, and a central location then this is a hotel that really ticks all the boxes.

Just off Berkeley Square, and close to Shepherd Market and its buzzing square and fine Victorian pubs, the hotel is only a few minutes from Green Park underground station, and close to Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and the shops of Bond Street – well-placed for sightseeing at all of London’s popular hotspots.

There are 94 deluxe rooms and 13 suites, which start from £236 for a classic room per night, and we experienced a lap of luxury from fine bedding, delightful Elemis toiletries as well as a special ‘relaxation’ kit which included face masks and candles. Meanwhile, the dining at the renowned Butler’s restaurant meant we were treated to a fine evening meal consisting of British classics, which were executed to perfection.

The motto here is excellent service without the pomp and ceremony. If you’re looking for a classic British hotel with modern comforts, then The Chesterfield Mayfair certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the best hotels in London.

Recommended by Ting from My Travel Monkey


The Franklin Hotel

Tucked away in one of the red-brick streets of the affluent town of Knightsbridge is one of the most opulent and luxurious hotels you can find in London. This hotel does not attract much attention from the outside, and cannot be seen from the main street of Brompton Road. To me, this just adds to its charm; where only those in the know would look around the quiet backstreets of the area, and find a hotel so discreet that many locals are not even aware of.

Located a few minutes’ walk away from both South Kensington and Knightsbridge tube stations, The Franklin Hotel is perfectly situated in a prime area of London and is surrounded by attractions like Harrods, the V&A Museum, and Royal Albert Hall. There are also a number of great restaurants in the vicinity such as Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Dinings for sushi and Maroush for casual Lebanese food.

The décor of the rooms is exquisitely lavish, but what really makes it special for me is the lush private garden at the back, where travellers can find a moment of calm in the middle of this bustling city.

The Franklin Hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel, and prices currently range from £250 to £350 a night, however this may sometimes increase depending on the season!

Recommended by Sarah from Dukes Avenue


Hazlitt’s Hotel

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image courtesy of Laura from What’s Hot?

Hazlitt’s Hotel is a boutique literary hotel in London named after literary critic, essayist, and philosopher William Hazlitt. As a book lover, I adored this hotel with its beautiful library and numerous literary connections. What’s more, many world-famous novelists have stayed at Hazlitt’s before, including J.K. Rowling, Bill Bryson, and Ted Hughes. Authors who stay here often leave signed books behind too so there are some very valuable bookshelves in Hazlitt’s Hotel’s library!

The hotel’s interiors are absolutely stunning with lots of wood panelling, deep reds and greens, velvet upholstery, and more. I stayed in the “Jonathan Swift” room, in keeping with the literary theme, and there was an enormous wooden bed that dated back to 1740 there! Everything is in an old-style but with modern comforts and I can’t recommend it enough for those looking for a slice of period Britain. 

Hazlitt’s Hotel is located in the heart of Soho making it a perfect hotel for culture, theatre, and restaurant lovers to explore this area of London. On the very same road, you’ll find some of London’s best eateries including the Social Eating House, a Michelin starred restaurant with a secret bar on top called The Blind Pig. It’s right on the doorstep of Chinatown so there are loads of delicacies to try there including bubble tea, crispy duck and dim sum. 

Single rooms start from £199 a night so it’s definitely one of London’s more luxe hotels but totally worth it. 

Recommended by Laura from What’s Hot?


London Marriott Hotel County Hall

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image courtesy of Jennifer from Traveling Party of 4
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image courtesy of Jennifer from Traveling Party of 4

When traveling to a major city for the first time, I always stay in the middle of the excitement.  Yes, often loud, busy, and boisterous, but I want to be in the thick of it.  Think Champs-Élysées in Paris, Times Square in New York City, and Las Ramblas in Barcelona.  So when planning our week in London, of course, I had to do the same.

Located on the River Thames, with a backdrop of Majestic Big Ben, London Marriott Hotel County Hall is amid the sights, smells, sounds, and feels of one of the world’s most exciting cities.  

Within walking distance of many historical sights, The London Marriot Hotel County Hall allows a quick stroll to the House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Churchill War Room.  Plus, only a few more steps, you can experience Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.  

With Southbank at your front door, you have the London Dungeon and The London Eye (don’t miss it).  Plus, check out the eclectic and entertaining street performers, and my favorite, the Hot Whisky Truck.  

If you are a nurse, you have a historical bonus right across the street on the grounds of St. Thomas’ Hospital, The Florence Nightingale Museum.  Did you know that she was the first to recognize handwashing to prevent the spread of germs?

When you are ready to explore the city further, hop on an open-top bus or head down to the tube for quick access to anywhere you want.  Both options are steps away.

Starting around 300-400 GBP per night ($375-500 US Dollars), up to Club Lounge Access at 883GBP per night ($1,100 US Dollars), you can absorb yourself in a quintessentially British experience with history at your doorstep.

Recommended by Jennifer from Traveling Party of 4


Mad Hatter Hotel

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image courtesy of Sarah from In Search of Sarah

On our most recent trip to London, we only had 24 hours to explore and wanted to make sure we were in a central area to what we wanted to see. I was so happy to stumble across the Mad Hatter Hotel, just a few minute’s walk from the Southwark tube station.

We fell in love with the charm of this hotel with its Alice in Wonderland theme, tastefully decorated with art prints and pillows. The 30 rooms are spacious and clean with a stocked mini-bar with ciders and snacks – all included – and bright bathroom with a tub and shower, much appreciated after a long flight!

The Mad Hatter operates a pub, also decorated with quirky art, making it convenient to grab a drink or meal, including a great lounge area with comfortable leather couches, friendly service, and delicious food.

This building was once a hat factory (which is cleverly tied into the Alice in Wonderland theme!) and still has the original exterior.

We specifically chose this hotel because it is only a few steps from the Thames River and is within walking distance of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern, and the Borough Market.

An average night is around £197 GBP, or $330 CAD. Easy to access and centrally located in the Southwark area, the Mad Hatter makes for a comfortable stay in the heart of old London.  

Recommended by Sarah from In Search of Sarah


Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard

To live the London high life, there is no better place to stay than the Shangri-La. The Shangri-La hotel in London is at the top of the iconic Shard building. The hotel reception is on the 34th floor and the Shangri-La occupies the next 18 floors – heading up.

All 202 rooms and suites come with amazing views across London. Most have floor-to-ceiling windows and some of the suites even have telescopes. This is in addition to the amazing contour to fit Shangri-La beds and the luxurious Frette linens.

Shangri-La London is home to the highest hotel pool in Western Europe with its infinity pool on the 52nd floor. The room which houses the infinity pool has floor to ceiling windows for maximum views and there is a gym nearby.

The food on offer at Shangri-La London is another reason to stay at this London hotel. The breakfast buffet is filled with choice and locally-sourced ingredients. For example, the fresh honey is sourced from bee-keepers in the borough area around the Shard.

The Shangri-La is also well known for its outstanding afternoon tea. Afternoon tea competition in London is fierce but few can beat the combination of amazing views. The afternoon tea runs in different themes throughout the year. When I visited I enjoyed a pop art afternoon tea which included psychedelic sponge fingers.

Some of London’s top tourist attractions like St. Paul’s and the Tate Modern are within walking distance of the Shangri-La London. But best of all the wonderful Borough Market is less than a 10-minute walk away. Enjoy the centre of foodie London at my favourite London food market.

An average night at the Shangri-La London is £400.

Recommended by Amanda from The Boutique Adventurer

Planning a trip to London soon? Be sure to check out Amanda’s post on Unusual Experiences in London!


Sofitel London St. James

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image courtesy of Sophie from Sophie’s Suitcase

For the ultimate luxury in central London, a stay at the iconic Sofitel London St. James is required. Located in the former home of Cox’s and King’s bank, the hotel is an exceptional 5-star hotel with a warm heart and stylish interior.

Located only around the corner from Trafalgar Square and on the corner of Pall Mall, the hotel is perfectly placed for a weekend of exploring the city. It is also within walking distance of a myriad of attractions including the National Gallery and National Portrait Galleries, Institute of Contemporary Arts, shops of Regent Street, and tourist hotspots of Piccadilly Circus. You could also head east to Shoreditch and Hackney, and on Sunday mornings you could explore the famous Columbia Road Flower Market.

From the moment you arrive at this hotel, you feel like you are home. Immediately you are welcomed by the doorman in his traditional uniform, and whilst you check-in, the staff take your suitcase to your room for you.

The entrance of the hotel is stunning with black and white marble floors, huge Persian rugs, red-velvet chairs, and amazing chandeliers.

This theme continues into the Balcon restaurant and the Oriental-style St James Bar. In the grand brasserie, you can find twin spiral staircases, and upstairs a 3-storey spa.

The bedrooms are stylish and comfortable with a beautiful bathroom and lots of space. The elegant rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars, as well as tea and coffee making facilities.

It does come with a price tag, with the average price per night is £324 directly through the hotel’s website. But it is well worth it, for a stay at this iconic London hotel.

Recommended by Sophie from Sophie’s Suitcase


St. James’ Court – A Taj Hotel

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image courtesy of Nikki from Brunch or Breakfast

St. James Court – A Taj Hotel is an upmarket hotel in central London just a few minutes’ walk from Buckingham Palace.  It is close to the West End and when we visited, we walked to the Apollo Victoria Theatre to see Wicked, the stage musical.  St. James’ Park and Westminster Abbey are also close by. 

The hotel was originally built in 1902 and retains its Victorian elegance, alongside contemporary luxury.  We stayed in a Junior Suite.  As you entered the suite, there was a sitting room with an en-suite loo. 

We had our children with us, so the sofa was changed into a sofa bed.  You could then go through to the bedroom which also had an en-suite bathroom.  Both rooms sported large flat-screen TVs and bowls of fruit. 

A few minutes after we checked into our room, there was a knock on the door and a plate of petit four was presented, which was a lovely welcoming touch.

Next door to St. James’, with a shared private courtyard there is another Taj hotel – 51 Buckingham Gate.  Here they serve wonderful afternoon teas.  We treated the children to a magnificent Alice in Wonderland themed one complete with an enormous mad hatter’s hat.

Room rates start at around £240 a night for two.

Recommended by Nikki from Brunch or Breakfast?


St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel

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image courtesy of Jiayi from The Diary of a Nomad

One of the best places to stay in London is undoubtedly the unique St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. There are tons of amazing things about this hotel. The first one is that its location really can’t be more perfect — it’s literally situated right next to the Kings Cross St. Pancras International train and tube station, at the heart of London’s city center. This is super convenient especially if you have an early morning Eurostar to catch. There’s also a lift inside the hotel that can take you directly to the station itself, so it really can’t get any more convenient than that! The Kings Cross tube station is also very well connected to the rest of the city, making it super easy to get around town. The famous Covent Garden is only 2 stops away from this hotel!

Another thing I love about St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel is that it’s absolutely stunning. In fact, it’s honestly the most breathtaking hotel I’ve ever stepped into, and hands down one of the best London photo spots. The interiors of the hotel are coated with incredibly gorgeous designs, and the main staircase leading to the rooms is so vibrant, detailed, and colorful that it will blow your mind. This staircase is also where the Spice Girls filmed the Wannabe music video. How awesome is that?!

Being a 5-star luxury hotel, a double room at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel typically starts at £320 GBP per night. This hotel also has a terrace, a spa, and a pool — perfect if you want to relax in one of the most beautiful places in London!

Recommended by Jiayi from The Diary of a Nomad


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2 Comments

  • Jenny Bhatia
    07.15.2020

    Wow. I so want to travel again. London was exciting and lots of fun. The kids had a blast, it was their first time traveling overseas, they loved it. And many different options to check out for lodging. I think next time, I am going to look at the Yacht Hotel.

  • Sarah
    07.15.2020

    What a fabulous guide! Thanks so much for including me in this post! Lots of incredible gems throughout London. Can’t wait to get back!

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