The global economic crisis has seen hotel rates fall by up to 10% in London. That means there are some great deals out there – you just need to find them. The type of deal you get depends on your preferences, so we’ve broken down some of the options:
Book a flight and hotel package
There are savings to be made by booking a flight AND Hotel together. Flight agents have direct relationships with the airlines and hotels and often provide good value packages. Top flight and hotel agents includeExpedia.
The right hotel
The star system in the UK is a useful and trusted guide to gauging the venue’s facilities but doesn’t always help to find something of quality within your price range. Turn to sites such as Tripadvisor to read about people’s experiences in specific hotels in London.
Big international sites likeExpedia have big buying power so do a good job negotiating discount room rates. However, it’s always also worth double-checking with the hotel’s own website in case they are running a deal or promotion running.
Hotel comparison websites are also handy as they aggregate prices across a number of sites. Check out Kayak.
Top Secret Deals
Discounts can also be found through Top Secret Hotel deals from sites such as Expedia. They will give you the star rating of the hotel and a general guide to the facilities but you won’t know the hotel name or where it is. This can sometimes be a big gamble in London – which is a city spread out over quite a large area. That said, most of the swankiest hotels in London are very central – so it can be a great way of saving money at the top end of the market.
It’s sometimes worth checking out websites designed for visitors travelling to other countries to check out London hotel deals. For example Agoda provides London hotels – often at great rates.
Cheap and Cheerful
If hotels are out of your league in London then try some cheaper alternatives:
Camping – yes London does have campsites, although it’s a brave person who attempts this in winter. UKcampsite lists a range of sites – some only a short journey to central London.
Stay on a friendly couch: why not crash on someone’s sofa – and return the favour – all for free with Couchsurfing and their worldwide network of hosts. Also Airbnb lists people who will let you stay in their spare room for money.
Rent a flat: Sometimes it’s more civilised – and cheaper – to have your own space, and be able to cook your own food. London is notoriously expensive for eating out, so renting a holiday flat could be a good option.
Hostels: there are some great YHA hostels in London – check them out at the YHA website.
Travelodge is a UK wide chain that offers some great deals on its London hotels (especially if you book in advance) – and they are expanding fast. Current locations include Tower Bridge, Covent Garden and Euston.
Student accommodation and Bed & Breakfasts: many of the capital’s universities let out student rooms in holiday periods. Plus there are a number of B&Bs across the capital.
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