Our UK Lodging Recommendations
It’s difficult for us to make detailed recommendations on hotels, everyone’s trip is different and they have different standards. But on our 10 trips to Britain, we’ve stayed in over a dozen places and we’re comfortable enough recommending a few of them based on the types of hotel you may be looking for. These recommendations are just for places that we have visited. We’ve not had a chance to stay in many other major cities in the UK, so we can’t yet recommend any hotels there. We hope to change this soon enough! Venere is another great resource you can use to help identify which hotel or b&b London offers, accommodates your needs the best.
Lodging Recommendations in London
Bare Bones in London: EasyHotel
The EasyHotel is as bare bones as they get. It’s basically a room the size of a large American closet, with a bed, bathroom and TV you have to pay extra to watch. The hotels are clean, bright and safe. And they’re CHEAP. Prices start at £25 a night if you book well enough ahead. I personally recommend the location in South Kensington as it’s a nice neighborhood and close to transport connections. It’s spartan – but you won’t be spending much time there anyway. It’s just a place to sleep and watch Telly (if you pay £5). This is the cheapest hotel in London. £25-50 a Night ($40-75) Website
Tourist London: Royal National
This is a centrally located hotel near Russell Square. It’s very popular with tourists and gets mobbed on the weekends. It’s also a pretty massive hotel. When we were there in 2005, it was in the middle of a renovation, which I’m sure has long since finished. The rooms were rather shabby, the hallways were loud at night, but it was relatively cheap and it’s a lot ‘nicer’ than the EasyHotel. It’s also in a nice neighborhood near the British Museum and Russell Square is one of my favorite spots in London. £77-£119 a Night ($150-200) Website
Nicer Hotel: Radisson Vanderbilt
If you’ve got a little more to spend, I can highly recommend the Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel in South Kensington. It’s a central location, close to a bunch of museums, Hyde Park, Harrods, etc. It’s comparable to a nice hotel in a major city in the States. You won’t feel ashamed to stay here. Staff are friendly, the building is historic and you’ll enjoy your stay here. £100-£200 A Night ($160-$300) Book a room at the Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt hotel.
Tourist Splurge: Cavendish Hotel
This is where we stayed during the Royal Wedding and we’ll definitely return here again. It’s a central location in St. James surrounded by history and it’s just a few feet to Buckingham Palace, rooms are well appointed and modern, staff are helpful and it’s all around nice hotel. This will cost a little more than most people are willing to spend – but it’s well worth the money. £150-£300 A Night ($250-$500) Website
Crazy Expensive: Park Lane Hilton
We had the opportunity to stay at the Park Lane Hilton when we won a British Airways contest – it’s not a place we could normally afford to stay. Let me say, though, that it was a dream hotel. It’s the kind of place where people dress up in Tuxes for dinner. You’re also likely to bump into someone famous (but not famous enough to afford the nicer hotels down the street). It’s right on the corner of Hyde Park and is close to everything, including the US embassy. £240-£1000+ A Night ($380-$2000) Website
London Connection Flats
A great option to save money and live like a local is to stay in a flat while you’re in London. We cannot recommend London Connection more highly. They have a wide selection of London flats in various neighborhoods to fit all budgets. They provide easy booking and also transportation from London’s airports. London Connection Website.
Lodging Recommendations Outside of London
Updown Cottage – Dorset
Updown Cottage located on Gold Hill in Shaftesbury Dorset is our favorite place to stay in England. We cannot recommend this cottage enough – it’s paradise. It’s spacious, sleeps up to six, is in a good location in Shaftesbury and Dorset. Great views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the English country life. Updown Cottage Website
The Retreat Bed and Breakfast
The Retreat is where we used to stay in Shaftesbury before we started renting a cottage. It’s a perfect introduction to the town. It’s located right in the town centre, it’s quiet and in a beautiful hold building. Bernard and Sheena are excellent hosts and they make a delicious breakfast. The Retreat B&B Website
Old Swan and Minster Mill Hotel
Located in beautiful Oxfordshire, The Old Swan and Minster Mill is lovely placed to spend a romantic weekend. The rooms are luxurious, the location historical. They also have an excellent on site restaurant that’s so good, you’ll eat there every night. Old Swan and Minster Mill Hotel Website
The Oxford Hotel
Located on the outskirts of Oxford, this is a good tourist class hotel. While it’s not centrally located in Oxford, it’s in a quieter area with a villagey feel and there’s a frequent bus to the city centre. Oxford Hotel Website