Well, it’s once again official – London is the single most expensive place on the face of the Earth when it comes to holiday lets and general accommodation. Admittedly, the differences between say New York and Paris aren’t huge, but when you consider that this summer folk were paying upward of £35 each for a shared dorm bunk bed, you start getting the picture of how pricey a trip to Blighty really can be.
This doesn’t exactly bode well for UK residents looking to check out the capital as not only are these kinds of prices simply ludicrous for most, but market watchers don’t see things getting any better for the immediate future at least. With each rise in land value and general property value across the capital…of which there have been so many of late…hotel prices spike once again and even the once budget chains are now hitting three-figures for bog standard beds.
Which of course begs the question – are cheap rooms in London dead, gone, buried and forgotten? Surprisingly, the answer is no, but in order to track them down you have to know where are how to look for them.
For example, get yourselves on the mailing lists of a bunch of mainstream chain hotels and you’ll be able to score the very best deals of all. Take for example the likes of Premier Inn, Travelodge and all manner of Accor hotels like Ibis – try and book for this coming weekend in London and you’ll be lucky to get any change from £120. However, if you’d booked three months ago when the early deals went up for grabs, it could have been more like £30…or even less.
Make the Commitment
In order to get the best deals, you need to be willing to commit to your plans. The more flexible a booking is and the more liberal the refund policy, the more you’ll have to shell out for it. By contrast, agree to a prepay deal that cannot be cancelled and you are guaranteed to save anything from 10% to well over 50%.
Sundays in London are fantastic – maybe even the best day of the whole week with so much happening everywhere. However, as the majority of locals and domestic visitors alike have to go to work on Monday morning, Sunday night is also the cheapest of the whole week for hotel stays – generally less than 50% the price of other days. So, if you can make the time to stay Sunday and Monday night, it might cost you less than a single night’s stay on Saturday.
Don’t Go Direct
These days, you’re pretty much guaranteed to NOT get the best possible deal if you go direct to the hotel. It’s a bit of an odd situation admittedly, the kinds of deals thrown the way of partner websites and brokers leads to a series of booking options whereby the direct route is almost never the cheapest. So, before you even think about booking directly with the hotel, check out a few brokers and third-parties first.
Stray From the Herd
Last but not least, you might think that the best possible place to stay in London is Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus or largely anywhere else all the action is. But here’s the thing – the fact that these are the regions in which very few of London’s richest and most famous residents live should tell you something. Sure they’re fun, but in terms of beauty, quietness, amenities and hidden secrets, you’re much better off straying a little further afield. Take Primrose Hill for example – the most stunning views in London, some of the best dining, an air of pure tranquility and yet only a short stroll from London Zoo and Camden Town. You’ll bag an apartment here for a bargain price and get to lap up the London only the privileged few tend to lay eyes on.