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London Hotel Location Guide

Choosing the most convenient London hotel location

This page helps you choose the most convenient, interesting, cost-effective location for your London, England visit. This is especially helpful if you plan to obtain a cheap rate at a quality accommodation in London by using a zone-based booking service like Priceline or Hotwire.

Maps

To view current London hotel neighborhood maps, click on

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and then fill in the city. Links show for maps of each area.


Hotel locations discussed:

Mayfair and Soho
Westminster
Kensington – Earls Court
Chelsea - Knightsbridge
Bloomsbury – Marble Arch
Regents Park - North London
London Bridge
The City – Financial District
Notting Hill – Bayswater
Hammersmith
London Docklands
Gatwick, Heathrow, and Lutton airports

Overview

London covers a large area with no one neighborhood functioning as the sole downtown. Entertainment, finance, government, and major retail activities are not concentrated in the same area.

Nevertheless, the neighborhoods between (1) the southeastern corner of Hyde Park and the Parliament and London Eye on the Thames and (2) between Hyde Park and the theatre district in Soho are the most convenient for many visitors.

These are Mayfair, Soho, and Westminster.

On the other hand, you may find better hotel values in Bloomsbury/Marble Arch and Kensington/Earls Court. These are still reasonably convenient.

London has a fantastic underground transportation system. which makes it remarkably easy to move around. Unlike in so many cities, the tube does not force you to travel to some central point in order to reach another place outside the city center.

On the other hand, you do not want a hotel so far out that you spend too much time in transit. If you are with walking distance of much of what you want to do, all the better.

Mayfair and Soho

For most of us, adjacent Mayfair and Soho are within walking distance of much of what we want to see and do.

Think of these as staying just south of Central Park in New York City.

Mayfair puts you in an extraordinarily upscale neighborhood with many of the best restaurants and finest hotels in the United Kingdom. Soho brings you the theatre district.

Hyde Park is at your west and you are surrounded by some of London’s most interesting architecture.

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Westminster

Also super convenient, Westminster is a paradise for walkers and a great area to book a hotel.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II lives on your north and a portion this area extends toward the London Eye.

In Westminster, you find a larger selection of less expensive and moderate cost hotels than in Mayfair and Soho.

You will also find many of the London's most popular tourist sites, as well as Victoria Station, the terminal for Gatwick Airport.

Kensington – Earls Court

Near the west end of Hyde Park, Princess Diana and her children lived in Kensington.

These adjacent areas are filled with less expensive and moderate cost hotels.

Although not in central London, both neighborhoods make a good base for your London stay.

We especially appreciate their proximity to Hyde Park.

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Chelsea - Knightsbridge

Knightsbridge hosts Harrods, London's world famous department store, and is super convenient to both Hyde Park and central London.

The Beatles lived in pleasant but somewhat less convenient Chelsea.

John Lennon's lyrics

"He blew his mind out in a car
"He didn't notice that the lights had changed
"A crowd of people stood and stared
"They'd seen his face before
"Nobody was really sure
"If he was from the House of Lords."

refers to a car wreak that may have been suicidal in Chelsea.

Hotels accommodation can be less expensive here.

Bloomsbury – Marble Arch

London goes to school at the University of London and lodges visitors at the many less expensive and moderate cost hotels in this area.

Some call this the "real" London, as London residents do much of their everyday shopping "on the cheap" in Marble Arch.

These are reasonably convenient neighborhoods especially if arriving at the Euston, King's Cross, or St. Pancras (Eurostar) rail stations.

Regents Park - North London

A bit less convenient than some neighborhoods, visitors nevertheless love Regents Park and North London for their grand public spaces and historic architecture.

Think of this predominately upscale area as a bit like staying on NYC’s Upper East Side. You will be staying in a primarily residential area.

London Bridge

The south bank of the Thames has become quite the “in” place since the new Tate Museum and London Eye opened.

The City – Financial District

Although most tourists visit this area at least once, the Financial District is not the best location for your hotel, unless you are traveling on business.

Destroyed more than other area of central London during World War II, the newer architecture here is undoubtedly far less interesting than what it replaced. Prince Charles was likely thinking of this area when he deplored the "glass stumps and concrete towers" of modern London.

However, your hotel here would be convenient to the theatre district and to many other attractions, including St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London.

Notting Hill – Bayswater

Somewhat bohemian in feel, Notting Hill attracts a younger crowd.

Both Bayswater and Notting Hill are not central to major sightseeing, but you will likely enjoy exploring their residential streets and small shopping areas, including their street markets.

Paddington, the station for Heathrow, serves these neighborhoods via the Heathrow Express .

Hammersmith

Hammersmith may be too far from major sightseeing to deserve consideration, unless your multi-day focus is nearby Kew Gardens.

However, you remain connected to London by tube and hotel prices tend to less expensive.

London Docklands

The London Docklands were once the largest port in the world. Heavily bombed during World War II, the shallow port became less and less viable as large container ships took business away from smaller vessels. In recent years, the area has redeveloped into a major commercial and residential area.

Pros: Significantly easier to find a lower price on a modern hotel here.

Cons: Far from central London, with need to take a light railway to the nearest tube station.

Gatwick, Heathrow, Stanstead, and Lutton airports

Gatwick, Heathrow, Lutton, and Stanstead, the latter two hubs of European budget flights, are the main airports serving London. All are connected by rail to central London.

These areas are not recommended for more than a one-night stay due to the inconvenience and expense of getting to central London business and sightseeing.

Of the three, Heathrow has by far the largest number of hotels.

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Enjoy your time in London!

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