The best hotels near Trafalgar Square
The Savoy isn’t cheap: double rooms are just shy of £500 a night – and, alarmingly, that doesn’t even include breakfast – but that’s kind of the point. A cool £220m was spent on refurbishment in 2010, but traditionalists can rest easy that its age-old charm and classy mix of Edwardian and Art Deco style remains. Fittings and facilities, from mattresses to the pool, are top quality, and service, from butlers to bartenders, is sleek and unobtrusive. The Savoy Grill, now helmed by Gordon Ramsay, has fed everyone from The Queen to James Dean.
If you’re not lucky enough to bag one of the deluxe rooms with a view of Nelson’s Column, make sure you check out The Trafalgar’s rooftop bar; the aptly named Vista has some of the best views in town: out over Trafalgar square, the London Eye and all the way down Whitehall to Big Ben. The 129 rooms and suites are all en suite and come equipped with TVs, minibars and free wifi. Word to the romantic: before booking a flight to pop the question up on the roof, note: it’s closed from November to February.
You’re well served for theatres on St Martin’s Lane, something Philippe Starck possibly took into account when designing this dramatic, eye-catching hotel over ten years ago. It’s bright and fun, and while it’s less of a go-to hangout for the in crowd than when it opened, a refurbishment a couple of years back has injected some fresh energy into the space. When it comes to the rooms, opt for a garden room - which comes with private flower-filled terraces - or a corner room, which have impressive views of town. Asia de Cuba restaurant and the hotel’s bar Blind Spot are buzzy as ever.
Another stylish and luxurious offering from the Firmdale group, The 50-room Haymarket comes with quite the pedigree: the building, like the Theatre Royal next door, was designed by John Nash, who was the architect of Regency London. The public spaces are large and filled with contemporary art and furniture with clashing, eye-catching fabrics. Special mention should go to the 18m basement swimming pool with its shimmering ceiling, light installation and adjacent bar – a smashing location for a central London pool party.
Like the other hotels in the Z chain, the Piccadilly offers simple but comfortable, convenient accommodation for less than you’d pay elsewhere. Rooms are on the small side and don’t come with fridges but there are tea- and coffee-making facilities, TVs, free wifi and power showers in the en suite wetrooms. The free wine and cheese in the lobby every day between 5pm and 7pm are an added attraction, though really the draw here is the quiet but super-central location.
If you’re on a budget and travelling as a family, this branch of the popular Premier Inn chain is a great option; kids under 15 stay and eat for free when they’re travelling with paying adults. Its location on the north side of Leicester Square is great too, whether you’re here for shopping, eating, M&M’s World, the theatre – or all of them. Rooms are simple, functional and on the small side but come with free wifi and tea and coffee. An all-you-can-eat breakfast costs £10.50 (although it’s free for the kids, of course).
The Amba is an imposing reimagining of the classic nineteenth century railway hotel, in this case built on top of Charing Cross Station. Given the location, guests are well served for trains and tubes, though much of central London is walkable from here. Inside, rooms are a decent size, especially considering they are so central and include free soft drinks and snacks in the minibar. There’s a fitness centre and a good-value restaurant too, which can be ordered as room service. Breakfast is only included if you book an executive room.
Maybe it’s because it’s been welcoming guests for over a century that there’s a bit of a mishmash of styles going on at The Strand Palace; you get the impression that there are a hundred years of influences and refurbs at play here. The lobby retains some Art Deco touches but rooms are standard contemporary in a so-so way. The location is great for Covent Garden and the West End’s theatres, but also the South Bank, which is just over Waterloo bridge. Rooms are smart and comfortable and come with TVs and free wifi.
The W looks like a mix between a nightclub, a spaceship and a shopping centre. And with surrounds like these and so much blurb promising exclusive this and VIP that, it can all feel a bit Zoolander – but, let’s be honest, that’s not necessarily a bad thing; there’s a lot of fun to be had here. 192 rooms are spread over seven floors, there’s a spa, a gym, a bar, a restaurant and a club too, Room 913, which sees the odd celeb make an appearance.
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