‘Let’s all go down the Strand’ sang Victorian music hall entertainers – and the advice still holds. Staying at one of the Strand's best hotels gives you access to one of the most historic thoroughfares in London. Linking Trafalgar Square with Fleet Street, the Strand is within walking distance of so much, from the multifarious shops of Covent Garden to the cultural hub of the South Bank just across the river. At one end of the street is Charing Cross tube and train station. At the other is arty Somerset House, home to the Courtauld Gallery, outdoor gigs, an ice rink and some acclaimed dining, including funky café Fernandez & Wells and lovely British restaurant Spring. Here are our five favourite hotels on the Strand.
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Five of the best hotels on the Strand
You can’t fault this hotel’s location: bang next door to Charing Cross station, and so close to Trafalgar Square you can practically stroke the lions. Amba isn’t quite a chain – there’s just one other outpost near Oxford Circus – but it manages to provide comfort and reliability without toppling into corporate blandness. In-room perks include walk-in rainfall showers, a Nespresso coffee machine and a free minibar. There’s free wifi and 24-hour room service too.
In a prime position on the corner of Aldwych, this elegant high-rise – designed inside out and by Foster and Partners, an architectural first – has a sleek, cosmopolitan vibe. The futuristic monochrome interiors include white leather walls in the bedrooms and a nine-storey high atrium in white marble, but save the ‘oohs’ for the breathtaking views from the outdoor Radio Rooftop Bar. STK steakhouse, complete with DJs, adds some New York-style pizzazz to the place.
A marvellous mix of Edwardian neoclassical and art deco, this ultra-luxurious, Grade II-listed hotel has been an iconic riverside landmark for over a century. The Savoy has a star-studded past – this is where Monet painted the Thames, Vivien Leigh met Laurence Olivier, and Marlene Dietrich downed cocktails – and a glowing future, thanks to a sumptuous £100m refurb a few years ago. Old-school glamour lives on in the legendary American Bar and Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill.
Two minutes’ walk from Covent Garden Piazza, this rambling hotel is nearly as old as the Savoy on the other side of the Strand. Once a bit of a looker (the original entrance is now in the V&A Museum), its current design aesthetic conforms to Modern Hotel Anywhere – but with nifty extras like a free gym and 24-hour room service. Try something different with Indian Afternoon Tea or stick with tradition with the always-popular carvery.
The Strand Continental is known to generations of Londoners, students and Indian expats for its wallet-pleasing India Club bar/restaurant, founded in 1946 and barely changed since. The place is still a source of cheap curries and a faded colonial vibe, but it also provides plain, inexpensive accommodation, from four-bed dorms to family rooms. Party-loving backpackers should seek entertainment elsewhere, and there are a lot of stairs to climb, but the location next door to Somerset House is unbeatable.
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