- Meet the Locals at a Family-Run B&B: Mom-and-pop inns have taken a hit because of the dominance of corporate hotels, which are often run by people who are as unfamiliar with the city as you are. But you can still find some stellar homegrown hospitality where owners put you first, including the Valotis and Cabrals of the Alhambra Hotel in St. Pancras, the Beynons of Bloomsbury’s Jesmond Hotel, and the Callises of 22 York Street in Marylebone.
- Lose Yourself in a Grande Dame: The first all-service grand hotel in Europe, The Langham, was built in 1865 and it’s still extending top-flight hospitality to guests with taste — and cash. Brown’s has attracted royalty and creative misadventures since the mid-1800s and now blends old-style class with style, while the world-famous Savoy still stands atop her field for luxury, legends, and Thames views. Best of all, you can visit them without a key.
- Pay Less Than $50: You may not think it’s possible, but with advance planning, you can get a new, impeccably maintained private room in the center of town for only £29 a night. Book ahead with the British chains Premier Inn, Travelodge, or easyHotel, or with the imported budget brands Ibis or Tune, and London is yours, cheap.
- Sleep Where History Happened: Rather than tear it down, Londoners would rather revitalize it. There’s no more luscious restoration than that of the swoony spires of Gilbert Scott’s neo-Gothic St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Have a chlorine-free swim where printing presses once printed the morning news at One Aldwych, or take a room with a four-post bed where the great thinker William Hazlitt breathed his last at the dusky Hazlitt’s in Soho.
- Enjoy Style for Less: “Boutique” hotels are encroaching deeper into budget territory than ever before. At Z Hotel Soho, surrender a little space but none of the chic at a berth in the heart of Soho. In Southwark, buzzy Dutch boutique CitizenM has huge beds and a loopy personality, but a small price. And the newly built Nadler Soho, where faux fur covers your bedspread, rooms have everything you need, including a mini kitchen, for democratic prices.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.