We identified London’s main department stores in part one of this double feature. Here we suggest places to stay to make the most of them.
After all, if you’re on a “shopping mission” in London, the last thing you want to do is spend time faffing around getting to those juicy stores!
Harvey Nichols and Harrods are both in the swanky Knightsbridge area of London. Here are some solid hotels nearby:
- The Milestone: a 5 star luxury Kensington hotel. This hotel gets rave reviews for its consistent, old-fashioned service. It’s expensive but you get what you pay for with very warm and well-trained staff.
- The Halkin: a small hotel with a big reputation, within walking distance of Knightsbridge. Generous-sized bathrooms and an intimate atmosphere. The acclaimed Nahm Thai restaurant is a further bonus.
- Knightsbridge Hotel. Rooms can be small unless you upgrade, however a perfect location for Harrods in a quiet area. Consistent standards, often described as “homely” and reasonable value.
- The Beaufort. A small hotel in Knightsbridge offering a personal style of service just a block from Harrods. Good value for the location.
Selfridges has a hotel right next to it: the Thistle Selfridge Hotel. Despite its fantastic location, it has had mixed reviews. Always do your own research before booking.
Another option round the corner from Selfridges is the Montcalm Nikko (in a secluded location off Oxford Street, well-rated if you don’t mind slightly dated decor).
Or you might choose the Mandeville Hotel (generally fine/mixed reviews though again a superb location).You won’t have to carry your shopping far to the Montcalm Hotel
For Fortnum & Mason buffs we’d suggest researching the well-rated Cavendish Hotel on Jermyn Street (just across the road), also perfectly located for the nightlife around Piccadilly, Soho and Leicester Square.
Another nearby alternative is the understated and distinguished Dukes Hotel (in TripAdvisor’s top 100 for London) in St. James’s Place.
In both these cases there are a couple of great alternatives to the hotel breakfast close by: the Fountain Restaurant at Fortnum and Mason and The Wolseley. Both are pricey but let you breakfast like a king or queen.
Finally, do time your London shopping trip carefully. The best deals are available during the “January Sales” and the worst pre-Christmas.
However, the economic crisis is turning the normal wisdom on its head.
Do check in advance before you book your trip: if you’re buying big-ticket items, you could end up saving thousands.
Photo credits: Halkin Hotel, Knightsbridge Hotel, Beaufort Hotel, Montcalm Hotel.