Isn’t it a great feeling when you know you’ve got real value for money?
And surely the best way of experiencing this feeling is to walk into a hotel room that gets you genuinely excited.
This feature shares some insider tips to help you get the best possible room at any hotel, whether it’s in London or elsewhere:
Do your research carefully before booking
London Hotels Insight will often give pointers on the best rooms at many of the hotels mentioned (some specific tips on London’s best rooms are given below). If you have no other information, then do note that corner rooms are often larger due to standard building design principles.
Be sceptical about hotel categories
The star system in London is fairly meaningless as hotels often self-declare and schemes are not always consistent. For example, I recall one of the biggest rooms I ever had in London was at a cheap Travelodge within a converted office block in south London – which only cost about £30!
Ask for the best room or suite in a slightly cheaper hotel
You may in fact get a better room on a limited budget by asking for the best suite in a mid-range hotel, rather than the smallest or most basic room in an upscale hotel. Search across categories for the best deals and keep an open mind. Look for the highly-rated “value gems” on London Hotels Insight, cherry-picked for you using the latest TripAdvisor reviews.
Get savvy about different hotel wings, floors and buildings
Some parts of a hotel may have a very different room style to others. For example, the Stafford Hotel (recently featured) has 3 different buildings, each with its own features. All rooms are highly individual. The Soho Hotel – one of the most hip Soho hotels – happens to have especially nice rooms on its 5th floor. And the Hilton on Park Lane’s upper floors tend to have its best refurbished rooms. Subscribe to our RSS feed for further tips!
Rooms with “views” may not always be worth a premium
London is quite built-up so rooms which promise views may disappoint, especially if costing a large premium. A room with a view may also be noisy since quieter rooms sometimes overlook an internal courtyard. Do check out our article on London’s best views for further insights.
Ask for an upgrade at minimal or zero extra cost
Some London hotels do this automatically to build goodwill (if higher-quality rooms are available at the time). One of the best is the highly-rated Athenaeum Hotel which often gives you an apartment if one is free. The Cavendish (London’s greenest hotel) also has two great top-floor penthouses for a little extra. Don’t be afraid to ask for an upgrade! Some hotels are also more inclined to upgrade if you mention a special occasion.
Ask to see other options if you don’t like your allocated room
There’s a subtle difference between “demanding a better room” and “asking to see other options”. The latter in my view is a smart strategy since it can be done in a friendly, casual way which gets staff to collude with you. Sometimes you’ll find that the hotel genuinely doesn’t have better options and that’s OK too. But if you’re told “Sorry, we’re fully booked” then don’t be afraid to challenge it (“Are you absolutely sure?”).
By giving you the most suitable room (and ideally one that gets you a bit excited), the hotel creates a win-win situation.
It makes you far more likely to return to the hotel, while their costs in managing your stay will not be much different. In being slightly “choosy” about your room, you’re helping to engineer a mutually-beneficial outcome.
Finally, if money’s really no object then do check out our review of London’s four most expensive hotel rooms!
Photo credits: Cavendish Hotel, Claridge’s (Maybourne Hotel Group), Marriott County Hall (Marriott Hotels).