It is all very well looking for value for money but you may regret going blindly for the cheapest hotel you can get! This applies particularly in a city like London which often has a shortage of hotel rooms.
To understand the pitfalls, you might wish to check out the “Worst 10 hotels” list periodically published by TripAdvisor: sadly, the majority of the worst UK hotels seem to be in London.
The question is: why do people end up booking such terrible hotels? It may be down to laziness (not doing proper research) or misleading information on company websites.
Sometimes a hotel reception can appear nice which makes you think the rooms must be OK too – but this is very often a mistake. If you get a chance to visit a hotel before booking it, ask to see the room first. Whatever you do, don’t blindly book the very cheapest hotel you find. It often makes sense to go after a specific price range or location.
You should always ask yourself what you would be willing to compromise on. This will then allow you to choose the best hotel within the category and price range that most appeals.
It is also sensible to book your trip a long way in advance. Don’t forget to try to contact the hotel directly to explore if they will negotiate an upgrade for you. For example, as far as “no-frills accommodation” goes, Travelodge often provides great London hotel deals, especially if you catch one of the company’s amazing flash room sales. Their rooms are a bit minimalist but provide everything you need and often reasonably spacious for the price.
Another operating providing reasonable value for money is the Holiday Inn Express brand. Although it is usually more expensive than Travelodge you do generally get slightly better facilities there.
A further example of value is offered by the so-called “budget luxury” hotels of London which include the likes of Base2stay and the Hoxton. Make sure you check their special offers before you book.
Once again the secret in getting a great deal is in the timing, for example the Hoxton even offers rooms for £1 during its flash sales! Above all, please make sure you shop around. Rates on London hotels vary wildly and it’s often worth contacting the hotel directly to negotiate.
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Don’t be fooled by claims of “the best online rate”. Almost all hotel booking sites make this claim but they cannot all be right. Check it out for yourself.
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