Search for cheapest prices: Belgrave House Hotel
The Belgrave House Hotel is housed in an elegant 19th century town house conversion along Belgrave Road, a very popular area for tourists to stay, which was developed by legendary builder Thomas Cubitt, who designed the surrounding Belgravia area and whose houses now command upwards of £8 million and more to live in. This may be out of most people's reach, but by staying in the Belgrave House Hotel, you can enjoy the exclusive location for less.
With very affordable rates, the hotel combines chic, simple minimalist bedrooms with the classic elegance of the historic building. All rooms are decorated in the same clean style, which is a refreshing change from the often 'eclectic' decor in some budget hotel rooms. Room sizes rang from Single to Quadruple family rooms and some even come with kitchen units, which is very handy with a Tescos just a few minutes walk away, where you can pick up supplies and an M&S Simply food store in Victoria Station. Whilst the rooms only have very basic amenities, extras such as hairdryers, ironing facilities, a safety deposit box, fax and payphones, baby cots, tea and coffee making facilities, newspapers and a fridge are available from reception or in the hotel dining room. Guests should be aware that as a budget hotel, showers and toilets are in a shared facility rather than an en-suite.
The hotel also offers free luggage storage, a continental breakfast and a Wi-Fi connection in guest rooms. Some guests have said that whilst the Wi-Fi connection is good, the breakfast is uninspired, so it is advisable to go to one of the many fantastic cafes nearby, Giraffe cafe, just five minutes away has a good selection of tasty brunch items and smoothies.
The hotel may be basic, but it is in a truly great location from which to explore the city, with major sights and attractions mere minutes from the door. Just down the road, along the Royal Mews, you will find Buckingham Palace, the 'modest' residence of Queen Elizabeth II, when she is in London. You can tour the palace for two months each year, however if you miss this, the Changing of the Guards ceremony is a taste of British tradition, which hasn't changed for hundreds of years and is performed daily. The guard's bearskin hats alone make this worthwhile watching. Nearby you will find Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, one is the site of coronations and royal weddings and the other is the site of dry debates between be-suited politicos, both are worth visiting for an insight into the monarchy and the development of government and for some of the most stunning architecture in the city. Next to the Houses of Parliament you will find Big Ben, the beloved, iconic clock tower, instantly recognisable from its many appearances in films and TV. It is possible to climb the tower, but only if arranged in advance and only by a British national, so see if you can befriend someone during your stay. You can follow the Prime Minister's commute and walk from Parliament to his home at 10 Downing Street, a heavily guarded residence behind locked gates, but the policemen outside are friendly enough and happy to pose for a photo.
Once you've seen London's most historic sights, you can see the whole city laid out before you from the top of the London Eye wheel, or you can see it whizzing by as you sail down the River Thames on a speedboat. Culture vultures can muse over the Turner paintings at Tate Britain, just five minutes from the hotel and then go for a stroll along the river to puzzle over the abstract pieces at the Tate Modern, then head to Trafalgar Square for the national Gallery's enormous collection of historic works and the National Portrait Gallery's collection of famous British faces.
Those who want to shops will be in heaven with some of London's most exclusive shops just a high-heeled stroll away. With Harrods and Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, Savile Row tailors and Fortnum and Mason food hall in Mayfair, Poilane bakery and The Chocolate Experience in Belgravia and so much more, you may be broke before you even hit Oxford Street, just a short tube or bus ride from Victoria. Nightlife is also good, from Pacha nightclub, to musicals at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, to cabaret at the Pigalle and jazz at the Boisdale jazz and cigar club.
Victoria also has some of the best transport links in London, from the station, housed in a dramatic Victorian building, you can catch the Gatwick Express train to the airport in 30 minutes as well as overground services to their areas of the UK. The Victoria, District and Circle lines can take you further afield to explore the rest of London and from Victoria coach station you can catch coaches to other areas of the UK and to Europe. The station is also a bus terminus, so there are dozens of bus routes you can take to many other areas of the city. It may take you a few minutes to work out which bus is the correct one, but once you have the hang of the system you'll be away!
The Belgrave House Hotel may not be the lap of luxury, but it is cheap and serviceable and comfortable enough for a short stay, besides, it is unlikely you will spend a great deal of time in the hotel anyway! Be sure to choose a room away from the shared facilities, as these can be noisy, and for a little extra freedom and convenience go for a room with a kitchen unit.