Search for cheapest prices: Blades Hotel
Belgrave Road has a surprisingly village-y feel to it, despite being situated at the centre of London, largely because this was designer Thomas Cubitt's intention, when he built the elegant Georgian and Edwardian town houses which line the street, he initially believed that these houses would be perfect for middle class families, yet these have ended up being some of the most exclusive properties in London today, which is why hotels in the area are so popular, especially if they also have very affordable rates. Blades hotel is one such establishment, a family run, and low-cost hotel in the peaceful, picturesque Pimlico district of Victoria.
Guest rooms range from a small single room to a five-bed family room, so whether you're a solo business traveller or arriving with all your kids in tow, you will be well catered for. Rooms are also tastefully decorated, with regal blue furnishings and thoughtful extras, such as art prints on the wall and antique style furniture, in keeping with the high-class surroundings. In-room amenities include ironing facilities, televisions, coffee and tea making facilities, clocks and en-suite bathrooms in all rooms. Rooms are spotlessly clean and a surprisingly good size for a town house conversion. Staff are also very friendly and polite, making guests feel at home and are happy to help with any queries guests have.
A continental breakfast is included in the room rate, which is reportedly satisfactory, however there are some very good cafes and restaurants nearby with Giraffe and Capri Sandwich Bar offering some tasty brunch options and snacks. For evening meals, Mekong's Malaysian menu and Grumbles fairly priced British fare are both popular choices, but there is also a wide selection of chain restaurants in the area and some fine dining options at the Boisdale Jazz and Cigar club and Seafresh for upmarket fish and chips. The Ebury is also a friendly local gastropub with a good menu.
The hotel is in one of the best locations in London from which to see the sights. Belgrave Road is just a few minutes walk from Buckingham Palace, where you can tour the staterooms when the Queen isn't in residence and see the daily Changing of the Guards ceremony. Westminster Abbey is the grand site of royal weddings and coronations, where Charles and Diana had their fairytale wedding in 1981 and 20 years later her son William married Kate Middleton to much public celebration. The Houses of Parliament has been the seat of government since the Middle Ages and remains so today, swarming with be suited politicians; you can take a tour of the building and if you wish you can head to 10 Downing Street just down the road, the residence of the Prime Minister, although as a private home, the building is heavily guarded.
Standing at 135 metres tall, the London Eye wheel provides fantastic panoramic views of London, although is best to ride on a clear day and you can catch a speedboat down the River Thames for an adrenaline rush. From the hotel you can also immerse yourself in London's cultural offerings, with Tate Britain just a few minutes walk away and the Tate Modern about 20 minutes walk away in Bankside. In Hyde Park, about ten minutes from the hotel, you will find The Serpentine Gallery, which has an artist-designed Pavilion for guests to enjoy in the summer months and the Saatchi Gallery is located in nearby Chelsea.
Shopping enthusiasts will also be well catered for, with the shops of the King's Road, Harrods and Harvey Nichols department stores and the exclusive shops of Mayfair, including Savile Row and Fortnum and Mason food hall nearby. In the evening, you can enjoy glamorous bars such as Pacha and Zander, or head to London's Theatreland district, with the Apollo Victoria, Victoria Palace, Royal Court and Pigalle theatres all situated near Victoria station, where you can see mega musicals, comedy and cabaret alike.
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!
With so much to see and do, Blades Hotel offers a comfortable place to leave your luggage and grab some sleep before you head out again, and with such great rates, you can save your money for meals out and London tours. The hotel doesn't have a lift, a typical trait of town house conversions, so guests with mobility issues should request a room on the ground floor; staff are very accommodating so this should be no problem.