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Huttons Hotel - A very reasonable budget hotel in a location that can't be beat, just a few seconds walk away from Victoria Station.
It is to builder Thomas Cubitt's credit that Belgrave road, an area he designed, alongside nearby Belgravia, maintains a village atmosphere despite being situated in the West end, central London. Within walking distance of Victoria Station's superb transport links and close to many of London's best loved sights and attractions, the area is lined with Grade II listed, Georgian and Edwardian properties, giving it an old-world charm and a peaceful ambience. The area is a very popular place for tourists to visit and many reasonably priced hotels can be found there, including Huttons Hotel, a quaint, budget hotel where you can stay without breaking the bank.
Huttons hotel offers 54 guest rooms in a range of sizes, to accommodate family guests as well as solo travellers. Rooms are tastefully decorated, with hardwood floors and comfortable beds, the decor is slightly outmoded, but if you are just looking for a place to sleep you may be willing to overlook this.
In-room amenities include colour TVs with free view channels, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryers, direct-dial and modem telephones, en-suite shower rooms and an electronic locking system for added security.
Some guests have reported amenities missing after they have checked in, so its best to check that you have everything you need when you are shown to the room.
Just a five minute walk away you will find Buckingham Palace, the official home of Queen Elizabeth II when she's in the city, although some have tried, and succeeded, to break in, it's advised that you don't try and take the tour instead to see how a royal truly lives. This only runs for two months of the year, but if you miss the season, you can still see the Royal Horseguards unit perform the Changing of the Guards ceremony. Westminster Abbey, which dates back to the 8th century, has been the church where kings and queens have been crowned since William the Conqueror and the stunning architecture reflects changes and upgrades from all eras, from the 11th century monk's dormitories, to the Victorian stained glass, it's unsurprising that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge followed in Prince Charles and Princess Diana's footsteps and held their wedding there.
The seat of the British government, the Houses of Parliament is also nearby, which you can tour and the Prime Minister's house, 10 Downing Street is located behind locked and guarded gates a few minutes away. Big Ben clock tower is next to the Houses of Parliament, one of the city's most recognisable sights, largely due to its appearance in almost any film about London.
For those who prefer to do something a little more active, the London Eye offers panoramic views of the city and you can take a speedboat trip down The River Thames for a bit of an adrenaline boost. Culture buffs will be thrilled to find both the Tate Britain and Tate Modern nearby, as well as The Serpentine modern art gallery in the lush, green surrounds of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Those who want to splash some cash can head to Knightsbridge and Kensington for Harrods and Harvey Nichols department stores, the King's Road in Chelsea, where you will find some very up market boutiques and Mayfair, home to Savile Row tailors and Fortnum and Mason food emporium is a very attractive district to wander through. Oxford Street is a little further afield, but easily reached by tube or bus.
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!
Huttons Hotel doesn't have a restaurant, but with everything from McDonalds to Michelin starred restaurants nearby you won't be going hungry. For a low cost hotel, Huttons is a serviceable place to stay, which has proved popular with some guests. It may be best to shop around as some of the budget hotels in the area give you more for not too much more money, but for those arriving from Gatwick after a long flight, Huttons location is truly stellar. Rooms are a little on the cosy side, but this is typical of town house conversions in the city, and be sure not to book a room on the fifth floor or higher as the free Wi-Fi signal doesn't or as well on the upper floors.