Search for cheapest prices: Park Hotel
Belgrave Road in the Victoria district of central London is an incredibly popular place to stay when visiting the city. Many of the elegant Victorian town houses along the street are low cost hotels, renowned for their affordable room rates, close proximity to Victoria Station and London sights and unfortunately, for their wildly disparate levels of quality. As recounted by previous guests, this hotel errs towards the lower end of the scale, but one must take into consideration that often the main selling point of hotels along this road is convenience over comfort, so budget travellers may be willing to overlook worn fittings and fixtures, poor maintenance and surly staff to appreciate a very cut rate price in an admittedly expensive city.
The Park Hotel's 18 rooms range from Single to Quad size, with petite but serviceable en-suite bathrooms. The decor is a little rough around the edges, but fine for a few nights sleep if you're going to be spending most of your time sight seeing. Rooms have different prices for low and high season and come with amenities such as a television, a direct-dial phone and tea and coffee making facilities. A continental breakfast, in the broader sense of the word, is offered with the room rate, but this is reportedly meager, so it's advised to try some of the cafes in the local area instead. From Starbucks, where you can get a free Wi-Fi connection as well, to Patisserie Valerie's wondrous cakes and breads, you can find something to suit your budget which will make your start to the day a little better.
The hotel has a 24-hour reception desk, photocopying and fax facilities and discounted parking at the nearby NCP for guests; however evening meals are not catered for, but with the choice nearby you won't be going hungry. From chains such as Ask Pasta and Pizza Express, to the hugely popular Grumbles cafe, to more exotic fare at Kazan and Mekong, you will find something to satiate your appetite.
The hotel's biggest selling point is its superb location. From Belgrave Road, you are a short walk away from the Tate Britain Gallery and the River Thames, which you can traverse in a speedboat if you are so inclined. North of the hotel you will find Victoria tube, train and coach station, where you can catch the express train to Gatwick Airport, catch coaches to all over the UK and Europe, and explore the rest of London with ease via many bus routes and the Victoria, District and Circle tube lines. Victoria is also the starting point of London's Theatreland district, and here you will find the Apollo Victoria and Victoria Palace Theatres where musicals such as Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot and Wicked have all shown. For something a little more low key, the White Bear and Royal Court Theatres are renowned for dramatic brain food and for some sauce, head to the Pigalle for some cabaret.
Westminster Cathedral is close to Victoria, where you can explore the gorgeous Neo-Byzantine building, which is still a working church, and Buckingham Palace, one of the grandest residences in the city, is about 15-minutes north of the hotel. You can tour this regal residence for two months of the year, when the Queen isn't living there, but if tours are closed when you visit, you can watch the daily pageantry of the Changing of the Guard ceremony. From Victoria, the sights of Westminster, including Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are easily accessed and to the west of the hotel, shopping enthusiasts will find the exclusive shops of Sloane Square and the King's Road, not to mention Belgravia's upmarket boutiques and Mayfair’s exquisite designer stores and Fortnum and Mason, where the Queen orders her groceries.
The Park Hotel is indeed a good starting point for your exploration of London, but the refinement and style of Thomas Cubitt's picturesque Belgravia buildings end at the front door, so it may be best to shop around for somewhere more well appointed, which can be achieved for not much more money. However, if you don't mind a few annoyances here and there and are working with a shoestring budget, this may be the hotel for you. Disabled guests should be aware that there is no lift in the property, so a ground floor flat is advised, and whilst Belgrave Road is fairly peaceful, rooms near the back of the hotel are better for light sleepers.