The Premier Inn is known for a reliable level of comfort and service as much as for its garish purple accents, which are present and correct throughout their Victoria branch. In fact you will recognise the hotel by the purple awnings outside. However, situated near to Belgravia, one of London's most expensive places to buy property, this isn't your average identikit Premier Inn. Housed in an elegant 19th century town house, from the outside this is pure old-world refinement.
The rooms may not have much character, but with sleek modern fittings and furnishings and comfortable beds, this hotel is a bit more stylish than some of the low-cost hotels nearby, which have a slight aversion to matching colours and styles. In-room amenities include a TV with free view channels, Hypnos beds, Fogarty duvets and pillows, complimentary toiletries, blackout curtains, a writing desk, en-suite bathrooms with power showers, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryers, a Wi-Fi connection and a writing desk, more than you would get in similarly priced hotels nearby, making this suitable for business and leisure guests alike. A cooked and continental breakfast is available for an extra fee, with an ‘eat as much as you like’ option for those with hearty appetites. The hotel also has a 24-hour front desk, a luggage room and extra business centres to keep you connected.
The hotel also comprises of a restaurant serving reasonable British fare, however, you shouldn't pass up the opportunity to sample some of the local eateries, which offer delectable menus and high-quality ingredients, from welcoming gastropubs such as The Ebury, where you can mingle with the well-heeled locals; to bistro fare at About Thyme, which is more elegant than the pun-tastic name suggests; to exotic fare at Mekong and Amaya, where you will find decidedly more elegant dishes than at your local takeaway.
From the Premier Inn's impeccable location, you will have the city at your disposal; with major sights just a few minutes walk away. Take a pleasant walk up Grosvenor Place and you will find Buckingham Palace, the city's grandest residence and the only one fit for a Queen. You can tour the staterooms of the palace for two months in the year, but if you miss this, you can watch the Changing of the Guards ceremony, which takes place daily. Just a few minutes from the hotel, you will also find the Houses of Parliament in Westminster Palace, the seat of the UK's government since the Middle Ages. You may not be allowed in the secret bars in the building, but you can tour parts of the palace where the country's social and economic issues are ironed out (or made worse) every day. Next to this you will see the beloved Big Ben clock tower, voted the most iconic sight in the city, largely due to its frequent supporting roles in films and TV shows. Westminster Abbey is also close by, an elegant building with architectural additions from each era, this has been the site of coronations and royal weddings since the 8th century and unsurprisingly it is said to have a few ghosts lurking about. The Prime Minister lives just a five-minute walk away, presumably so he has no excuse to be late for work. You can view his house through railings, but you can't tour it, although the policemen standing guard will happily answer questions and pose for photos.
Along the River Thames you will find the London Eye; standing 135 metres tall, this provides some of the best views in London, as long as the weather stays clear enough. You can also ride a speedboat down the Thames for a thrilling view of the city's sights, or you can enjoy a more laid back day out at the Tate Modern, situated on Bankside in an imposing art deco structure and housing some very curious artworks indeed. The Tate Britain is just a five minute walk from The Premier Inn, for purists who find modern art too self indulgent. Late at Tate events take place here, with music and a bar and are well worth attending. Culture can also be found in Hyde Park at The Serpentine Gallery, alongside an array of sporting activities and open-air concerts. For those who want to experience London's shops, you may have to bring some extra cash, as Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Mayfair, nearby all have some very tempting, but very pricy shops, including Harrods and Harvey Nichols department stores and Fortnum and Mason food emporium, where the Queen gets her groceries. The King's Road in nearby Chelsea and Oxford Street, just a short bus or tube ride away, offer some more affordable options.
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!
If you don't like purple you may be out of luck, but the Premier Inn has been highly praised by previous guests for the high level of service the exceedingly convenient location and the low room rates, which mean you can spend your money on the restaurants, theatres and attractions rather than a fancier bedroom. The hotel is in a quiet street, but rooms on higher floors are the best for light sleepers, as there may be street traffic in the mornings.