London: The Most Expensive City For A 24-hour Stay

London is truly one of the world’s greatest cities. The culture, the sights and the history, are an irresistible draw for visitors from the UK, and all over the world. Many other cities can match up in number and magnificence of sights, but nowhere else comes close for pomp, circumstance and the unique atmosphere.

This all adds up to making London an expensive destination. There are plenty of hotels, hostels and bed and breakfast establishments, but finding a good one at a decent, affordable rate, can be quite a challenge. Plus, 2012 is such a momentous year for London, that accommodation is even more in demand. You can bet that all the cheap but good accommodation, has been booked by those hitting town for the Olympics, which kick off at the end of July.

There are national hotel chains which claim to be cheap, but even they hike their tariffs up quite considerably for rooms in the London sites. For example, if you want to spend just one midweek night in a Travelodge in Liverpool City Centre, it will cost £46.00. If you want to spend a midweek night in the Kings Cross Travelodge (probably the best as it’s really close to the railway/underground station), it will set you back a hefty £130. Those prices are for June 2012. In the middle of the Olympics, that jumps to £189 – that’s if, there’s any chance of a room being available then.

Chains like Travelodge, Holiday Inn Express and Premier Inns are usually a good option for a one-night stay in London, if you’re there for a business meeting. If however, it’s a special occasion such as a birthday or an anniversary, or maybe a visit to one of the wonderful West End shows, they’re not such a hot choice. Rooms are basic, sterile and sometimes, the hotels are not in the best locations. If you want somewhere a bit special, maybe a sweet little boutique hotel in Kensington, expect to pay – a lot. When you put together the cost of a hotel room, two West End theatre tickets (£50+ each) and dinner, it makes for an expensive package.

The advent of mass hotel booking sites on the Internet has certainly made things easier to find hotels in London. And, yes, it probably does mean there are more options for finding a good deal. Whilst there is something to be said for searching the Internet yourself and booking directly with the hotel of choice, this is an incredibly time consuming exercise. It’s made even more difficult if you don’t know London, as not only will you have to be comparing prices, but locations also. At least using a hotel booking site, you are presented with a whole load of London deals as your search results.

One thing that must not be overlooked, are the opportunities presented by discount coupon and daily deal sites. These are growing in number and popularity, as more and more consumers find their way to them, and take advantage of some very nice offers. Without boring you with the details of how daily deal sites work, their buying power allows them to present a wide range of offers for anything like a discount, a bogof, group booking, and freebies/linked products.

Most sites are national, but sites like dealzippy.co.uk, make it really easy to search by major city, for example take a look at their London deals page. Anyone who is going to London, even for just a day, should definitely check out daily deals. Deals are limited in time span, many only applicable to a specific day, but if you’re looking for a classy restaurant for the evening meal for example, the latest celebrity chef’s new gaff might be offering a heavily discounted tasting menu. Save money on what would normally be a very expensive dinner, and you may well be able to afford that little boutique hotel off Kensington Church Street after all.