Hotel rates are high in London. Upscale hotels are concentrated in the areas of Mayfair, St. James, Westminster and Bloomsbury, the east side of Hyde Park and north of Piccadilly. Another favored area is somewhat to the west, in the elegant districts of Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea. Budget hotels are found in the areas around Victoria and Paddington stations, Earl's Court and Gloucester Road. There is not an equivalent to the cheap yet clean motels found in the U.S. Be warned that "budget" especially around Paddington is exactly that (or, as the British call it, "ropey"—a bit the worse for wear).
Generally, hotels offer reduced rates on weekends and sometimes for business travelers and convention bookings. Always ask if the rate quoted includes the 20% VAT.
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