BUDGET B+B Belgravia (64-66 Ebury St., Belgravia; +44-20-7259-8570; from ?115) provides comfortable and contemporary accommodation with flat-screen TVs and free Internet access, located in an elegant residential area, is just five minutes walk from Victoria rail, subway and coach stations (for easy day trips to Brighton). An open fire in the open-plan guest lounge and delicious cooked breakfasts (featuring organic ingredients) add to the appeal of this chic, well-designed property.
myhotel bloomsbury (11-13 Bayley St., Bedford Square; +44-20-3004-6000 or, from the United States, 800-337-4685; from ?169) marks itself as different from most London hostelries (i.e., poor quality at a high price) by claiming that it is "like no other hotel you have stayed in before." Comfort junkies will appreciate its promise that you're never more than a single phone call away from someone who will sort out your restaurant or theater reservations, pick up your laundry, or get the music you'd like for the CD player in your room. myhotel has 76 rooms and suites, plus the mychi restaurant, mybar (it wears thin pretty quickly, doesn't it?), fitness room, library and "micro store" (whatever that is). The nearest tube stops are Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road. Jury's Inn (Eastern Perimeter Road, Hatton Cross; +44-208-266-4664; from ?69), 40 minutes by tube to Soho, is merely one underground stop from Heathrow, where most U.S. flights arrive.
For stays of three days or more, and subsequent savings on hotel bills, contact lesbian and gay accommodation agency Outlet (+44-207-287-4244; from ?58). The Gaydar Travel Web site offers a listing of accommodations for a range of tastes and budgets, specifically chosen for the gay visitors. The following hotels are exclusively gay or gay-popular hotels in convenient locations.
The Prince William Hotel (42-44 Gloucester Terrace, W2; +44-20-7724-7414; from ?95 -- less if booked online), run by women, is a remodeled Georgian townhouse on four levels near Hyde Park, West End theaters and the Soho scene. Rooms are small, and there have been some reports that the hotel's condition has degraded. But the location is quiet, and they offer special weekly and corporate rates and a (very) basic continental breakfast (cooked breakfast can be requested the night before) with a minimum two-night stay. Hotel policy is that bills should be settled daily in advance. The staff can get you hard-to-find theater tickets, but if the theater company requires credit card payment, you must be present to purchase tickets. There is a bus directly to and from Heathrow, cable TV in room and central heating.
Hazlitt's (6 Frith St., W1V; +44-20-7434-1771; from ?210) is worth the splurge if you want to stay in the heart of Soho Square -- and perhaps bump into some celebrities traveling incognito -- in one of three elegant buildings. The eccentric look is traditional mahogany, oak and pine, 19th-century bathrooms with modern plumbing, and color TV by candlelight. Only those staying on the top floor have access to air conditioning. This is a definite favorite among the artists. Located on a (rare in Soho) quiet street within walking distance of The Royal Opera House, all Soho clubs and pubs, and dozens of theaters and cinemas. 'Old-fashioned' service is surprisingly unstuffy, though Continental breakfast is not included. Clone Zone Soho (64 Old Compton St., W1; +44-20-7287-3530; from ?85) offer a studio and two rooms located above the eponymous men's clothing store. This modern studio offers a private bath, king bed, sofa bed, kitchen, TV, air conditioning, and the helpful advice of the shopkeepers downstairs. Clientele is mostly gay men.
Gay-owned Griffin House (22 Stockwell Green; from ?110) is a Georgian townhouse in Stockwell, South London with two well-appointed two-bedroom apartments a short walk from the Vauxhall Gay Village, and just three tube stops from Victoria station. Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, modern bathroom, Internet access, and DVD player.