Value Watch: Luxury London on the Cheap
With the dollar stronger all around, visiting London has just gotten more affordable -- and thanks to the Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, located in London's literary quarter, it can be glamorous too. Through April 30, you can stay at the 174-room property, which recently underwent a $36 million renovation, for approximately $201 per night.
The subdue, but plush rooms and suites are outfitted with flat-screen TVs and complimentary WiFi, while the bathrooms, featuring power showers, are clad in Sicilian marble. Guest services include a business center, fitness center, valet parking, and British cuisine courtesy of the on-site Bloomsbury Street Bar and Restaurant. A wall made up of pages from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway dominates the hotel's spacious reception area in tribute to one of the area's most famous resident writers.
In addition, Radisson Edwardian’s 12 hotels, in London and Manchester, add to the savings with a special Advance Purchase promotion, which reflects 20% off the best available rate when booked and paid for in full at least 10 days in advance. This deal also includes two for one dining at each hotel restaurant, cutting the cost of the meal up to 50% and 20%savings off at Hamleys Toy Shop on all Hamleys brand products. Room rates start at approximately $118 per room, based on double occupancy, and the promotion runs until August 31.
When planning your trip, don't forget airport transportation. The Heathrow Express is the fastest way to get between central London and Heathrow Airport, and it's currently offering a free upgrade to gay travelers who book a standard fare ticket online through the VisitLondon website. Pay for an Express class ticket ($24 one-way, $46 roundtrip) and get an automatic upgrade to the roomier First Class Cabin, which has extra-large, leather-trimmed seats and complimentary copies of the Financial Times.
Money-saving tip: When using your credit card abroad, be aware that you may be charged as much as 3% for each transaction. The Capital One card doesn't charge this fee.