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London, the capital city of the United Kingdom and England is one of the premier cities of the world- in the class of Paris, New York and Tokyo. London is a powerhouse economically and on average brings in about 17% of the UK’s entire gross national product. London is also noted as the top financial market in Europe and one of the premier financial centers in the world.
Besides flexing its economic muscles, London is also a cultural city, which is extremely cosmopolitan. It rates at the top of the world in the arts, communications, politics, architecture, education, etc. London has for the last several hundred years been an attractive place to visit and properly visiting London usually requires a car hire and a well appointed London Hotel.
History of London Hotels
The advent of London hotels mainly took place after the 19 th century. Before this period, large London hotels were unheard of. For the most part, England at that time was mostly an agricultural region, as was most of the world and many of the wealthy English landowners usually lived in the countryside part of the year and in London for the other part. Because travel was much more difficult than it is now, most people once in London stayed for a considerable length of time and if they did stay for short periods of time, let’s say less than a week, they usually lodged with a friend or family. Business visitors and travelers for that matter were on a much smaller scale.
While there were lodging options available, they were mostly either lodging houses or coaching inns. These inns usually were not in the center city, but along the roads and travel networks. Once railroads were developed starting in the 1830’s, lodging inns were also found along side locomotive stations. Unfortunately, all except one coaching inn still stands today. This distinction of being the last coaching inn in London goes to the George Inn which is now cared for by the National Trust.
Besides the coaching inns, there were some smaller hotels that were the precursor to modern types of lodging. These include the Mivart’s which is the precursor of the Claridge. For instance, the Mivart’s was established in 1812 about 30 to 40 years before many larger London lodging establishments started to be built.
By the 1860’s the railroads have developed into a popular way to travel to London and many business and leisure travelers came to London for shorter periods of time. Hotels that catered to railroad passengers were called Railway Hotels and were usually built quite close to the London railroad terminals. These Railway Hotels attracted clientele by being seen as status symbols and most Railway Hotels were large and luxurious.
Many of these large and luxurious London hotels were built during the Victorian era. For instance, the Langham Hotel was the largest hotel in the city of London and the first to be fitted with hydraulic lifts in 1865. The Savoy was another London first; it was the first hotel to have bathrooms in each room called an ensuite.
Some of the larger, luxurious London hotels still in business include:
The Hotels of Modern London
London is a city of hotel rooms. In 2000, it was estimated that there was at least 100,000 hotel rooms with more than 2/3 being located within 10 km of central London. It should also be noted that over 70,000 rooms are categorized as having 3 to 5 stars.
Five Star London Hotels
For those seeking luxury, the largest concentration of luxury hotels is located in the West Ends- specifically Mayfair. The largest five star hotel is quite small compared to world averages- only having 459 rooms and nine five stars have less than fifty rooms. Some of the grandest London hotels include;
3 & 4 Star London Hotels
While five star London hotels are usually landmark buildings located in prime real estate locations, other less luxurious hotels can be found throughout the city of London. While many are near the center, some are found quite a distance from the center. Bloomsbury on the northern side of the city perhaps has the largest concentration of mid level hotels in London. Obviously, most of these hotels are located near large airports such as Heathrow.
London Hotels in the Near FutureLondon is a vibrant city and many real estate developers have big plans for its future. Two developers are currently working on large tower hotels they are Columbus towers and the London Bridge Tower. Both towers will currently rival the tallest building in London. Currently the London Bridge Tower is on schedule to be the tallest building and hotel in London.
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