Within central London, there are many districts that cater to a variety of shopping and entertainment needs. Among these is one known as the Covent Garden district, which includes the City of Westminster and the London Borough of Camden. It is a primary hub for travelers and tourists thanks to the numerous shops, restaurants, theaters, and pubs that dot the area. As such, there are a number of notable hotels in Covent Garden.
One hotel that can be considered among the top 3 most famous and iconic hotels in the entirety of London is The Savoy. It is a 5-star property located on the Strand, a street in the City of Westminster. This 263-room property overlooks the River Thames.
While The Savoy is arguably London’s most famous hotel, it has been out of service since 2007 as it undergoes renovation and modernization with a budget of over £100 million (over $150 million). The luxury hotel is set to reopen during the summer of 2010. Hotel management asserts that the renovation aims to combine Edwardian architecture aesthetics, which will be present in the lobby and other public areas, and the art deco style, which will be reflected in the entrance, the hotel’s River Restaurant, and the Beaufort Bar.
Another notable high-end hotel is St Martins Lane, a precursor for so-called hip hotels founded by Ian Schrager. With its Light Bar and other modern features like the interactive light displays found within each room, this hotel is truly a treat for those who can afford such a highly-personalized experience.
There are also some mid-range options for those without the budget for hotels like St Martins Lane or Swissotel The Howard London, which is the recommended alternative by The Savoy management. The more affordable alternatives include the Fielding Hotel, which is right across the street from the Royal Opera House, and the Strand Palace Hotel, which should provide great value for money with rooms starting at £65.
Entertainment is among the Covent Garden district’s claims to fame. The district is the only place in all of London where street entertainment is officially licensed. This involves organized street performances where the performers need to go through auditions and need to coordinate time slots for their acts.
Tourists can find street performances in several venues in the market such as the West Piazza and the South Hall Courtyard. Acts last from 30 to 40 minutes long and can be seen everyday, except on Christmas. A lot of theaters are also located in the district. To enjoy the various theater and opera performances, last-minute bookings should greatly help-particularly on off-peak performance periods to avoid crowds while saving some money.
There are also a lot of landmarks to see in Covent Garden, including the recently-renovated Royal Opera House and St. Paul’s Church, which also goes by the name of the Actors’ Church because of a long history of association with the various Covent Garden theaters as well as the performers. Covent Garden provides easy access to other notable areas nearby, such as Trafalgar Square in the West End and the Bloomsbury district up north.
With a lineup boasting of what is perhaps the most famous hotel in all of London, hotels in the Covent Garden district may be relatively few but should give travelers a good and unique experience. For tourists seeking to immerse themselves in theatrical performances and street entertainment, Covent Garden is the place to be.