So you’ve decided to come to London to see a musical or a play. You want to have a great night out watching one of the big shows like Oliver, Sister Act or Avenue Q, but you also want to keep the costs down as much as possible. The first thing to consider is where you’re going to stay.
There are lots of internet sites selling tickets to West End shows and many of them offer packages that include a hotel room with the theatre tickets. These theatre package agents have deals with a handful of hotels and they profit on both the theatre ticket and hotel room by adding fees to the price of the room. Theatre packages therefore tend to be more expensive than booking your ticket and your accommodation separately. It can be quicker to book a package, but your choice of hotel will be very limited and it’s not the most cost effective way to plan your trip.
These theatre and hotel packages are promoted as money-saving deals, but if you want to save money or you have particular hotel requirements, for example an accessible room or a London apartment near the theatre, it’s actually a much better idea to book your accommodation and theatre ticket separately. As mentioned, ticket agencies partner up with a limited number of hotels to offer rooms at a set price.
If you book your own accommodation, you’re free to find a better rate elsewhere and choose a hotel that matches your exact requirements from the 1000+ hotels in London. Need an accessible room, wireless internet connection, indoor swimming pool or spa? No problem, when you’ve got all London hotels and apartments to choose from.
With over 1000 hotels in London, the task of choosing one can be overwhelming. It’s often best to think about location first. If you want to be able to walk to the theatre then you will need a hotel in the West End. They can be expensive – most rooms cost upwards of £100 a night – but there are a few basic 1 and 2 star hotels with cheaper rates on offer that are within walking distance of Covent Garden.
Moving up the price scale a little, you can get some extra facilities – the Saint Georges Hotel in Langham Place is a well-located and reasonably priced 4 star hotel, with free wireless internet access. The 5 star Waldorf Hilton is right in the heart of Theatreland and has accessible rooms and an indoor swimming pool.
Hotels outside the centre of London tend to cost less. If you don’t mind travelling in to get to the theatre, you could choose a hotel near a tube station on the Northern Line, the Central Line or the Piccadilly Line, which all allow easy access into the West End.
The theatre district is in Zone 1 of the underground network, which covers all of central London. You wouldn’t want to choose a hotel in Zone 6, because that’s miles away, but something in Zone 2 could be a good option. Travel times into the centre are reasonable and you don’t have to worry about any additional costs, because the cheapest Travelcard you can buy for the tube covers both Zones 1 and 2.
There’s a good selection of hotels around Earl’s Court, which is on the boundary between Zones 1 and 2. From here, it only takes 15 minutes to get into the West End on the Piccadilly Line. Twenty Nevern Square is a 4 star boutique hotel in this area with complimentary wireless internet access in the bedrooms. Base2Stay is a combination of a hotel and a serviced apartment; the guest rooms have separate sitting areas and kitchenettes. There are plenty of options around here to choose from and you pay less than you would for a similar hotel in the centre of London.
Susan Radcliffe is a travel writer and researcher for the internet and television. Susan lives in London and is an avid theatre fan. She uses her expert London knowledge to write about London theatre hotels for TubeHotels.com, a hotel comparison site to find, compare and book London hotels near tube stations and theatres.