Other than being my ongoing love letter to travel, the major point of this blog is to advance the idea that you can have extraordinary travel experiences at somewhat reasonable prices.
One of the hardest places to do this? London. Our weak dollar has made travel to Europe in general tough and travel to the UK simply painful. Most things just have a 50% markup. Burger and fries lunch will cost you what, $12 at restaurant in the US, right? Well that's still 12 in the UK, except that makes your meal cost $24 dollars. For a burger and fries!
Nowhere does this CRAZY pricing structure become more evident than when you try to book a hotel. It is incredibly difficulty to find a good hotel in London for under $300 a night, let alone something trendy like a W. And VIP traveller's just don't do hostels. Or trust the definition of a three star overseas.
So imagine my delight when I saw this article in the Times:
Check In, Check out
By BENJI LANYADO
Published: August 31, 2008
The boutique hotel could rightfully charge a queen’s ransom for a night’s stay, but doesn’t.
Down in Kensington a new concept in hotels has emerged, offering great value by providing "a synthesis" of what guests really need and use -- minus the frills. The fluff has been edited, but what you get is a stylish, comfortably furnished accommodation with a small kitchenette. The cheapest rooms contain bunk beds for 2, and accommodations are rather flexible here, including suites that can be made by interconnecting rooms. Living may be stripped to the basics, but this is no hostel, as there is a 24-hour reception service as well as daily maid service.
A nice hotel in great area of London for under $200. 200 American dollars?
Oh, wow. March 25th I find out I belong in London (see below). Meet family and rekindle friendships with people in London over the last few months. Today I find somewhere to stay that won't bankrupt me. Sounds like a research trip is in my future...