Where to stay in London

Stay in sumptuous elegance at The Corinthia or mingle with starlets at the bar of the achingly cool W London.

The Corinthia

What's so special

When it first opened in 1885, this building was called the Hotel Metropole. It was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence for much of the last century, but is now back to its magnificent best as one of the newest hotels in London. It is close to Downing Street and the National Gallery.

How they rate it

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

Despite having opened only a few months ago, the Corinthia conveys a sense of grandeur and history, which makes you think it's been around for decades. The lobby area is spacious and light with a magnificent chandelier, while the rooms are huge the bathrooms alone are large enough to host a drinks party in. There are still some teething problems a sign outside the hotel would help, for starters but nonetheless, this place has the potential to become one of London's grand old dames.

The menu

The hotel's Northall restaurant serves up excellent British fare. Dishes include dressed crab with mayonnaise and melba toast, or pork chop and bacon with pickled red cabbage.

The cost

A double room costs from £429 per night on a room-only basis. For more information visit www.corinthia.com, or call 020-7930 8181.

W London


What's so special

This hotel is situated on the site of the former Swiss Centre in Leicester Square, right in the heart of London's buzzing Soho district. With mirror balls in the reception area and a bar so exclusive even being a guest doesn't guarantee you entry, the W aims to be London's newest party hotel.

How they rate it

Anyone looking for a quiet's night sleep and an escape from the madness of central London should avoid the W. The hotel has aimed itself at the young, hip, party market with noisy bars, corridors that are so dimly lit that it's almost impossible to find a door never mind your own door and rooms that are so minimal there's barely space to store anything. But if you are looking to stay somewhere that's achingly cool, with starlets mingling in the bar and Soho on your doorstep, this is the place for you. Also, its location makes it an ideal crash pad for those who only want a bed to sleep off the previous night's excesses.

The menu

The Spice Market serves up top-class South-East Asian cuisine inspired by street food. Dishes include monkfish with wok-fried chinese leaf cabbage or Vietnamese chicken curry.

The cost

A double room costs from £289 per night, room only. Find out more at www.wlondon.co.uk, or call 020-758 1000.

What the travel writers are saying

There are heaps of apps around, designed to make life easy, but which are the best ones for travellers? Dave Stevenson has rounded up his favourites in The Sunday Times.

GB National Parks 50k RouteBuddy Solo offers you Ordnance Survey maps of all Britain's national parks at 1:50,000 scale for just £15.49. It works offline but can also pick up a GPS signal "for those ill at ease with a compass". It can also "track waypoints to help you find your way back".

Streetmuseum (London) uses 200 photos and paintings from the Museum of London to give you a "guided historical tour around the capital". It's free and you can pick landmarks near you using your phone's GPS function.

Sun worshippers will like Sun Timer. Choose your skin tone from a long list and then tap in the factor of your suncream and this free app will tell you how long you can stay in the sun. But "despite the name, the app doesn't actually count down for you, so you'll need to set a stopwatch yourself".


If you are heading off on a particularly adventurous holiday, download the SAS Survival Guide (pictured above). It covers a "vast number of bases" from how to start a fire to making new soles for your shoes from car tyres. The full version costs £4.99 and includes plenty of useful illustrations and videos, as well as a Morse-code generator that blinks your phone's screen on and off "until someone gets the message. Or until your batteries run out".