Big Ben, the famed clock atop the House of Parliament, keeps time as you hop from one London attraction to the next. Accommodating yourself at a hotel near Big Ben is ideal, as it is steps from Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square, an area teeming with restaurants, shops and nightlife.
The Royal Horseguards
Stately rising above the River Thames, The Royal Horseguards is minutes from Big Ben, occupying a prime position near Trafalgar Square. Originally home to the National Liberal Club, the building has seen its share of writers, prime ministers and royalty pass through its doors and supposed secret tunnels that lay beneath. The five-star property offers 281 rooms, many with views of Big Ben and the London Eye. Each room is traditionally decorated, featuring a sitting area, fine linens, Wi-Fi, flat-screen television and iPod radio. The Royal Horseguards signature restaurant, One Twenty One Two, has won numerous awards, including two AA Rosettes. The hotel provides one of London's premiere addresses for hosting weddings and meetings, and offers a fitness and business center.
Housed in a late 19th-century building, The Grand is a boutique hotel located in Trafalgar Square, minutes from Big Ben, House of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. While the hotel's exterior is historic, the interior has been updated in contemporary decor, from the intimate lobby to the spacious guest rooms. The rooms are up to date with flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi, MP3 players and a comfortable work station. Boyd's Bar, the hotel's lone restaurant, provides exceptional meals in a relaxed atmosphere. The hotel offers an exercise room, and even delivers equipment to guest rooms.
The Charing Cross hotel is literally at the center of London as the building is adjacent to Charing Cross Station, the hub for all transport in the city. The hotel, built in the mid 19th century, is a luxurious piece of history that has been restored to accommodate 21st-century guests. The 239 well-appointed guest rooms are technologically updated with Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions and functional work desks. Elegant furniture, sumptuous linens and inescapable London views round out each room. Charing Cross offers an award-winning restaurant, bar and lounge for dining. Nine rooms are available for meetings, banquets and weddings.
The Ritz London
Located on Piccadilly Street, the neoclassical Ritz London was built by famed hotelier Cesar Ritz, opening its doors to London in 1906. The magnificent hotel, overlooking three royal parks, is located just minutes from Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus and Buckingham Palace. The Ritz London, with five 18th-century-designed event rooms, including the famous Palm Court, plays host to London's most extravagant events. The hotel offers rooms and suites that are adorned in neutral colors, offering modern conveniences like Internet and flat-screen televisions. The Ritz Restaurant provides an elegant dining room, while The Rivoli Bar is a somewhat gaudy place to enjoy an evening drink.
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Located across the River Thames from Big Ben, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, which opened in 2010, offers an alternative to traditional Britain with a contemporary design. The circular, glass structure is massive, its neon glow visible from Piccadilly Circus to Parliament. The 1,000-plus-room hotel provides three restaurants as well as a fitness center, spa, executive lounge and business center. Guest rooms offer inviting views through the paneled windows, and are adorned with striking modern paintings and equipped with all the modern conveniences.
- Big Ben image by Dani Dulfu from Fotolia.com