How to Book London Hotels for the 2012 Olympics
As the countdown to one of the greatest events ever to be held in London draws closer, the nation is now beginning to hold its breath in anticipation of a fortnight’s spectacular sporting frivolities. It seems like almost yesterday when London erupted in celebration as the verdict was delivered in Trafalgar Square over who was to host the games in 2012. That was seven years ago. And suddenly there are less than 12 months to go before it all kicks off. That might still seem like a long time, but if you’re planning on going to see some events then it’s best to start looking into suitable accommodation.
The once in a lifetime experience of watching the world’s greatest athletes compete in a variety of stunning stadia, overlooked by an iconic cityscape, means that many will find it increasingly difficult to book the hotel room they want. As such, we’ve listed the fundamental problems that people are going to encounter, with a solution at the end!
Problem 1 – Availability
By next summer there will be approximately 100,000 hotel rooms available for London 2012 spectators. While that might sound like a lot, if you take into account that sixty per cent of hotel rooms have been allocated to local tour operators – coupled with the fact that people were trying to find rooms up to two years in advance – then all of a sudden availability becomes a tricky obstacle to overcome. The grandest hotels like the Hilton are reserving spaces for Seb Coe and his pals, otherwise the rest of the best rooms are filling up fast, with many hoteliers putting people on extensive waiting lists as they decide how much to increase their rates by, meaning you could find yourself waiting around for months – only to discover that you’ve been completely priced out of the place you favoured.
In terms of numbers, it is estimated that London will receive up to 450,000 staying visitors over the course of the Olympic Games, along with 5.5. million day visitors. With a normal population of around 7million, London is busy enough on a daily basis, but with another half a million coming to live, chaotic doesn’t even begin to describe what the city will be like. Given the amount of rooms on offer, there is a real inequity here and people will doubtlessly become frustrated in their pursuit of a place to stay (let alone a reasonably-priced option).
Problem 2 – Prices
As you would come to expect with one the grandest events on the planet, the cost of accommodation in London during next year’s Olympic Games will be exorbitant. Hoteliers are making the most of this eager influx of tourists, with many intending to charge five times the normal tariff. If that isn’t a shock to the system, then see the example below.
More specifically, one four-star hotel has quoted £1000 for a room during the Games, compared with £200 earlier this year. In addition, one hotel is pondering the prospect of a strict 100 per cent cancellation fee. No pressure then.
For people who’ve already begun to look into bookings, you may be expected to pay up in advance too, with some places demanding 70 per cent of fees paid by September of this year. In other words, if you’re going to make a decision, make sure you’re completely committed to it.
Boris Johnson had called for an industry-led ‘fair pricing and practice charter’, under which hotels would agree to charge their patrons sensibly. But it seems as if this is now extremely unlikely.
Already one of the most expensive cities in the world, London’s soaring accommodation costs would almost seem like a nail in the coffin for the wannabe budget traveller. There are, however, ways to make your stay financially viable – relatively speaking!
Solution – Book Early and Be Flexible
With the opening ceremony less than 12 months away, it is strongly advised that you try to book a hotel as quickly as you possibly can. At the same time, however, you will only find something suitable if you couple this with shopping around. For a more reasonable deal, we suggest you look outside Central London if you can.
Be as flexible as you can with your base. Your ticket for the London Olympics will mean you get free travel on London Transport, which is one reason why it is worth staying further away from the stadia – with more flexibility in terms of location you will not only save more on transport but on your accommodation too.
Here at Tube Hotels we’ve made life as easy as we can for you by studying a whole host of different sites, meaning you’ll find the best and cheapest deals on the market. And you won’t encounter any lengthy waiting lists in the process, as the hotels that will appear are ones with a confirmed price. Further to this, many places don’t allow bookings in advance of one year; you will only see the ones that do.
Finally, as the Games will be played out in different parts of the country, if you’re looking to book somewhere outside of the capital head over to hotel comparison site sletoH, where you will be able to find a hotel that is accessible to the area in question.
We hope you’re as excited as we are about the prospect of an Olympic Games being staged in London!
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