Hampstead: a laid-back, leafy suburb
The North London neighbourhood of Hampstead is a popular destination with families, its quaint village-like streets and the lakes and lawns of the immense 300-hectare Hampstead Heath offering a refreshing alternative to the inner city. Several hotels in the area, yet not many, tick all of the boxes. Located 300m from Hampstead tube, La Gaffe Hotel is appreciated for its warm welcome and friendly staff, plus the Italian restaurant with a crowd-pleasing menu. A family room sleeping four starts at £135.
Further to the south of Hampstead Heath, located five minutes away from the town centre, the Langorf Hotel proposes triple rooms from £75 and family accommodation in the form of self-contained apartments from £179, which can comfortably sleep up to four. All rooms are equipped with clean, modern en-suite facilities. Past guests have left enthusiastic reviews for the calm area, the easy connection to central London by tube and the traditional tasteful style of the hotel. Close by is the Holiday Inn Express Swiss Cottage (from £70).
Despite its name, which may evoke images of a traditional chocolate-box B&B, this is a recent, pristine development offering modern facilities including DVD rental for the kids and a hotel bar for the parents. Past guests have also praised the management team highly professional.
Moving closer towards central London, The New Inn (around £90) sits opposite Regent’s Park, not far from Camden Town, in an area that has quite an intimate, village-like feel. The hotel’s period charm and the staff who go out of their way to make everybody feel at home are two aspects that have impressed travellers, while a special mention goes to the Thai cuisine served in the ground-floor pub. Also in the area, the Best Western (from £60) has scored highly with families who find its typical Victorian style and calm environment represent good value for money.
Well-equipped hotels in central London
Five central hotels, all very different, stand out from the rest in terms of their suitability for families. The Nadler Kensington (around £140) in Earl’s Court is a favourite with families who appreciate the practical kitchenettes and fashionable décor as much as the leafy, upscale neighbourhood.
The 196 Bishopsgate apartments (from £110) are located on the main thoroughfare of Liverpool Street, which runs through the financial and historical heart of the city. Tastefully decorated to a high standard, the one and two-bedroom apartments all offer modern features including a fully equipped kitchenette for preparing meals (with a supermarket located just down the road) and a washing machine.
Occupying a particularly sought-after spot opposite Big Ben and Westminster, just a two-minute walk away from the London Eye and the Sea Life Aquarium, the Premier Inn County Hall (around £135) is a chain establishment known for it’s functional rooms and facilities. The hotel is especially well adapted for children, offering a kid’s menu, free breakfasts for under-fifteens, bunk beds and communicating rooms. In the same area, the Novotel Tower Bridge (from £100) is recommended by families for similar reasons, with adjoining bedrooms, a play area and free breakfasts for children.
Another chain that ticks all of the boxes is Comfort Inn. The Buckingham location is the best rated, proposing reasonable rates for their central location with family rooms starting at £90.