Bloomsbury Hotel & Local Area Guide For 2015

Hotel in a typical Bloomsbury terraced house
The Montague On the Gardens Hotel

Welcome to my Bloomsbury hotel and local area guide. With help from local tour guide and expert Yannick Pucci, I've included a few of the best and cheapest local places to stay along with a detailed area guide below.

Already have a place to stay? Then jump straight down to my Q&A Guide with Yannick to get the insider perspective on Bloomsbury.

The Best Bloomsbury Hotels

Here are the best hotels in Bloomsbury based on aggregate guest ratings from HotelsCombined.com. To qualify, hotels had to have at least 50 reviews and receive and aggregate rating of 8/10 or higher. The list below is ordered from the most expensive to the cheapest.

The Montague On the Gardens Hotel

Montagueoutside

Short Description (from the hotel): "The four star Montague on the Gardens Hotel combines the best of two worlds. In front is the British Museum and the hurly-burly of tourist London, whilst to the rear there's a serene private garden, cut off from the city by a rectangle of fine Georgian townhouses. Between the two lies The Montague on the Gardens Hotel – an intriguing blend of up-to-the-minute city vibrancy and old-world Bloomsbury charm."

5 Interesting Services/Facilities Offered:

  • Pet amenities including treats, beds and toys
  • A pillow menu
  • High-speed internet, including complimentary wireless access
  • Evening turndown service, including a romantic turndown for honeymooners
  • Babysitting service (at an additional charge, and bookable in advance)

Hotel Star Rating: 4 star
Price: from £174 per night
Nearest Tube Station: Holborn/Russell Square
Click Here To Book a Room at The Montague On the Gardens Hotel or to Learn More About It

Staunton Hotel

Staunton-Hotel-Reception

Short Description (from the hotel): "A beautiful Grade II listed Georgian Town House with seventeen en suite guest rooms, the Staunton Hotel boasts an atmosphere more reminiscent of a welcoming club. As our hotel is a listed building, we aimed to preserve its old charm and character so we do not have a lift. However, we can accommodate guests on the ground floor if requested."

5 Interesting Services/Facilities Offered:

  • En-Suite Bedrooms
  • Full English Breakfast and Continental Breakfast included
  • Satellite TV
  • Air Conditioning
  • Grade II listed Georgian Town House

Hotel Star Rating: 4 star
Price: from £140 per night
Nearest Tube Station: Goodge Street
Click Here To Book a Room at the Staunton Hotel or to Learn More About It

Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel

RadissonBluEdwardianGraftonHotel

Short Description (from the hotel): "There's a pleasing buzz to this luxury London hotel that reflects the energy of its Tottenham Court Road location, equally good for the City, the West End or even Paris via St Pancras station. Through the airy marbled lobby, Steak & Lobster is the hotel’s soul, a lively bar and restaurant hosting an eclectic local crowd. Rooms by contrast are peaceful, stylish and ergonomically designed for ultimate relaxation."

5 Interesting Services/Facilities Offered:

  • Complimentary wireless internet connection throughout the hotel
  • Valet service available for laundry
  • In room spa treatments
  • Gym
  • Limousine service available

Hotel Star Rating: 4 star
Price: from £130 per night
Nearest Tube Station: Warren Street
Click Here To Book a Room at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel or to Learn More About It

Grange Clarendon Hotel London

The_Clarendon_Hotel

Short Description (from the hotel): "Grange Clarendon is a 4-star hotel near Euston Station, peacefully nestled in central Bloomsbury. Formerly a 16th century Georgian townhouse, Grange Clarendon has since had its period detailing immaculately restored and is now part of the Grange Hotels boutique collection."

5 Interesting Services/Facilities Offered:

  • Same-day laundry and dry cleaning service
  • Shoe-shine service
  • Toiletries and shaving kits
  • Cots for children
  • 24 Hours Concierge service

Hotel Star Rating: 4 star
Price: from £119 per night
Nearest Tube Station: Holborn/Russell Square
Click Here To Book a Room at the Grange Clarendon Hotel or to Learn More About It

Grange Buckingham Hotel

Exterior_The_Buckingham_Hotel

Short Description (from the hotel): "Grange Buckingham is a 4-star hotel in the Grange Hotels boutique collection, snugly located near the British Museum in the heart of Bloomsbury. The hotel features 17 comfortable, self-contained studio bedrooms that are fitted with en-suite bathrooms, kitchenettes and a range of modern conveniences."

5 Interesting Services/Facilities Offered:

  • Free Daily newspapers
  • 24 hour room service
  • Same-day laundry and dry cleaning
  • Access to Health Club and Spa (£10 fee applies)
  • Afternoon Tea packages

Hotel Star Rating: 4 star
Price: from £119 per night
Nearest Tube Station: Holborn/Russell Square
Click Here To Book a Room at the Grange Buckingham Hotel or to Learn More About It

The Beauchamp

Junior_Suite_at_The_Beauchamp_Hotel

Short Description (from the hotel): "This 4-star boutique hotel features 47 contemporary guest bedrooms that are beautifully furnished and fully en-suite, with views onto private gardens. Modern in-room amenities include luxurious marble en-suite bathrooms, LCD flat-screen televisions and queen-sized beds."

5 Interesting Services/Facilities Offered:

  • Professional babysitting services can be arranged upon request
  • Daily newspapers are available for all hotel guests
  • Complimentary dental kits, shaving kits and sewing kits can be obtained upon request
  • A same-day laundry and dry cleaning service is available
  • Dedicated meeting space for business meetings

Hotel Star Rating: 4 star
Price: from £119 per night
Nearest Tube Station: Russell Square
Click Here To Book a Room at The Beauchamp or to Learn More About It

Bedford Hotel London

Bedford-Hotel-garden-restaurant-patio

Short Description (from the hotel): "At the Bedford Hotel, peace and quiet is our priority. With the elegant bustle of Bloomsbury on every side, that might sound like an impossible task. Covent Garden and the West End are just a short walk away, and the British Museum is on our doorstep. But at the Bedford, we can promise you a good night’s sleep too. How do we do it? Well, many of the rooms overlook our picturesque private garden. The Bedford is small and intimate, offering a warm welcome with a personal touch. And it's a great place to relax with company too, with a charming guest lounge and laid back café occupying the ground floor."

5 Interesting Services/Facilities Offered:

  • Many rooms overlook a stylish secret garden
  • Onsite parking available
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Television & Radio
  • Trouser press on request

Hotel Star Rating: 3 star
Price: from £87 per night
Nearest Tube Station: Russell Square
Click Here To Book a Room at the Bedford Hotel or to Learn More About It

Arosfa Hotel

Arosfa_Hotel

Short Description (from the hotel): "Situated in the heart of central London, the Arosfa Hotel is a friendly, family run bed & breakfast hotel providing good-quality, great-value accommodation for tourists and business travellers. All of our rooms have compact (small) en-suite facilities and are equipped with a colour TV."

5 Interesting Services/Facilities Offered:

  • Free Wi-fi wireless internet
  • Hotel Garden
  • Located in a a refurbished 200-year old Georgian Town House
  • Optional Full English breakfast
  • Check in any time from 7am onwards

Fact: Arosfa is the Welsh word for resting place.

Hotel Star Rating: 2 star
Price: from £82 per night
Nearest Tube Station: Goodge Street
Click Here To Book a Room at the Arosfa Hotel or to Learn More About It

Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury

Holiday-Inn-Bloomsbury

Short Description (from the hotel): "The hotel is conveniently located in the centre of the city, almost next door to the incredible British Museum and just a stone's throw from such attractions as Buckingham Palace, London’s Theatreland, Covent Garden and St Paul's Cathedral."

5 Interesting Services/Facilities Offered:

  • LCD, High Definition TVs
  • On site Restaurant, Bar and Lounge
  • High Speed Internet Access
  • Full range of Business Services
  • Accessible rooms

Hotel Star Rating: 4 star
Price: from £79 per night
Nearest Tube Station: Russell Square
Click Here To Book a Room at the Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury or to Learn More About It

Bloomsbury Q&A Guide With Yannick Pucci

Yannick-profile Yannick is an independent London Tour Guide in Search of Lost Time(s). With over four years of guiding experience under his belt, he is currently further developing his portfolio of tours.

Volunteering at the British Museum since 2009, Yannick has been manning one of the museum's handling desks and delivering tours ever since. His 'Art Deco in Bloomsbury' walk had its debut at the Bloomsbury Festival 2013 while his 'History of the Telephone Box' walk was launched during the London Festival of Architecture 2014.

You can also follow Yannick's adventures on his blog: London Unravelled and book one his tours via Eventbight here.

1) What's your favourite thing about the area?

As a former literary student, Bloomsbury often felt like the land of legends and, when I first moved to London, the reality turned out to be even more exciting than the myth. From its many cultural institutions to beautiful squares, the area has always been synonymous with a sense of discovery to me.

Full of surprises and eccentricities, there is always something new to explore Bloomsbury and this patch of London has knack for keeping locals as well as visitors on their toes.

2) What's your least favourite thing about the area?

While I don’t want to idealise Bloomsbury, I find it difficult to name a negative about the area. As with many parts of London, some streets of Bloomsbury are going through a gentrification, but many independent pockets, such as Lamb's Conduit Street and Marchmont Street, seem to endure.

3) What are the must see sights of the area?

The British Museum

British Museum

As the undisputable behemoth of Bloomsbury, the British Museum almost needs no introduction. From the Parthenon Sculptures to the Rosetta Stone, the BM, as it is affectionately known, offers visitors the opportunity to travel the world and the seven seas without ever leaving London.

Join one of the museum’s 15 daily eyeOpener tours or seek out the interactive handling desks where you are allowed to touch genuine objects from the collection. Did you know a broken piece of the Sphinx of Giza’s beard is on display in the Egyptian sculpture gallery?

Address:

British Museum
Great Russell Street
London
WC1B 3DG

Phone Number: 02073238181
Website: http://www.britishmuseum.org
Twitter: @britishmuseum

Russell Square, Tavistock Square, Gordon Square & Bedford Square

Russell Square Fountains

The Bloomsbury Group famously lived in squares and loved in triangles, and, as such, exploring the area's abundant green spaces serves as an initiation into a very select circle.

While Bloomsbury Square can feel a bit drab, Russell Square, its neighbour to the north, makes up for it in vitality.

Walk along the horseshoe path or while away the day near the 'Time' fountain –watch the jets of water go higher as the hour passes by. Closely associated with Virginia Woolf who used to live here, Tavistock Square is best visited in spring when the cherry blossoms of the Hiroshima Memorial Tree are in bloom.

Popular with UCL students and locals alike, Gordon Square makes for a great picnic spot during the short summer month/s and features a weekday kiosk run by Austrian coffeehouse Kipferl. Although the garden is only rarely open to the public, visit Bedford Square to soak up the haughty grandeur of the Georgian townhouses.

For more see: Great parks in Camden

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology

If you’d like to have a more intimate encounter with a mummy and all things Egyptian, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology housed at University College London (UCL) is your destination of choice.

Equipped with magnifying glasses and flashlights (spooky!), explore over 80,000 items in this small museum which has managed to cling onto its old-world charm. The Petrie also regularly stages special events such as silent movie screenings and Egyptian-themed tours around London, so make sure to check out their programme.

Address:

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology
University College London
Gower Street
London
WC1E 6BT

Phone Number: 02076792000
Website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/petrie
Twitter: @PetrieMuseEgypt

4) Are there any hidden or secret sights people should see?

Woburn Walk

Nestled on the northern fringes of Bloomsbury, the Woburn Walk is a veritable time capsule of Regency architecture. Dating back to 1822, this enclave was built by Thomas Cubitt and is often described as London's first pedestrianized shopping street. Almost forgotten by time, the Woburn Walk and its bow fronted shop windows often feature in period dramas.

A former burial ground, St. George's Gardens is one of Bloomsbury's lesser-known parks and the many tombs and graves on display betray its origins. A beautiful terracotta statue of Euterpe, the classical muse of instrumental music, watches over the garden while other ornaments abound.

5) Would you say the area is safe?

While the area is fairly safe and police officers can often be seen patrolling the streets of Bloomsbury, the area also attracts a fairly large amount of tourists and, as such, common sense and general rules of safety should apply as they do in most parts of London.

6) Would you say the area is family friendly?

goat, Coram's Fields, WC1

Yes, Bloomsbury is a very family friendly area. With its many parks and gardens, there are plenty of green spaces to let the children loose and spend their stored up energy. Coram's Field, just off Brunswick Square, occupies seven acres and is one of London's largest playgrounds. Featuring sand pits as well as a pets corner, the park is only accessible to adults accompanied by a child and it is free to visit.

Most of Bloomsbury’s cultural institutions, such as the Dickens Museum or the Foundling Museum, regularly run activities and events for children too.

7) Does the area have good nightlife?

Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes

Although Bloomsbury is not particularly known for its nightlife, plenty of entertainment options exist for nightly thrill seekers. With its dazzling Art Deco fittings, the Bloomsbury Ballroom regularly organises vintage soirées if you fancy dressing up while the Bloomsbury Theatre is host to a broad variety of productions.

Located just off Tavistock Square, the Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes makes for a fun (and competitive) night out and they have some karaoke booths too. If you are stuck for ideas, you can always crash a student party – worst case scenario-style!

8) What are 3 good restaurants (and why are they good)?

Ciao Bella

ciao-bella

For a little slice of Italy on the plate, head to Ciao Bella in Lamb’s Conduit Street. A Bloomsbury institution, this family-run trattoria dates back to 1983 and serves traditional Italian fare in a cozy ambiance.

For a rather unusual dish, try the Spaghetti al Cartoccio, seafood pasta cooked in grease-proof parchment paper. With a heated outside terrace, it’s possible to enjoy la dolce vita all year round if you manage to snag a table.

Address:

Ciao Bella
86-90 Lamb’s Conduit Street
London
WC1N 3ELZ

Phone Number: 02072424119
Website: http://www.ciaobellarestaurant.co.uk

Abeno

Abeno

For a quick Japanese-style lunch or dinner, a visit to Abeno is the order of the day. Handily located on Museum Street, this authentic restaurant specializes on okonomiyaki, a thick pancake-like dish hailing from Osaka. Made from egg and shredded cabbage, toppings of your choice are added to the mix and cooked on a hotplate in front of you. Enjoy with beer or sake – kanpei!

Abeno
47 Museum Street
London
WC1A 1LY

Phone Number: 02074053211
Website: http://www.abeno.co.uk
Twitter: @Abeno_Okonomi

Burger & Shake

With the craze for gourmet burgers sweeping through London, it was inevitable for Bloomsbury to follow suit as well. A recent addition to the scene, Burger & Shake on Marchmont Street does what it says on the tin and more. From chilli beef burgers to buffalo wings, this diner offers hearty American cuisine. What's for dessert you may ask? Milkshakes, of course!

Address:

Burger & Shake
47 Marchmont Street
London
WC1N 1AP

Phone Number: 02078377718
Website: http://burgerandshake.co.uk
Twitter: @BurgerShake

9) What are 3 good pubs (and why are they good)?

Norfolk Arms

Norfolk Arms Bloomsbury LONDON

Handily located on the way to King's Cross Station and tucked away on a quiet corner, the Norfolk Arms on Leigh Street is the perfect place to have a drink before rushing off to board a train. With a focused accent on Mediterranean cuisine, this gastropub serves authentic-style tapas as well as a full à la carte menu. From a quick beverage to a three-course meal, this atmospheric pub with Art Deco details is suited for any occasion.

Address:

Norfolk Arms
28 Leigh Street
London
WC1H 9EP

Phone Number: 02073883937
Website: http://www.norfolkarms.co.uk

The Lamb

lamb-pub

While part of the Young's chain of pubs, the Lamb at the western end of Lamb’s Conduit Street is definitely worth a trek. A Grade II-listed building, this lovingly preserved Victorian pub is remarkable for its frosted glass 'snob screens' which would have protected the patron’s anonymity around the 1890s. Reputedly visited by Charles Dickens, the Lamb exudes old world charm and it is perfect way to drink in some history.

Address:

The Lamb
94 Lambs Conduit Street
London
WC1N 3LZ

Phone Number: 02074050713
Website: http://www.youngs.co.uk/pubs/lamb

The Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy Bentham, Bloomsbury, WC1

The haunt of UCL students as well as medical professionals, the Jeremy Bentham on University Street is a traditional old school boozer. Originally known as the 'Lord Wellinton', this pub was renamed in 1982 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Jeremy Bentham who left us his auto-icon. Head to this watering hole after attending one of University College London's public lectures and continue the discussion while sampling one of the real ales on tap.

Address:

The Jeremy Bentham
31 University Street
London
WC1E 6JL
020 7387 3033

10) What are 3 good cafes/coffee shops (and why are they good)?

Store Street Espresso

Conveniently located close to the British Museum, Store Street Espresso is the destination of choice for caffeine addicts who love drinking its guest roasts under the skylight. If you visit for breakfast, let them toast your pain aux raisins and you will never look back. The people behind the no-frills SSE have also recently opened a second branch, Continental Stores, which can be found on Tavistock Street, just off the Brunswick Centre.

Address:

Store Street Espresso
40 Store Street
London
WC1E 7DB

Phone Number: 02076372623
Website: http://www.storestespresso.co.uk
Twitter: @StoreStEspresso

Fork Deli Patisserie

forkdeli

Fork Deli Patisserie has been a welcome addition to Marchmont Street's eclectic mixture of shops and restaurants. Serving an exciting mix of healthy salads, artisan sandwiches and delicious pastries, this small deli is perfect for a take-away coffee or a lazy Sunday brunch. If you manage to get one of the tables outside, sit down, relax and watch the beau monde of Bloomsbury go by. A special mention for the very friendly staff too!

Address:

Fork Deli Patisserie
85 Marchmont Street
London
WC1N 1AL

Phone Number: 020­73872860
Website: http://www.forkdeli.co.uk
Twitter: @forkdeli

Bea's of Bloomsbury

bea's of bloomsbury

With a mischievous dose of American flair, Bea's of Bloomsbury has taken Londoners by storm and quickly gained a well-deserved reputation amongst those who have a sweet tooth. From red velvet cupcakes to the legendary duffins (a donut/muffin hybrid), this tearoom nestled on Theobalds Road is the home of sinful indulgence.

Affordably priced at £19 per person, their full afternoon tea, including sandwiches, scones and other treats is a steal and very parent-friendly too.

Address:

Bea's of Bloomsbury
44 Theobalds Road
London
WC1X 8NW

Phone Number: 0207 242 8330
Website: http://www.beasofbloomsbury.com
Twitter: @beas_bloomsbury

11) What's your favourite random fact about the area?

Bloomsbury is home to what must be London’s only 'apology' plaque. While I won’'t give away its exact location, it can be found on a rather inconspicuous building near Russell Square. (While guides need to keep some of their secrets, I shall, however, give you a small hint: look out for a plaque dedicated to T.S. Eliot and you will be very close!)

Also while researching a new architectural tour I’m currently developing, I've discovered that Peggy Guggenheim, the famous art collector who went on to become an honorary Venetian, used to live in Woburn Square – had never heard that story before!

Well if the information above isn't enough to convince you to give one of Yannick's tours a try, I doubt anything will. As a reminder you book them here.

I want to thank Yannick for his help with this page, it's so wonderful to get the inside view of an area I've walked through many times. I've learned there's a lot for me to see!

Bonus Area Secret

Simply because I love London's transportation history I couldn't resist throwing in this last little gem. Did you know you can see the remains of the Kingsway Tram Underpass just north of Holborn station?

Kingsway-Tram-Tunnel

What do you love about Bloomsbury? Have any other secret tips or places to visit? Please let me know in the comment section below:

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