Finally A London Points Hotel I LOVE!

There are some cities where I have my favorite hotels, and other cities where I don’t. “Favorite” can be defined in a couple of different ways — there are some cases where I love a specific hotel as such, not taking into account the value, then there are other times where I consider a particular hotel to be a great value on points.

For example, in Hong Kong the Grand Hyatt is almost always my go-to option, as it’s a good deal on points, and has an excellent lounge. In Sydney I love the Park Hyatt.

But then in London and Singapore, for example, I don’t really have any favorites. I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels in London, though I don’t think I’ve ever stayed at the same hotel twice (with the exception of Heathrow Airport hotels). That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be willing to return to any of them, but rather that none stood out to me as amazing. As a Hyatt and Starwood loyalist:

Now that Marriott has taken over Starwood and I have access to a lot more hotels, I decided to spend last night at the London EDITION, and I think I have my new go-to option in London. This hotel rocks.

Let me start by saying that I don’t want to like the EDITION brand. They’re one of the brands that thinks they’re too cool to offer Platinum members free breakfast, so in general I avoid the brand on principle, since I want to give my business to companies that value my business.

I redeemed 60,000 Marriott points for my one night stay at the EDITION, when the paid rate would have been an outrageous 625GBP. In fairness, just about all hotels in London were super expensive last night.

The EDITION had a great location, and was located on a quiet street.

The lobby area in the hotel was so lovely — that’s something I find EDITION consistently does a good job with.

While Platinum members don’t get free breakfast at EDITION, I did have breakfast in the hotel’s beautiful restaurant, and it was very good.

I got upgraded to a “loft” room as a Platinum member, and for a non-suite I thought it was very nice.

I also have to mention that I thought the service was exceptional. It’s rare I come away from a city hotel with strong feelings one way or another when it comes to service, since my interactions are limited. But I had several interactions with employees that left me with a very favorable impression, as every employee seemed to want to ensure guests had a great experience.

So yeah, after years of searching, I think I’ve found my new go-to hotel in London. At 60,000 points per night it costs the same number of points as many of the other Marriott and Starwood brands (including the Sheraton), and it’s so much nicer.

I’ll gladly forego free breakfast or a club lounge for being able to stay at a hotel I actually genuinely like (there’s a Starbucks and Pret a Manger right around the corner).

Do you have a favorite points hotel in London? Any others I need to check out next?

Comments

  1. I will never understand why people care so much about average hotel free breakfast. You’re in one of the biggest cities in the world, go out and grab a nice coffee and pastry for 5 GBP and move on.

  2. The St. Ermin’s is quite nice and in a great location. It’s also only 50,000 points so you could use your free night there if you have the Ritz-Carlton or SPG Luxury card!

  3. Love the lobby space in the hotel, but I have never been upgraded at the London Edition as a Platinum member over multiple stays, and the normal rooms are TINY. While not included, the in-room dining breakfast is fairly priced for a hotel, and quite good, though.

  4. Lucky…have you tried the Great Northern? I stayed there recently and loved it. Nice modern non-cookiecutter decor, great restaurant with a wonderful Platinum breakfast, pantry areas on each floor, good location, etc. If you have not tried, I would give it a go next time you go to London.

  5. I’ve stayed at the Standard, just up the street, and always noticed how posh the Edition looked from the outside (and how warm the lobby looked at night). Sounds like you picked a good one!

  6. Lucky, do you think it will be higher than a cat 7 when the new categories will be introduced in jan? couldnt find a list yet! what do you think about the new categories and the peak- off peak points amount next year?

  7. We stayed there this summer for 5 nights on points (pre-points chart adjustment), and I must say it was an incredible stay. My wife and I were celebrating an anniversary. While we didn’t get an upgrade, probably because they were pretty full and we wanted an early check in, not only did we end up with 2 free breakfasts that they gave us, they also sent us a bottle of champagne and dessert tray as a welcome gift. I would never pay to stay there, I don’t have the money for that, but their attention to detail and hospitality was amazing.

  8. @John agreed, most people just do what is comfortable which is super boring to me. Most reviews I read, I see people ordering the Western option on flights and ordering room service or caring about free breakfast. Venture out, it’s why you travel isn’t it? I understand convenience but not in the best cities in the world with incredible food options. Just my two cents

  9. Ugh the worst Marriott platinum ever. Chooses the brand that doesn’t offer free breakfast and then pays for breakfast, proving the C-suite totally correct in its miserly assumptions

  10. I’m surprised how infrequently the Hilton Bankside comes up in discussions of best London points hotels. In my view, it’s the overall best points value for London hotels, taking into consideration the fun Southbank location, quality of free breakfast and club lounge, as well as sleek interior.

  11. I’ll add another voice in favor of the Great Northern. Stayed there with Alex last year on a quick weekend where we took AC’s club kid flight. Very small standard rooms but impeccable service from a small team and a very convenient location in St. Pancras. They have a beautiful bar that gave us free ice and tonic water when we felt like using our duty free gin that cost about the same as one cocktail there!

  12. It’ll be an even better location when cross rail/Elizabeth line(finally) opens. Straight shot to Heathrow less than five minutes walk and 30 mins by train away.

  13. My favorite hotel in London is (was – closed recently for renovation) the St. John Hotel in SOHO just off of Leicester Square. The hotel’s namesake, the acclaimed St. John Restaurant serving incredible lunch and supper menus, is around the corner. For breakfast, visit its sister restaurant “Bread and Wine,” for delicious devilled kidneys on toast or the blood pudding with eggs 🙂

    Can’t really recommend a points hotel since never stayed at one in a city where boutique hotels are so common.

  14. “I’ll gladly forego free breakfast or a club lounge for being able to stay at a hotel I actually genuinely like”

    This isn’t you usual mantra, but great to see. Welcome to the world of actually staying at nice hotels and enjoying your experience, rather than being trapped within hotel loyalty programs and completely missing the great experiences you could be having.

  15. It’s always interesting to me when high end hotels choose to not recognize standard elite benefits. While these hotels will attract plenty of folks using points, they also attract more business travelers during the week paying outrageous rates than they otherwise would.

    St Regis is a great example of why honoring benefits can be good for a hotel (of course this will be anecdotal versus actually looking at the financials). I’ve stayed at some St Regis properties like NYC on points and received great elite treatment – including a very nice in room breakfast as part of the amenity and a huge suite upgrade (two bathrooms, foyer, large bedroom and separate living room, sitting area, workspace etc.). This greatly enhances my impression of the brand generally. So on a work trip to Florence I stayed at the St Regis there, paying a rate of ~800 Euros per night for a full week. Similarly I received impeccable service and recognition there (upgraded to a duplex suite) but in that case the benefits were flowing towards the brand in the form of a rather outrageous rate I would have avoided if I had no brand loyalty.

  16. Another vote for the Great Northern. That’s my go-to… but I still find the staff very uppity and insincere every time I stay there.

  17. Great Northern is where it’s at. Standard rooms are teeny tiny but they do a good job of upgrading Platinums, and it’s a very nicely designed hotel all around.

  18. I appreciate this is about London but hkg was mentioned and must say my go to there is the Conrad… Love it.

  19. Awesome hotel. Criminal that it doesn’t get more press in the points world. Lobby Bar and Berners are awesome, and they have good parties downstairs as well

  20. I’m going to be staying at the new Kimpton Fitzroy London (formerly the Principal) and I can’t wait. It’s in a great area and looks just incredible. I’m paying, but points will be 60,000.

  21. Andaz is my go-to hotel. Great service, nice rooms – just renovated – and location is a 10-minute walk to my office. For those of us traveling for work, that is a priority.

  22. I think my new fave is the Rosewood London down the street, beautifully done and not too old-timey like some other London joints, and while it’s not a points hotel you should at least check out their scarfes bar at night when they have live jazz, their cocktails are amazing and they get a fire going in winter.

  23. I stayed at the London Edition last month on points and absolutely loved it! Highly recommend it. The Punch Room is a great place to try some, well, punches! Really liked the atmosphere.

  24. The Trafalgar St James Curio by Hilton is stunning and you can’t beat the location. With Chating Cross Station and the Bakerloo Line across the street and Embankment with the District and Circle Lines around the corner, you can get anywhere in London fast. But if you’d prefer to walk the city like me, round the corner and you’re on the Mall! The rooftop bar is great but you may need reservations.

  25. I stayed at the Intercontinental for a day and thought it was overrated. Then I stayed at the Staybridge Suites in Vauxhall and loved it! Went back for a second stay.

  26. My go-to hotel in London. Glad you’ve finally gotten over your blanket rule on comped breakfasts and seen the light 🙂 Redeeming 60k points for a hotel you actually enjoy is much better than a crappy breakfast at the Sheraton.

  27. @John – I see your point, but at the same time some of us like a real breakfast…one that involves protein as well as carbs. A free hotel breakfast usually involves eggs and some sort of breakfast meats. And, as long as you’re not paying more for the hotel, it has the advantage of being free.

    I always found finding breakfast in London a bit frustrating, as at least where I usually was (Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street Station) there wasn’t a lot for brekkie other than McDonald’s (which I’ll happily do for breakfast, but the lines were usually insane) and a few upscale places that would take too long or cost more than my expense report allowed. I’d usually wind up grabbing coronation chicken salad from Tesco Metro, but would rather have had a hot breakfast, mainly because the coronation chicken is what I’d usually have for lunch..and sometimes dinner too. I’m a man of simple pleasures…

  28. Non English native speaker here; what do you mean by you love the hotel? I initially thought that you just mean you really like the hotel but then mention about the liking the andaz but not loving the location so clearly you’re trying to make a distinction between the two terms

  29. The Edition is nice and location is great despite Oxford street known as national disgrace in London. But cross that and you are right in Soho.
    I just don’t get what it has to do with Marriott SPG merger. I stayed at this hotel and used a Ritz cart over a year ago, way before the merger.

  30. Also staying at the Kimpton Fitzroy in a week. Looks great and a reasonable $320 a night for a deluxe park view room. Pics look spectacular….

  31. such a shame, youre missing out on SO many incredible boutique hotels in London just cuz theyre not part of a points program.

  32. My lady friend and I loved the Royal Garden on Kensington High Street with a garden king room overlooking Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. Our 5 day package included a giant breakfast buffet. Rates now seem to be about $300/night without breakfast. Great location near Royal Albert Hall.

  33. I’ve stayed at the Conrad St James over Christmas the last 2 stays and tho it’s not dazzling, it’s a solid upper end property; if you’re a first timer it’s very close to Westminster, and all major monuments, and the tube is directly across the street.
    I enjoyed the holidays there. They offer a must do in London High Tea which apparently is well regarded as I struck up a conversation with a couple formerly of London who now live a bit outside the city and they came in to London to the Conrad specifically for their Christmas Tea service. Moreover when I arrived his last December I was practically recognized as an old friend Olivia only been the second time I had stayed there. Being a diamond member I got a lot of upgrades the room itself was quite spacious uncomfortable , and they offer a very nice breakfast buffet for free
    I also stayed at St Ermins just down the street from the Conrad and had Christmas dinner there this last year. It is over the holidays decorated very nicely if feels very warm and cozy and traditional. The lights as you come in from their driveway a really nice at night. However I found the room to be from another era and really needed an update.
    I’ve also stayed at the Andaz and hated it. Checked out early. Many basic problems. But if you ever need to need to stay at Heathrow airport I’d highly recommend the Sofitel.

  34. I loved the London Edition. We stayed for a week and were well taken care of. The room was not huge but it was comfortable and very stylish. The staff were very friendly. The Punchroom was a blast. I recommend and would return.

  35. Double whammy! Two positive articles about two things in the UK in a week! Glad to hear you enjoyed your recent stay, Lucky. And as I write this message from a budget tour of Sri Lanka – with no chain hotels or loyalty schemes involved – I agree with other posters that it really is good to just get out and explore sometimes! I’d be really interested to read a few articles on a backpacking trip – I really think it would add a new perspective to your work.

  36. Marriott Park Lane, impeccable hotel. Was told when I last stayed there that they renovated it to Ritz-Carlton standards in hopes of being able to rebrand it if/when “The Ritz” partnership is terminated given they haven’t renovated that thing in nearly two decades.

    Also like Marriott London County Hall but a very touristy location. Still, the building (and views) are stunning. Private little welcome courtyard.

    London Marriotts are a solid star above US Marriotts.

  37. Thanks for sharing the experience – that sounds a lot better than the photos suggest: the wood paneled bedroom looks like a US-motel from the 70s and that all-white bathroom like a German hotel from the… well, any decade…
    Several of the Radisson Blu Hotels can be good points value and I had some nice upgrades, even on points stays and good service, too…

  38. Okay, so points are of great interest here BUT sometimes one has to go outside the programs and experince something wonderful, unique or just plain fabulous. Our go-to in London is the Corinthia Hotel – amazing architecture, wonderful service, great ambiance, fascinating history and excellent location just a couple blocks off Trafalgar Square onthe river opposite the London Eye – all this and some of the most sophisticated technology available for business or work on the go. For those fascinated with breakfasts it has a wonderful buffet as well as excellent a-la-carte available. Just a few blocks walk to 10 Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and a number of museums, this hotels also offers some of the most amazing duplex penthouses with great roof terraces.

    For those who would have points-program withdrawal symptoms, Corinthia Hotels offer their own frequent traveller program as well as being associated with Discovery, the loyalty program of the Global Hotel Alliance….so you can earn free stays if that’s your sole interest.

  39. Stephen Dedalus nailed it and its the best kept secret
    While others flock to the Conrad ( decent but no cigar) and others
    The Hilton Bankside is the most under rated under rated ever in the history of London
    My fear is everyone will find out about it.Good modern hotel semi premium modern accommodations
    While not perfect they have a superb breakfast and Diamonds can feast in the restaurant or lounge their choice and the hotel is extremely upgrade friendly
    My new go to hotel in London
    The London Edition looks decent but screw them for not taking care of Plats
    I wont touch Edition with the exceptional Bankside Hyatt Regency and The Conrad as choices
    Not even a chance unless all the others are sold out

  40. Hi Lucky,

    You should try the Renaissance St Pancras – the building is amazing, the bar is great, and they have a club that you have access to as a Marriott Platinum that is very good, too.

    Rob

  41. Another vote for Great Northern – primarily for location and the quality of the restaurant. Next-door St Pancras has absolutely amazing architecture but feels a bit too huge for my taste.

    But luxury London is really all about boutique hotels, not bog-standard international chains. Try out The Stafford (their restaurant serves wonderful traditional game), or Browns (their afternoon tea is the real thing, not super-touristy Ritz style which is all about Japanese tourists), or really quirky places like Hazlitt’s (in the heart of Soho).

    @ Jared

    That St John was an attempt to create a brand. The original – and best – is in Smithfield. The restaurant, which always places towards the top of lists of the World’s best, brought proper traditional English food back into fashion: skate wings and pork chops and stews, etc, all served simply and beautifully. It is worth a detour anytime you stay in London. It has an adjacent cafe-bar if you just want to snack – their bread alone is worth the trip. Nearest station is Farringdon (which will become *the* central station in London next year: it’s where N-S Thameslink meets W-E Elizabeth line, as well as District, Circle and Met lines).

  42. Unless it’s a super hot summer, I’ll always stay at the Lime Tree Hotel no matter how many points I have. They have tiny old rooms that have been updated and no AC, but the location is unbeatable. Also the service and breakfast are solid.

  43. In terms of points hotels, the new Luxury Collection hotel, the Wellesley Knightsbridge is my absolute favorite, while Knightsbridge isn’t very quiet it is very convenient and Hyde park is nice enough, not to mention the service was amazing at the Wellesley, I’d highly recommend it as a points hotel!

  44. Also another vote for the St.Pancras. The Lounge is off the charts nice and the view onto the trains in the station is unique. Also great /historical suites and friendly staff. Love love love St Pancras but will now need to try GNH!

  45. @The nice Paul – The St. John will always be missed. However, it’s wonderful to travel to London and talk with Fergus Henderson about his many other projects. He is the one person I attempt to meet if I am stopping in London between projects. Of all his establishments the Bread and Wine is my most memorable.

  46. I still like the Renaissance St Pancras despite holding a grudge against them from 8 years ago when I was lowly Marriott Gold and was denied lounge access. I also Like Hilton Paddington for its location when continuing south to Cornwall by rail and have had good luck on suite upgrades as HH Diamond.

    No Love for Waldorf, too run down, no love for Hotel Indigo near PaddingtonHot, noisy , basement room when I was Priority Club Platinum and before Spire existed. I left and booked a different hotel with points I was so pissed off.

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