London on Christmas Day is a challenge for public transportation with no Underground or train services operating, so getting from an airport to city center inexpensively was National Express bus service to London Victoria Coach Station. Thousands of people using taxis and ride sharing services at peak holiday pricing motivated me to look for a hotel within walking distance of Victoria Coach Station.
Comfort Inn London Buckingham Palace Road is about as easy a walk as there is for a hotel near Victoria Coach Station. The name is a misnomer since the hotel is not actually on Buckingham Palace Road, which is the street next to Victoria Coach Station. The hotel is across Buckingham Palace Road over Elizabeth Bridge, which then becomes St. George’s Drive. The street signs at the corner of Victoria Coach Station name Elizabeth Bridge.
Comfort Inn London Buckingham Palace Road hotel is one of the highest rated of eight Choice Hotels in London. There are three Comfort Inn Hotels in the Pimlico area around Victoria train station.
- Comfort Inn Victoria 25,000 points or 80 GBP ($102).
- Comfort Inn Westminster 10,000 points or 93 GBP ($118).
- Comfort Inn Buckingham Palace Road 12,000 points or 138 GBP ($175).
Comfort Inn Westminster is a hotel I stayed at in September 2015 and paid 16,000 points. The room ranked as one of the smallest hotel rooms I ever slept in for London or anywhere. The bathroom was uncomfortably small for me as a single traveler, so I knew that hotel is not where I wanted to take Kelley for Christmas.
Comfort Inn Victoria reward nights at 25,000 points were overpriced compared to the room rate.
Comfort Inn Buckingham Palace Road is much closer to Victoria Coach Station and had the best ratings of the three hotels. At 12,000 points I estimated my cost at $60 per night based on the 200,000+ Choice Privileges points I purchased in April 2018 during U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways.
The hotel is located in two separate buildings across the street from each other.
There is strange room numbering in the main hotel building with 6 floors of rooms in what appears to only be a four-story hotel. Our room #306 was the top floor for the elevator with a small stairway leading to 400 rooms. The lobby level has 500 rooms and the basement level has 600 rooms.
Breakfast in lobby
Breakfast is not included and priced at 6 GBP per person. The breakfast hours are 7:00-9:30am and we slept through that period. There is a coffee machine with a selection of drinks available 24 hours a day and extra coffee packets and tea in the lobby.
I booked a room with two singles since UK double beds are too small for the two of us. The hotel booked us into a double bed plus single bed room.
Kelley’s first comment was about how small the room seemed and my first impression was how spacious the room seemed compared to my stay at Comfort Inn Westminster. I was quite happy with how nice the room looked.
Admittedly, the room window was next to the train tracks into Victoria Train Station and I imagine that could be a disturbance most days of the year, but no issue for us during our stay with train service not operating on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
The refrigerator came in handy as we had stocked up on salads and Stella Artois from M&S Express inside Gatwick Airport before boarding the National Express bus to Victoria Coach Station.
One of the advantages of a room set for three was extra coffee, cups, pillows and towels in the room.
The large and thick towels were a pleasant surprise for a Comfort Inn.
We napped for a few hours before heading out for a walk. I wanted to walk through Belgravia to Knightsbridge and see Christmas lights around the shopping area of Harrods. Kelley wanted to walk the opposite direction to the Thames, so we ended up walking around Pimlico and Chelsea Embankment on Christmas evening.
I actually became fascinated with Pimlico as a historical residential development of London designed by Thomas Cubitt (1788-1855) in the late 1820s. This area was part of the Thames flood plain and constructed over a period of 40 years with marshland reclaimed through soil removed during the building of St. Katherine’s Docks in the East End. The site of Victoria Station (1860) had been a freshwater reservoir for London’s West End. Thomas Cubitt also designed the fashionable residential areas of Belgravia and parts of Bloomsbury in the West End.
Pimlico has several large garden squares like Eccleston Square and Warwick Square with residential housing surrounding the green spaces. Most of the garden squares are gated and private spaces limiting access to local residents.
Wilton Road is a good location west of St. Georges Drive with Comfort Inn Buckingham Palace Road, and Belgrave Road with Comfort Inn Victoria and Comfort Inn Westminster. There is a large Sainsbury’s supermarket, restaurants, pubs and shopping on Wilton Road and neighboring roads. Several second hand shops too.
Comfort Inn Buckingham Palace Road London is a decent hotel and great value when seasonal reward rates are low in a convenient location when you want to be near Victoria train station or Victoria Coach Station.