Posted by Ric Garrido

InterContinental London Westminster is a recent addition to London luxury hotels, opening in December 2012, after £150m ($225m USD) investment to refurbish the former government building of Queen Anne’s Chambers.

InterContinental Westminster (hotel website) with 256 guest rooms and 45 suites is the second IC property currently in London along with InterContinental Park Lane.

TripAdvisor is a great resource for checking out this new hotel through guest photos.

I passed by InterContinental Westminster ten days ago on the way to see the St. James Court Hotel where my wife and I honeymooned in 1989. St. James Court, two blocks away from InterContinental Westminster is the Crowne Plaza London St. James and Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites & Residences.

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InterContinental London Westminster

This is a nice location for a tourist in London with the major sites of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Horse Guards and London Eye all within easy walks.

St. James’s Park Underground Station and a shopping center are across the street from the InterContinental Westminster.

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St. James’s Park Underground Station.

The Blue Boar Smokehouse and Bar is the main dining restaurant for the hotel.

The Feathers is a large pub adjacent to the IC Westminster hotel.

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Pubs in this area of Westminster are the kinds of places loaded with men in suits and some tourists. They tend to be quieter places later at night after the businessmen have headed home.

I did not go into the IC Westminster hotel as I was moving quickly through Westminster to photograph the big sights like Palaces and monuments and revisit the Crowne Plaza/Taj hotel where I  stayed 24 years ago. That is the reason I linked to TripAdvisor photos for a quick survey of the IC Westminster rooms and public spaces through other guests’ photos. The room and hotel photos on the hotel’s webpage do not provide nearly as comprehensive a picture as the photos on TripAdvisor.

Room rates start around 200 GBP per night ($300 USD). For Easter Holiday weekend the rates are $324 USD per night or 50,000 points per award night.

Room rate checks for July start about $50 per night higher for prepaid, nonrefundable rooms.

 

Hotel Booking Advice for leisure travelers

I am a firm believer that waiting close to the time you are going results in lower room rates most of the time. This works well for big cities, perhaps not as good for major resorts.

I book most of my hotel rooms about two weeks before arrival. My general rule when concerned about availability is book a hotel using a flexible rate with a cancellation penalty that only kicks in a few days before arrival to hold a guaranteed room for my trip.

Then, within two weeks of travel I seek better deals when rates typically fall at hotels that are not heavily booked. This often results in the lowest rates overall since hotels tend to discount heavily in the week or two before a date to secure more room bookings.

New Scotland Yard

The neighborhood around IC London Westminster is high security. At midnight I saw as many police officers on the streets of Westminster as tourists.

Around the corner from IC Westminster are the offices of New Scotland Yard. You can stand around and catch the latest updates on all the serial murderer cases broadcast over BBC America.

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New Scotland Yard

InterContinental London Westminster is a Category 9 Priority Club hotel award at 50,000 points per night.

Related post: Urban Foxes of London (March 15, 2013) is a description of my Westminster area walk at midnight in the vicinity of the IC Westminster hotel.

3 Responses

  1. Just a detail – not truly the second IC in 36 years. The current Hyatt Regency Churchill and the Radisson Blu Mayfair used to be IC properties, IIRC.

  2. @Colleen – I figured that statement would be troublesome. It was hard to interpret the 36 years statement from the source. Perhaps the first IC to open in London that was not formerly another hotel?

    I edited the article to remove the 36 years statement.

    Thanks.

  3. It seems like IC has a tendency to cut losses in the London market. I only know of those other two because I’ve stayed at both of them – who knows how many others they may have had? History of IC in London seems quite scrubbed on the web. This new one looks nice – hope they make a go of it. I bet that the 36-yr statement came from PR who would rather focus on a continuous operating history rather than the existence of any failed/sold properties.

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