SINGAPORE – Agoda.com, Asia’s global hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed priceline.com Inc., today announced special low rates on London hotels just in time for some exciting end-of-year events.
London is truly one of the world’s greatest cities. Cosmopolitan and cultured, it’s a must-see destination for any type of traveler – the shopping is world-class, events range from theater shows to street festivals, to indie rock gigs, and some of Britain’s most iconic landmarks are clustered within streets of each other.
With so much history and such a thriving arts and entertainment scene, London remains a vibrant and intriguing city, worthy of many visits. Towards the end of December, travelers to London can enjoy a full calendar of events, not to mention fewer tourist crowds, lower room rates and, of course, some wonderfully chilly English weather.
Here are some of the exciting things happening in London this festive season, with special Agoda.com hotel rates to match.
Ice skating is a must at this time of year, with rinks set up all over the city. This year, jeweler, Tiffany & Co., hosts the ice rink at historic Somerset House, where stylish skaters can buy designer cupcakes and jewelry from the “Tiffany Tuck Shop.” Somerset House is on the bank of the River Thames, close to Temple tube station in the Bloomsbury and Soho area.
This winter also marks the first “Eyeskate” event – a project that transforms Southbank into an ice rink, offering skaters stunning night-time views of the London Eye. Visitors to the London Eye can begin their journey with the new “4D Experience” – a 3D movie that engages viewers with wind, mist, and bubbles. The London Eye is in Waterloo, across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, and the Tower of London.
LADY GAGA AT THE 02 ARENA
On December 16 and 17, Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour hits the O2 Arena. The Monster Ball Tour features high-tech futuristic stage sets, crazy outfits and the award-winning pop star singing songs from The Fame and The Fame Monster. Since inception, the tour has undergone several revamps and features acoustic versions of her songs, elaborate props and highly dramatic and choreographed performances. The O2 Arena is in the Greenwich area of London, next to North Greenwich tube station, accessible via bus, light rail and Thames clippers from central London.
TRAFALGAR SQUARE CHRISTMAS CAROLS
From December 7 to 22, visitors can enjoy carols in a famous London location. From 5pm to 9pm each night, different choirs sing carols in Trafalgar Square to help raise money for various charities and organizations. The square’s biggest feature at this time of year is its 20-metre tall Christmas tree. The tree – a Norwegian spruce received as a gift from the people of Norway – is around 60 years old, and after Christmas will be shredded and recycled into mulch. Trafalgar Square is close to Charing Cross tube station, opposite the National Gallery in the Victoria and Westminster area.
“MERRY KISSMAS” AT COVENT GARDEN
The ever-popular Covent Garden is always an excellent source of entertainment, with restaurants, live performances and events year round. This festive season, the UK’s first interactive ‘Kissmas’ tree takes center stage. The tree is adorned with 50,000 human-touch-powered LED lights that illuminate when two people hold the mistletoe underneath it and kiss. For each kiss, visitors donate GBP 1 to the Prince’s Trust Charity. Heart-shaped fruit mince pies, chocolates and fresh oysters bolster the love theme. Reindeer petting is also a feature of Christmas at Covent Garden, located in the Bloomsbury and Soho area.
LONDON CHRISTMAS SALES
Throughout December, London’s streets and squares come to life with market stalls. Travelers can buy stocking-fillers from a wide array of markets, including ‘Winter Wonderland’ in Hyde Park, which includes rides, ice skating and circus shows. After Boxing Day (December 26), big department stores like Harrods, Fortnum and Mason and Selfridges reduce the prices of their excess Christmas stock, resulting in legendary sales. To best experience the Christmas sales, visitors can position themselves near Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus in the Mayfair and Marylebone area. Staying here also allows great access to Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace.
AGODA.COM LONDON HOTEL PROMOTIONS
ROYAL GARDEN HOTEL – 5 stars
Rates from US$236 per night. Pay 2 nights, stay 3 nights. Valid until January 8, 2011.
THE CUMBERLAND – A GUOMAN HOTEL
Rates from US$164 per night. Book at least 3 nights and enjoy a 20% discount. Valid until January 16, 2011. www.agoda.com/europe/united_kingdom/london/the_cumberland_a_guoman_hotel.html
MILLENNIUM GLOUCESTER LONDON HOTEL – 4 stars
Stay at least 3 nights and enjoy a 15% discount. Valid until December 31, 2010. Rates from US$148 per night.
TOWN HALL HOTEL & APARTMENTS – 5 stars
Book at least 3 nights and enjoy 15% discount. Valid until January 30, 2011. Rates from US$233 per night.
51 BUCKINGHAM GATE TAJ SUITES AND RESIDENCES – 5 stars
Stay Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and enjoy 25% discount. Valid until December 31, 2010. Rates from US$348 per night.
HARRINGTON COURT APARTMENTS – 4 stars
Stay at least 7 nights and enjoy a 20% discount. Valid until March 3, 2011. Rates from US$171 per night.
LEONARD HOTEL – 4 stars
Stay at least 3 nights and enjoy a 15% discount. Valid until December 31, 2010. Rates from US$187 per night.
PRESIDENTIAL APARTMENTS KENSINGTON – 4 stars
Last-minute rate: book within 3 days of arrival and enjoy a 20% discount. Valid until December 30, 2011. Rates from US$188 per night.
CROWNE PLAZA – ST. JAMES HOTEL
Stay Saturday or Sunday night and enjoy a 15% discount. Must book at least 7 days in advance. Valid until December 31, 2010. Rates from US$233 per night.