Premier Inn London County Hall Formerly: Premier Travel Inn

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South of the river but central nevertheless
A worthwhile budget-ish option from Britain's biggest chain of hotels, this particular Premier Inn rubs shoulders with the markedly more swish Marriott [see entry] inside the stately County Hall, which for most of the last century housed the offices of London's local government, until Margaret Thatcher's fatal blow in 1986. The hotel is located adjacent to the London Eye and just a few minutes from both the outstanding Southbank Centre theatre/film/music/art complex and, just over the bridge, the Palace of Westminster. Soho and everything that is central and London-famous are also within easy reach. Gay clubland Vauxhall, also south of the river, is not much more than a mile away to the west. County Hall overlooks the Thames, but the 314 rooms of this hotel, all in purple tones, do not; the Marriott's got those views, with prices to match. Opened in the late 1980s when the company was called 'Travel Inn'. Tube stations: Waterloo (also Overground) and Westminster.