A quick guide to British hotels and what to expect from them
How British hotels differ from American ones
User review sites are handy, but take their advice with a grain (make that a shaker) of salt
A room with "external facilities" (shared bath down the hall) always costs less for this minor inconvenience
A Full English breakfast is lovely and worthwhile; a dull, continental-style one isn't worth the added expense
Crowd the clan into one room rather than renting two
Offer pounds rather than Visa, and sometimes you can get a slight discount
Hotels' official star ratings have nothing to do with how clean, central, comfortable, or charming a hotel is—just how many (often pointless) amenities it offers
VRBO stands for "Vacation Rentals By Owner," a worldwide virtual classifieds section devoted to villas, apartments, cottages, houses, and other places to lay your head fromas little as $400 per week in England. There are a stunning 33,761 properties available in England, 4,896 in Scotland, and 5,123 in Wales.
Though designed to allow villa and vacation home owners to rent to the public directly—ostensibly cutting out the extra costs involved in working through a middle-man rental agency—in my experience plenty of small-fry local rental agencies use it as well (not that there's anything wrong with renting through those folks; just wanted to let you know that not every property listed is truly direct from the owner).
Everyone knows Brits drive on the left side of the road—except for on one road in London. Savoy Court—the driveway off the Strand up to the entrance to the Savoy Hotel—is the only right-drive road in the U.K.