London Drum

Premier Inn Leicester Square – A cheap hotel in London’s West End

Entrance to the Premier Inn Leicester SquarePhoto: Craig Cross
Star rating: ★★★ Address: Premier Inn Leicester Square, 1 Leicester Place, Leicester Square Contact: Tel: 0871 527 9334 Web: Facilities: Restaurant, bar, tea & coffee, Wi-Fi, TV, pay movies, telephone, hairdryer, ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, safe Parking: Car parks near Leicester Square Buses: 14, 19, 24, 29, 38, 176 Bus fares Trains: The closest station is Leicester Square Northern Piccadilly Other nearby stations: Charing Cross, Covent Garden, Embankment, Green Park, Holborn, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road Train fares

Craig’s review… There’s no way that Lenny Henry stays at the Premier Inn. He’s been on the telly advertising it, having a snooze in their beds and sipping coffee in their bar but come on, who do they think they’re kidding? He’s a TV star so he stays at The Ritz or The Dorchester or The Savoy – not in a pokey little 3-star.

There are quite a few Premier Inns dotted around the capital but I went for the most central one in Leicester Square (it’s literally ten-seconds off the square – you couldn’t get any more central if you tried). If you want somewhere cheap and cheerful in the middle of the West End then it’s a pretty good deal.

Checking-in at the Premier Inn

When you step inside the front door there’s literally nothing there. There’s no reception desk, no rooms, no people to meet you – nothing. All they’ve got is a laminated sign that says head for the second floor.

That’s where you’ll find the receptionist who will issue you with a swipe card to access everywhere else. It’s a bit like having a military pass into the restricted areas. If you want to go down the hall then you have to open the fire doors with your swipe card. If you want to enter the hotel after 10 o’clock, swipe card. If you want to use the lift, swipe card. Turn the lights on in your room? Swipe card. Watch the telly? Swipe card. Want to blow your nose? Swipe card. I couldn’t get the darn thing to work the first couple of times I tried it and had to wipe it on my sleeve to bring it to life.

I’m sure a lot of people must get locked behind the doors with no hope of escape, simply because their card refuses to work. They stand trapped between a glass door and an unresponsive lift, pounding on the buttons to no effect. Help me! Help me someone! My card doesn’t work! What they should do is issue everyone with Lenny Henry’s home phone number so he can come along and rescue us.

Inside a room at the Premier Inn Leicester Square

Inside a bedroom at the Premier InnPhoto: Craig Cross
Inside a bedroom at the Premier Inn

But it’s okay. I’m not complaining. I actually quite like this hotel and I’d happily stay here for a few days. I think it’s a bit cheeky of them charging extra for Wi-Fi though. I wonder if Lenny Henry has to pay extra for his Wi-Fi?

Lenny Henry advertising the Premier InnPhoto: Craig Cross

I’ve just noticed there’s a big advert of him in my room, guaranteeing me a great night’s sleep. In the small print it says “no questions, no quibbles… we’re so confident that you’ll have a great night’s sleep that if you don’t we’ll give you your money back”.

So the first thing I’m going to do in the morning is march downstairs and test that out. “No questions, it says here,” I will say, jabbing my fingers at the small print. I want my money back and I’m not answering any questions! I’m exercising my right to silence. If they refuse to pay up then I will demand they get Mr Lenny Henry on the phone to sort it out.

Ensuite bathroom with shower

Ensuite bathroom at the Premier InnPhoto: Craig Cross
Ensuite bathroom at the Premier Inn

The only serious drawback is the lack of a bath in the room because my days of having a rainforest power shower in a skinny little cubicle are long gone – I need a bath for my knees. And I need a teapot as well – at least you get one of those. You also get a TV and a Gideon’s Bible, but that’s about it. There’s not a lot of space to squeeze in anything else.

Breakfast in the Premier Inn’s restaurant

The restaurant is quite dim and dark and cosy. No sign of Lenny Henry anywhere. The breakfast is just your usual help-yourself fry-up with scrambled eggs, bacon and beans, with some cereals and bread rolls on the side. I don’t usually eat breakfast at home but I can’t help myself in a hotel. When somebody has gone to all that trouble of cooking it the least you can do is eat it.

Worth a stay? Value for money? Nice rooms? Good location?

London Squire bookThe owns and has spent the last decade reviewing the capital’s landmarks, attractions and hotels. His guidebook is available from Amazon

Your comments and questions

chris We had a nice stay and we had a great holiday, great location, friendly staff, cheap compared with other hotels nearby. Perfect!

Vicky Thank you for this great and funny write up. I will be staying here soon. I would rather stay at the nearby W but I couldnt pass up this price since I will only really be using the room to sleep, lol. Cheers and thanks again.

Craig Thanks Vicky. I definitely recommend the hotel for the price so you should like it. It's in the perfect spot

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