London Olympic Accommodation: Bed, Bunk or Back of a Cab?
Created: 2012-07-31 16:06 EST
A room with an Olympic view.
That's what guests at the Holiday Inn Stratford city will be getting for around 110 pounds a night when the Games begin.
But it's too late now to find a room overlooking the Games -- the hotel and its neighbours sold out months ago after being block booked by Olympic organisers.
[Chris Hale, Head of London 2012 for IHG Hotel Group]:
"We're seeing bookings at very good levels in advance of where they'd normally been this year that's partly because a lot of our inventory has been given over to LOCOG.”
But elsewhere in London there hasn't been the expected bonanza for hotels over the Olympics, with demand being lower than expected as initial high prices scared away tourists.
[Tom Jenkins, European Tour Operators Association, Executive Director]:
"Some time ago the hotels in particular were very optimistic that London would be exceptionally full. I don't think that's going to be the case.”
But while some hotels may be suffering, enterprising Londoners say they have benefited from Olympic visitors looking to find cheaper options.
West Londoner Kathy used website Wimdu to rent out her spare room for 35 pounds a night.
She's fully booked throughout the Olympics, with guests from Brazil, Spain and France booking as early as a year in advance to nab her room.
[Kathy, Londoner Renting Out Her Spare Room During The Games]:
"Well because people are enjoying London and London has so many things to offer so you need to have as much money as you can in your pocket. Therefore you would probably want to spend as little as possible on accommodation. Because why would pay 80 pounds, or 100 pounds of 120 just to sleep somewhere and have a shower.”
For those willing to brave the elements, 'Camp in London' are offering space for up to 5,000 people to pitch their tents on a site just minutes from the Olympic Park.
The minimum price will be 10 pounds for those who want to bring their own tents, while people with more luxurious tastes can fork out 110 pounds for a safari tent complete with beds, showers and toilets.
With big screens showing the Olympic action, as well as bars, restaurants and live music, the attraction is not just affordable pricing but also a special Olympic atmosphere.
[Denis Jeary, “Camp in London”]:
"It's very very close to the stadium, walking distance, and then the atmosphere in the campsite itself rather than staying in a hotel room where you meet nobody, or you can come to a festival site, camp site, where everyone's here to have a good time and you get to meet people from all around the world.”
One London taxi driver has come up with an even more novel solution to visitors' hotel dilemma by converting the back of his cab into a cozy bedroom.
David Weekes said he was worried that traffic woes would make it hard to earn his usual money on the road during the Games, but was inspired by reports of rocketing hotel prices.
[David Weekes, Taxi Driver]:
"It's all come about because of the Olympics, and no-one knows what it's going to be like - it's either going to be good or it's going to be bad. And I was listening to the news, about hotel rooms, you can't get hotel rooms or it's so expensive, and then pin dropped and I though why not?"
One night in the back of his iconic black cab will cost visitors 50 pounds.