Active Travel



Where to Stay for the London Marathon: Ultimate Hotel Guide 

Oct 29, 2023 | Active Travel, Marathon Majors

The London Marathon is one of the most iconic and prestigious marathon events globally, capturing the hearts of runners and spectators alike. It is a must run for many UK runners, and inspires the many spectators lining the streets or watching on the TV at home.

What sets the London Marathon apart is not only its historic route past famous landmarks like Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace, but also the unparalleled energy of the crowds that line the streets (except maaaybe New York City Marathon because then it’s Americans cheering!!). It is honestly like nothing I have ever experienced before, especially as it’s my home marathon and so I see friends from School, Uni and the running community along the course. The event’s incredible atmosphere and charitable initiatives only add to its amazing reputation, turning it into a symbol of determination and shared purpose.

With all that being said, things can get a little crazy in London during marathon weekend so it is best to get your accommodation sorted early – no matter if you are running or spectating. And you’re going to want to get to town early to take advantage of the numerous shake out runs, running events not to mention, collecting your bib at the expo! 

Choosing the Right Accommodation: A Crucial Element of a Seamless Race Experience

While training and preparation are paramount for a successful marathon, the significance of selecting suitable accommodation should not be overlooked. You don’t want a stressful pre-race morning trying to get to the start line, and you want to make sure you can get a good nights sleep the night before. Finding the right place to stay plays a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless race experience. After months of hard work and dedication, runners deserve a restful environment that supports their physical and mental well-being both before and after their race. 

Proximity to the start and finish line, ease of transportation to and from the event, and the possibly the availability of facilities for pre-race rituals like carb-loading and stretching are all factors to consider when picking your accommodation. A comfortable and conveniently located stay allows you to focus on your race strategy, eliminating unnecessary stressors and enhancing overall performance.

Best Hotel to Stay for the TCS London Marathon 

My top choice (and granted, I’m a little biased) is the Westin London City. It’s one easy train to the start line and just a few stops on the District line from the finish line. Plus the race passes right outside the hotel at Mile 23, making it the ideal hotel for your spectators as well  as runners. 

Not only do they have a marathon cheer zone with hard-to-miss bright yellow pom-poms, you can get creative at the Sign Making station in the lobby while keeping track of the elite athletes on the giant TVs. 

Your carb load and pre-run breakfast are taken care of with a pre-race pasta dinner and runners breakfasts, plus snack packs to take with you to the start line. And the lending Gear Lending kits complete with Hyperice massage guns and hypersphere mini balls as well as the on-site spa facilities will ensure you prep and recover properly post-race.

Local to London? You can join the Rise & Run monthly run clubs at 7am the first Thursday of every month, plus sign up for pre-marathon nutrition talks, cooking classes and mobility workshops. Westin London City is the hotel for runners 

Most Convenient Hotels for running the London Marathon 

Personally I want something that is easy to navigate to the start line of the race to ease race day nerves, and convenient to get back from the finish, when the last thing you want is to be hobbling all over the city in your foil blanket. Additionally, all of these hotels are located with easy access to the Excel Centre where you’ll need to pick up your marathon bib! 

The Tower Hotel:

Location: Located by the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, providing convenient transport links to the start of the marathon from London Bridge Station and easy district line tube back from the finish. 

Runner-Friendly Features: On-site gym and wellness center to help runners stay in top condition. Very easy for spectators to watch the race from right by the hotel at the halfway point of the race. 

Nearby Attractions: Within walking distance of historic sites like the Tower of London and St. Katharine Docks, perfect for exploring during downtime.

Leonardo Royal Hotel St. Paul’s Hotel:

Location: Situated near St. Paul’s Cathedral, providing a short return journey from the marathon finish and easy walk or train to London Bridge and on to the start line. 

Recovery Amenities: On-site spa with a range of treatments, indoor pool, and wellness facilities.

Nearby Relaxation: Close to the serene St. Paul’s Churchyard and the Thames River for a calming atmosphere.

Novotel London Waterloo:

Location: Conveniently located near Waterloo Station and an easy train to the marathon start, and easy tube back from Picadilly Circus after the race.

Runner-Friendly Features: Fitness center and sauna for relaxation, as well as a dedicated runner’s package with nutritious options.

Nearby Attractions: Easy access to the London Eye, Southbank Centre, and plenty of dining options.

Hilton London Bankside:

Location: Situated in the Bankside area, a short walk to London Bridge Station and a quick train to the start, and an easy tube from Green Park back to Southwark station. 

Runner-Friendly Features: Fitness center, 25-meter swimming pool for low-impact recovery, and a sauna.

Nearby Attractions: Close to Tate Modern, Borough Market, and the vibrant Southbank for post-race celebrations.

Apex City of London Hotel:

Location: Located in the heart of the City, allowing runners to easily get to the start and back from the finish line, plus spectators will easily be able to get to the course to see their runners. 

Recovery Amenities: Relaxing spa facilities, including a sauna and steam room, for post-race rejuvenation.

Nearby Relaxation: Within walking distance of the tranquil garden spaces of St. Dunstan in the East and the River Thames.

Premier Inn London City (Aldgate):

Location: Positioned in the Aldgate area, offering good proximity to get to the marathon’s starting point, the infamous halfway at Tower Bridge and back from the finish line.

Runner-Friendly Features: Comfortable rooms and a focus on a good night’s sleep, essential for race preparation.

Nearby Attractions: Close to Brick Lane’s eateries, Shoreditch’s vibrant scene, and easy access to the East End’s unique charm.

Leonardo Royal Hotel London City:

Location: Positioned near Tower Bridge – halfway! This location provides easy access to London Bridge for a train to the start, and the district line back to the accommodation after the race.

Recovery Amenities: Fitness center and spa for unwinding, along with spacious rooms for a comfortable stay.

Nearby Relaxation: Close to the picturesque surroundings of St. Katharine Docks and the Tower of London.

The Ned:

Location: Located in the heart of the City of London, offering swift access to and back from to the race. 

Recovery Amenities: Luxurious spa facilities, including a heated pool, hammam, and multiple treatment rooms.

Nearby Relaxation: Close to the peaceful St. Stephen Walbrook Church and the serene gardens of Postman’s Park.

Hotels Close to the London Marathon Start Line 

There are actually three start areas for the London marathon; Red, Green and Blue. However, they all start in Greenwich Park. Staying near the start makes for a very easy race day morning, and many of these hotels have parking (unlike the city hotels) enabling you to get home post-race or on the Monday morning. Spectators can hop on the tube or the IFS Cloud (cable car) to get around the course. Getting back from the race is a little longer so do keep that in mind! 

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Greenwich:

Location: Located a short walk from the starting line, moments away from Greenwich Park.

Runner-Friendly Features: Fitness center, views for relaxation, and a warm DoubleTree cookie welcome.

Nearby Attractions: Cutty Sark, Greenwich Market and the National Maritime Museum. Greenwich station is just 100m away giving you access to many more attractions throughout London. Plus spectators can take the cable car across from Greenwich to Royal Docks. 

ibis London Greenwich

Location: A very short walk away from Greenwich Park, a short distance from the marathon’s starting line.

Runner-Friendly Features: Modern rooms and bathrooms for pre race prep and post race recovery. 

Nearby Attractions: Close to National Maritime Museum London, Greenwich Park and Royal Museums Greenwich, and easy access to transport links to other attractions and areas of the marathon course.

Novotel London Greenwich

Location: one of the closest hotels to Greenwich Park and the race start line – your spectators will be able to drop you off then head back for brekkie! 

Runner-Friendly Features: use the fitness centre for a pre or post race stretch before enjoying the sauna and steam room. 

Nearby Attractions: Aside from Greenwich Park, it’s an easy walk to the numerous museums in Greenwich. 

Holiday Inn Express Greenwich

Location: easy walk to Greenwich Park and the start lines 

Runner-Friendly Features: a good breakfast buffet for both runners and spectators and you can bring your dog! I know Chester helps alleviate my anxiety! 

Nearby Attractions: Close to the National Maritime Museum, 02 Arena and easy access to Canary Wharf. 

The Pilot Inn 

Location: 25 min walk to Greenwich Park 

Runner-Friendly Features: this boutique pub hotel has a little more charm than lots of the chain hotels, plus the pub downstairs makes for easy pre and post race fuel. 

Nearby Attractions: very close to 02 arena with shopping, eating and entertainment, plus easy access to other areas of the marathon course. 

Hotels Close to the London Marathon Finish Line 

There’s nothing better than being able to take off your sweaty race kit, discard your trainers and hop in a nice hot shower quickly after a marathon. Staying near the finish line limits your post-race hobble and gets you closer to that all important post-race celebration drink!  

It is worth noting however due to this location, these hotels tend to be far pricier than other London areas. 

Conrad London St James: 

Location: next to St James Park station, easy walk from the finish line and to the course for spectators. 

Runner-Friendly Features: 24 hour fitness centre, bathtubs (for a post run soak!) 

Nearby Attractions: short distance from Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. 

The Sanctuary House Hotel: 

Location: next to St James Park station, easy walk from the finish line and to the course for spectators. 

Runner-Friendly Features: A traditional pub on the ground floor for a post-race pint! 

Nearby Attractions: Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. 

Intercontinental Park Lane

Location: situated between Hyde Park and Green Park, an easy walk back from the finish line and a simple tube ride on the Jubilee line to get around the course for spectators, plus runners can get the Jubilee line to London Bridge before hopping on a train to the start. 

Runner-Friendly Features: Plush rooms, many of which have a bath for a post-run dip. Plus with an award winning restaurant on site, your pre race fuel isn’t going to disappoint. 

Nearby Attractions: Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Oxford Street, Harrods and so much more. 

The Z Hotel Victoria 

Location: Easy walk from the finish, and direct trains from Victoria to Blackheath (and the start line) this is a great option

Runner-Friendly Features: a more budget friendly option than a lot of the other hotels in this area but comfortable beds and a continental brekkie on offer everyday. 

Nearby Attractions: Plenty of places to eat in close walking range and Buckingham palace round the corner 

Comfort Inn Victoria

Location: Walk or hop on the district line from the finish, and get the train to Blackheath from Victoria to the start 

Runner-Friendly Features: a little bit of a no-frills option, the location is the key selling point here. 

Nearby Attractions: plenty of food options, Buckingham Palace 

Apex Temple Court Hotel:

Location: Situated near Temple Station, offering convenient access to the marathon’s course and finish line

Runner-Friendly Features: Fitness centre and elegant rooms for a comfortable stay.

Nearby Attractions: Close to Covent Garden, Somerset House, and the Thames Embankment.

Of course there are also options to rent through AirB&B, VRBO and private rental sites, as well as staying further out of London. However, I have heard of issues with some runners booking AirB&Bs in advance only to have them cancelled when the hosts realised they could bump up the price for marathon weekend! I

Don’t forget to check out my other London Marathon posts