It can be hard to live regally in London if you’re pinching your pounds, but special packages inspired by the impending royal nuptials are available in a range of budgets and upcoming dates—you can even still get a room for Will & Kate’s wedding on April 29th. While practicality may reign, consider some regal trappings to celebrate London in proper style, whether you are a prince or a pauper. By Cate Starmer
Red Carnation Hotels: Live Like Royalty
Save: Running until almost the end of 2011, Red Carnation's three traditional mid-range London hotels have a special two-night deal with breakfast and champagne tea for two. Royal watchers have their pick of excellent locations opposite Buckingham Palace (The Rubens Hotel), adjacent to the British Museum (Montague on the Gardens), or nestled in exclusive Mayfair (Chesterfield Mayfair). For a regal outing, choose from complementary tickets that include The Queen's Gallery, The Royal Mews, and The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace. Price: from £209/night from April 15–December 22. Learn more.
Swiss Castle: Pretty Little Princess
Splurge: From now through June, aspiring princesses between the ages of 3 and 8 will feel like Queen for a day at Swissôtel's The Howard for a price based on the royal wedding date (in European style: 29/04/11). Regal offerings start with a non-alcoholic champagne welcome and a princess afternoon tea. The lady-in-waiting can then lounge in her Grand View River Room's princess-style linen bed and enjoy princess bathroom amenities before her horse-drawn carriage to Westminster Abbey. And what would a princess be without a dress? A pink gown, matching fur cape, handbag, shoes, and glittering tiara top it all off. Price: £2904.11 for one night from March 1–June 1. Learn more.
Lancaster: Royal Wedding Package
Save: Just across from the largest Royal Park, Hyde Park, the 416-room Lancaster has a two-night savings special for the Royal Wedding Weekend. Make the most of your time (and money) by riding the Heathrow Express into nearby Paddington Station; once here you'll enjoy the ease of using the Tube at the adjacent Lancaster Gate Station to explore London. A Royal English Breakfast for two is included. Price: from £169. Learn more.
Grosvenor House: Fit for a Princess
Splurge: Travel to your superior Hyde-Park view suite in stately British style, with Bentley or Rolls Royce airport transfers. The classic Mayfair property has an excellent location and many aristocratic connections—it's where the Queen learned to ice skate. In addition to your royal afternoon tea and personal horse-drawn carriage ride through Hyde Park, you can celebrate the occasion with a complimentary bottle of bubbly, commemorative champagne glasses from Royal Doulton, and even a miniature wedding cake. Price: £2,109/night, minimum 5 nights from April 26–May 2. Learn more.
The Colonnade hotel: Royal Wedding Weekend
Save: In the Little Venice section of London, this well-decorated 15-room townhouse offers high thread counts for low rates during the nuptial weekend. Individually decorated rooms are on the small side but you can feel a step above commoners surrounded by quality fabrics, antiques, and in-room extras like plush bathrobes and slippers. Price: from £184/night for the Royal Wedding Weekend. Learn more.
Hyatt Regency London: Royal Opulence
Splurge: Instead of a getaway for two, consider this noble group option for the Hyatt's Royal Suite. With a private chef to create meals served in your suite, a personal butler, and a chauffeur and car, you certainly won't have to mingle with the mobs on this weekend. Learn more about what it's like to be royalty with a private talk with William and Kate's royal biographer, a tour of historic royal palaces, and a London blue badge guide. Price: from £30,000/four night stay up to six guests from April 28–May 2. Learn more.
Doyle Royal Wedding
Save: Available for three weeks this spring at the Doyle collections three London properties, the Marylebone, Bloomsbury, or Kensington Hotel, this package for two includes a royal wedding breakfast, champagne and cocktails (choose from Kate's Cosmopolitan or William Windsor’s Old Fashioned), and tickets to visit Kensington Palace. Plus you'll get a souvenir magazine celebrating the wedding—perfect plane reading for your return flight. Price: from £245/night from April 15–May 8. Learn more.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park: Royal Affair
Splurge: This packed itinerary includes rubbing elbows with royalty and unique visits to historic sights such as Kensington Palace, Spencer House, Westminster Abbey, and more. In addition to private tours and exclusive access, you'll get luxurious spa treatments and dine at a private London townhouse with a member of the royal family. As for the Big Day, you'll get unparalleled lofty views of the royal wedding procession from your private perch at the Institute of the Contemporary Art's roof terrace. Price: $30,146 for two from April 26–May 2. Learn more.
Custom House Hotel: Royal Wedding Weekend
Save: Practical travelers will appreciate this three-night Royal Wedding Weekend package which includes breakfast and a room for two. In the Docklands area, you'll be close to the Canary Wharf business area and former warehouses that have been converted to museums and malls, such as Hay's and Butler's wharves. Check flights to London City Airport—just a mile away—in addition to Heathrow. To explore central London, you'll have to ride the Docklands Light Rail (DLR) to the Tube, but the value is worth the commute. Price: £120.00/night for either April 28–30 or April 29–May 1. Learn more.
The May Fair Hotel: Suite & Sapphire
Splurge: Looking for a suitably royal way to prove your love is worthy? Three nights in the extravagant Azure Suite and a sapphire and diamond ring are sure to set the mood for love. Grooms-to-be will get some extra inspiration with a special proposal menu and butler. Guests can design their own unique white gold setting with a half carat of diamonds, choosing from the right price point for them with a one, two, three, nine, or—to match Princess Diana and Kate's Middleton—an 18-carat sapphire stone (A little too majestic for your budget? There's also a Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea Package starting at £850.) Suite & Sapphire Price: £9,500–$207,500 from April 28–May 1. Learn more.