By Chris Tomkins
When taking a trip to London, most people research things to do, what to see and try to find a cheap London hotel, but who considers that their experience could be hot and tropical? Well now you can, which the guide to the latest tropical attractions throughout the capital city.
First up is Kew Gardens’ Tropical Extravaganza which is Kew’s annual celebration of its impressive orchid collection. Here you can wander through the hot steamy zone in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, seeing hundreds of brightly coloured orchids, then into a cooler zone, which contains species from tropical mountainous regions. Any cheap hotel in London will be able to advise you on how to get to Kew on public transport. The Gardens are home to many greenhouses of varying temperatures and varying plantlife.
Another tropical experience on offer in London this year is ZSL London Zoo’s new Rainforest Life exhibit, which is due to open at the end of March. Boasting London’s only living rainforest, the exhibit will house rainforest animals including primates, sloth, armadillo and tamandua. You’ll also be able to enter a new “Night Life” zone where you’ll see animals who have adapted to living in the dark such as bats and rats. Getting sleepy? Head back to your cheap hotel in London for a budget-conscious snooze.
If you’re after a genteel greenhouse experience, try the Landmark’s Winter Garden Restaurant which features an eight-story high glass roof and palm trees. The Landmark is famous for its traditional English afternoon teas and the hotel’s location right on Marylebone Road, is within easy walking distance from Baker Street Tube and buses. Although it’s not exactly a cheap hotel in London, you don’t have to be a guest here to enjoy the Landmark’s hotel restaurant.
To keep the theme going, try the Rainforest Cafe on Shaftsbury Avenue for an inexpensive but tasty meal – there are plenty of cheap hotels in London nearby. The Rainforest Cafe is an international brand which is decked out with a canopy of leaves and stars with hidden animals that come to life roaring and chattering away during your meal. Like it’s real equivalent, the restaurant suffers from occasional tropical storms with thunder, lightning and the illusion of rain. A must do experience for kids and adults alike.
If you fancy something more exclusive, head to A-list bar Mahiki, where Prince Harry has been spotted with his cousin Princess Beatrice. Celeb royalty like Paris Hilton and Lynsey Lohan have also checked out this Hawaiian hangout. Mahiki is a totally tropical Southern Seas paradise. Fancy some hot buttered rum or a pina colada? Aloha!
Wherever you decide to go, there are plenty of things to do in London that do not involve the stereotypical English image. So venture away from the changing of the guards, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament or London Eye and do something tropical with your next visit!
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