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Money talks in search for London Olympic hotels

LONDON — Coming for the Olympics with money to spend? Then there's still time to ensure you can take tea at The Ritz, drink at the Savoy's American bar, or sleep in an Art Deco room at Claridge's.

Most of London's most exclusive hotels have been booked for the Olympics, snapped up by Olympic officials or companies block-booking rooms for favored customers, but there are still amazing places to stay.

That is, if you can afford the bill.

"You can still get some rooms in certain periods of the games, although we expect to be fully booked soon," said Simon Negger, spokesman for the Maybourne Hotel Group that owns three of London's most iconic hotels: Claridge's, The Connaught and The Berkeley.

London's hotels are walking on their own balance beam this Olympic year, trying to maximize revenues during the July 27-Aug. 12 event while not alienating loyal customers and still fulfilling obligations to Olympic organizers, who asked all hotels to hand over some rooms to house Olympic officials, athletes and delegates during the London Games.

Some have not increased rates beyond normal high summer season prices — which in central London can often hit several hundred pounds (dollars) a night — but have imposed minimum stays and stricter cancellation policies.

Claridge's still has rooms available — from around $955 for a double room to over $1,600 for a suite.

The Savoy can put you up for one night but only if you are prepared to pay at least $4,400 for one of its suites on the banks of the Thames River.