Recent reports from London say that merchants, restaurateurs, and hoteliers outside the Olympic area are starving for customers. At least one online agency, Travelzoo, says it has discounts close to 70 percent off regular rates. One it highlights is the Corus Hotel Hyde Park, for £79 per night including a room upgrade, full English breakfast, VAT, and a bottle of house wine. That's a really good deal: The hotel's own website posts a nonrefundable rate of £72 without VAT or breakfast for a standard room. In fact, I wasn't able to come close on any of the big online travel agencies. Book by August 15 for stays through December 31 (blackout dates might apply); rate is nonrefundable.
In general, I suspect that London hotels will turn first to opaque and other restricted-exposure sales outlets to fill up any empty rooms they see looming. Travelzoo has more, as do Expedia and Priceline. So if you thought London would be too expensive, think again: You can find some unexpected good deals.