With historic architecture, iconic attractions, stellar shopping, and a lively nightlife scene, London attracts a vast and varied range of visitors. And while it’s certainly one of the most expensive destinations in Europe, there’s one way to stretch your dollar here -- with great value hotels. From cozy bed-and-breakfasts to contemporary boutique properties, here are 17 of the best bang-for-your-buck hotels in London.
1. Park International Hotel
There are few negatives to the Park International Hotel, located within walking distance of popular museums and Hyde Park. For starters, it offers a generous free breakfast -- a somewhat uncommon perk in London. Rooms are airy and elegant, and some have lovely views of the Victorian-style street below. Expect to see families gathering over breakfast in the hotel’s Orchid Room, and more mature travelers enjoying happy hour at the Checkmate Bar.
2. Hotel Indigo London Kensington
After a quick walk through Hotel Indigo London Kensington, you’ll soon notice that this hotel is packed with personality. It’s a sassy, rococo-themed luxury hotel with a coquettish manor house theme and playful design quirks. Rooms are modeled after lavish boudoirs, and Wi-Fi is free, as is the small gym. Meanwhile, the Mansion Bar & Parlour serves molecular and carbonized cocktails. And while the location on the west edge of Kensington isn’t within walking distance of many sights, the Earl’s Court tube station is nearby.
3. Generator London
With a peaceful Bloomsbury location, within walking distance of London’s buzzing center, The Generator Hostel has a fun, chilled-out atmosphere. Dorms for up to 12 people and private rooms (some cramped) are on offer, and as such, young solo travelers and groups largely make up the guests here. The cafe, bar, and cinema room are all great spaces to relax, and the hostel’s event program, including live music, is a nice touch. There are few with as good a central London location that promise such a snazzy vibe.
4. The Hoxton
You won’t find a cheaper hotel in the heart of central London that’s as chic and stylish as The Hoxton. The hip, international chain is known for its buzzing public areas, shared work spaces, and retro details -- and that’s exactly what you’ll find in this Holborn outpost. Rooms may be small, especially if you opt for the entry-level Shoebox, but they’re tastefully decorated and Instagrammable. Oh, and they’re often cheap, too.
5. Qbic Hotel London City
The quirky, modular rooms are the major selling point at Qbic Hotel London City, a playful property hotel in East London, but its location is also a huge draw. Situated a three-minute walk from Brick Lane, guests are close to some of the best food, markets, nightlife, and shopping in London. Given the clean and comfortable accommodations, plus the levels of design throughout (picture wood furniture, bright accent walls, and large-format photographs in rooms), this boutique property is a bargain.
6. citizenM London Bankside
citizenM properties strip back on the non-essentials, so that they can offer cheaper room rates. So, while amenities like a pool and gym are certainly lacking at citizenM London Bankside, the space is ideal for short stays in the city and for folks who’d like to escape the hustle and bustle of touristic central London. The creative, tech vibe in the public areas makes it a hit with young professionals, but the property is equally suited for tourists in town to see the sights. Plus, the Southwark location means you can take a long walk up the river to the West End (or take a short bus or Tube ride) and the South Bank is nearby.
7. Strand Palace Hotel
It’s not the Savoy, but the 785-room Strand Palace Hotel does share a spot on the Strand, though it costs significantly less than London’s most famous hotel. There’s also some history here -- the property originally opened as a hotel in 1909. The design is simple and clean with a hint of Scandinavian style. Guests have a choice of three restaurants, but there are dining options in the surrounding area as well. In fact, the location alone is worth the price, as Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, and Leicester Square are all around a five-minute walk away.
8. The Z Hotel Soho
One way to save money on a hotel is to situate yourself away from the city center, but where’s the fun in that? For the opposite approach -- one that lands you in the heart of Soho -- book a room at the Z Hotel Soho and enjoy the hip vibe in this trendy location. Rooms may be small, but the sleek, minimalist spaces are a fresh change from some dowdy low-cost London hotels. Plus, each one features Thierry Mugler toiletries, large flat-screen TVs, and cable. Expect delightful design quirks, like a see-through glass elevator and open-air central courtyard, as well as a cute on-site cafe and freebies like Wi-Fi and wine receptions. Overall, if you’re looking for good value rates, a hipster vibe, and one of the most central locations in London, this is a solid pick.
9. Ace Hotel London Shoreditch
The Ace Hotel is a hipster hangout tailored to the young -- whether in age or attitude -- and artsy. If you’re in London for the landmarks, this hotel is a tad too far from the center, but if you want to experience the city’s outer neighborhoods, then Shoreditch is the perfect place from which to explore. The surrounding area is full of nightlife and public transportation is nearby. The hotel’s excellent Hoi Polloi restaurant and lobby bar are both regularly packed, creating a lively buzz. Lounge and work spaces, a juice bar, and coffee shop provide more spaces to relax. Record players, vinyl, and in-room guitars are a fun touch to the modern rooms, and the music theme continues in the hotel’s basement club space.
10. Arosfa Hotel
Tucked away in a surprisingly quiet area of central London, Arosfa Hotel is situated in a refurbished 200-year-old Georgian town house that was once the home of artist Sir John Everett. The 15-room bed-and-breakfast is close to great transport links, and is within walking distance of some of London’s major sights, like the British Museum, Oxford Street, and Covent Garden. Rooms are simple, but there’s a pretty garden and a great breakfast included in the affordable room rate. It’s the perfect spot for indulging those Jane Austen, period drama vibes.
11. Church Street Hotel
Set across three townhouses in South London, the 31-room Church Street Hotel is a solid pick for travelers looking to try something different. Although the hotel may seem out of the way (it’s a 25-minute bus ride to the West End), its proximity to the buzzing neighborhood of Peckham is a great selling point. Expect a full-on bohemian Mexicana experience, with decor that includes authentic Guadalajara tiles, religious knick-knacks, and plenty of Latin character. Amenities may be sparse (though rooms come with complimentary hot sauce and chocolate!), but there are some excellent bars and restaurants nearby (try the Stormbird beer bar, Silk Road, or the Peckham Pelican all within a ten-minute walk).
12. Town Hall Hotel
Looking for luxury on a budget? Try the Town Hall Hotel, located in London’s artsy East End. From the refined food in the stylish restaurant to the beautiful indoor pool, this hotel is the type of place you’d expect to pay big for, but rates are affordable. Striking design mixes Edwardian influences with 1930s art deco style, creating a wow factor inside. Rooms are spacious, with luxurious, elegant bathrooms, and some loft-style apartments come with kitchens. While some guests might feel that the location is isolated from London’s top attractions, the Town Hall Hotel offers great value in a hip neighborhood.
13. Park Plaza London Riverbank
In London, even the luxury hotels often don’t have pools, so to find a property with a luxe indoor pool on a budget is a major bonus. Located close to Vauxhall Station, the Park Plaza London Riverbank looks across the river to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Plus, the journey across the river to the West End is a quick one. In addition to the hotel’s beautiful indoor pool, there is a state-of-the-art fitness center for those looking to stay healthy on the road. Some of the modern, classically styled rooms also overlook Westminster -- an upgrade worth making.
14. The George Hotel
Set on an elegant Victorian crescent, The George Hotel attracts travelers on a tight budget who want to sleep in central London and wake up near great transport links. The central location means there are plenty of attractions nearby, as well as bars and restaurants to make up for the hotel’s lack of an eatery (although it does serve an excellent breakfast, included in the price of the room). Rooms, although snug, are bright, contemporary, and cheerful. (Some do share a bathroom, though.) All in all, the simple, comfortable interiors offer a sweet, home-away-from-home vibe for a palatable price.
15. The Zetter Hotel
Removed from the frantic pace of central London -- though still a 15-minute bus ride from the action -- The Zetter Hotel sits in a location that’s as charming as its interiors. Surrounded by a quaint cobblestone square and the quiet, pretty streets of Clerkenwell, the chic and affordable hotel is housed within a converted Victorian warehouse. You’ll find boutique touches in the rooms, from the luxe retro furniture to the quirky, bright textiles, as well as minibars, flat-screen TVs, and bathrooms with high-end toiletries. Rooftop studios add Nespresso machines and private decks with views. Hotel freebies include Wi-Fi throughout, coffee and tea on every floor, and use of Brompton bikes. Along with the modern restaurant on-site, the hotel’s sister property across the square has a gorgeous cocktail bar for guests.
16. The Beaufort Hotel
With only 29 rooms, The Beaufort Hotel is a quaint and cozy boutique hotel that offers an inviting, intimate experience in the middle of the posh residential neighborhood of Knightsbridge. The neighborhood benefits from designer shopping (Harrods and Harvey Nichols, to name a few), fine-dining restaurants, and museums of South Kensington. As to be expected with a tiny boutique hotel, rooms lack extra space, but the decor is fresh and modern. In addition to the desirable location, the free daily traditional English cream tea with homemade scones and the open bar in the evenings are added perks.
17. London Marriott Regents Park
Few London hotels have pools, and those that do tend to have prohibitive prices. That’s not the case at the London Marriott Regents Park, located close to the park and London Zoo. Rooms are clean and comfortable, with more space than comparable central London spots. They also include flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and 24-hour room service. In addition to an indoor pool, the hotel is home to a restaurant and bar, gym, sauna, and spa that offers a range of treatments. And although it’s slightly removed from the center of the city, a short bus ride is well worth the value found here.
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