Between rides on the London Eye, high-end shopping in Mayfair, and fine dining in Kensington, it’s easy to spend a pretty penny in London. The capital of England is notoriously expensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of reach for travelers on a budget. After visiting more than 700 London hotels in person, we consider ourselves experts on which ones offer the most bang for the buck. Here are the 13 hotels that offer exceptional value in London.
Opened in 2015, Staybridge Suites London - Vauxhall offers an innovative and upscale alternative to the extended-stay hotel concept. The 93 rooms are all spacious and modern suites with smart TVs and handsome bathrooms. Every suite has a superbly equipped modern kitchenette fitted with a sink, stovetop (but no oven), mini-fridge with ice-maker, microwave, and even a dishwasher, plus other essential appliances and cookware. Room rates include an excellent daily breakfast, hot drinks in the lounge, and Wi-Fi, plus the hotel has a 24-hour business center and small gym. The hotel also runs regular social events for guests, with free drinks and snacks, while the 24-hour lobby pantry sells cooking essentials and a small selection of beers, wines, and spirits. Free 24-hour self-service laundry facilities are a particularly nice touch, and there are free storage lockers as well.
For a reasonably priced four-pearl hotel with panache, you'll be hard pressed to find accommodations that beat The Hoxton, Holborn, a 174-room property that's stylish from top to bottom. Rooms are a tight squeeze (they range from 150 and 250 square feet), but they feel trendy and streamlined thanks to their clever use of space, attractive design, and great attention to details. All have flat-screen TVs, retro radios, electric kettles, mini-fridges (milk, water, coffee, and tea are free), and bespoke bath products. Free breakfast with juice, granola, yogurt, and fruit is delivered to rooms in brown bags, and room service is available. The hotel's buzzy lobby includes a restaurant, bar, cafe, and workstations (where there's no charge to use the computers), and hidden in the basement is a chicken joint with a speakeasy vibe.
In the heart of the trendy East London neighborhood, the Hoxton, Shoreditch is notable for its modern and industrial decor, hip and youthful crowd, and reasonable prices. The 210 rooms come in two main categories -- Cosy and Roomy -- and a number of one-of-a-kind rooms are available by special request. All rooms have memorable style, with touches like wooden parquet floors, black walls, huge circular mirrors, and playful pillows. Rooms also have flat-screen TVs, kettles, mini-fridges stocked with free milk and bottled water, and free Wi-Fi. All guests receive a free morning breakfast bag with yogurt and granola, fruit, and orange juice. Room service can be ordered from the on-site Hoxton Grill. Deciding between Holborn or Shoreditch Hoxtons really comes down to the location. We gave Holborn the slight edge for its two eateries (versus Shoreditch's one) and on-site nail salon.
Like its Vauxhall sister property, Staybridge Suites London-Stratford City is part of IHG’s long-stay accommodation concept. But while that location is in central London (as are our two Hoxton picks), this branch is located on the city's eastern edge, in the Westfield Stratford City Shopping Center courtyard. (Staybridge Suites London-Stratford City is within walking distance of the Stratford Tube, meaning easy access to central London.) It offers 162 studios and one-bedroom suites with kitchens equipped with microwaves, stovetops, dishwashers, and refrigerators. They're not as fresh and contemporary as the suites at the Vauxhall location, but all have fantastic views over the Olympic stadium and east London.
The 63-room Nadler Kensington is an ultra-affordable option in a decent area of Kensington. A non-pretentious attitude toward saving money, proactive eco policies, and smartly designed rooms are some definite perks. Rooms may be small, but with kitchenettes in every room and freebies such as coupons to nearby restaurants, this hotel offers one of the best values in London. Just don't expect Staybridge Suites London-Stratford City's DIY laundry facilities, in-house social events (great for solo travelers), and incredible views.
CitizenM London Bankside is a strikingly designed pod hotel in the heart of London’s Southwark area, close to London Bridge, Southbank, Borough Market, Waterloo, and the Tate Modern. The 192 rooms are quite snug (this is a pod hotel, after all), but despite their lack of space, all are comfortable, functional, and high-tech. Personal tablets allow guests to control the temperature and lighting scheme, and free on-demand TV shows and movies can be accessed via flat-screen TVs. All rooms have king-size beds, rainfall showers, and soundproofed windows. Overall, this boutique hotel delivers an original experience at a very competitive price, though travelers wanting in-room kitchenettes (or coffeemakers, at the very least) might prefer Nadler.
Hotel Indigo London Tower Hill is a 46-room boutique hotel located in London's historic Square Mile, near popular sights and public transportation in central London. Rooms are stylish (exposed brick walls, stenciled wallpaper, hardwood floors) and well-equipped (Nespresso machines, kettles, minibars, rainfall showers). Freebies include Wi-Fi, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks. Hotel Indigo's common space (limited to a street-level restaurant/bar) pales compared to CitizenM, where the main floor is meticulously designed to be a social forum.
Clean, quiet, and well-located are the top three selling points of the mid-range Premier Inn London St Pancras Hotel. The King’s Cross/St Pancras and Euston underground stations are both within brief walks. Its 266 rooms are generically designed (especially when compared to Hotel Indigo), but all are generously sized and come with comfortable beds, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. Given the busy street outside, it’s surprisingly quiet in the rooms and lobby. Amenities are somewhat limited, but there's a decent restaurant and bar that serves comfort foods like burgers, pizzas, and steaks. A morning breakfast buffet is available for an extra fee. Rates are comparable to Hotel Indigo's, so when comparing these two, it comes down to location and style preference.
The quirky 171-room Qbic Hotel London City in East London takes minimalist, modular design and makes it trendy. The main event here is the funky casual restaurant/bar/lounge, which works as a hangout spot with lots of fun nooks. Other extras include free bike rentals and free coffee/tea on most floors. The kooky rooms have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and nice rainfall showers -- but open wardrobes and lack of amenities (no mini-fridges, no windows in some rooms) keep them firmly in the three-pearl category. The hotel attracts budget-minded travelers who can do without some extra amenities, but don't want to skimp on style or cleanliness. But those who value location over style may prefer Premier Inn London St Pancras Hotel, heart of central London, which is in the heart of King’s Cross, one of London’s central transport hubs.
The well-kept and welcoming Star Hotel B&B is a quaint budget hotel in the quiet Shepherd’s Bush neighborhood of London. The hotel’s offerings are modest, but they include free Wi-Fi and a free continental breakfast served in a space that feels like a classic cafe. Its 22 rooms range from quite small single-bed rooms to moderately sized four-bed ones, which could fit a whole family. Rooms are simple but orderly, with colorful design details that warm up the space. Star Hotel is best suited for low-maintenance guests hoping to see London on a budget (in particular families, since the larger Quad Rooms are more affordable than the average hotel suite). Design lovers will find much more to love at Qbic, but that hotel charges for its continental breakfast.
Premier Inn London Bank (Tower) Hotel is a mid-range chain hotel that provides excellent rates and a convenient central location. Business travelers in particular are well situated with the City of London financial district in walking distance. The 184 no-frills rooms are simple but comfortable, with 40-inch flat-screen TVs -- but there are no mini-fridges or safes, and not all rooms have views. An excellent breakfast buffet is served in the hotel’s pleasant restaurant, though it’s not included in rates. And while basic Wi-Fi is free throughout, some guests complain that it’s spotty. Travelers looking for a stylish boutique or a homy bed-and-breakfast will like Qbic or Star Hotel better, though neither is as centrally located as this Premier Inn.
The 21-room Sydney House Chelsea is housed in a well-preserved 1929 Georgian townhouse, a short walk from the tube and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Rooms have huge beds and chic bathrooms with toiletries by Malin + Goetz; some also have balconies with attractive neighborhood views, but rooms lack coffee- and tea-making facilities (which are found in Premier Inn London Bank's rooms). The a la carte breakfast is fantastic, though it’s pricey, and the small ground-floor bar offers free tea and coffee, plus a selection of alcoholic drinks. Round-the-clock room service and free Wi-Fi round out the amenities.
Located between Westminster and Victoria, this family-owned boutique hotel offers good value and friendly service. It's pleasant, clean, and cheerful throughout, from its immaculate Victorian facade to its 36 rooms, which, despite their dated textiles and generic wall art, are in great condition. Accommodation types include singles, doubles, triples, and quadruples; all come with LCD TVs, coffeemakers, hairdryers, and safes. However, there is no air-conditioning here. If that is a deal-breaker, consider Sydney House Chelsea, where rooms have individual air-conditioning and heating. But Sydney House's a la carte breakfast costs a fee (and a high one at that), while Luna & Simone's fully cooked English breakfast is included in the rates.