The Best Cheap Hotels to Book in Central London

Staying in central London doesn’t have to break the bank
Staying in central London doesn’t have to break the bank | © Alexander Spatari / Getty Images
Photo of Sam Moakes
11 January 2022

Central London is home to some of the most expensive hotels in the world, just think of household names such as the Ritz and the Savoy. But with a little research, it’s possible to get a slice of the high life at a wallet-friendly price. Below, we round up our favourite low-cost hotels that are still big in personality. Book with Culture Trip and stay within walking distance of Trafalgar Square, Brick Lane and Covent Garden without breaking the bank.

CitizenM Tower of London Hotel, for mood-lit evenings

Modern looking exterior of CitizenM Tower of London
Courtesy of CitizenM Tower of London / Expedia

Budget hotels in Central London can be hard to come by, so it’s a good thing the CitizenM chain is on hand to break the mould. On the doorstep of the Tower of London and with easy access to London’s top attractions, CitizenM offers comfortable rooms at fair prices – what’s not to love? Many of their rooms offer XL beds and mood lighting, for those relaxing evenings after a busy day, while the power shower will have you refreshed for yet another day of urban exploration – and there’s no need to rush back, the canteen is open 24/7 for your convenience. We would recommend making the trip for a colourful cocktail at the bar.

Montana Hotel London, for affordable luxury in West London

Front entrance of Montana Hotel London framed by three white columns next to Light of India Restaurant
Courtesy of Montana Hotel London / Expedia

An affordable hotel in Kensington? Surely not. Yet the red and gold colour scheme here will have you feeling like royalty in no time, not to mention the satin pillows on which you can lay your crown (if you have one). The economy single might be advertised for the budget-conscious traveller, but you won’t feel like any luxury has been spared as you take advantage of the complimentary wifi and Smart TV with Google Chromecast. Downstairs, the hotel restaurant, the Light of India, names Anthony Hopkins and Take That as former guests. Not bad footsteps to follow in.

Shoreditch Inn, for convenience in artsy Shoreditch

Two twin beds in a simple cream-toned bedroom at Shoreditch Inn
Courtesy of Shoreditch Inn / Expedia
Shoreditch, fast becoming a hip destination favoured by the youth of London, is an ideal starting point for exploring the alternative side of the capital. This three-star hotel gives you everything you need – comfortable beds, complimentary breakfast and soundproofed rooms – without the hefty London price tag. If you’re looking to soak in some culture then head out to the nearby British Museum, or make a beeline for the bar if partying is on your mind. With plenty of drinking holes to tick off the list, you’ll be glad your bed is but a stone’s throw away.

Lancaster Gate Hotel, for a cheerful stay near Hyde Park

Dining room with tables with white tablecloths and windows with stained glass details at Lancaster Gate Hotel
Courtesy of Lancaster Gate Hotel / Expedia

Whatever your reason for visiting the capital, the Lancaster Gate Hotel can cater to your needs. Spacious rooms and modern furnishings provide a cosy place to rest for the busiest of city breakers, but if you’re looking for some downtime, a chance to refuel is provided at the on-site restaurant. Munch on an eclectic mix of Asian and European dinners under the stained-glass windows, before rounding off your meal with a fruity dessert. Don’t worry, room service is available for when you’ve had one too many from the jazz-themed Serpentine Bar the night before.

Garden Court Hotel, for solo travellers in Notting Hill

Double bed with cream-toned headboard at Garden Court Hotel, Bayswater
© Garden Court Hotel /

This family-run hotel in Notting Hill is the ideal cheap hotel in London, with modern rooms, great service and proximity to the biggest attractions in the capital. Opt for a comfortable single if you’re riding solo, or a deluxe double for your own coffee machine and stylish ensuite, all available for an affordable price. Take a stroll through the nearby Kensington Gardens after you’ve dined in the hotel restaurant for the perfect wind-down. In town for the Notting Hill carnival? Look no further.

The Buxton, for a city garden in Whitechapel

Ground-floor bar with bar stools, green leafy plants and gold accents at The Buxton
Courtesy of The Buxton / Expedia
This independent bolthole, at the crossroads where bustling Brick Lane ends and the quieter Osborn Street begins, is named after a Victorian social reformer who invested in textiles here in the 1800s and later owned the Truman Brewery (which still exists, a couple of minutes’ walk away). This heritage is honoured in design touches throughout – exposed brick in the small but airy bedrooms, leather-crafted key tags and vintage furniture in the downstairs restaurant. Innovation continues in the responsibly-sourced dinner menu; try a starter of pollock ceviche served with slices of blood orange, or the oyster mushroom gnocchi garnished with gently wilted baby kale. Many ingredients are plucked from the rooftop vegetable and herb garden, which, incidentally, is the hotel’s crowning glory – a tiny suntrap high above street level, only for guests.

Point A Hotel London Liverpool Street, for train-hopping in Shoreditch

Beige-toned dining area with grey textiles and light wooden accents at Point A Hotel London Liverpool Street
Courtesy of Point A Hotel London Liverpool Street / Expedia

Liverpool Street is one of the most accessible areas in London thanks to its mainline train and Tube stations, so it makes sense to base yourself here if this is your first visit to the city. Point A is a basic, affordable hotel that still manages to be cool – in part thanks to its hip location near Shoreditch, Brick Lane and the Old Spitalfields Market. It’s the little comforts at this hotel that take the stress out of your stay: power showers, ultra-cushy Hypnos beds, air conditioning and an ironing room, so you always step out looking fresh.

New Road Hotel, for gastro lovers in Whitechapel

Modern industrial-looking bedroom with a double bed with blue leather headboard, orange pillows, a brick wall, hanging light fixtures and a rounded mirror at New Road Hotel
Courtesy of New Road Hotel / Expedia

Housed in an old textile factory, New Road Hotel is a chic budget accommodation option that retains all its former industrial glory. Different sized rooms flaunt exposed brickwork, Crittall windows and deep-stained parquet flooring. One, simply called Loft, features a balcony complete with sweeping views and an al fresco hot tub – perfect for a sunset soak. The hotel eschews minibars and coffee-making kits in favour of free vending machines on every floor – each one offers unlimited tea, coffee and hot chocolate. But the restaurant, Mr White’s English Chophouse, is what really sets this place apart. Helmed by chef Marco Pierre White, it has a menu of steaks dripping in garlic butter and gnocchi gratin bubbling with emmental cheese and truffle sauce.

The California Hotel, for ultimate comfort in King's Cross

Lounge area with dark grey walls, leather sofas, leather barstools, grey velvet chairs, a fireplace and decorative art at the California Hotel
Courtesy of The California Hotel / Expedia

Sleek design and impeccable service are the key assets of the California Hotel. Inside, bright and geometric wallpapered walls give the rooms an arty look and feel, while the common areas stick to a vintage vibe. And if your super-soft double bed isn’t sumptuous enough, you can always upgrade to a floating bed – the first of its kind in the UK – in one of the California Rooms. Next door, sister hotel the Megaro is renowned for its spongy buns and buttery pastries, while the hidden basement speakeasy is the go-to for a sneaky nightcap.

The Lodge Hotel Putney, for a modern design in Zone 2

Quirky bedroom with a colorful accent wall, double bed with a teal velvet headboard, colorful pillows, a grey throw and bronze bedside lamps at The Lodge Hotel Putney
Courtesy of The Lodge Hotel Putney / Expedia

The Lodge Hotel prides itself on being “sophisticated, hip yet cosy”, and it does a pretty good job at all three. One look at the arty room design, colourful furnishings and low ceilings will have you convinced of that. The hardest part is choosing which of the 73 rooms will be yours; it’s hard to say no to the superior room with a goose down duvet, air conditioning and full HDTV, but even the cheapest classic room comes with your own fridge and Nespresso machine. One thing that won’t need thinking time is what to get for breakfast – opt for the full English, because why get anything else?

This is a rewrite of an article originally by Molly Codyre. Additional reporting by Florence Derrick and Abigail Malbon.

Fancy discovering more fabulous hotels in London? Check out our guide to the best hotels with balconies in London. You could even find out about sustainable accommodation in the capital or discover the best hostels to book in London, England, all bookable on Culture Trip. For a unique stay, check into one of the most unusual hotels in the UK.

These recommendations were updated on January 11, 2022 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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