Ever-increasing accommodation prices can make a trip to London seem like a bank-breaking feat. However, a new generation of fun and on-trend budget accommodation options are cropping up on the city’s hotel scene. Opt for one of our favourites, and save your money to spend it dining, drinking and exploring this thriving city.
Though London is undoubtedly one of the most expensive cities in the world, staying in the Big Smoke doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Sure, there are plenty of luxury hotels to choose from, but if you’d rather spend your money on having a good time, we certainly won’t blame you. As the demand for affordable accommodation in the capital has increased, so have the options, and you can now find plenty of excellent central choices for less than £100 a night. Here’s our pick of the best cheap hotels in London to book for your next visit.
Green Rooms is a hotel at its core, but it is also a North London hub for artists and creatives, thanks to its rotating schedule of exhibitions, comedy nights and workshops; there’s even a discount for those working in the creative industries. Room options range from dormitories to private rooms with en-suites, combining the concept of a hostel with all the charm of a trendy boutique hotel. In-house dining comes in the form of restaurant pop-ups such as Oita Kitchen, which has a classically Japanese menu. Located just 20 minutes from Central London, you can be in the thick of things in no time.
New Road Hotel pays homage to its textile-factory roots. Crittall steel windows, exposed brickwork and parquet flooring abound in the bright rooms, while brushed metals, curved mirrors and leather upholstered headboards add a futuristic vibe. But it’s the facilities that really place this hotel in the upper echelon of budget accommodation. The rooftop has been repurposed into a wide-ranging fitness space, while each floor has its own “social zone” ranging from a games room to a library. Staying here puts you within a fork’s throw of budget dining institutions like raucous Punjabi restaurant Tayyabs, but it’s worth splashing out on a meal at the hotel’s in-house restaurant, Mr White’s English Chophouse. Helmed by Marco Pierre White, the menu focuses on high-quality British meat with options such as 28-day-aged grass-fed beef topped with king prawns and garlic butter or juicy burgers piled with crispy onions, monterey jack cheese and house-made sauces.
With retro bedrooms, in-house karaoke and a vivacious restaurant, Mama Shelter is far from your average budget hotel. Full of personality, it’s a sensory overload in the best possible way. Walking through its doors, you’ll be struck by the decor – a chalkboard ceiling, clashing prints and an enormous variety of lampshades ranging from tasselled to woven. Rooms are a little more minimalist, but they still come with expertly mismatched touches like cartoon character masks slung over the mirrors, monochrome patterned carpets and pastel-coloured walls. Order a round of house cocktails from the bustling bar and restaurant and settle in for an evening of karaoke in the private room, belting out your favourite ballads into the ’50s-style microphone.
CitizenM prides itself on providing rooms with all the amenities you’d find in a luxury hotel, but at a fraction of the cost. Here, you’ll find king-size beds, rain showers and flat-screen TVs in each of the rooms despite the low price tag. It’s the co-working spaces, cool bars and travel-inspired decor that really stand out. As soon as you enter the lobby, you really feel the dynamic energy of this space. Aimed at digital nomads and world travellers, it offers the perfect base from which to explore the City of London. You can quickly nip over to St Paul’s or take a stroll along neighbouring South Bank.
Clean, modern and colourful, this Scandi brand brings its chic minimalism to London’s Whitechapel. Priding itself on its eco-friendly credentials, the name Qbic nods to the rooms’ cube-like design, and though they’re small, the brightly coloured furnishings stop them feeling oppressive. With fast wifi, hot showers and marshmallow-like beds, it offers a comfortable place to recharge after a day of sightseeing. Whether you’re a breakfast person or not, the full English and cappuccinos down in the restaurant will set you up for the day ahead.
There’s nothing worse than the schlep to your hotel after a long day of travelling, which is why the Point A Hotel – a stone’s throw from major rail hub King’s Cross St Pancras – is such a blessing. This is a no-frills kind of place, offering all the essentials you need for a comfortable stay without the costly extras. The rooms are clean and bright, each including a Hypnos bed, smart TV, safe and power shower. You’ll find an extensive breakfast spread down in the lobby, which only costs £9, and plenty of sockets for when you’ve got work to do. Whether you’re in town for work or play, this is a great option if you plan to be out and about for the majority of your visit.
What sets Motel One apart from other cheap London hotels is its dedication to offering patrons fair prices whatever dates you book, so whether it’s the height of summer or the middle of March, the room rates remain the same. Filled with marble-topped tables, smart leather sofas and low-lit wood burners, the bar looks like it’s been pulled straight from an upmarket Mayfair hotel. The suave sophistication continues upstairs, too, where you’ll find views over the city and a rain shower in the bathroom. Within walking distance of the Tower of London and Whitechapel, its location is perfect for discovering London’s rich history.
Housed in a Victorian red-brick building, this is another wonderful iteration of Z Hotel’s focus on affordable luxury. Its compact rooms focus on space maximisation, so you’ll be staying in a high-tech space that goes back to the basics of accommodation without compromising on comfort. Expect an enormous TV, high-speed wifi, tea and coffee and an en-suite bathroom with a blissfully powerful shower. Be sure to make the most of the free cheese and wine on offer each evening. It acts as the perfect prelude to an evening discovering central London after dark. Grab a bite at Barrafina, which serves some of the best Spanish food in the city, before catching a late show at Top Secret Comedy Club, where many British comedians started their careers – both are just a short stroll from the hotel.
This article is an updated version of a story created by Bianca Barratt.
These recommendations were updated on November 3, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.