A central district in the metropolis, the City of London is speared with glass skyscrapers that release a daily wave of suited-and-booted workers in search of happy hours. This buzzing atmosphere and collection of historic architecture have made it a magnet for many travellers who want to stay within easy reach of London’s most notable landmarks. And finding something on the affordable end of the scale is more doable than you might think.
It’s commonly believed that the closer a hotel is to Central London, the more expensive it will be. After all, with the West End, Oxford Street and Bank within walking distance, you’d expect to fork out more. While there are plenty of luxury hotels in the area, there are also many accommodation options for those looking to save a few pennies. Get the best of both worlds with Culture Trip’s pick of the five best cheap hotels in the City of London.
CitizenM has earned a reputation as one of the smartest budget hotel groups, catering to a millennial crowd looking for luxury living at competitive prices and fluid spaces that are suitable for both work and play. In the rooms at the Bankside outpost, you’ll find king-size beds and flat-screen TVs as well as power showers and superfast Wi-Fi. Downstairs, the all-in-one bar and co-working area has made a name for itself as one of the most dynamic meeting spaces in London. The decor is modern with a masculine, industrial finish, and the location – overlooking the Tower of London – is both iconic and historic.
As you’d expect from a Scandi brand, the decor at Qbic is clean, modern and colourful. Bringing its chic minimalism to London, Qbic prides itself on its eco-friendly credentials, so if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint while travelling, you can rest here guilt-free. The cube-like rooms feature bright furnishings and great lighting, making them feel bigger than they are. Fast Wi-Fi, powerful showers and comfy beds make them a haven after a busy day in the city, and whether you’re a morning person or not, the full English and strong cappuccinos available in the downstairs restaurant will get you buzzing for a new day.
Hugging the north bank of the river, just a stone’s throw from Tower Hill, Hub by Premier Inn offers guests convenience and competitive prices in the heart of London. Standard rooms here are compact and cleverly designed to maximise space with minimal furniture – this doesn’t mean the hotel has scrimped on quality, though. The beds are Hypnos, and there are monsoon power showers and smart TVs. A control panel for the lighting and temperature gives you the feeling you’re in a spaceship, while the café and bar downstairs give off a much more homely, urban feel, thanks to the exposed brick, rustic wood furniture and hearty menu.
Hotel Indigo sits right in the middle of the financial district, so if you have to be in the city for meetings or are looking to take advantage of Bank’s excellent transport connections, you’re in the right place. The rooms here are both luxurious and urban, with exposed brick offsetting the mahogany four-poster beds and floors and the brightly coloured bedding and soft lighting warming the space. Spacious bathrooms with powerful showers and in-room Nespresso machines will get your days off to a good start, and a wander through neighbouring Leadenhall Market (which doubled as Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) will finish them off with a bang.
Motel One Tower Hill wouldn’t be out of place on the set of Blade Runner, thanks to its futuristic facade dotted with blue neon lights. Unwind in the bar, where rich, earthy tones are broken up by retro-style furniture, silvery floral prints and contemporary Diamante chandeliers. Rooms are more understated with sleek 40-inch flat-screen TVs and granite bathrooms stocked with organic toiletries. Motel One is unexpectedly affordable despite its plush style and central location, meaning you should still have enough in your pocket to treat yourself to 360-degree city views from the top of nearby London Eye.
Behind the ocean-blue glass exterior of Locke at Broken Wharf is an on-trend co-working space painted in sandy shades with pops of fiery neon and baby pink and dotted with a few well-placed cacti. The perfect place to settle into a naturally lit corner sofa to check emails and sip on an ethically produced coffee from in-house Deli Cat & Sons. Inside the olive-green sanctum of the riverside studio apartments, you’ll find a welcome bag of herbal teas and coffees – best enjoyed while perusing one of the coffee table books on the leather sofa. The private Smeg kitchen contains all the pots and pans necessary to whip up a hearty meal using fresh ingredients from Borough Market, a 15-minute stroll away across the river.