Can you recommend your favourite budget places to stay in London…a good budget hotel or hostel?
This is probably my most popular request from readers and friends so I thought it would be beneficial to summarise on my blog, my favourite budget places to stay in London. So in no particular order, here are my best places stay in London on a budget. Note that if you are new to Airbnb , signup using this link to get £25 off your first booking ( minimum purchase of £55)
1) Wombats Hostel London
Wombats is probably my favourite chain of hostels in the world and has excellent hostels in cities such as Vienna, Munich and Budapest.
Wombat’s City Hostel London opened in December 2014 and set a new standard for hostels in the UK’s capital. Minutes walk away from sights such as Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and City Hall and you are an easy walk from the buzzing nightlife of Shoreditch and Wilton’s Music Hall.
The hostel building itself is fab. Formerly a seaman’s hostel, the building was converted to an traveller’s palace. It features a huge bar, courtyard, cosy hangout area in the lobby and all the amenities a backpacker could ever wish for.
Rooms come with comfy wooden beds, a private shower, toilet facilities and lockers for belongings. They also provide a set of bed linen, a small welcome drink, Wi-Fi, and their very own city map with essential information with all the going-ons in town.
2. Point A Hotel, Kings Cross
I recently had the chance to spend a night at the brand new Point A Hotel in Kings Cross . For those who have been following the blog for a few years, you will know I am a huge fan of the Tune Hotels concept and was kind of sad to see them leave the UK market. Point A have taken over all the Tune properties in London and am glad to see that they haven’t deviated too much from Tune’s winning formula. However there are a few key positive differences.
You get to sleep in a really comfy bed with hypnos mattress so you’re guaranteed a good nights sleep. There’s free and fast wifi -this is offered at no charge to guests. You also have aircon units fitted in every room. The rooms also come equipped with a flat screen Smart TV and a safe-this often comes as an add on cost in Tune Hotels but is included in the price of the room at Point A hotels. Big thumbs up. The rooms are on the small side but have smart storage facilities for storing your luggage beneath the beds and also there are a few hooks for hanging your clothes. There is also a hook for hanging your handbag which I thought was pretty neat. All the rooms come with hairdryers so ladies, you don’t need to pack a hairdryer when coming to stay here. The ensuite bathrooms come with fantastic power showers.
Another cool feature of the newly refurbished rooms is the option of mood lightening: ( Understand this feature will be rolled across all their rooms in the near future ) perfect for those looking to come to London to party!
Overall, there is little to fault with the rooms. Guests can take advantage of free tea and coffee facilities which was again a nice bonus. Staff at the Kings Cross branch were really friendly and helpful. Plus the location of the hotel is fantastic- Kings Cross Station and St Pancras, Eurostar terminal is just a 10 minute walk from the hotel.
3. Caring Hotel, London
If you’re looking for a comfortable, no-frills hotel in Central London with a nice breakfast, then the Caring Hotel Caring Hotel, London is the perfect hotel for you. I was searching for hours for a decent hotel for 2 nights, midweek in November and anything decent, located in Central London seemed to start at the £70-£80 mark. I then stumbled upon Caring Hotel on Tripadvisor. It had a pretty decent Tripadvisor rating of 4 from 789 reviews. The hotel has a good location in Bayswater just a 10 minute walk from Baywater Underground station. Travelling solo for business, I wanted something basic, comfortable but not too pricey. Price point of £140 for 2 nights for a single with shared bathroom via Booking.com was agreeable.
The hotel did not disappoint. It was a quiet neighbourhood. My room was on the fourth floor. It’s quite a hike up a very narrow staircase so if you have a lot of luggage, email them in advance and request a room on the first or second floor.
My room was comfortable. Bed was nice. It came with a sink and also a pod shower which was pretty decent. You have a wardrobe for hanging up your clothes plus also a kettle for making tea, coffee. The other big plus of this hotel is how great the wifi was. Brilliant.
If you’re looking for a comfortable room to sleep in with a social edge, check out some of my favourite London hostels below
4) Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage and Palmers Lodge Hillspring Lodge
Palmers Lodge run two superb hostels in London- both of them offer a unique experience. Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage offer a more social atmosphere and that cosy, home away from home atmosphere. The common room is the social hub where guests relax on the sofas browsing on their tablets and laptops using the excellent free wifi or chatting to fellow guests around the tables. Both hostels run an excellent onsite bar where you can meet fellow guests and enjoy an inexpensive drink or decently priced pub grub.
Hillspring Lodge, Palmers Lodge is superbly furnished and offers a more modern décor. It’s in a peaceful neighbourhood bit away from the main drag so if you’re looking for a chilled out hostel, you’ll prefer this. If you like hostels with character both places offer a great experience: Hillspring hostel is filled with quirky objects like deer rugs hanging from the celiing and a garden filled with 100 odd motorcycles whereas the Swiss Cottage branch is located in a stunning Victorian grade II listed building. Beds in the dorm are also a standout feature, made of sturdy oak wood , fitted with nice mattresses plus come with a private curtain and reading light.
5) Green Rooms London
Green Rooms Hotel is a refreshing departure from your typical hotel in London. It is the UK’s first arts led social enterprise hotel. This means that if you are an artist or a creative person coming to London for work, looking for an affordable but high quality place to stay, then this is your hotel to stay in London.
The hotel oozes personality and character. The art deco building itself dates from 1935 when it was the premises of The North Metropolitan Power and Electricity Company’s office and showrooms.
Location is fantastic: Hotel is located opposite Wood Green tube station, just 12 minutes from King’s Cross and 20 minutes into Central London on the Piccadilly Line.
The brains behind this pioneering idea is Nick Hartwright, founder of The Mill Co Project which provides affordable studio space at various sites in London. With the aid of London-based architects SODA and hotelier Kurt Bredenbeck, the man behind the Hoxton Hotel, Nick has put together a hotel which he believes will provide artists visiting London, an exciting , inclusive and accessible creative environment to sleep, work and play from. It is a very cool concept.
The Green Rooms hotel features in total 22 doubles, two studio apartments plus two dormitories which sleep 12 and 16 people, respectively.
The rooms itself are clear , tastefully furnished with vintage furniture. Some of the rooms in the Green Hotel feature lights, rocking chairs and throws designed by the clothing brand Folk. The bed is extremely comfortable and there are USB ports in the plugs.
There’s no TV or phone, and they’re not vastly spacious, but the bed is pleasingly firm, and there are neat touches like USB ports in the plugs. They’ve stripped out all the unnecessary stuff like TV and phone: honestly who has time to watch TV when you’re in one of the world’s most exciting cities?
The other cool feature of the hotel is the ground floor lobby that doubles up as a bar and exhibition space plus also is home to a pop up restaurant. Budding local chefs are invited to apply for a 6 month residency where they can get 6 months rent free to use the kitchen and also receive expert tips and mentoring to help take their businesses to the next level. Past chefs have included Johnny Smith from Shoreditch’s Michelin-starred Clove Club, Esteban Arboleda from the Colombian Street Kitchen and Marie Mitchell who runs Island Social Club (ISC), a collective of pop-up restaurants and music nights that explore Caribbean London subculture. The food is fabulous and extremely good value with a 3 course meal plus drinks coming in at around the £20-£25 mark.
The hotel also wants to be a functioning community space which welcomes local residents and creatives by hosting a diverse programme of regular events, exhibitions and workshops.
Via Booking.com Dorm beds: Artist rate starts from £18 and normal rates from £24; Doubles (room-only): artist rate starts from £72 and normal rate is £84 ( Artists: please reserve rooms directly with the Green Rooms Hotel )
Green Room stands out in the world of big chain and formulaic hotels. Definitely worth booking a room here during your next visit to London
6) Clink! 78 London
Clink! 78 is set in a stylishly renovated Victorian 200 year old courthouse in an excellent location just a few minutes walk from Kings Cross station . This is a cool party hostel and accommodates upto 500 guests from as little as £12 a night. Facilities onsite include an onsite bar and also travel shop to help guests book discounted tickets for top London attractions and also assist with airport transfers and onward travel arrangements. Guests can chill out in style in the infamous, wood panelled Internet and PC courtroom which previously served as a magistrates courtroom where The Clash were famously tried for shooting carrier pigeons in 1978, provoking them to write the song ‘Guns on the Roof’. For those interested in the indulging further in the criminal past of the hostel you can rent your own private prison cell for as little as a £50 a night. Cells come fully furnished and complete with a barred window.
7) Safestay Hostel
Safestay Hostel is in a great location near Elephant & Castle tube station and is situated in John Smith House which , in a previous incarnation, served as the Labour party headquarters. With it’s bright purple and hot pink colours, quirky design features and lighting by Tom Dixon-its a very stylish affair. The bar cum common room downstairs is a great shared space for guests with a bar, pool room plus upholstered armchairs where guests can sink into and access the hostels’ free wifi via their internet devices. Beds in the dorm rooms come equipped with a reading light, nice thick duvets and also a private fitted curtain to offer guests privacy and also avoid being woken up whenever another fellow guest walks in. Families are welcomed with the hostel offering private rooms that include a double bed and single bunk above plus 40 inch plasma screen TV’s, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities.
Book via Hostelworld Prices start from £20 a night
8) Generator Hostel, London
Generator London has recently undergone a major refurbishment which has transformed this place in a huge way.
I arrived quite late on a Wednesday night, close to midnight and the place was still buzzing. Reception staff were friendly and checked me in super quick time. There was a problem with lights in my triple bed dorm room so I got quickly checked into one of their very slick twin private ensuites. The room was compact, cosy and very comfortable. There was a clothes hanging rail, full length mirror, comfy beds, linen and towels were supplied plus wifi signal in the room (4th floor) was excellent. It would have been nice to have plug point by the bed instead of in the opposite corner of the room. The ensuite bathroom was very stylish with a powerful Grohe Shower and came with complimentary Waitrose toiletries. It definitely feels more like a budget boutique hotel room.
Downstairs they have a bunch of cool social spaces where guests can relax. If you want to party, they have a cool Generator Bar that organises a number of events for guests. On Wednesday night the Karaoke night was in full swing. Away from the bar they have a nice chillout lounge complete with flatscreen TV and nice low lighting where guests were surfing the net on their laptops or tablets. During the day, within this lounge, they have a nice in-house cafe where you can order coffee and their excellent brownies.
Alternatively they do a very moderately priced ( Around £6 mark) range of hot food and snacks. I ordered a BLT toasted sandwich with fries which washed down with a bottle of Luscombe Ginger Beer. Nice.
The other cool feature in this Generator Hostel is the movie room ( 2nd Luxury Hostel I’ve found to have a dedicated movie room, the other being U Hostels Madrid where guests can relax and watch a movie. During the day, it acts as a very cool chill-out space where guests geek out on their laptops or sleep off their hangover. Other top facilities include their travel shop where you can buy your underground tickets, book a walking tour and just get good general travel advice. They also have storage room facilities for storing your luggage.
Areas of improvement? I personally would not go for their £4.50 continental breakfast. Your usual selection of breads, ham, cheese and cereal. Coffee tasted pretty awful.I’ve had better breakfasts in hostels plus they were for free.
Otherwise, there’s not much to quibble about the Generator Hostel, London. Love the location, just a few blocks from Russell Square underground station and walking distance to the British Museum and Leicester Square. Bunch of cool cafes , bars and budget friendly restaurants in the neighbourhood. It’s definitely one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in London and a cut above many similarly priced budget hotels in the city.
9) Stüdyo Paddington by Bridgestreet
I recently had the opportunity to stay at the brand new Studyo Hotel in Paddington : it represents a new concept and type of accommodation: a hybrid of a hotel and an apartment. Some call this an ApartHotel.
What did I love about this concept and place?
Hope you enjoyed my suggestions. If you have any budget friendly places you would recommend while staying in London , pleased do share below. ( PS If you are visiting London, you maybe interested in my cheap eats guide to London by locals Julia Rampen and also Steve Lowy Plus here is a recent guide we wrote listing 50 cool things to do for free in London.
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