By Nina Derham in London—
Choosing a budget hotel in London can be a truly daunting task. But fear not, Cheapos; it is possible if you know where to look!
I recently spent several weeks visiting budget-friendly hotels, B&Bs and hostels in London for EuroCheapo’s London hotel guide. It’s hard to pick three favorites, but, if pressed, these would be my top three budget places to stay in London:
Basics: The Arosfa is a truly charming and unique accommodation. Nestled amongst a large number of other B&B’s and student digs, the Arosfa stands out as a place that has truly been cared for. Owner Nicolas, is rightfully proud of his creation. Each room has a different color scheme and all are equipped with flat-screen TV’s and fantastic en suite bathrooms (complete with luxurious fittings such as rainfall showers).
Extras: Home-cooked breakfast is included in the price and there is also an ultra-modern living room where guests can catch up on emails and relax on comfy sofas after a busy day of sightseeing. Nicolas encourages guests to make use of his beautifully manicured garden, a very unusual thing to stumble across in central London!
Location: The hotel is slap, bang in the middle of Bloomsbury, making sightseeing by foot easy. The British Museum is within easy reach and a quick walk through Soho will take you to the National Gallery. The Arosfa is just a few minutes walk from the shops of Oxford Street. Some of London’s best theaters are just around the corner and fashionable Charlotte Street is also nearby, offering an excellent range of restaurants and pubs.
Read more and see additional photos on our review of the Arosfa Hotel.
BEST FOR: Couples looking for a romantic London break in stylish surroundings, and families looking for affordable and comfortable accommodation.
2. The Generator
Compton Place, Bloomsbury
Basics: Hands down one of the craziest hostels I have ever visited, The Generator sits somewhere between nightclub and hotel. Take, for example, the bouncer stationed at the door of this 800-bed monster of a hostel and the UV lights in the metal-plated entrance hall. The staff all wear bright blue and fluorescent green uniforms and dance music plays throughout the day.
All beds are in dorm rooms and are pretty basic, with red metal frames and blue walls, but visitors here shouldn’t be planning on doing too much sleeping, so the simplicity of the rooms shouldn’t be a problem. There are some newer girls-only dorms which are painted pink and come with a mirror and dressing table for each girl–perfect for girly trips to London on a budget.
Location: The hostel is located close to Russell Square, so all the amenities of the lovely Brunswick Centre are nearby, including a foreign language cinema. The hostel is also perfectly placed for the British Museum and the West End; London’s shopping and theatre district.
Extras: The hostel boasts its very own nightclub with different theme parties each night (when I was there it was a “London tube” party, and everyone had to dress up as the name of a tube stop). There is also a large dining room where buffet breakfast and dinner are served each day, as well as a chill-out room with a big TV screen, sofas and Internet.
Read more and see additional photos on our review of the Generator Hostel.
HOW MUCH: $24-$126
BEST FOR: Lone travelers looking for a truly sociable environment, and big groups of girls or guys who want to party hard.
Basics: The Stylotel’s sleek new suites are quite a rare sight for the average budget traveler. While the original Stylotel sets itself apart with a spaceship-like design, minuscule bathrooms and metal-plated walls, the newly opened suites are an altogether classier affair. Located above the Stylotel’s very own pub, The Sussex Arms, the suites offer a selection of sleek studios and one bed apartments for 2-4 people, perfect for travelers looking for more independence.
Suites: The steep staircase leading up to the suites is adorned with somewhat futuristic neon lighting, but the suites themselves boast dark wood floors, chrome kitchenettes and plain white linen on the beds. Whilst breakfast isn’t included in the price, guests do have the necessary basic amenities to prepare food themselves, which for many, is a real added bonus.
Location: The location is ideal for exploring Hyde Park, and the shops of Oxford Street can be reached by foot. But the real draw has to be the proximity to Paddington station.
Read more and see additional photos on our review of the Stylotel.
HOW MUCH: $150-250 (for double room and for 1-bed suite)
BEST FOR: Single travelers on work trips, families and couples – anyone looking for a bit more space and independence on their trip to London.