The Cheapo 100: Our favorite budget hotels in Europe

Hotel Tiquetonne Paris
Best "Super Cheapo": The Hotel Tiquetonne in Paris

June 15, 2010. Here at EuroCheapo, we’re obviously big fans of budget hotels. But we’re even bigger fans of budget hotels with that “special something.”

In our 29 city guides, you’ll find more than 1,200 reviews of budget-friendly hotels, each one inspected and photographed by one of our editors. Some are listed simply because they’re cheap and clean. Others, however, boast something else. They might be blessed with an incredible location. Or perhaps they have a surprising theme or impressive style.

These hotels offer travelers something unique and yet they still manage to be affordable. We believe they deserve a little special attention.

Choosing the “Cheapo 100”

Thus, this year we created the “Cheapo 100,” a ranking of our five favorite properties in 20 cities. In each city, we chose one winning hotel for the following five categories: “Super Cheapo,” Best Location, Most Unique, Best Budget Style, and Best B&B or Guesthouse.

Selecting the winning hotels was not easy and resulted in lively debate here at EuroCheapo headquarters. In certain circumstances, we had three or four great contenders for one award.

And then there was the question of preference. After all, how do you define the “best location” in a city like Paris? Is it facing Notre Dame (Hotel Esmeralda) or steps from the Place des Vosges (Hotel Jeanne d’Arc)? Or maybe it’s a block from Sacre Coeur (Ermitage Sacre Coeur)? Oh, wait – what about next to the Eiffel Tower (Eber Mars)?

You might say we suffered an embarrassment of Cheapos. But fear not, all hotels will have another shot for next year’s awards.

Without further ado, EuroCheapo proudly presents the 2010 “Cheapo 100”:

Amsterdam

Hotel Museumzicht, Amsterdam

Hotel Museumzicht

The following hotels were selected from our Amsterdam guide:

Super Cheapo
Pax
Doubles: $42 – $113
Situated in the Raadhuisstraat building in central Amsterdam, the one-star Hotel Pax offers affordable rooms with decorative flair.

Best Location
Hotel Museumzicht
Doubles: $70 – $149
When the museums are this close, you need not limit yourself to admiring them from your hotel windows.

Most Unique
The Greenhouse Effect
Doubles: $131 – $155
The Greenhouse Effect boasts a popular bar downstairs and some stunningly good murals on the guestrooms’ themed walls.

Best Budget Style
Piet Hein
Doubles: $161 – $209
The 41-room Piet Hein is a chic, three-star boutique hotel located on the Vondelpark.

Best B&B, Pension or Guesthouse
The Blue Sleep
Doubles: $143 – $167
The Blue Sheep reminded us of why family-run places, when done right, can make for the coziest hotel experiences.

Barcelona

Hostal Goya Barcelona

Hostal Goya

The following hotels were selected from our Barcelona guide:

Super Cheapo
Hostal Centric
Doubles: $56 – $133
This hostal is simple and appeals to the young backpacker as much as it does the more conservative traveler.

Best Location
Hosteria Grau
Doubles: $84 – $125
Located at the intersection of two bustling pedestrian streets in the center of the city, the Grau is an island of tranquility surrounded by constant action.

Most Unique
Hotel Peninsular
Doubles: $78
This former monastery features an interesting web of twisting balconies, zigzagging stairwells, and full-on sensory stimulation.

Best Budget Style
Hostal Goya
Doubles: $107 – $125
All rooms at the Hostal Goya follow the same contemporary-meets-opulence style imperative.

Best B&B, Pension or Guesthouse
Hostal Fernando
Doubles: $72 – $90
An easy central location? Check! Roomy, clean space, and helpful staff? Check and check!

Berlin

Hotel-Pension Dittberner, Berlin

Hotel-Pension Dittberner

The following hotels were selected from our Berlin guide:

Super Cheapo
Circus Hostels Weinbergsweg and Rosa-Luxemburgstrasse
Doubles: $51 – $63
If Mitte’s long-running Circus Hostel had a tagline, it would be: “budget-friendly and stylish aren’t strange bedfellows.”

Best Location
Hotel Taunus
Doubles: $90 – $118
Sitting pretty in the bulls-eye of Mitte, the Hotel Taunus offers surprise-free rooms that won’t break the bank.

Most Unique
Michelberger
Doubles: $90
“Kitschy-cool,” “flea market-chic,” and “gritty-glam” are the top contenders for describing this 2009 addition to the city’s design hotel scene.

Best Budget Style
ackselhaus & bluehome
$179 – $203
The ackselhaus and bluehome are exotic escapes in the heart of Berlin.

Best B&B, Pension or Guesthouse
Hotel-Pension Dittberner
Doubles: $116 – $159
The 21-room Pension Dittberner stands out from the pension crowd with its museum-like breakfast room, old-fashioned library and and art-filled rooms.

Next Page: Bruges, Brussels and Copenhagen

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About the author

Pete Meyers
About the author: An Ohio native, Pete Meyers was bred on family road trips and the Beach Boys. When not working at EuroCheapo HQ in NYC, Pete likes to be found eating bouillabaisse anywhere in the south of France.
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