The best budget hotels in London that don’t scrimp on style

Advice

London is so much more than the obvious tourist attractions, which is why it’s good advice to consider which area(s) you’d like to explore before booking your hotel. Take the neighbourhood approach and that’s where you’ll generally find cheaper rates on your hotel. So perhaps you’ll want to tap into the creative hipster vibes of East London, live like a local in swanky Notting Hill, or have the buzz of the West End right on your doorstep. Luckily there are plenty of affordable places to stay that don’t compromise on personality. Choose from cosy boutique hotels and grand pubs with rooms to sleek, design-led crash-pads and some addresses where Londoners simply like to go on the strength of the restaurant or social spaces. Which has to be a winner, right? Here are the best budget hotels in London that will leave you spending less and seeing more.

Best budget hotels in Central London

    

Mimi’s Hotel Soho

Soho, London, England

7
Telegraph expert rating

Situated above a bar in the heart of Soho, Mimi’s makes a lively and affordable base from which to explore the city. The hotel combines high-tech engineering with a dark, velvety 19th-century feel in its on-street bar, Hensons. There is a smart gold and mirrored lift to the bedrooms and an attractive marble staircase. The largest rooms are the seven Lux ‘suites’. Hardly suites: they are small and box-like, but serviceable and with good bathrooms. Next come the Cosy rooms, even smaller, and then the Tiny Singles, more like couchettes. Rooms are well equipped with superb insulation, specially filtered water, underfloor heating and fog-free mirrors in marble bathrooms.


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From


£
144

per night

Rates provided by
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Assembly London

Leicester Square, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Word is out on this West End budget beauty. Its simple but comfortable rooms, stellar location right next to Leicester Square, design inspired by some of the greatest British fashion icons, and access to fabulous orangery-style rooftop restaurant Bourne & Hollingsworth will be a winner for city-hopping millennials. Rooms (Snug, Nest, Pad, Den) are uniform greyscale with geometric carpeting, headboards with leather buckles and dog tooth-style cushions. Budget doesn’t mean a compromise on comfort – squishy beds have Hypnos mattresses and sheets are Egyptian cotton. Countless theatres, restaurants, bars, museums and clubs are within moments of the hotel.


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From


£
89

per night

Rates provided by
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Z at Gloucester Place

Marylebone, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This smart handful of converted Georgian townhouses on Gloucester Place is light years ahead of most budget hotels in London. The Georgian townhouses are Listed so rooms have high ceilings and a good amount of space. White walls, lots of wood (original and veneer), original mosaic-tiled floors and pops of colour in artworks and furniture feature throughout. Most notable are the bold-coloured, industrial-style chairs and light fixtures against the pared-back, minimalist setting. It’s a 10-minute walk from Baker Street and Marylebone Underground stations (serving multiple lines) and a short walk to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Madame Tussauds and Selfridges on Oxford Street (all 10 minutes’ walk away in various directions).


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From


£
72

per night

Rates provided by
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The Zetter Hotel

The City, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A fun boutique hotel in creative Clerkenwell with colourful design and locally inspired amenities. Many places are walkable from the hotel, including plenty of great restaurants. Exmouth Market (a pedestrianised street that’s home to restaurants such as Moro) is a five-minute walk away. Don’t expect a formal experience, the chilled atmosphere matches the design of the hotel. Rooms incorporate dark hues, thick carpets, botanical patterns and primary colours. The food is excellent: think wonderfully gooey smoked ham hock croquettes, a creamy risotto of Jerusalem artichokes and truffle, and a zingy cured sea bream tartare with lemon purée.


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From


£
171

per night

Rates provided by
Booking.com

Strand Palace Hotel

Covent Garden, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The Strand Palace, opened in 1909, was once an Art Deco gem – a few treasures still linger and its glamorous foyer is now kept in the V&A Museum as a memento of what was sadly lost. Its 785 rooms over nine floors are built around six inner courtyards – those facing inwards are generally quieter. Being so large, at times it feels like a mini-planet where you may well forget that there is another world outside. The shops, restaurants and theatres of Covent Garden lie to the north, with Waterloo Bridge, Charing Cross and the Thames to the south. This is a good choice if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing and/or partying.


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From


£
153

per night

Rates provided by
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Z Covent Garden

Covent Garden, London, England

7
Telegraph expert rating

A good location for a budget option in the heart of Covent Garden, right behind the Piazza. Expect smart, comfortable and compact rooms with everything you need for a city-centre stay and the added bonus of complimentary three-hour cheese and wine sessions in the evenings. Design-wise it’s airy, compact and simple; a very uniform palette of blacks, whites, greys and wood giving it a clean and contemporary feel. Furniture design details lend it a slightly industrial feel too, dusky-pink banquet booths add a touch of fun, and in general the café feels nice and sociable.


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From


£
75

per night

Rates provided by
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The best budget hotels in West London

    

High Road House

Chiswick, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This members’ club (part of Soho House) for people in the creative fields, which also offers hotel rooms to the general public, was originally designed by Ilse Crawford. It has just the right mix of self-conscious style and easygoing charm: think Scandinavian touches and charming hand-painted wallpaper. There’s a very welcoming, cosy atmosphere and the staff are young, relaxed and quick to help out. Expect light, fresh and intentionally simple rooms, with wooden coat pegs around the walls used for hot-water bottles and hairdryers as well as clothes. Complimentary snacks, drinks and Cowshed spa products are in the drawers. There’s a Parisian-style Brasserie downstairs — often packed — that serves everything from pasta to leek and artichoke tart.


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From


£
120

per night

K West Hotel & Spa

Shepherd’s Bush, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This Shepherd’s Bush hotel is reasonably positioned for those who covet the bright lights of downtown; it’s 10 minutes from the West End on the Central Line. The likes of David Bowie, Bob Marley and Amy Winehouse once played here, and the hotel continues to be a favourite haunt of musicians thanks to its proximity to the Hammersmith Apollo. There is also an impressively kitted-out K Spa. While the hotel can give the impression of being a little underfurnished, there is an undeniable elegance to the décor. Rooms are light, spacious and well equipped. There’s a small restaurant offering casual dining, and the Glam Rock Afternoon Tea is a nice touch.


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From


£
116

per night

Rates provided by
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The Distillery

Notting Hill, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A boutique bolthole on the coveted Portobello Road offering contemporary yet characterful interiors. Like its surroundings, the hotel’s interiors are busy in a pleasant, intimate way. Despite this, each floor has its own character, from the low-lit, heavy set Resting Room, to the Spanish flair bursting through the The Malt Floor. The hotel’s main facility, its basement gin distillery, produces Portobello Road Gin No. 171. Known as The Ginstitute, it began life as London’s smallest musuem, but now hosts regular gin experiences. There are just three bedrooms.


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From


£
138

per night

Rates provided by
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The Pilgrm

Paddington, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A Victorian-era building brought back to life as a “reinterpretation” of the traditional hotel. All the frills have been stripped back so you’re left with simple, but considered, hallmarks: smooth check-in (at the coffee bar downstairs), meticulous design and a world-class cocktail menu. In short, it’s the future of city hoteliering. It’s a paean to British craftsmanship. Interiors were either meticulously sourced or custom-made to fit the style. Seventy-three rooms are set across three ‘wings’, categorised into Small, Medium and Large. They are compact, with the emphasis on the bespoke beds, backed by parquet panelling and topped with handmade mattresses. The bar has a selection of drinks cherry-picked from the world’s best cocktail menus, while the short all-day menu belies the size of the kitchen.


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From


£
96

per night

Rates provided by
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La Suite West

Paddington, London, England

7
Telegraph expert rating

La Suite West occupies a white townhouse typical of the area, and has interiors by designer Anouska Hempel. The narrow reception area – through a tall black door – is flanked by an extended white marble desk, with a low fire opposite (slightly Nineties pop video). The black marble floor and dark walls do make the overall effect quite gloomy, but if it’s minimalism you favour, you’ll feel at home. The 79 rooms and suites run along narrow, black (again) corridors. The smallest are small, at 17 square metres, while the largest suites have private terraces. The raw and vegan restaurant serves small plates – think courgette pasta with cashew nut cheese. It is five minutes’ walk from Hyde Park and a minute from Bayswater Tube station.


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From


£
142

per night

Rates provided by
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The best budget hotels in East London

    

The Buxton

Spitalfields, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This cool east London hangout – sister hotel to The Culpeper – is on Brick Lane, amid curry houses and boho cafés in the plucky heart of Spitalfields. It’s a heart-warming homage to Sir Thomas Buxton who campaigned for social reform in the area and throughout the hotel original features reference East London’s Victorian heritage (exposed brick, fireplaces) while design details nod to the weaving connection. The 15 rooms are small by any standard, but cleverly designed to yield as much space as possible. The hub of the property is its casual gastro-style pub which offers a small yet sophisticated British-European menu and mostly organic, natural and biodynamic wines. In warmer weather, locals spill out onto the corner pavement.


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From


£
125

per night

Mama Shelter London

Bethnal Green, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Mama London sits on Hackney Road, home to an eclectic tapestry of late-night dive bars, cool florists, wine bars and hot-ticket restaurants. It’s classic Mama Shelter: maximalist to the core, with a touch of the 1970s. Mismatched chairs, Liberty London prints and shelves full of London-centric tomes, beaded masks and animal-shaped ceramics adorn the ground-floor. The highlight? The two, sound-proofed, Japanese-style karaoke rooms in the basement complete with neon lighting, 1950s-style microphones, two screens and plenty of lounging space. Rooms also feel kistch Seventies in style but are calmer than the riot downstairs: peach walls, monochrome carpets, wooden seating, and cool, colourful cushions and lamps. It’s mercifully quiet, and together with the blackout blinds and comfy beds makes for a good night’s sleep.


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From


£
150

per night

Rates provided by
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The Culpeper

Spitalfields, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

An 1884 boozer has been spruced up in East London fashion: strong design credentials, a fêted restaurant, five cosy bedrooms and, in summer, one of the most coveted rooftop terraces in the area. The five bedrooms are fairly equal in size, with simple but considered furnishings including Hypnos beds, Sisal carpets and Acapulco chairs covered with sheepskin. Dining here is a journey through London’s finest produce: think 35 day-aged beef rump from local butcher Ginger Pig. Head to the rooftop terrace for summery cocktails and views of London’s skyscrapers. (Note that at the time of publishing, rooms were undergoing refurbishment).


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New Road Hotel

Whitechapel, London, England

7
Telegraph expert rating

A youthful and affordable hotel in a former textile factory in London’s East End. Many attractive original features remain, such as industrial windows, old fire-escape doors and the huge metal sign above the bar. Space is maximised even in the dinkiest of rooms (‘Pocket’). Attention is given to the most important details: king-sized beds with Hypnos mattresses, a big mirror, a television, USB ports and a capsule-like, glass wet room with a rainfall shower. If travelling as a couple, upgrade to a Warehouse X room for a huge couch-bed. The hotel is in the ever-vibrant, multicultural neighbourhood of Whitechapel, with the likes of the Whitechapel Gallery and arthouse cinema Genesis mixed in with long-standing South Asian shops and restaurants – hotspot Tayyabs is around the corner.


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From


£
103

per night

Rates provided by
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The East London Hotel

Bethnal Green, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This budget base in East London taps into the area’s eclectic heritage and current hipster sensibilities, attracting discerning millennial travellers looking for hands-off service and proximity to the fun. The use of local suppliers who provide everything from bagels to beers creates an authentic community feel. Rooms are compact and certainly not designed for lounging around, however large windows (in most) and pale walls stop things from feeling claustrophobic. This ostensibly no-frills hotel also taps into the modern traveller’s needs, providing a Nespresso machine as well as huge televisions that take up half the wall and a pleasing number of USB charging points.


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From


£
86

per night

Rates provided by
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Leman Locke

Aldgate, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

One minute’s walk from Aldgate East station, Leman Locke hotel sits on the easterly edge of London’s Square Mile. New York based interior design firm Grzywinski+Pons was brought in to showcase Leman’s USP; an establishment that bridges the gap between home and hotel stay. Lofty ceilings and chipped concrete walls create an industrial chic vibe for the café, lobby and hallways. Over the 22 floors are studios and single suites. Every room has a living area and fully fitted kitchen complete with crockery, utensils, a fridge-freezer and even a Nutribullet. Rooms use muted pastel colours to soften the grey London skyline, and feature a specially-designed L-shaped dusty pink sofa, floor-to-ceiling soundproof windows and a yoga mat.


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From


£
148

per night

Rates provided by
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Rockwell East

The City, London, England

7
Telegraph expert rating

Rockwell East, just five minutes from Tower Bridge, is a solid choice if you value affordability and a convenient location over buzzy surrounds or flashy amenities. The chic and generously sized apartments ­– each fitted with washing machines and kitchen appliances – make for cosy temporary nests, and are very decently sized for London. The washed grey palette is brightened up by touches of cobalt blue, in the form of mirror frames, Danish ceramic bowls and velvet cushions. Some one-bedrooms have a distant view of Tower Bridge. Menu choices are quite international, ranging from pasta to wiener schnitzel, while breakfast is a continental spread.


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From


£
150

per night

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Town Hall Hotel

Bethnal Green, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Bethnal Green’s former town hall is a stylish luxury hotel these days, with just under 100 rooms, most of which are studios, suites and apartments. The pool is an unexpected bonus (and why you might pay a tad more than other cheaper options in the area) and the Corner Room restaurant serves sublime small plates in sophisticated surrounds. Every detail has been carefully thought about: gold accents follow you from the lift to the pool. The seating area in the lobby looks like a little film set, with Smeg fridge (stocked with fresh milk for guests to help themselves to) and it’s framed by a marble imperial staircase that makes a grand first impression upon entering.


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From


£
176

per night

Rates provided by
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The best budget hotels in South West London

    

The Bedford

Balham, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A lively music and comedy venue in south London that hosted early gigs for the likes of U2, The Clash and Ed Sheeran. It now comes with 15 stylish rooms, some with roll-top baths, in retro hues. Find a wood-panelled bar, fringed lamps, warm cream walls and bistro chairs in the main room where you’ll stop for a pint, then pull up a red leather stool at the marble counter of the Saloon Bar for a more potent tipple, where you’ll be met with mirrors, chandeliers, and copper and gold accents. Corridors feature circus-themed art, and the Club Room, where the majority of the entertainment happens, feels much like a big top itself with a domed ceiling and dramatic red curtains.


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From


£
99

per night

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Dog & Fox

Wimbledon, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A 19th-century pub with rooms in the middle of Wimbledon Village. Walk into reception, formerly a conservatory, and there’s a giant Kilner jar of iced water and a covered plate of Danish pastries at the ready. There’s a nod to hunting in the décor, with jokey animal pictures, fur throws, tartan bedheads and horsey wallpaper. The rooms are generally large and light. Big bathrooms feature French Algotherm products, white cotton towels and great walk-in showers. There’s seasonal British food at great value in the restaurant. There’s jazz on Wednesday evenings, live music on Saturdays and a Sunday quiz night.


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£
122

per night

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The Windmill

Clapham, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The Windmill, a pub with rooms within a typical Victorian edifice built in the 1880s, stands on Clapham Common Southside. It’s a busy local with pseudo-vintage feel and a pleasant conservatory. Nothing has not been thought of in its chambers, from Nespresso machines to top-quality beds and linens, and rooms have been characterfully designed, with painted tongue and groove panelling on the walls, and attractively coloured bathrooms. ‘Good pub grub’ is served at dinner, and breakfast is a generous buffet.


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£
99

per night

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The best budget hotels in South London

    

citizenM London Bankside

South Bank, London, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Travellers who like value-for-money hotels with a zestful design and sociable staff will fit right in at citizenM London Bankside, which is within walking distance of Tate Modern, the South Bank and the City. You won’t find a better nightly rate for somewhere so stylish and lively. It’s a help-yourself place to keep rates low: check-in is done on screens by the entrance; the restaurant is a serve-yourself canteen; and there’s no room service. The high-tech rooms feature comfortable beds decked with crisp, white linens, and hot, hard showers. Nice cocktail bar, too.


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From


£
137

per night

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The Victoria Inn

Peckham, London, England

7
Telegraph expert rating

This revamped old boozer has given Peckham its first boutique pub with rooms, and it’s a beauty. Come for the food; stay to people-watch supping on a glass of ‘living’ wine or pint of Brockwell IPA. The tastefully restored rooms are stylishly simple. The bar and restaurant are at the centre of this little universe, with cosy armchairs and cushions, Chesterfield-style banquette seating, mismatched shabby-chic chairs and a healthy dose of exposed brick.


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£
95

per night

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Contributions by Emma Beaumont, Sophie Cambell, Jade Conroy, Rachel Cranshaw, Fiona Ducan, Lizzie Frainier, Jan Fuscoe, Kaye Holland, Charlotte Johnstone, Lizzie Porter,  Belinda Maude, Penny Walker, Venus Wong, Eileen Cotter Wright

All prices cited are from Booking.com and subject to change during popular holidays and events


  • The Goring

    HOTEL
    Belgravia, London, England

    9
    Telegraph expert rating


    A favourite of dowager duchesses, lords, ladies and assorted gentlefolk; the Middleton family and…

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    From


    £
    618

    per night

    Rates provided by
    Booking.com

  • Chiltern Firehouse

    HOTEL
    Marylebone, London, England

    9
    Telegraph expert rating


    A magnet for media and entertainment types, darling. Interiors are charmingly retro, service is p…

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    From


    £
    600

    per night

    Rates provided by
    Mr & Mrs Smith

  • Beaverbrook Town House

    HOTEL
    Chelsea, London, England

    9
    Telegraph expert rating


    On elegant Sloane Street, right opposite leafy, Grade II-listed Cadogan Place Gardens, the Beaver…

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    From


    £
    400

    per night

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