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London’s past is visible in its historic architecture, bridges, and iconic landmarks like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Houses of Parliament, yet the bustling metropolis is full of trendy, modern neighborhoods that blend the old and new. While Central London is the main hub, other notable museums and parks are scattered around the city and the London Underground provides quick access to just about anywhere. To see a different side of the city, consider staying in Camberwell, Shepherd’s Bush, Wembley or Chelsea Wharf. Those visiting the London will find an abundance of reasonably priced hotels – a welcome surprise for any major city. To narrow the field, here are the 10 best budget hotels in London.
Best Overall: Arbor City Hotel
The Arbor City Hotel is a new addition to an East London neighborhood that combines hipster hang-outs with the financial center. Its recent renovation in 2015, convenient location next to the Aldgate East tube station and budget-friendly price make this our top pick. Rooms feature Earth tones with autumn shades, luxurious bathrobes, free WiFi and private baths. The Lane Restaurant and Bar serves breakfast, international cuisine and British favorites for lunch and dinner. Or, guests can dine out on famous Brick Lane – a street known for its outstanding restaurant options. Numerous “Jack the Ripper” tours depart near the hotel, and the Old Spitalfields Market is within walking distance.
Best for Friends: Jesmond Dene Hotel
The 20-room, Jesmond Dene Hotel is located in busy King’s Cross directly across from the Eurostar train terminal, a two-minute walk from the underground and 15 minutes to the British Museum. although accommodations are small and basic (think cruise ship cabins), some have triple beds, so it's great if you're traveling with a group of friends (it's worth noting that some also have shared baths, too). When booking directly through the hotel, breakfast is included and consists of cereals and hot English breakfast (with gluten free options as well). Free luggage storage is available, a concierge can assist with tours or transportation and valet parking is additional.
Best Views: Greenwich Hotel
Located in zone two, the Greenwich Hotel is a 145-room hotel that was originally built in the 1930s as a police house, and the views here are to die for. The top floors feature a stunning two-story glass extension with an observation area for unbelievable vistas of the cityscape. The bar serves craft cocktails in an elegant art deco setting, and there's also a unique restaurant that was once a Firearms Shooting Gallery, but now shows beautiful movie projects and serves a breakfast buffet and traditional British fare. An afternoon tea is also available (for a charge). Standard Rooms have silver color schemes with red velvet throw pillows, free WiFi, flat-screen televisions and air-conditioning. The hotel is less than a mile from the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, and within walking distance (or a short cab ride) from the Royal Observatory and Planetarium and Greenwich Park.
Best Design: Dorsett’s Shepherd's Bush
Tucked away in West London, the stylish, eight-story hotel has 317 rooms and is a design-lover's dream. TripAdvisor members loved the look and feel of the hotel, including the dramatic, futuristic architecture in the lobby, and the British and Chinese style in the guest rooms. Standard Rooms have mini bars, docking stations, free WiFi and premium bath products. To destress, the spa offers four treatment rooms for deep-tissue and hot stone massages, but there’s also a fitness center to burn off some calories. An on-site restaurant serves Asian cuisine, or guests can have some traditional afternoon tea. The neighborhood Shepherd's Bush lies just north of Hammersmith and is home to pubs, cafes and Europe’s largest urban shopping complex.
Best for Solo Travelers: The Belgrave
The Belgrave has a prime Central London location within a 10-minute walk from Buckingham Palace or the Victoria train station. The 73-room hotel consists is a Georgian townhouse with a lounge and terrace bar for guests to unwind after a day exploring and meet other travelers. At just 129 square feet, Standard Rooms are on the small side, but are ideal for solo travelers who want to be close to all the attractions. Rooms have plenty of amenities like rainfall bath showers, hardwood floors and air conditioning. A continental breakfast is included with most rates, and a hot buffet is also available. TripAdvisor members really appreciated being able to borrow an international phone anytime to make calls, which helped saved them some cash.
Best for Families: Premier Inn London Blackfriars (Fleet Street) Hotel
With a prime location across from the Blackfriars tube stop and within walking distance to most major attractions (Big Ben and the London Eye), the Premier Inn London Blackfriars is a convenient choice for families. A full breakfast is available at the Thyme Restaurant for an additional charge (or continental option for a slightly lower rate), and kids eat free with paying adults – a feature TripAdvisor members really appreciated. Spacious family rooms are available with third or fourth bed options, blackout curtains, free WiFi and comfortable beds with a choice of firm or soft pillows. The hotel is light on amenities (no pool or fitness center), but the central location is full of attractions to keep the kids busy, including river boats, ghost tours (for older kids) and an ice skating rink.
Best for Romance: Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel & Spa London
The Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa allows lovebirds to experience Chelsea Wharf, a trendy neighborhood nestled between scenic Battersea Park and the Thames River. Guests of the hotel receive free access to the beautiful spa (complete with mood lighting) with a heated indoor pool, sauna and steam room. The 217 rooms have plenty of space and feature contemporary décor, docking stations and private baths (with tubs). Guests can enjoy breakfast (it's not free) in the restaurant or try the evening "tapas buffet" table with Chef's menu choices.
Best for Sports and Entertainment: St. George’s Hotel Wembley
With views overlooking Wembley Stadium (for football/soccer) and a location next to the SSE Arena, (an entertainment venue), the 48-room, St. George’s, is a new hotel that’s positioned near several public transportation options for easy access to Central London. Rooms and suites have contemporary, sleek designs with geometric shapes and leather headboards in deep shades of maroon or olive. Standard Rooms have private baths, free WiFi, minibars and air conditioning. Before heading out to a game, guests can grab a bite to eat at La Regina, the hotel restaurant that serves Italian and British cuisine paired with an excellent wine list. The hotel has 24-hour concierge service, a business center and limited parking (for a charge). Continental or a full English breakfast are included in some rate plans.
Best Unique Hotel: Sunborn London
Looking to stay in something other than a cookie-cutter hotel? Yachts don’t often fall under the “budget” category, yet you’ll find some surprisingly affordable rates at the unique, Sunborn yacht hotel. The yacht is anchored at the Royal Victoria Dock, and has 131 guest rooms with river or dock views, classic furnishings, and 200 to 250 square feet of space (for standard staterooms). Many rooms also have dazzling views of the Thames River. For those looking to unwind, the yacht also features Elemis spa therapy rooms (however, you must book treatments in advance). The Land’s End restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and serves upscale cuisine, with a mix of items from the land and sea. The yacht hotel is located near the O2 Arena, Excel Convention Center, and a car park is just five minutes away (fees apply).
Best Boutique: Church Street Hotel
The neighborhood of Camberwell has a turbulent history, but today has become one of the trendy, up-and-coming regions of South London. The 150-year-old, boutique Church Street Hotel has a Latin-American theme, with colonial fans, oak blinds and a Havana-style lounge with an honesty bar. It's the perfect place if you want a small hotel with lots of style. The 27 rooms feature hand-painted Mexican tiles, hand-made cast iron beds, prints, sculptures and colonial-style furniture. Amenities include premium bedding, free WiFi and chocolates and private baths with high-end toiletries. An organic, plentiful breakfast is served daily for a small fee, and don’t forget to try the hotel’s own brand of hot sauce (free). There are several restaurants, grocery stores and bars surrounding the hotel, and the Denmark Hill train station with regular trains to Victoria is a five to 10-minute walk.