Best cheap hotels in London 2023 for style on a budget

05/01/2024

Ah, London – England’s capital city is frenetic, exciting, inspiring, exhausting… and expensive. No sooner have you stepped out onto the street than £20 has somehow left your pocket.

But never fear, we are here to help you find the best places to rest your weary head, without the need for maxing out your credit card or resorting to one of those places that feature long, windowless corridors with a mysterious dripping sound.

Whether you’re visiting to see the sights, take in a show or just enjoy the vibrant nightlight and award-winning restaurants, we’ve rounded up the perfect places to stay during a trip to London.

The picks included in our list offer both prime accommodation and location, so, no matter which compass point of the Big Smoke you’re planning to temporarily install yourself, we’ve got you and your wallet covered, leaving you some spare cash to splash on extortionately priced tipples in London’s trendy bars.

Best cheap hotels in West London

Neighbourhood: Chiswick

Closest tube station: Turnham Green

Next door is the popular High Road Brasserie

(High Road House)

One of the most bijou Soho Houses of them all, an innocuous door next to the popular High Road Brasserie (and, quite possibly, some celebs going in and out) is your only clue as to its presence. If you’re not a member and wish to partake of the pastel-shaded, New England-style accommodation, you need to join Soho Friends, which will not only give you a very reasonable room, but also access to the club during your stay, which includes a bar serving coffee and cocktails, the house kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all the communal plush club rooms and meeting spaces, which will transplant you right into the middle of the Chiswick elite.

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Best cheap hotels in North London

Neighbourhood: Islington

Closest tube station: Angel and Old Street

The wonderfully appointed rooms combine traditional British icons with contemporary style

(Nhow)

Nhow (pronounced ‘Now’) is the quirky younger brother in the NH group, the kind of unruly sibling that unashamedly displays all the eccentricity and carefree nature that’s the reserve of the youngest child. Located in Islington, at the sweet spot of being in North London while bordering Hoxton and central, the wonderfully appointed rooms combine traditional British icons with contemporary style, and a sense of humour. In the communal areas – a feast for the eyes in themselves – buffet and à la carte breakfast is offered, and, later on in the day, European and international dishes are on the menu at an avant-garde British pub-style restaurant.

Best cheap hotels in South London

Neighbourhood: Wandsworth

Closest tube station: Balham

This South London venue boasts a pub, club, restaurant and live music

(The Bedford)

Why have just the one bar in your accommodation when you could have five? More is definitely more at this South London institution, which boasts a pub, club, restaurant, live music and entertainment venue plus 15 rather lovely boutique bedrooms. Having recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment, rooms are ridiculously reasonable for their level of finishing, and feature Hypnos beds, Egyptian cotton linen, roll-top baths, rain showers, ornate wallpaper and bespoke pop art. The restaurant focuses on British ingredients, and the buzzy bar offers the finest artisan spirits, craft beers and cocktails. Make sure to try the very drinkable ginger colada.

Neighbourhood: Southwark

Closest tube station: Southwark and Borough

A stay here will see you within walking distance of Borough Market and Tate Modern

(Citizen M)

This fantastic offering manages to utilise the budget sensibilities of informality and practicality, and combine them with great design, snug-yet-chic rooms, and considered amenities. Within walking distance of Borough Market and Tate Modern, you can really get your tourist steps in here. If you want some decompression time, it’s definitely worth hanging out in the lobby, with its bright colours and social atmosphere. Most of your experience is automated, from check-in, to iPad-controlled rooms – there is even a very useful 24-hour self-service canteen. A very useful and comfortable base for your London adventure.

Neighbourhood: Wandsworth

Closest tube station: East Putney and Wandsworth Town train station

The Nespresso machines and curated mini bars complement the beautiful bedrooms

(Spread Eagle)

This is the ideal place to rest your weary head if you fancy an authentic slice of a ‘saaf’ London boozer, with a side order of design and sophistication – plus, you’re also only short journeys away from the likes of Battersea Power Station and Chelsea. Taking advantage of all the original features, such as cornices, fireplaces, and panelled walls, the beautiful bedrooms mix the traditional with the modern, with pops of colour, and amenities such as a Nespresso machine and curated mini bar.  In the morning, head down to the pub for a breakfast that’s incredibly popular with the locals, and again mixes traditional English fare with modern twists.

Best cheap hotels in East London

Neighbourhood: Cambridge Heath

Closest tube station: Bethnal Green and London Fields

This hotel is mostly for staying in, with the option to purchase a ‘Mama sexy box’

(Mama Shelter)

If you want an extra level of quirk and playfulness among the already left-field buzz of Shoreditch, go and see Mama. A tasteful maximalism engulfs the communal areas, whereas the bedrooms have an equally playful yet more laid-back and utilitarian approach to their interior design. If you’re planning the kind of weekend that means staying in your room a lot, ​​you can purchase a ‘Mama sexy box’, and most rooms have a mirror that looks onto the bed… for some reason. Worked up an appetite? There’s a generous buffet breakfast, Mama Restaurant serves up tasty French cuisine, and there’s an excellent garden cocktail bar too.

Neighbourhood: Shoreditch

Closest tube station: Aldgate East

Shoreditch is the heart of all things trendy and creative

(The Culpeper Bedrooms)

Though its reputation has grown over the past decade or so, Shoreditch remains the bastion of all that is trendy and creative in London, and the Culpeper is a great representation of the best the area has to offer. Shoreditch is now invaded by out-of-towners on the weekend, but staying here will put you at the heart of an authentic experience. Mid-century modern with a touch of shabby chic, there is real character in these walls – and you needn’t leave them… there’s a pub on the ground floor, a restaurant on the first, and a rooftop bar with amazing views. You’re also ideally placed on Commercial St, with all the bars, shops, and clubs of the area within stumbling distance.

Neighbourhood: Brick Lane

Closest tube station: Aldgate East

The 15 stylish rooms are decorated with works from London artists

(The Buxton)

A curry, vintage, and bagel epicentre, Brick Lane has a special place in the heart of every East Londoner, and there’s the excellent Sunday Upmarket at the Old Truman Brewery. At the end of the lane, you’ll find The Buxton, with 15 stylish, industrial-chic, pared back rooms decorated with artwork from London artists and hand-woven blankets and rugs from local weavers. Guests have exclusive access to the secluded roof-top garden. The bistro on the ground floor serves simple, seasonal dishes with ethically sourced produce from selected suppliers. Basically a bistro with rooms, this is an ideal choice for the style-conscious budget traveller.

Best cheap hotels in Central London

Neighbourhood: Paddington

Closest tube station: Paddington station

This hotel is the perfect base for exploring the city

(The Pilgrm)

To be found on London Street directly opposite Paddington Station, this sounds as if it could be a hotel made up for a romcom. In reality, this incredibly charming boutique offering looks like a classy gastro pub from the outside, but once you are in, the informal check-in and friendly staff make you feel right at home. Slap bang in the middle of one of the most touristy (and noisy) areas of the capital, you’re moments away from the new Elizabeth Line, which will zip you over to Oxford St or Heathrow. The bedrooms have an understated industrial chic, but the real star of the show is the creative twist on brunch in the cosy lounge… which you shouldn’t tell anyone about, lest it gets overcrowded.

Neighbourhood: Soho

Closest tube station: Tottenham Court Road

Soho is bustling with lively bars and restaurants

(Mimi’s Hotel Soho)

Combining the sumptuous grandeur of old Soho with modern style, the hotel – more of a bar with some very nice rooms attached to it – is divided between two addresses: Henson’s bar on Frith Street, and a second property just around the corner. Either way, you’re slap bang in the middle of Soho, which, despite a lot of recent redevelopment, remains the beating heart of bar and cafe life in central London. With an interior showing off an embarrassment of Italian marble, the rooms are small but perfectly formed, and the buzzy Henson’s bar serves tremendous cocktails. There is nowhere to eat on-site, but as we may have mentioned, you’re in the middle of Soho.

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