Last Minute rates are here. No app required.

top destinations


Sterling Value

4 Budget-friendly London Hotels
  • The Gore Hotel

    The Gore Hotel

  • Andaz Liverpool Street London

    Andaz Liverpool Street London

  • Kensington Palace and Garden

    Kensington Palace and Garden

  • citizenM London Bankside

    citizenM London Bankside

  • Royal Albert Hall

    Royal Albert Hall

  • citizenM London Bankside

    citizenM London Bankside

  • Tate Modern

    Tate Modern, Image © Hans Peter Schaefer

  • One Leicester Street

    One Leicester Street

  • One Leicester Street

    One Leicester Street

CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

Southern England, the capital of the United Kingdom, a short hop by plane, ferry or train from the European continent.

WHY GO

The sun has set on the British Empire but London remains one of the world’s most influential cities — it’s not only a major financial center but one of the world’s great capitals of culture as well.

HOW

London is served by no fewer than five airports, from the very major Heathrow to the small and central City — but the most humane way to travel remains the high-speed Eurostar train from Paris or Brussels.

TABLET TIP

It’s a legendarily expensive city, but London offers a few budget-friendly rewards. Most of the state-run museums are free to enter, and there are few better no-cost cultural itineraries than a morning tour of Tate Britain, a nice walk along and across the Thames, and an afternoon browsing the collection at Tate Modern.

London, October, 2013

London perennially tops the various lists of the world’s most expensive cities, and not without reason — its status as a global center for finance and the creative industries, as well as the strength of its currency and its outsize importance even among national capitals, combine to drive prices sky-high. And generally speaking, the priciest real estate is closest to the city’s center — which is why (with some notable exceptions) the best hotel deals are to be found around the fringes of Tablet’s London selection.

WEST
Despite the general air of poshness about Knightsbridge and South Kensington, it’s possible to find a room out west that won’t require you to mortgage your country house. The Gore is less than a block down Queen’s Gate from Kensington Gardens, a (fairly athletic) stone’s throw from Royal Albert Hall, and a comfortable walk from the museums on Exhibition Road. And while its character is thoroughly aristocratic, it’s more a matter of atmosphere than amenities. The Gore, if they’ll forgive our saying so, is a bit like one of Prince Charles’s patched-up hunting jackets — well-loved, full of personality, and somehow more dignified than many of the newer, pricier models you’ll find around town.

EAST
This one’s a matter of careful room selection. Andaz Liverpool Street, catering as it does to the City of London’s financial high-fliers, can set you back a chunk of change if you so desire. But its most basic rooms represent some of the best value in town. The impressive public spaces mean you can do your wining and dining downstairs, and even the smallest rooms here are smart-looking and modern in both style and function. It’s hard to beat the location when it comes to convenience — in fact Liverpool Street Station, come rush hour, is almost too convenient, but nobody said this was going to be a holiday in the country.

SOUTH
We were as surprised as anyone when citizenM announced they’d be setting up shop in London’s Bankside — we knew them chiefly for their chic yet podlike Amsterdam airport hotel. Well, “chic yet podlike” is an apt description of the Southwark installment as well, and like its Dutch cousins it’s proof that there’s nothing wrong with podlike, in the right hands. It’s convenience-oriented rather than luxury-obsessed, and thus a bit of a change for London, but it’s a very welcome change — and the location, though unorthodox, is a major attraction, placing you yards from Tate Modern’s back side, and a few streets over from London Bridge Station and the charming Borough Market (home, incidentally, to the astounding Monmouth Coffee Roasters).

CENTER
Sadly for the symmetry of our concept there’s no north. (Hoteliers, what are you waiting for?) There is, however, an option that’s quite central indeed. One Leicester Street is, as you might suspect, just off Leicester Square, which is a moment’s walk from Charing Cross, purportedly the geographic center of London. Here you’ll find a very stylish (if somewhat minimal) boutique hotel atop an extraordinary restaurant. Both were opened by Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver of St. John fame, and they’ve been taken up by Loh Lik Peng, the Singaporean boutique hotelier and longtime friend of Tablet, and Tom Harris, himself a (Michelin-starred) St. John alumnus. It’s not the Savoy or the Ritz, but then again you’ll get a very smart room and an extremely satisfying meal here for what you might spend on a champagne breakfast at one of central London’s more extravagant hotels — which, given the location, is sterling value indeed.

John Speranza

Book this story

CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

Southern England, the capital of the United Kingdom, a short hop by plane, ferry or train from the European continent.

WHY GO

The sun has set on the British Empire but London remains one of the world’s most influential cities — it’s not only a major financial center but one of the world’s great capitals of culture as well.

HOW

London is served by no fewer than five airports, from the very major Heathrow to the small and central City — but the most humane way to travel remains the high-speed Eurostar train from Paris or Brussels.

TABLET TIP

It’s a legendarily expensive city, but London offers a few budget-friendly rewards. Most of the state-run museums are free to enter, and there are few better no-cost cultural itineraries than a morning tour of Tate Britain, a nice walk along and across the Thames, and an afternoon browsing the collection at Tate Modern.

facebook shareShare on TwitterPin

Want more of this?

Register for our newsletter for great hotel deals & travel inspiration:

Related stories:

East End Promises
London’s Center Drifts Continually Eastward
Low Tea
London’s Revitalized Afternoon Tea Tradition
Go West
New Life in London’s Old West End
 

Copyright © Tablet Inc 2001-2014. All rights reserved.