Affordable London Hotels: POSH Digs, Bargain Rates
By Melissa Vitti
For centuries London has attracted tourists for its historical, artistic and cultural attractions. One adjective that travelers don’t often equate with the city is “inexpensive” but there seems to be a new trend among hotels that would like to change that. Travelers looking for four-star quality who aren’t willing to pay four-star prices are suddenly in luck.
The Hoxton is a great spot for checking out the East End of London. They pride themselves on modern and luxurious surroundings at low prices. The hotel opened in September of 2006 and gained a lot of its attention by selling off rooms for £1 ($1.79US) per night. They plan on bringing back this promotion in 2007, but for right now rates are ranging from £79 to £129 ($141 to $230) a night.
The hotel is just a short walk from the bars and clubs in Shoreditch, the art galleries in Bethnal Green, and the restaurants and shopping of Spitasfields Market. The hotel is located on Great Eastern Street, which is quite a busy street, but some rooms are located over a courtyard above the less trafficked Willow Street.
The rooms are small but modern. With Egyptian cotton sheets on every bed, you’re sure to have a comfortable sleep. The bathrooms are clean and fresh
looking, with a glass shower cubicle and mirrors for doors.
Entering the Hoxton, you will surely be impressed with their lobby filled with couches, two fireplaces and paper bird sculptures sailing above. There is no gym but the Hoxton does offer Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. The room service is limited but there are plenty of restaurants and cafes within walking distance as well as a restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel.
The Saint Gregory Hotel
Located in London’s center, the Saint Gregory Hotel promises sophisticated, contemporary surroundings. The hotel is close to the financial district, and guests at the hotel only need to walk a short distance to reach London’s famous square mile which includes the West End and Oxford Street. Unlike the Hoxton, this hotel does have fitness center along with a cocktail lounge and a restaurant with a rooftop view.
The Saint Gregory attracts many business-oriented guests who come to the hotel for their impressive business facilities. The rooms are quite large and each includes a sofa, a television, air conditioning, a clothes press, bathrobes and slippers.
This hotel is geared towards its business guests with well-lit work stations and desks large enough for laptops and other electronics. However, for £60 ($107) a night, both business travelers and tourists alike could both definitely find what they’re looking for at the Saint Gregory Hotel.
“The reasonably priced rooms are clean and funky – with many facilities and the styling of much more expensive central London hotels,” says Peter Robertshaw of Burnham, England a visitor to the Saint Gregory in November of 2004.
Robertshaw warns, “The location looks unpromising at first but is easy to get to, and handy both for business in The City and fun and shopping in Spitalfields, Brick Lane and Hoxton. By preference leave the car at home – but if you must, there is a small car park right across the road (not owned by the hotel) that is reasonable (for London!).”
Twenty Nevern Square Hotel
The Twenty Nevern Square Hotel is smaller in comparison to the Hoxton and The Saint Gregory Hotel with only twenty rooms. This newly restored Victorian town house is the perfect way to experience London’s West End. For just £72 ($129) per night you can stay at this hotel and be just a sort walk away from Earl’s Court tube station.
Although the hotel appears to be antique from its décor and furnishings, the amenities are up to date. There is wireless internet throughout the hotel, widescreen televisions, DVD players, CD players and private safes in every room. The bathrooms are done all in marble and you’ll be sure to find your fit since the rooms are individually styled with influences from Asia and Europe.
“We had a great view overlooking the garden and the 24-hour room service is top-notch,” says David Banks of Surrey, England a recent guest at Twenty Nevern Square Hotel.
“It’s great going to a hotel and you don’t have to lift a finger. As for breakfast, I had forgotten to put my breakfast list out. I rang down to reception and within 15 minutes of my call, Sulai once again sorted me out with a full continental breakfast which arrived on a basket/tray which was fit for a king.”
Shaftesbury Kenington Hotel
Like the Saint Gregory Hotel, the Shaftesbury Kenington Hotel accommodates both tourists and business travelers alike. This hotel is known for its value, and with rates starting at £65 ($116) per night, it’s worth checking out what all the buzz is about. Since the refurbishing of this chic London hotel, the Shaftesbury Kenington now offers a cocktail lounge, restaurants, conference facilities and a fitness room.
All of the 86 bedrooms have been renovated and boast mood lighting and oversized headboards to create a comfortable and relaxed stay. This hotel is located in the heart of London making it easy for any guest to see Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park or a multiplicity of London’s art museums.
“Upon arrival found that the hotel was very easy to locate,” says Devon Small of Oxford.
“Inside the reception it looked stunning, staff was exceedingly friendly even though they were foreign and couldn’t really speak much English, they still tried and I was welcomed with smiles and conversation. After a five-minute wait we were showed to our room (very fast service for a London hotel).”
“The room was perfect in every way, apart from one flaw. Only one sachet of coffee! With everything close to the hotel we could easily walk safely through the streets. Beds were clean; bathroom was clean… not a single piece of dirt found,” says Small.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to find an inexpensive place to stay without compromising four-star quality, then one of these hotels may be for you. From classical Victorian style at the Twenty Nevern Square Hotel to a modern executive style at the Saint Gregory Hotel, there is something for every traveler. All of the hotels can be booked on-line and some even give you a discount for booking this way.
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