Finding cheap accommodation in London has never been a problem. There are basic chain hotels conveniently located for transport links, and Earls Court, Bayswater and Pimlico are awash with old hotels and hostels with reasonable prices - along with candlewick bedspreads and swirly carpets… But finding cheap and chic is more of a challenge.
Budget design hotels with vibrant colours, compact designs and cutting edge technology have become popular in other European capitals, but there aren't so many in London. What London is beginning to have are 'no frills' options which have cut out the frills you don't really care about but have kept the ones you do - like free wifi, comfortably sized rooms and bathrooms, top quality beds and plasma screens. Chic budget hotels in London can also be found if you venture a bit further away from the centre of town. There's an excellent public transport system, so you don't really need to stay within walking distance of the British Museum or South Kensington.
The chic budget hotels that we've selected here are not listed in any order of preference.
Head away from the parts of town most tourists know about, to the fresh and arty areas where all the cool kids hang out and you can find some great chic budget hotels in London. Hoxton, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green and even tech-central, Clerkenwell, are sprouting accommodation options, and many of them are in line with the funky feel of the areas.
The Hoxton Hotel uses the same pricing model as Easyjet - the earlier you book the less you pay - and prices start from just £99 per night. The similarity to the airline stops there, The Hoxton Hotel definitely has designer frills. This is a purpose built, modern building with all the stylish comforts you can imagine. The huge ground floor has a shop, sitting room, bar, restaurant, internet cafe, two blazing fires, and of course, the reception. So it gets used by locals as well as visitors, creating a buzzy atmosphere.
Town Hall is Bethnal Green's stark, Edwardian municipal Town Hall, turned cool design hotel with a heart. There are 98 rooms, some of which have their own kitchens. Though there's also an acclaimed modern restaurant. They've added a pool and spa in a glass top floor. But they've kept the tea lady, who now delivers cocktails to the rooms between six and eight.
Trendy, arty, fun luxury brand citizenM's London branch, citizenM Bankside easily makes the list of the best chic budget hotels in London, with its prices starting at £99 per night. Here living spaces are large and beautifully designed, and sleeping spaces are small but with every comfort. As well as the in-room-tablets which you can use to control everything - from the lighting to the temperature, citizenM has powerful rain showers, large beds with luxury linens, free wifi and free movies on demand and lots of modern art on display.
Qbic London is the newest addition to the cool budget hotel gang. Here you'll find super comfy beds and minimalist furnishings all within spitting distance of Brick Lane. And the best bit? Rooms start from just £69 per night!
While choosing a slightly less touristy location can be an excellent way to keep costs down, there are also chic budget hotels in the parts of London closest to the museums and galleries, big shopping roads and other major sights. In the 'hotel districts' of Earls Court and Bayswater hotels have been slower to convert to the in-room-tablet style technology of European design hotels, but there are plenty of properties going for a 'modern boutique' feel which are also reasonably priced.
In the case of the B+B Belgravia and Studios@82 there's no compromise on location! The compromising is in the facilitie; there's no restaurant, gym or lift, but rooms are comfortable and attractive. And the Belgravia location means you're close to the museums of South Kensington, the shopping of Sloane Square and the Kings Road, and loads of great pubs and restaurants. And prices start from less than £100 per night.
The Rockwell Hotel is another of the best chic budget hotels in London where the compromise isn't on location. The Rockwell is even closer to South Kensington, and it has an elegant restaurant and bar, and a gym too. The Rockwell is a perfect example of a 'no frills' hotel where they in fact do have the frills that really matter to most people.
The Mayflower Hotel in Earls Court has 48 rooms, with prices starting from just £115 per night, so that takes care of the budget. The 'chic' is taken care of with an Indian flourish. The best value rooms are the smallest, but every room is decorated with Indian fabrics, artefacts and carved wood furniture and blinds.
Twenty Nevern Square is an Earls Court townhouse which has been cleverly converted into one of the best chic budget hotels in London. From the outside it doesn't look as if it could have the 20 rooms it has - some of which are a fair size. The location feels too buzzy to contain a peaceful haven, but it does. It also has a great bar with a high ceiling and a big skylight.
Excellent use of space is also what makes the New Linden Hotel one of the best chic budget hotels in London. There are 51 rooms converted from this row of townhouses just north of Hyde Park, and all have been carefully designed to make the most of the space available, then decorated with quality natural materials and clever lighting. There's no restaurant or room service but good business facilities, so this is one of the best chic budget hotels in London to stay in if you're here on business.
Baby Abode Sydney House Hotel has recently had a chic makeover, upgrading the comfort of the beds, the quality of the linen, the smartness of the decor and the technology. Their excellent location in Sydney Street, between the Kings Road and Fulham Road, the gorgeous views from the roof terrace and the prices - which start from £125 per night, haven't changed.
If you're not fussed about tube travel there are some excellent chic boutique hotels in London suburbs. You're not really compromising on location, because some of these areas are great places to stay in their own right.
High Road House is Soho House's 'out-of-town' cousin, which is hardly out-of-town at all, on bustling boutique-y Chiswick High Road. The brasserie is big with the locals so it's a buzzy place to hang out. The 14 all white wood rooms are definitely chic and boutique, and guests are able to use the member's facilities as well. Chiswick is green as well as smart, and only about 30mins from the centre of town by tube.
Hotel Xanadu in Ealing, is like an upmarket, sophisticated business hotel, but with prices starting at less than £100 per night it makes the chic budget hotels in London list. i-pad check in, a restaurant locals use, attention to detail and cute touches around the theme of the Coleridge poem make this much more than a business hotel.
The Brook Green Hotel isn't really out-of-town, Hammersmith is only about 20mins from Piccadilly Circus, but it does benefit from being in a quiet, leafy and residential area. This pub has recently been refurbished to include 17 simple, comfortable rooms upstairs, where you can stay from £114 per night. Breakfast is included in the room rate and it's an excellent example of a hearty pub breakfast, so no scrimping there!
The Victoria Inn in Peckham has gone down a more traditional route to becoming one of the best chic budget hotels in London.. A gastropub downstairs, upstairs there are 18, simple bedrooms, priced from £120 per night.
Keep it Simple
These hotels and B&Bs may not quite deserve to be called 'design', but they've certainly been cleverly and carefully designed to make the most of the available space, and decorated in pleasant, comfortable neutrals. Proving that if you give up a bit of the chic you can save a bit more of your budget too.
The Nadler Kensington's varied room sizes and self catering option make it a good choice for people planning a longer stay. There are bunk rooms, singles, and larger doubles, all with clean lines and a fresh feel. You're not in London to stay in but it's nice to have a comfortable base, and that's why The Nadler qualifies for the list of best chic budget hotels in London.
The London Bridge Hotel is basically a stylish business hotel, which also offers great rates for leisure tourists. The decor is coolly monochrome and there are excellent facilities for business travellers - like three restaurants and a gym, but the location is also great for exploring London.
If you browse through our best chic budget hotels in London recommendations and still haven't found the right blend of chic and budget for you, please call, or email, one of our friendly gurus for personalised advice. Alternatively take a look at all of our London hotels.
This stylish City hotel fits right in to the vibrant East London scene, with the perfect mix of style and attitude. Modern minimalist rooms with garden views and unique touches. The Hoxton Grill, a local favourite is well worth checking out. Unbeatable location.
208 rooms from $204
Local exploring - Check out the buzzy restaurants and bars, vintage shops and yummy food markets of East London.
City Style - A understated yet chic hotel in hip Hoxton- home to artists, city slickers and students.
Sights nearby - Nearby Liverpool Street is where you will find the Gherkin, the Shard and other skyscrapers that make up The City's skyline.
Local markets - Spittalfields Market is a great place for food stalls, boutique shops and the early risers might catch the flower market.
Trendy, contemporary "luxury for less" hotel on London's Southbank. Ideal for arty types, with iconic Vitra furniture throughout, modern art on display and a stone's throw from the Tate. Tablets in every room for mood control and a host of other goodies thrown in with the price.
192 rooms from $127
Sights nearby - Very close to Tate Modern and the Millenium Bridge
Distinctive but simple, clean and modern hotel with quirky minimalist furnishings and good amenities. Appropriately arty spot from which to explore one of London's most cultured, multi-ethnic and inexpensively fashionable new areas.
171 rooms from $89
City - Well located in London
Sights nearby - All of London's highlights are easilly accessible. Close to the trendy Brick Lane
An understated and elegant B&B, in central Belgravia. The contemporary design, self service facilities and unbeatable location combine to make this an ideal spot in the heart of the city. Numerous restaurants and bars on your doorstep, complete the picture.
9 rooms from $199
Families - These contemporary, well located studios are ideal for families with self catering facilities and plenty of space.
Local exploring - Grab one of the B&B's free bikes and head out to explore Westminster the heart of historical and vibrant London.
Sights nearby - Use the River Thames as your guide and head east to catch a glimpse of Big Ben, London Eye and other sights.
Great walks - Whether Hyde or Battersea, be sure to take a stroll around the royal parks of London.
Townhouse turned contemporary independent hotel in West London is great value for its central location, landscape garden and facilities. Modern, light rooms make the perfect base for exploring the city or visiting on business. Modern British dishes at the airy restaurant matched by a fine wine list.
40 rooms from $186
Exclusive offer - Save 30%
Value chic - With double rooms starting from just £145 per night, it's great value for money
Local exploring - Location Location Location!
Local markets - Earls Court is home to a local market as well as boutique shops and independent cafe.
Sights nearby - Natural History Museum welcomes visitors with the skeleton of a dinosaur.
Nestled in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, just next to Earls Court, this Indian infused 4* boutique is a mix of home comforts and style. Great base for restaurants, tourist attractions and the parks of London. Enjoy breakfast in the courtyard, and then hop on the tube for a day of exploring.
48 rooms from $145
Local exploring - The borough of Kensington and Chelsea offers a multitude of designer shopping, culture and dining.
City Style - Vibrant Eastern design meets chic Western style- in an unbeatable location.
Chic tranquility meets a West London colonial-style townhouse. Good value. Fantastically well connected by tube, train and bus. A wide range of different rooms and a breakfast worth getting out of bed for.
20 rooms from $148
Local markets - Food markets are taking off in the city, so be sure to explore the local ones on the weekends.
Charmingn Victorian townhouse turned luxury boutique, in the heart of Notting Hill. Stylish rooms with floor to ceiling windows, Oriental influence and access to a rooftop terrace. Fantastic value for money in a desirable part of town, just minutes from the famed Portobello Road Market.
50 rooms from $161
Value chic - Fantastic location, luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets and a rooftop terrace overlooking the London skyline- a steal!
Local exploring - Perfectly placed for exploring London’s cosmopolitan Notting Hill neighbourhood, on foot or by bicycle.
Local markets - Notting Hill is home to many boutique shops. Head to Portabello Road on the weekend for a trinkets market.
Great walks - Just north of Hyde Park, where you can walk around the Serpantine Lake or along the miles of pathways.
A pretty little grade II listed townhouse, with a chic new makeover, in the popular residential borough of South Kensington. Compact, modern rooms at attractively affordable prices and prime positioning for Chelsea shopping. Breakfast only restaurant, however there are plenty to try nearby.
21 rooms from $275
Local exploring - Outstanding location, within walking distance of several tube stops, plus a multitiude of major sights and museums.
Romantic Break - Choose the romantic 'Top Room' with private rooftop garden, chic interiors and sweeping views of the city.
Great walks - Spend a lazy afternoon in nearby Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens, ideal locations for walking and picnics.
Restrictions on children - Children cannot be accomadated at this hotel.
Soho House's Chiswick outpost brings the contemporary-chic of their other properties to this leafy residential area in West London. Crisp white and wood make up the guest rooms, add a splash of vibrant colour, a buzzy bar and restaurant and you have the perfect stay.
14 rooms from $180
City Style - Oozing city style with a private members club, effortlessly chic interiors, lively bar and a wonderful location.
Local markets - Chiswick is its own town within the city of London and there is a market on the common every weekend.
Great walks - Enjoy a stroll along south-side of the Thames Embankment for some of London's most notable views.
Designer - Ilse Crawford was the original designer.
A pub-like façade and interior, with boutique rooms upstairs, a cool cocktail bar downstairs and a handy west London location. Friendly service and excellent pub food complete the picture. A good value option with easy access to all London has to offer.
17 rooms from $146
Sights nearby - Easy access to all of London's major attractions
Set above a traditional Victorian Inn - a gastro pub located in Peckham, for a different kind of stay. Great pub food, a lively and popular bar and simple, stylish bedrooms. Located in this vibrant borough, there are many trendy bars, restaurants and clubs nearby.
18 rooms from $154
Foodies - For those after a modern British East End experience the gastropub downstairs offers just that
Local exploring - Affordable accomodation just 5 miles from Central London
Sights nearby - Visit Dulwich Park or the free Horniman Museum and Gardens
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's famously grand townhouses are converted into streamlined, designer accommodation. Light rooms with high ceilings, bay windows and ktichenettes are a good choice for longer stays. Proximity to the tube network makes it prime location.
65 rooms from $207
Value chic - Self catering facilities can cut your costs in half, with no compromise on style or location.
Local exploring - Proximity to centre of town and main attractions makes this a great stay for local exploring.
Great walks - Hyde Park is a large space in the heart of the city and offers miles of walkways and trails for cyclists.
Local markets - The Acklam Village Market is open every Saturday and Sunday, come rain or shine.
Stylish business hotel, popular with tourists, in prime Southwark river location offers gym facilities and modern features. Chic rooms are luxurious with all the needed mod-cons. Londinium restaurant offers British cuisine, or head to the Quarter Bar and Lounge for drinks and casual small plates.
138 rooms from $370
Exclusive offer - Great Weekend Deals
Sights nearby - The view from the Shard, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London for medieval history.
Local markets - Borough Market is a popular food market with Londoners and tourists alike.
Special Offer - Three nights for the price of two.