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Budget-Friendly Hotels or Hostels in London

Hi all! I'm looking for some budget-friendly hotels or nice hostel recommendations for my stay in London this summer. I would like to stay around or under $120. I'm not concerned about the conditions of the places since I don't plan on spending much time in the room anyway, but I would like something that is nice. Any suggestions are welcome!

Posted by
6378 posts

We like the Kensington Gardens Hotel in Bayswater. It's clean, a good breakfast is available at their sister hotel next door, and it's near 2 tube stops. The price is right, as well. The price has gone up a bit since we stayed there last year, as the hotel is being remodeled, but is still in your price range, or close, especially if you book on-line. The on-line price does not include breakfast, but even paying extra for breakfast this place is a bargain. Here's a link to my original review: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/england-reviews/kensington-gardens-hotel

I'm not sure that link will work, but you can "search" for Kensington Gardens in the search box, and there will be my review, as well as some updates that I and others have posted. (Even if the link works, use "search" for updates.) We liked the hotel well enough that we are staying there again later this spring.

Posted by
533 posts

I've had good experiences at both the Hotel Meridiana (near King's Cross station) and the Fruit Guest House (near the Royal Oak tube station). It looks like they both have some double rooms that are within your budget and others that are a bit more, so depending on the exact dates, you might see higher prices.

Years ago when I was a starving grad student I stayed in one of the London School of Economics dorms (http://www.lsevacations.co.uk). The rooms themselves (and especially the bathrooms) are really nothing to write home about, but you get a central location for a good price, and I remember the breakfast (served cafeteria style) being pretty good.

Posted by
185 posts

I recently stayed at Wombat's City Hostel. It is a short walk from the Tower of London tube station. It was wonderful. Very clean with helpful staff and good prices. I would wholeheartedly recommend it for a budget option in London.

Posted by
6113 posts

It's always useful if you think in terms of local currency, not dollars. Travelodge and Premier Inns are the two chains for budget travellers and they have many London options. Book 6+ months in advance for the best prices and availability.

If you are travelling in summer, LSE offer their student rooms to rent and check out hostels such as YMCA.

Posted by
533 posts

A couple more notes on the LSE dorms:

  • The standard rates that they advertise in the biggest type are not that cheap compared to other London budget hotels. But if you can prepay 30 days in advance, you get a 20% discount, which makes the dorms a much better deal. But if that's not an option for you, I'd probably opt for a hotel, where you're likely to get a nicer room.

  • Even if you specify that you want a room for two (or more) people, the booking engine defaults to showing you the rates for single rooms, which makes it harder to compare the rates for double or larger rooms. The cheapest double rooms are at Rosebery Hall and Carr-Saunders Hall.

(I just realized your original post says "I" and not "we." I don't know why I assumed you were looking for a double room. If you're traveling by yourself, you'll have plenty of options that are well within your budget - and even some that are much, much cheaper, if you like.)

Posted by
449 posts

Hi jennakalkwarf:

My recommendation is the Goldsmid House where I stayed for 18 days in the summer of 2014:

http://www.universityrooms.com/en/city/London/college/goldsmidlondon

It is a fairly new university dorm, built maybe seven years ago or so, that is spacious compared to BandBs and other hotels in London. I need to keep in touch with my office, and since this a dorm room where a student lives all year round and is not a tourist hotel room where little time is spent in occupancy the larger space lets me spread out my laptop, photographic equipment......It is en suite with a modern bathroom that includes a shower facility (looks like it would fit in a Pullman car). There is a large kitchen that serves all the units on the floor (eight I believe), and because there is a large supermarket across the street (Sainsbury) I purchased many of my dinners at the market and prepared it in the kitchen. It is located in the Victoria neighborhood - it's a few blocks away from the Victoria tube station and bus station, and Wicked is presented in a theater one block away. It's a great neighborhood.

The principal downside is that the accommodations are not hotel quality. The bed is a twin or double on a basic bed frame. The furniture is student dorm quality. However, there is maid service. I don't know if this is good or bad in your value system but I rarely met anyone in the hallway or in the kitchen; so if you like privacy this place is for you.

The cost is around $90 USD per day which I consider to be a bargain compared to the BandBs and hotels in the area and throughout London.

Have fun on your trip.

Posted by
873 posts

I think Airbnb and the like are the way to go in London. In my experience, London hotels/hostels are overpriced for what you get, and the only reason to stay at one would be to meet fellow travelers (and even that loses its appeal once you hit 30). For $120/night, you can get a nice private room on Airbnb, especially in areas like East London or south of the river. That would be my recommendation.

Posted by
1696 posts

We stayed here when we were in London (but that was 6 years ago, mind you). It was nothing fancy, but it suited us fine, and it was great to have a substantial breakfast included, as meals in London are expensive. It was also very convenient to transit and even to walk some places (e.g. Hyde Park).

It's a family-owned place, and I thought the proprietors were very nice.

http://www.tudorcourtpaddington.co.uk

Posted by
251 posts

Thank you for all the suggestions!! They all look great and definitely within my price range.