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London is a beautiful city. It’s oozing with culture, the parks are out of this world and the theatres are second to none. But it doesn’t come cheap right! The very best hotels cost between £500 to £1,000 per night. Yikes! But don’t let that stop you. There’s tons of great choices, if you’re on a budget. You don’t need to stay in a hostel bunk bed, next to randy teenagers! This article gives 17 of the cheapest hotels in Central London.
Whatever your situation, there'll be a hotel for you. Regardless of whether you're a solo traveller, or travelling as a family. I've also provided details of cheap hotels with gyms and swimming pools.
1. Cromwell International Hotel
The Cromwell International Hotel is the very cheapest hotel I could find! With a double room starting at £30/night. About the same price as breakfast for two at Starbucks. The location is pretty swanky too, in Kensington. You are 1 mile away from Harrods and 1 mile from Hyde Park.
So what gives? The reviews are terrible! Every review I read, mentions the awful smell. That is some achievement! People also mention the poor service, tiny rooms and old mattresses. If you stay here, don’t expect anything.
2. Easy Hotel South Kensington
The Easy Hotel South Kensington also has a location to die for. It’s in the heart of South Kensington, near Hyde Park and Harrods. Prices start at £38/night for a double room. The hotel doesn’t look too bad, all things considered.
It describes itself as a 3* hotel. Expect to have a small room, a clean bed and a hot shower. I looked at reviews, and there appears to be no issues with cleanliness. That’s often a problem at budget hotels. Some reviews complained about room size and the lack of housekeeping. However, if you’re paying £38 for a room, you need to adjust your expectations!
The Z Hotel Trafalgar is right in the heart of the action. 5 minutes walk from Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square. It’s 15 minutes walk to Oxford Street and 20 minutes to Buckingham Palace. As locations go, it doesn’t get any better.
I found rates as low as £50/night. The reviews are also excellent! People mention that the hotel is clean, modern and the service was good. There were large price differences on different websites. Booking.com had the lowest rates (from £50/night), whereas other websites charged more.
The video above has a walk through of one of the rooms. Looks decent!
4. Wedgewood hotel
The Wedgewood Hotel is another budget option in Central London. It occupies a classy location in Notting Hill. Just 5 minutes walk from Kensington Gardens. It’s not right in the middle of the action, like the The Z Hotel Trafalgar. It’s a bit more quiet around here. I saw rates as low as £47/night for a double room.
The reviews of the hotel are hit and miss. Expect small rooms and cheap beds. I think this is fine for the price. Some people complained about cracks in the ceiling and the thin walls. However, if the hotel spends £100,000 to repair the property, they wouldn’t charge £47/night!
5. Alexandra Hotel
The Alexandria Hotel has rooms from £59/night. It also comes with breakfast included. The hotel is located near Paddington Station, which is one my favourite parts of London. You’re just 2 minutes away from Hyde Park. You can get to Oxford Street in 10 minutes. Little Venice is less than 1 mile away. Little Venice is an underappreciated spot in London. The canal and surrounding area are beautiful. There’s also loads of food and drinks outlets by the water.
The hotel looks pretty good. The rate above comes with breakfast. For your £59, you get a clean room in a great location. Can’t say fairer than that! The reviews on the whole are very positive. Most people said that they would be happy to return.
6. Dock Side Hotel
And now for something completely different! Up until now, the hotels have been in the touristy parts of central and west London. Dockside Hotel is located in the trendy and upcoming east side of the city. It’s 10 minutes walk from tower Bridge. It’s also well located for the Business District. In London, the business district is referred to as “the city” – somewhat confusingly! Prices start at £51/night.
The reviews look to be hit and miss. People mention that the hotel is well located with friendly staff. There’s a few negative reviews. However, they look to be entitled individuals that expect red carpet treatment!
9. Paddington Park Hotel
The Comfort Inn Victoria is the cheapest hotel in Central London, that has a gym. Rates start at £91 per night. Although I did see rates as high as £250. It’s right in the heart of Westminster, and well located for Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. There is free breakfast for all guests and the rooms look clean and modern.
The hotel has a fitness center. It contains some exercise machines and some free weights. Not bad for a budget hotel. On a personal note, I like to keep fit – but I never have the motivation in a hotel! I love a hotel pool, but won’t get out of bed to use the gym!
The Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington looks pretty nice. It’s right next to Hyde Park and the high end shops in South Kensington. Rates start at only £105. It’s not one of the cheapest hotels in Central London. However, it’s very good value. The hotel is large and modern. There’s conference rooms, an outside area for dining and a fitness suite.
The reviews look pretty good on the whole. People say that they have visited the hotels multiple times.
14. Blakemore Hyde Park
The Blakemore Hyde Park is right next to Hyde Park (you may have guessed that..). Rooms start at £108/night. The hotel itself looks very nice, with a classy white façade. In addition to the fitness suite, the rooms look to be spacious and modern.
The neighbourhood itself is pretty quiet. You’re about 15 minutes from Paddington Station and 20 minutes from Oxford Street. That 20 minute walk would be a pleasant stroll along Hyde Park Place.
As for the gym, it looks good. With dumbbells, weight machines and cardio machines. If your budget stretches, then this hotel looks excellent value.
Hotels with a Swimming Pool
Now we’re talking! I absolutely love swimming and I love a hotel pool. In London, rents are expensive, so most hotels don’t have a pool. For that reason, there’s a jump in price to get a hotel with a pool.
I get quite annoyed with expensive city hotels, when there’s no pool. This happened when I stayed at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand. The hotel is pricy, with rooms costing €600 per night. However, there’s no swimming pool at the hotel. In addition, there’s no coffee machine in the rooms. Just a pack of instant coffee!
15. Park Plaza London Waterloo. Great Value
The Holiday Inn London Kensington High Street is an excellent option if you want a swimming pool. Rates start at £181/night. The hotel is smart and modern. The swimming pool and Jacuzzi look really nice, as does the bar.
Location is excellent. Very close to Kensington Gardens and the high end shops in South Kensington.
I’m a big fan of Holiday Inn Hotels. I stay in them a lot. They have excellent coverage in the UK, and they are excellent for families. At all Holiday Inns, kids eat free. As long as one adult is eating, then there is no charge for the kids. In addition, they often allow four people to stay in a hotel room. They have a double bed and a separate sofa bed. It’s a squeeze, but it offers great value. If you’re travelling with kids, I would definitely consider this hotel.
I’ve stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Bicester many times. It’s perfectly located for the Bicester Village Outlet Mall. The hotel is also great value, and there is free breakfast for all guests.
Another Holiday Inn I like, is the one in CDG Airport in Paris. Review here. I paid €72 Eur for one night. That was for my entire family. In addition, the hotel is actually located on the airport site. There is also free breakfast for all guests.
I travel a lot, and I can’t afford 5* luxury every time. Knowing tricks like these, makes my travels possible!
17. Montcalm East, Autograph Collection. 5* Value
Montcalm East, Autograph Collection is a Marriott Hotel. The Autograph Collection is one of Marriott’s upscale brands, so it’s not one of the cheapest hotels in Central London. Rates start at £184/night, which is pretty good. Be careful however, as the price goes up to £500/night on some days!
At £184/night, there’s not many cheaper options, if you want a swimming pool. The hotel is located in trendy Shoreditch. This region is full of startup companies. Expect to see men with designer beards, artisan bakeries and independent coffee shops.
The swimming pool and hydra pool look lovely too.