London hotels for every budget

By Simon Coppock

Photograph courtesy of The Langham London

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October 2017

Whether you are looking for a boutique stay, affordable accommodation close to the sights or cutting-edge design, our guide to London’s best hotels will have you covered – whatever your budget.


Budget: The Phoenix Hotel

Best for: Quiet, classic West London

The lowdown: A safe, low-key hotel (guests are buzzed in) in a converted, columned terrace. Right by Bayswater Tube Station, one change and two stops takes you to Oxford Circus.

Stay for: A continental breakfast the next morning, included in the price and great for keeping costs down.

Know this… You’re right next to a long parade of high street businesses and a shopping centre on Queensway but walk five minutes and you’re on lovely Westbourne Grove, with its fancy shops – it’s well worth a little window shopping here.

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  • Continental breakfast at the Ibis Styles London Kensington. ©AccorHotels.

    Grab and go

    Fuel up on muesli and grab a pastry at the Ibis Styles London Kensington.

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  • Bedroom at the Phoenix Hotel. ©The Phoenix Hotel.

    Rise and shine

    The Phoenix Hotel has a Victorian façade, but the rooms inside are bright and modern.

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Mid-range: Rembrandt

Best for: Classic location, modern style

The lowdown: Minutes from South Kensington’s slew of museums, including the adjacent V&A, and just a pleasant stroll from the high-end department stores of Knightsbridge – Harrods chief among them – the Rembrandt has business-smart interiors behind a reconditioned Edwardian façade.

Stay for: The surprisingly delicious British fare at Palette Restaurant – you may have the world’s best restaurants on your doorstep but it’s worth staying in for.

Know this… Residents get access to the swimming pool, gym and steam rooms at the adjoining, private Aquilla Health and Fitness centre for just £7.50 a day (£2.50 for under-12s).

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Luxury: The Langham

Best for: Old-school luxury

The lowdown: Laying claim to being Europe's first ‘grand hotel’, the Langham has exuded old-fashioned class since it was new fashioned in 1865. It is still one of the capital’s finest hotels, but without the stuffiness of some of its rivals.

Stay for: The hotel bar, Artesian (so named after the 360-foot deep artesian well beneath the hotel), voted the world's best bar by ‘Drinks International’ every year since 2012, or a sumptuous afternoon tea – The Langham's Palm Court kicked off the whole tradition of formal high teas.

Know this… If you’re having trouble getting a dinner reservation at the hotel’s French restaurant, Roux at the Landau – run by Michelin-starred Michel Roux Jr and his father Albert – opt for a weekday lunch (fantastic value at just £37 for three courses; £45 including a half bottle of wine) or an early Sunday supper.

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  • ME London Radio Rooftop Terrace. ©Melia Hotels and Resorts.

    Building bingo

    Tick off all of London’s big sights without leaving your lounger: from ME London’s Radio Rooftop Bar you can see the London Eye, Trafalgar Square, London Bridge, Covent Garden and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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Budget: Ibis Styles London Kensington

Best for: Value for money

The lowdown: Colourful, quirky murals liven up this modern hotel. Its simple rooms come at a competitive price.

Stay for:  Fill up on the unlimited Continental breakfast the next day, before you hit the sights. Request it as a takeaway, then hit Earls Court tube station; the District and Piccadilly lines take you straight into the West End.

Know this… Ask to store your luggage downstairs after check out.

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Mid-range: Doubletree by Hilton Tower of London

Best for:

The lowdown: A modern hotel with a professional feel in the financial district, five minutes from the Tower of London. Take the Thames Clipper, a river bus, straight to the O2 Arena from the dock.

Stay for: iMacs in the rooms, and a warm cookie on arrival.

Know this… Watch the city glitter around you from the Sky Lounge, the hotel’s rooftop bar. You’ll have a lovely view of Tower Bridge at night and the outdoor area stays open until 1am.

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Luxury: ME London

Best for: Tech heavy mod cons

The lowdown: Opposite Somerset House on the Strand, ME London couldn’t look more different from its Neoclassical neighbour. It’s all angles and black marble, with a reception inside a hollow pyramid. Covent Garden and the theatre district are on your doorstep but ME stylishly steals the show.

Stay for: The rooftop bar, which is huge compared to many in the area. There are views on all sides from the Shard to Battersea Power Station.

Know this… Your room will be full of gadgetry, from hair straighteners to Nespresso machines. Stay in an ‘Aura’ room and you can adjust your lighting settings to ‘sexy’… worth it for a giggle.

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  • Bedroom at The Rembrandt. ©Sarova Hotels.

    Did you know…?

    The Rembrandt was originally built in 1911 as apartments for Harrods department store – which is just a 10-minute walk away from the centrally-located hotel.

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  • Exterior of The Queen’s Gate Hotel, London. ©Grecian Hotels.

    Join the club

    For more space and luxury, upgrade to a Club Room at The Queen’s Gate Hotel and you’ll be welcomed with homemade truffles, bathrobes and tea. You’ll also get an umbrella – hopefully you won’t have to use it.

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Mid-range: The Queen’s Gate Hotel

Best for: Culture lovers

The lowdown: A charming hotel in leafy west London with just 90 rooms, The Queen’s Gate Hotel sits in a parade of flag-adorned, elegant embassies. Exhibition Road and the Royal Albert Hall are right on your doorstep, great if you love museums and music.

Stay for: Wooden floored rooms with comfortable beds and a full breakfast in the morning.

Know this… If you’re feeling lazy, you can always order Deliveroo to your room.

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  • The American Bar at The Stafford London. ©The Stafford London.

    Most decorated

    Hung with fascinating memorabilia, The American Bar at The Stafford pays tribute to its amazing 70-year history. On the walls of photographs, look out for Nancy Wake, one of the most decorated WWII secret agents. Order ‘The White Mouse’ in her honour, a cocktail inspired by her code name.

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Luxury - The Stafford

Best for: Impeccable service

The lowdown: The Stafford is a historic hotel that’s up there with the best of them. It’s renowned for its American Bar. This popular spot pays tribute to its long and illustrious history with classic cocktails and wartime memorabilia. For food, The Game Bird is a top-end restaurant that serves modern British dishes – a rarity in cosmopolitan London.

Stay for: Dining on the cobbles in the hotel’s private courtyard.

Know this… The 380-year-old Wine Cellar beneath the hotel is a hidden treat. It was used as an air raid shelter for US and Canadian servicemen during WWII and now home to over 8,000 bottles of wine. Ask for a tour from Master Sommelier, Gino Nardella, who has been working at the hotel for over 40 years.

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