London on a (smaller) budget

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  • Anonymous

    Sara Turner

    A friend has asked me about inexpensive hotels in central London, but being a Northerner I have to confess that I don’t know many outside the larger chains and tend to stick with Premier Inn. Can anyone recommend a few options suitable for business, that won’t break the bank? Any favourites?


    How small a budget is smaller? It would help to quantify this as everyone has a different idea of cheap.

    Without a specific location (eg arriving in via train to King’s Cross, meetings in the City), and a little more information about what “suitable for business” means (eg how essential is a gym/decent bar for meeting clients/room service?) it is hard to recommend non chain hotels.

    Right now the promotion means staying in an ICHG group property is a no brainer prior to August 18.

    You can still stay in top notch properties for a fraction of the cost if you book in advance or know some tricks of the trade – no need to rough it! Remember staying far out of central London can cost more in time and travel costs, not to mention sore feet, so can be a false economy.

    First, try registering and using (not the site which is not as competitive!) in concert with – some excellent rates for 4* and 5* properties, such as under £100/night for the Hilton and Marriott on Park Lane or under £60 for the London Marriott West India Quay. also has its “surprise” hotels category, though you have to be quite clued up to know what you are likely to get.

    Staying near the airport can be exceptional value, especially if arriving late and using the free bus transfer; Holiday Inns can often be had on their own website for as little as £30/night.,, and have some exceptionally inexpensive places to stay; very acceptable if you just need a bed for the night, less so if you actually want some facilities and they can be plagued with chavs and chavettes on the weekend saving money on the cab fare back to Essex.

    Expedia is always worth a look, for the expedia special rate deals, especially using the £20 referral bonus I posted last week.

    An alternative would be to try using the hotels own discount sites such as which gets you 35% off regular weekend rates at Crowne Plaza/Holiday Inn properties.

    There should be a site there that can get a great deal somewhere nice, though don’t forget to cut costs on the peripherals; spurn getting cabs, make sure they have an oyster card to avoid punitive cash fares, have breakfast in cafes outside the hotel, stock up on water and snacks at a supermarkets rather than newsagents, consider staying Saturday/Sunday which is normally cheaper than Friday/Saturday.

    I am also a big fan of for those planning to see the sights while in town (currently superb value at £10 before the end of July).


    Great advice as always from VintageKrug.

    Just one more sites to find reasonable deals are:

    At HRS you pay as you check out (not pre-pay- I like that),
    and you can include your desired budget and the area you want to stay into your search. Also, they offer ratings for the hotels they offer, which is often helpful.
    Their greatest field is Europe, and especially Germany, but for London they are good as well.
    They are not always the cheapest rates one can find, but give a good starting point.

    One mega site I use at times also is
    They search all the big discounters and give you the best rates available from the booking services ( e.g. or
    It can be hit and miss and you have to closely read the conditions before you book. Some companies charge a booking fee or it is a non-refundable rate.

    Generally when I look for a Hotel in an unfamiliar place, I go to and and see what they offer, and then I check the hotel websites directly. Often they have better rates, or at least less conditions attached to them.

    But nothing I know can beat the advice VintageKrug gave you in his posting. So try his tips first!

    Hope it helps you.

    Sara Turner

    Thanks for the tips! I’ll let you know how I get on…



    Anyway: Late Summer Promotion – may be useful for out-of-towners needing a cheap, central location:

    Charing Cross from £76.30
    The Cumberland from £76.30
    The Royal Horseguards from £90.30
    The Tower from £52.50

    Guoman Hotels

    Rate code for Quidco’ers is MMM97.


    the citadines are usually ok on price and some you get your own kitchen which is a nice touch. there are a few central, holborn is good and central.


    To add to VK’s list, I find quite helpful too. You can see a list of hotels and their daily rates. With them, you can also just book, and guarantee your booking and payment is only taken at check out.


    I personally find Premier Inn, Travelodge and Holiday Inn Express to be very good budget hotels. I have actually developed a site for finding hotels near the M1 with more motorways to be added soon. It’d be great to hear any comments that anyone has on the site and I hope it’ll be useful!




    When it comes to travel planning, one of the best money-saving sites I refer to regularly is The site has an intuitive layout and allows you to compare prices of several hotel reservations websites side by side and choose the best offer for hotel of your choice.

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