hotel room camden town

London Hotel Guide – Recommended Good Value Hotels in Central London

London is an eternally popular target for a city break – the city’s many attractions and the variety of hotels is huge. I present the ultimate guide to finding a hotel in London.

I’m gonna go through some hotels in London I usually recommend when people ask for advice on where to stay in London. Furthermore I’ve written reviews of three great hotels that I’ve previously stayed in on some of my many trips to the English capital.

All with direct links to booking pages, where you can easily and quickly book your accommodation in London. I hope you’ll enjoy this hotel guide and that you’re going to enjoy your stay in London.

Please write a comment if after reading the London hotel guide you are still on the look-out for accommodation in London.

Recommended Budget hotels in Central London

the gresham hotel paddington

In this section, we take a look at 5 recommended good value hotels in London. The price of a hotel room in London is relatively expensive and the standard of the hotels can vary quite a bit.

Therefore I’ve done some research and found these hotels with good ratings that can be booked for a reasonable price.

First, let’s look at the cheaper options. “Cheap” is perhaps a bit of an overstatement when taking into consideration that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The Gresham Hotel in Paddington

The Gresham Hotel can be considered one of the cheapest hotels in London when you take into account what you get in return for your money. The standard price for the hotel is around £40 per night for 2 people.

It is located in Paddington (only a few minutes walk from Paddington Station), west London, an area well known for being quiet, tourist friendly and with many good connections to the rest of the city.

gresham hotel paddington

A classic and cheap West London hotel.

Consider it especially well located if you are on your first visit to London and want easy access to all the main attractions such as Hyde Park and Oxford Street which are both within walking distance.

room at gresham hotel paddington

Standard room at the Gresham Hotel.

As the picture above shows, these are standard hotel rooms without much luxury. You get what you pay for: a simple place to lay your head after a good, long day out on the town.

Breakfast is available at the Gresham and it costs £5 which is a decent price. There are also many small cafes in the area if you prefer to take your breakfast outside the hotel walls.

Gresham Hotel: good location, near Hyde Park & Oxford Street. A cheap hotel without the frills.

See more photos, check current prices and book online by clicking here.

The Phoenix Hotel in Bayswater/Paddington – breakfast included

The next hotel is once again in the Bayswater and Paddington area, where, as mentioned, there is an incredible array of hotels and excellent conditions for tourists.

It’s called Phoenix Hotel and it’s close to both Bayswater and Queensway Stations where you will find tube connections to Central London. Marble Arch (where Oxford Street starts) is just a couple of minutes away on the Central Line from Queensway Station.

Paddington Station and Hyde Park are within walking distance as well.

phoenix hotel london paddington

The Phoenix hotel.

This is a classic budget London hotel, where comfort reigns but it is obvious that the hotel has been around for many years. It should not sound like a warning against the hotel as I would not have included it in this guide if it was not a good place to stay.

I just want to mention that this is a budget hotel, where though the rooms are a little cramped, it is nice and clean, you get an excellent breakfast and the staff is generally welcoming.

  • The breakfast at this hotel is included in the price and guests are generally happy with the selection at the breakfast buffet.
hotel breakfast london

Breakfast at the Phoenix.

The price for this cheap London hotel, at around £50 per night, simply cannot be much cheaper if you want to stay in central London and still enjoy a certain basic standard.

The hotel is recommended for those who travel on a budget, but want to stay in Central London. It might be a bit more expensive than Gresham Hotel, but you also get free breakfast included in the price and a room that is a bit more comfortable.

The Phoenix Hotel is also recommended for families traveling to London. Please notice that as this is a great value hotel it’s a good idea to book in advance as soon as you know you’re going to London – it’s not common that it has available rooms on the day.

See more photos, current rates and book a room online by clicking here.

Looking for the cheapest accommodation in London?

There are many cheap hostels in London. I have never availed myself of any, but I acknowledge, of course, that many travelers would rather spend their money on things other than lodgings. Let us, therefore, take a closer look at how to score an incredibly cheap bed in London.

hostel london

The price for a hostel bed in London is probably the biggest incentive for choosing this type of accommodation. It’s possible to book a bed in a hostel in the center, for example, King’s Cross Station, from as little as £10 per night. King’s Cross is very centrally located in London and is ideal for getting to and from Luton airport.

There is of course little comfort associated with this type of accommodation, nevertheless, it is a good way to enjoy your stay in London and meet other people. There is often a cheap bar at the hostel where it’s incredibly easy to get in touch with other travelers. That, and the cheap price, are a very big plus in favor of staying in a hostel in London.

Find and compare hostels in London – get an overview, see current prices and read about the various options by clicking here.

Good hotels in London for tourists

Here I’ll recommend a couple of good hotels for tourists who are willing to spend a bit more on accommodation in London. These hotels are not luxury hotels (we’ll get to those further below), but they’re what you would consider a good value hotel in London.

Caesar Hotel in Paddington – near Hyde Park

caesar hotel london paddington

Caesar Hotel is located between tube stations Paddington and Bayswater, just north of Hyde Park (The tube is what they call the subway in London).

  • Paddington is one of the most tourist-friendly areas in London. It has many hotels, restaurants and cafes. There are countless bus lines and many tube stations, so it affords you easy access to the rest of London.

caesar hotel london

As you can see, this is a good, modern hotel in central London – something that can be hard to find. The hotel has, in addition to the capacious rooms, free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, a bar and a fitness area, including a sauna.

This is one of the hotels in London where both the facilities and the location are near perfect. The price for one night is, like other hotels, dynamic; meaning that it can fluctuate depending on the date of your arrival.

As of today, an overnight stay at the hotel will set you back around £60 for 2 people in a standard room.

You can see more photos, check current prices and book the hotel online here.

Grand Royale – a good hotel next to the Underground

grand royale hotel london

The lobby at Grand Royale.

If you are someone who wants a little more comfort when they are on vacation, and for your visit to London you require a decent hotel close to the center of the city, I recommend Grand Royale.

good value hotel room
Near the Grand Royale, you will find Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, as well as Bayswater and Queensway tube stations. The hotel is a short walk from Notting Hill and the popular Portobello Road Market.

Whether there is a market on or not, I advise you go for a walk down Portobello Road. It is known, among other things, as the location of the film Notting Hill (the one with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts) — the charming houses are fantastic and well worth it.

A stay at this hotel can typically cost about £70 for 2 people. Remember, however, that the prices are always dynamic when you book hotels online — this is true of all booking services no matter what city you go to.

Grand Royale:  well priced, 4-star hotel with excellent location in central London and good service.

Check for prices, see many more pictures and book online by clicking here.

Reviews of recommended hotels in Central London

In the next section of the London hotel guide – we’ll move on to reviews of hotels I’ve visited and absolutely enjoyed.

The first one is a very cheap hotel near Hyde Park with breakfast included – the next one is a bit more expensive (and therefore a bit more comfortable) in Camden Town also with breakfast included (maybe the best hotel breakfast in London!) and the third one is also a decent hotel (near King’s Cross) with breakfast included.

Alexandra Hotel – Cheap hotel with breakfast included near Hyde Park

alexandra hotel london
Finding a hotel in London is no big deal, but it gets harder when you’re looking for someplace cheap that is both centrally located and includes breakfast.

I have stayed at this next recommendation, The Alexandra Hotel, a total of 5 times.

As you can see, the hotel is close to Paddington Station, Hyde Park and Oxford Street. As Hyde Park is one of my favorite places in the whole of London, being less than a 5-minute walk away makes me incredibly happy.

Lancaster Gate Station, on the Central Line (red), is also nearby. From there you can reach, for example, Liverpool Street Station, which is very convenient if you are heading to Stansted Airport.

Oxford Street as well is within walking distance, so the hotel is excellent if you plan to shop along the legendary street. Generally speaking, there are many hotels in Paddington and close to Oxford Street, but to find one that’s both good and fairly cheap can be difficult.

When I travel alone or with friends I don’t much mind whether my bed is king or queen size, so the rooms do not matter that much to me. I’d rather spend my time in London exploring outside the hotel.

hotel near hyde park london

Alexandra Hotel near Hyde Park in London.

A decent hotel in central London at a cheap price is far more important to me than a luxury hotel, which will be much more expensive and is not located any closer to the center.

As I said, the location is my highest concern when choosing a hotel. That being said, the hotel itself must meet a certain standard even if you do not go on city breaks in London to enjoy the hotel room – and I certainly don’t.

cheap hotel in london

Nothing fancy about this budget hotel – you get what you pay for.

Alexandra Hotel is a classic budget hotel in London: reception open 24 hours a day, free breakfast included and free wireless internet in the rooms.

The free internet in the hotel is especially of note. You always try to plan your city break in advance if possible, nevertheless, it may well be that you have just a few free hours on a Saturday night and would like to see a concert or book last minute musical tickets.  It’s nice that it doesn’t cost 5 pounds per hour to be online to look for and book your tickets.

There are many different types of rooms at the hotel. All include a TV, free tea and coffee and a bathroom with a shower.

hotel bathroom

Breakfast is, as mentioned, included in the price. However, it is nothing special – simple fare; a little yogurt, toast and cold cuts. Just the same, it affords you the chance to fill up on some free food before heading out.

breakfast alexandra hotel paddington

The breakfast area at Alexandra Hotel.

I rarely eat their breakfast, but I know many who shovel it in early in the day, that way they hope to avoid eating again before dinner.

One can easily be satisfied with the free breakfast offered at the hotel, but be aware that it is not the classic English breakfast buffet with eggs, bacon and baked beans – unfortunately. For that you will have to opt for another, more expensive hotel in London (for example the next one in this guide which has an awesome breakfast buffet). 

Price 

The price varies between £35-65 for a double room (so about 20-30 per person), and it can be more expensive on the weekends. All in all, I find that to be a good price for a hotel room in central London. Unfortunately, London is one of the most expensive cities to live in which affects the hotel prices.

Paddington is generally an area with many budget options, but there are naturally a lot of luxury hotels nearby. I recommend looking south of Hyde Park if you really want a luxury hotel in central London – but for these kinds of places your budget will have to be much bigger. 

Summary

If you want a cheap hotel in central London close to Hyde Park and Paddington Station, where you have a bed, a bathroom and terrific location, then this hotel is for you. But if you want a luxury hotel, then this is not the right choice.

Personally, I like to save money on hotels and instead spend it in town on other things. So the proximity to 2 tube stations, Hyde Park and Oxford Street seals the deal in my mind and make this choice easy.

See more photos, check current rates and book at Alexandra Hotel right here.

There is plenty to see and experience in the hotel’s proximity, but the rest of London is just a hop skip and a jump away with either the tube or the many buses that pass by.

How about a trip up to Camden Town, just a few kilometers northeast of the hotel?

In fact the next hotel I’d like to recommend is actually right in the centre of Camden Town.

A recommended hotel in Camden Town with breakfast included

Maybe the best hotel breakfast in London? They’d get my vote!

hotel in camden town

Hotel lobby with its own Starbucks in the back.

I recently spent 3 nights at this excellent hotel in London’s Camden Town. There’s no doubt that I’ll return to this place as it’s a great hotel and the location is just perfect for a Camden Town fan like me.

The hotel has a fantastic location in the vibrant North London, only 10 minutes by tube from Tottenham Court Road station, where Oxford Street begins.

The hotel is just off Camden High Street and most of the rooms actually overlooks the world famous Camden Market (which you have to visit when traveling to London).

In fact, I would say that this hotel is the best I’ve stayed at in London – if nothing else, it is the one with the best breakfast. I mean, there was 3 different kinds of bacon every morning!

hotel with breakfast included

  • The hotel has been reviewed by almost 100 guests and holds a score of 4.4 out of 5, which is extremely high.

My travel companion and I had booked a standard room and ended up having a really nice view out to Camden Market and Camden Lock (river):

camden lock hotel view

Besides having really nice rooms and a brilliant view, this hotel is its very own Starbucks, which meant, therefore, that I was a pretty big fan. You can say what you like about these coffee chains, but their coffee is always on point.

hotel room camden town
Breakfast at the hotel almost deserves a post for itself. It was a sumptuous full English breakfast buffet; 3 different kinds of bacon (three!), yogurt, muesli, bread and cold cuts, as well as assorted cakes and croissants.

hotel breakfast

This photo actually don’t do the awesome breakfast justice.

I was not expecting the included breakfast to be so good, so it was a really pleasant surprise when we made our way downstairs to eat and were greeted by the impressive sight.

  • Breakfast at London hotels are generally really nothing special, so the breakfast at the hotel being so good is a huge mark in its favor!

I can’t point to a single thing not to my liking in this hotel. The location is close to perfection, the staff was friendly, efficient and professional. Everything simply worked perfectly.

Also there’s a Starbucks in the lobby which I absolutely loved – nothing better than a coffee to-go before heading out to explore my favourite city in the world.

The price of this Camden Town hotel is not on the cheap end, but as always, prices of hotels in London can vary according to the season so try to enter your travel dates and see what the price is when you are going to London.

Click here to get to the hotel site.

Get a taste of Camden Town in this video:

Review: California Hotel near Kings Cross Station

california hotel london kings cross

I went to London once again a couple of weeks ago, but this time I didn’t choose one of the hotels I usually head to when in London. I was only going to be in London less than 24 hours this time and needed a hotel close to King’s Cross Station as I was flying to Luton Airport.

I combed through all the hotels I could find that were close to King’s Cross, and believe me, there are plenty of those. As always, when traveling to London it is hard to score a place that is both good and cheap.

I finally settled on The California Hotel, which is right by King’s Cross Station where countless tube, bus and train lines will take you anywhere around the city of London.

One of the primary reasons for choosing this particular hotel was that the hotel was perfectly located and the fact that their free breakfast had received many good reviews.

There are many good value hotels in London with complimentary breakfast, but it can be remarkably hard to find a budget hotel where the breakfast is more than just some toasted bread and assorted jams.

kings cross hotel

Chill out area at the California Hotel.

When I need to book a hotel I always head over to Expedia. Simply enter the dates and take a look at the immediate selection: you are presented with a number of hotels in various price ranges and there will typically be hotels that are on offer on the specific dates when you happen to be visiting the city.

It is a good way to get an overview of the range and prices of hotels on offer.

This time around I opted for a single overnight stay at The California Hotel in Kings Cross.

First impressions of the hotel were brilliant; my friend and I were greeted warmly at the entrance, where a bellboy was standing at the ready to help with luggage.

kings cross hotel lobby

The staff at reception quickly checked us in and were directed to our room (number 404), which unfortunately turned out to be in the basement of the building.

I have to admit it annoyed me a bit that I had booked a twin room at the hotel for about £100, expensive for a single night. You can usually bargain for a lower price by agreeing to take a basement level room – but in this case, we were presented with no choice.

To be fair, this might be due to the fact that I had booked the hotel on short notice – it almost always pays off to book well in advance, both to get the cheapest price and the best room.

california hotel kings cross room

One of the other rooms in the hotel – a nice looking room.

Unfortunately, the room itself, similarly to its location, was less than ideal.  It was a rather small room with two good beds and a TV. It was simply too cramped – If we both happened to be out of bed at the same time, we were unable to walk from the bed to the bathroom at the same time.

That being said, it was a nice, modern room on the whole, just really small.

free tea and coffee

Complimentary tea and coffee at this hotel in the Kings Cross area.

The bathroom was satisfactory but somehow was equipped with the world’s smallest tub.

Looking at the hotel pictures on Expedia (see link below) I think we may have somehow been very unlucky with our room. It looks like most other rooms are of a normal, decent size.

Pros:

  • Exceptionally good location, just off the King’s Cross station; all of London can be easily accessed.
  • Good complimentary breakfast.
  • Generally good service – efficient and welcoming staff.
  • Complimentary tea & coffee in the room.

Cons:

  • Really small room, if you are unlucky.
  • Price: we paid £90 for a single night. Recently it looks like the prices might have been reduced to nearer £60. If you are considering booking this hotel, find it by following the link below and enter your own dates to see what prices they have.

Conclusion:

The California Hotel in London is a fine hotel with superb location. I would easily book this hotel again if I need a hotel just off the King’s Cross Station and would like a good free breakfast included.

See photos, rates, and book accommodation at The California Hotel here.

Short Term lets in London – Book an apartment

I enjoy booking holiday apartments when I go on my city breaks. It gives a special kind of freedom when you have the opportunity to cook for yourself and feel that you are ‘at home’ in an apartment. In a weird way, you feel more like a local who is exploring the city from their apartment.

I’ve stayed in many different apartments in London and I’ve found that while the standard is quite high – so is the price. But this is London after all.  Here’s a couple of apartments that are superbly situated for exploring the city.

holiday apartment in euston london

An apartment on Euston St (close to Camden Town, King’s Cross and Oxford Street).

These apartments are owned by Studios 2 Let and come in many different shapes and prices. There is not much to say about them; you get a one-bedroom apartment where there is a small kitchen, various necessities and, of course, a bathroom.

These apartments are located just off Euston Station, where you will find an great number of tube lines to the rest of the city. In addition, the apartments are within walking distance to the always popular Camden Town and also King’s Cross Station.

See the different apartment types, prices and book online by clicking here.

Apartments in the trendy part of London

brick lane

Brick Lane in Shoreditch – East London.

Personally, I have a fondness for the aforementioned Camden Town, but in recent years the excitement has moved a little further east.

In the area around Brick Lane in Shoreditch, new and exciting restaurants and cafes are constantly popping up. So it makes sense to stay in that area even though it is located outside the center.

  • Consider this option if you are interested in staying a little further away from the other tourists and are ready to explore the lesser known streets of London.

holiday apartment shoredtich

The place is called Landmark Apartments and is located close to Shoreditch High Street and Old Street stations. Brick Lane is a 10-minute walk from the apartments and as a starting point for visiting East London sights you can’t beat it. The Tower of London is within easy reach as well.

There are different types of apartments to choose from; Studio, Executive, and Family. Prices of holiday apartments in London are dynamic, which means if you wait too long to book the prices will invariably rise. This is the case, unfortunately, with both hotels and flights too.

There is good money to be saved by booking well in advance – preferably over a month ahead. As far as I can find right now, the cheapest price available is just over £55.

See more photos & check current prices at Landmark Apartments – click here.

Where to stay in London?

london areas map

Central London via Google Maps.

Are you still with me? All right then.

London is a big city, so there are major differences between the different boroughs. As a first time traveler, it’s hard to know where to stay in London.

Therefore I have made for you a short list of areas where you should look for your hotel or apartment:

  • Paddington
  • Bayswater
  • Notting Hill
  • Kensington
  • Chelsea
  • Covent Garden
  • City
  • Bloomsbury
  • Mayfair
  • Marylebone
  • Victoria

These are all areas in the central part of the city where there are many hotels and tourists. This means that it’s safe to travel at any time of day. 

In this guide I only provide links to hotels and apartments in the safest areas – you can book any of the above accommodations and be sure to stay in a safe area.

Need help finding accommodation?

Are you looking for something special for your stay in London or do you have any questions concerning your trip to Britain?

Please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you plan a great trip. I have extensive experience with booking hotels in London and I know many hotels in different price ranges.

I hope you have enjoyed my London hotel guide and that you’re never ready for your trip to the English capital. 

Kristoffer

Kristoffer

I may not be a born and bred londoner, but I've had my fair share of trips to the English capital. Since 2013 I've been writing travel guides to London and I visit the city regularly so I can provide the best London Travel Hacks for you to read.

2 Comments

  • Jens

    Hey Kristoffer

    We are a family (a couple with 2 girls aged 9 and 12) who have booked our flights to London and are now looking for a good hotel in the city centre which is why I found your hotel guide… Very nice to get a sense of the prices as this is our first ever trip to London.

    We are currently looking at booking either the Alexandra Hotel or the Gresham Hotel as they both seem to be in a great neighbourhood close to Oxford Street and the other famous attractions… Which of these 2 hotels would you recommend for our family?

    We pretty much just need a place to sleep as we will be in London in august and are hoping for good weather so that we can just walk around and explore the city that we have heard so much about.

    Best regards from Germany.

    June 1, 2017 at 11:45 am
    • Kristoffer
      Kristoffer

      Hallo Jens 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your kinds words – I’m happy you could use my London hotel guide!

      To be honest I don’t think there’s much difference between Alexandra Hotel and The Gresham. They’re pretty much located next to each other and the price is almost similar.

      I’d probably prefer The Gresham if I was to book a hotel in London today, but to be honest it doesn’t matter too much. Maybe just pick the one that has the cheapest rate on the dates you’re going to be in London 🙂

      I wish you a pleasent stay in London and I hope you’ll be satisfied with your hotel in Paddington – no matter which one you choose 😉

      June 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm

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