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Affordable luxury hotels in London are more abundant than you might think, you just need to know where in the city to look for them and the best time to book to get the best deals.
From its rich history, to its free galleries and museums and bountiful selection of sites to see and restaurants to try, London is up there with the best European city breaks you can take and is a city that everyone should experience at least once.
Some of the best luxury hotels in the world are found in London, but staying in the UK's capital doesn't have to be expensive. You can actually get great deals on high-end hotels for an affordable luxury vacation in the city if you're savvy.
In this guide, you'll find our edit of luxury hotels in the capital that don't come with an eye-watering price tag per night, plus we'll advise on how to get the best holiday deals and bag a discount, from searching for deals at quieter times to signing up for loyalty programs.
Affordable luxury hotels in London you can book for less than £200 a night
The good news is that when it comes to affordable luxury hotels in London, you don't have to spend over £200 per night. Some of the best budget boltholes cost a lot less, which makes them affordable whether you're planning a European family vacation or popping to the capital for a UK staycation. But for a hotel to make our edit it still needs to come with a great location, comfortable bedrooms, and luxury features, like a cool rooftop bar, terrace restaurant or high-quality toiletries in the bathroom.
Our editors review this list regularly and remove any hotels where we can no longer find rooms that can be booked for less than £200 a night within the next 12 months. This means that you can be assured you are genuinely getting a good deal on hotels in this list and aren't being promised prices that no longer exist in today's economic climate.
1. Mama Shelter London Shoreditch
Price per night: Prices start at £83 per night for a 'Small Mama' double room.
Expert rating: 9/10
Mama Shelter London Shoreditch is a dynamic and playful hotel with a restaurant, cocktail bar, events Atelier and karaoke booths in a vibrant East London neighbourhood. By far the edgiest hotel on this list, Mama Shelter is an affordable London hotel for those who want a side of style and undeniable 'cool’' from their accommodation.
Mama Shelter’s outpost in London offers exactly the kind of laid back luxury with a cheeky twist that we would expect from this vibrant hotel chain that has popular posts in Paris, Rome, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and more vibrant cities around the world. The buzzy bar, quirky interiors and cartoon character masks in the simple yet well designed rooms are all signatures of Mama’s well-known style and you’ll find them in spades in Mama Shelter London.
Located in the edgy, interesting and buzzy area of Bethnal Green, this isn’t a hotel for those wanting to spend their days browsing the boutiques in West London or exploring south of the river. Instead use your location in the heart of East London to explore the cobbled streets, back alley bars, markets, street art and more that this is exciting part of town has to offer. You won’t have to go far to find great food in this part of the city, indeed Mama Shelter’s own bar and restaurant serves up fantastic food from breakfast through to dinner, with a colour menu of cuisines from all over the world.
Mama Shelter Shoreditch also launched their 'Weekends with Mama' over the summer, including a new and improved Bottomless Brunch, Mama's Sunday Roast and Karaoke at Mama's, meaning that if you're staying at Mama Shelter Shoreditch over a weekend then your afternoon and evening entertainment is sorted.
As well as the vibey bar and restaurant, we love the interiors of this affordable hotel that offer a blend of Scandi simplicity and retro charm with plenty of personality. The rooms certainly aren’t spacious, and some offer very little natural light, but if you’re looking for a stylish place to rest your head after a busy day out and about you can’t do much better.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: All rooms come with a comfy queen size bed with 100% cotton sheets, a TV with free movies to watch during your stay, organic soap, shampoo and conditioner in the ensuite bathroom and wifi included. Breakfast isn't included in the cheapest rate, but can be purchased in advance for a small extra fee or booked when you arrive at the hotel.
- View rates for Mama Shelter London Shoreditch at Booking.com
- Visit the Mama Shelter London Shoreditch website for more information and to book direct
2. TRIBE Canary Wharf
Price per night: Prices start at £111 a night for a non-refundable rate
Expert rating: 8/10
While ideally located for business travellers, perched within the waterways and high rises of Canary Wharf, the newly-opened, contemporary hotel TRIBE is more than just a corporate hotel designed for business travellers. The open plan reception area - with chill out spaces, a bar and restaurant called Just Like June - is vibey and even on a Tuesday evening there’s a sense of something happening and to stay up for.
The rooms themselves are packed with personality; a contemporary colour scheme of forest green and plaster pink is offset by brass fittings on the velvet headboard next to a bedside table laden with free snacks. You'll also find tea, coffee, water by brand Nobl (served in milk cartons) and a Roberts radio on the desk to finish off the look. The comfortable double bed with crisp white sheets ensures a sound night's sleep and there’s even Kevin Murphy toiletries in the en-suite which means a good hair day for whatever lies ahead for you in London.
While other hotels on this list might beat TRIBE in terms of location - as this hotel certainly isn’t central - you’ll save money by being outside of zone 1 on the tube map and Canary Wharf’s connections to the rest of London are pretty easy thanks to the Jubilee Line and the newly opened Elizabeth line with links to Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Paddington. And what this hotels lacks in location it more than makes up for in style and atmosphere - which it has in milk cartons more than some of the other, older and more central, hotels on this list.
As the cherry on top, TRIBE has also partnered with Get A Drip, the UK’s leading provider of Intravenous (IV) and Intramuscular (IM) Nutrition Therapy, and Luxury Health Club, Third Space, to offer guests a unique wellness package that can be booked in addition to your nightly room rate.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: The most basic rate for the hotel (and the cheapest) includes tea, coffee and snacks in your room as well as use of the luxury toiletries in the en-suite but does not include breakfast. You can pay a higher rate per night for breakfast included, but we recommend skipping this to save money on your overnight stay because the Feels Like June restaurant is stylish but busy and service is slow. Instead grab a breakfast on the go on your way into London.
3. The Standard
Price per night: Rooms available from £189 per night from January 2024 onwards
Expert rating: 9/10
This five-star, unique-looking hotel, which is housed in a 1974 Brutalist building, has been beautifully restored and sets the perfect stage for The Standard’s first hotel outside the US. Just steps away from The Standard is the thriving area of Kings Cross Granary Square and Coal Drops Yard - where you have an array of bars, shops and restaurants to choose from.
The hotel has 266 rooms—ranging from their cosy core rooms to terraced suites with outdoor bathtubs overlooking the famous St Pancras station. While its Double Standard 70s inspired bar is also home to the restaurant, where you can enjoy their DJ's, bottomless brunches, or famous burgers.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: Need an interrupted sleep? All of the hotel's rooms are soundproofed, while you can also enjoy their Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speakers, slip into luxury bathrobes and premium bedding. In the morning wake yourself up under the rain showers in their art-deco bathrooms.
- View rates for The Standard hotel at Booking.com
- View rates for The Standard hotel at Hotels.com
- View The Standard
4. Great Northern Hotel
Price per night: Rooms available from £199 per night from February 2024 onwards
Expert rating: 10/10
If London is just one stop on your tour of the UK - or even Europe - this is by far the best affordable luxury London hotel on this list for you. The Great Northern Hotel has an enviably good location right in the heart of Kings Cross, with both St.Pancras International and Kings Cross train and tube stations so close you can see the entrance from your bedroom window. From here you can jump on a train to a multitude of destinations in the north of the UK right up to Edinburgh in Scotland, catch the Eurostar to Paris, or get on a train direct to UK airports such as Gatwick and Luton. So it’s the perfect location if you want a little bit of luxury and a lot of convenience for an affordable price.
Despite this hotel’s very central location, inside the rooms themselves it is surprisingly quiet. We stayed in a corner room overlooking St Pancras International and the bustling square in front of Kings Cross station, but despite the busy scenes outside, our room was quiet and still, with no discernible traffic noise at all - and we slept the night through without any interruptions. In contrast (in all the rights ways) the hotel’s main bar GNH and restaurant Rails are a hub of activity with plenty of atmosphere and people watching opportunities to be had. While GNH is all hustle and bustle, Rails has a calmer more sophisticated atmosphere and it a great place to enjoy good food with good company.
The rooms are furnished to a high standard, with elements such as polished wood floors, thoughtful design schemes, high-end finishes and large comfy double beds with crisp white linen all earning this hotel’s rightful place on a list of destinations that feel genuinely luxurious to stay in. The Victorian Large rooms even have freestanding Slipper Roll Top baths and if that isn’t the ultimate hallmark of a bathroom that looks expensive, we don’t know what is.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: All rooms have at least a double bed, fluffy towels, robes, slippers and The Great Northern Hotel's own-brand toiletries in the ensuite bathroom. There's good, strong wifi throughout the hotel included and the nightly rate includes an à la carte breakfast in Rails restaurant too with a hot drink and juice of your choice.
5. 100 Queen's Gate Hotel
Price per night: Rooms available from £177 per night from January 2024 onwards
Expert review: 9/10
100 Queen’s Gate Hotel was the former home of Victorian aristocrat William Henry Alexander and has been stunningly transformed into a hotel that has retained much of its original 1870s architecture. Based in South Kensington, the hotel shares a postcode with royalty and celebrities and you'll certainly feel like royalty thanks to the top class service and boujie decor. The five-star hotel is also close to some of London's most famous attractions—take a walk through leafy Hyde Park, stroll through the famous museums, go shopping in Gloucester Arcade or visit The Royal Albert Hall.
The hotel features eleven suites—decorated and named after famous historic residents of Kensington including Alfred Hitchcock, Dame Agatha Christie, and Captain Robert Scott, each finished in a contemporary design. 100 Queen's Gate Hotel also offers three restaurants, including the hotel’s new ESQ bar and Botanica, a beautiful glasshouse where you can enjoy afternoon tea.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: The hotel's rooms offer complimentary use of their Marshall speakers and Molton Brown toiletries. You can also slip into a soft, waffle robe and relax on their comfy double beds while you enjoy your free WIFI. In the morning, treat yourself to the buffet breakfast at the W/A restaurant, which is also included in your room rate.
- View rates for 100 Queen's Gate hotel at Booking.com
- View rates for 100 Queen's Gate hotel at Hotels.com
- View 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel
6. Hoxton Holborn
Price per night: Rooms available from £199 per night from January 2024 onwards
Expert rating: 9/10
The Hoxton hotels have gained a reputation for their trendy lobby, bar areas and gorgeous bedrooms. Hoxton Holborn is no different—housed in a Grade II listed building the hotel's vintage furniture and brick walls give it a New York vibe. While the modern lobby area is inviting and spacious.
Their 4-star hotel in Holborn is close to popular London landmarks—including Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, and the British Museum. Enjoy lunch or dinner in the hotel's restaurant Hubbard & Bell—expect communal tables, lively music, and a chilled vibe.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: Book a cozy double and you can sleep soundly in their premium bedding, enjoy the city view and then step into their rainfall showers with Hoxton's own, sold out, complimentary Blank toiletries.
- View rates for Hoxton Holborn hotel at Booking.com
- View rates for Hoxton Holborn hotel at Hotels.com
- View Hoxton Holborn
7. Lost Property St Pauls London
Price per night: Rooms available from £171 per night
Expert rating: 8/10
Despite being called ‘Lost Property’, this hotel is easily found, as it holds an enviable spot just across the road from St Paul’s Cathedral. Although the location is more of a business-focussed area of London, the hotel’s proximity to St Paul’s and the millennium bridge (over which you’ll find the Tate, The Globe and all the excitement of London’s Southbank) make it a good spot for tourists too. Escape the hustle and bustle of the West End whilst still keeping a foot in the action.
The newest addition to Hilton’s creative chain of more boutique-like Curio hotels, Lost Property has just under 150 stylishly refurbished rooms, each featuring large, comfortable beds and brand new, gleaming bathrooms with high-quality finishes.
The hotel carries the theme of ‘lost & found’ throughout; from the interesting art work on the walls to the fun cocktail specials menu that has to be read using a UV pen.
The hotel has one main restaurant and bar - called Found - and a Parisian-inspired coffee shop called Tattle on the ground floor. All serve moreish food and a great selection of drinks, so you won't need to venture out to eat if you want to stay close to home after a day of sightseeing,
Take advantage of the hotel’s cheaper room rates at the weekend as paying less than £200 for a room in this enviable London location is a real steal.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: The basic room rate doesn’t include breakfast, but your room does come complete with all the standard small comforts, including a tea and coffee station, Penhaligon's toiletries, slippers and a robe, as well as access to the hotels brand new, state-of-the-art gym 24 hours a day.
8. Strand Palace Hotel
Price per night: Rooms available from £176 per night
Expert rating: 6/10
Located in the heart of theatre land, The Strand Palace hotel is as buzzy and busy as the streets that surround it, with the Art Deco lobby filled with activity and visitors day and night.
One of the best value central London hotels on this list, Strand Palace has a history dating back to 1909 but has undergone a full refurbishment in the last couple of years. The refurbishment was sympathetic to the hotel's jazzy history and the owners have kept many of the Art Deco decor details that it was once renowned for, which we feel really makes this hotel stand out against other affordable hotels on this list that have a more modern aesthetic. The rooms are simply but comfortably furnished and we were impressed by the bathrooms, which still feel new and modern, with marble tiled walls and large walk-in showers.
Where this affordable London hotel really excels is in its location. For under £200 a night you can find yourself within a 10 minute walk of some of London’s most exciting neighbourhoods. Explore the bustling streets of Soho, shop in Covent Garden market, stroll along the Thames or take a walk to Westminster, Big Ben and the House of Parliament - and still be close enough to pop back to the hotel for a bite to eat in Haxells restaurant before heading out to catch a show. Make sure you wake up the next day in time for breakfast though, as the quality of food at the breakfast buffet is superb and is one of the best hotel breakfasts on this list by far.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: Every room, whether you book the smallest singles or largest doubles, come with the same comfortable beds, recently refurbished ensuite bathrooms and televisions. All rooms come with toiletries by The White Company and your standard tea and coffee making facilities with shortbread snacks to pop in your bag for a day of sightseeing. The cheapest rooms do not come with breakfast included, but this can be added for £20 per person per night.
9. Hotel Saint
Price per night: From £113
Expert rating: 7/10
This delightful hotel, in the centre of the financial district, Aldgate, is the perfect choice for business and leisure travellers. The Dorsett City's decor is British charm meets Asian hospitality with marble bathrooms, stylish bedrooms and breathtaking views of some of London's most iconic landmarks.
The four-star, 13-storey hotel has 267 rooms and a striking rooftop bar—the Jin Bo Law Sky bar, with gold decor and marble floors, sits on the 14th floor and has great views of the city. Guests also have access to their fitness centre, a concierge service and free newspapers in the lobby.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: A superior double room includes unique views of the city, a flat-screen TV and a luxury turndown service.
10. Moxy Stratford
Price per night: From £127
Expert rating: 7/10
With its great transport links, shopping and restaurants Stratford is becoming the go-to place for visitors on the edge of the city—and it's great if you want to bag a bargain on an affordable luxury hotel in London. Moxy Stratford joins its other two hotels in London at Heathrow and Excel—bringing a funky vibe to East London. Owned by Marriott, they're boutique hotels but at an affordable price.
Moxy Stratford is a trendy, funky hotel where the bar doubles as check-in and the rooms have 42-inch LCD TV's and comfy double beds. You'll also be welcomed with graffiti art on the walls and cool cocktails and craft beers. The hotels communal areas, including a library and living area, have unique trinkets and wall-to-ceiling artwork.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: A Queen Moxy sleeper, which is also pet friendly, includes breakfast, MUK bath products and complimentary WIFI.
- View rates for Moxy Stratford hotel at Booking.com
- View rates for Moxy Stratford hotel at Hotels.com
- View Moxy Stratford
11. Hyatt Place London City East
Price per night: From £143
Expert rating: 7/10
East London is famous for Brick Lane and Spitalfields market—plus the artistic streets and buzz of nearby Shoreditch. Hyatt Place London City East, based in the heart of East London and the city, has stylish interiors, expertly-curated street art, and exceptional views across the capital, including of the Gherkin and Canary Wharf.
Thirteen of the 280 bedrooms, across the top two floors, come with their own private outdoor terraces or balconies, delivering picture-postcard views of the world-famous London skyline. Pocketsquare Skyline Bar and terrace is one of the highlights of this hotel—try one of their experimental cocktails while you take in the views.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: Some floors are designated pet-friendly, and all the twin, double, and king rooms feature a smart TV, luxury bathroom products and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms also come with sofabeds.
- View rates for Hyatt Place London City hotel at Booking.com
- View rates for Hyatt Place London City hotel at Hotels.com
- View Hyatt Place London City East
12. Zedwell Piccadilly
Price per night: From £117
Expert rating: 6 /10
If you love the buzzy nightlife of the city, and you don't mind compact but beautifully designed rooms, then this affordable luxury hotel in London is perfect for you. The Zedwell is based in Piccadilly Circus—so ideal for bars, clubbing, and theatreland.
The hotel's minimalist lobby, with high ceilings and wooden beams, is striking and spacious —with self-check-in kiosks. The bedrooms are designed to make you feel less anxious— they've taken away the complicated technology to allow you to have a good night's sleep in peace. The beds, which are housed in wooden cocoons, are similar to Japanese pod rooms.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: Snuggle up in Egyptian cotton covers in their soundproofed Cocoon 2 room. The rooms are free from the clutter of technology, while the bathroom has a luxury rain shower and Malin & Goetz toiletries.
- View rates for Zedwell Piccadily hotel at Booking.com
- View rates for Zedwell Piccadily hotel at Hotels.com
- View The Zedwell
13. The Lime Tree Hotel
Price per night: Prices start at £135 per night for a single room or £195 per night for a cosy double.
Expert rating: 9/10
The award for best affordable luxury boutique hotel in London goes to The Lime Tree in Belgravia this year thanks to its plush, stylish interiors and incredible location right in the heart of one of the city’s wealthiest and most exclusive boroughs. Strolling distance from the transport hub that is Victoria station, staying at The Lime Tree feels more like spending the night at a very rich relative’s house, rather than a hotel. Each bedroom is individually and tastefully decorated and there are plenty of homely touches like the fresh flowers on the nightstand or this month’s magazines on the coffee table, that make this boutique stay feel like a home from home rather than a hotel in a foreign city. The entire hotel, which takes over two townhouses on the quintessentially British Edbury Street, is a masterclass in Quiet Luxury, and if you’re looking for an affordable luxury hotel that is a unique British experience in itself, then this is the place to stay.
We loved the Bramley toiletries in the bathrooms, the cosy reception area that feels more like a lovely living room and strolling the stylish and sophisticated streets surrounding the hotel, peeking into the luxury boutiques and royally frequented fashion spots in the area. We also love that this hotel offers single rooms at a single room rate, meaning there's no 'singles tax' for those travelling to London solo.
If staying a night or two and you have time to hang around for breakfast, we highly recommend making a booking for The Buttery, The Lime Tree’s restaurant on the ground floor. Serving brunch all day and cocktails into the evening, the Buttery also has an idyllic garden area for outdoor drinking and dining that might just be Belgravia’s best kept secret.
If you’re looking for an affordable luxury London hotel with a gym, or with those traditional hotel room amenities (there’s no mini bar, fluffy bathrobe or slippers here) then this probably isn’t the hotel for you, but if you’re looking for a home away from home with plenty of thoughtful touches, then we couldn’t recommended The Lime Tree more. By far our favourite hotel on this list when it comes to style and the hotel’s overall vibe.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: The basic room rate at The Lime Tree includes your bed for the night only in one of the hotel's stylish rooms, with an ensuite bathroom and use of the Bramley toiletries. Breakfast in The Buttery can be purchased at an extra cost and making a reservation is recommended.
- View rates for The Lime Tree Hotel at Booking.com
- Visit The Lime Tree Hotel website for more information and to book direct
How to get the best deals on luxury hotels in London
The term 'you get what you pay for' isn't always true in the hotel world. Forget shelling out half your monthly salary a night for sublime luxury—there are fancy experiences to be had without an eye-watering price tag. Sure, you may not be able to afford the best spa hotels in London at the moment, but you can find champagne hotels with a lemonade budget if you know where to look and how to book.
1. Book for the cheapest months and days of the week
When booking affordable luxury hotels in London, timing really does matter to get the best deals. Emma Tagg, head of brand communications at Hotels.com reveals, "December and January are the cheapest travel months—with the first two weeks of January usually the quietest weeks and the perfect time to grab a bargain". (Read our guides to the best places to visit in January and the best places to visit in February if that fact has got you thinking...)
"You might think traveling around the holiday season would cost more, but corporate hotels have great availability and prices in the last two weeks in December (excluding New Year’s Eve)."
You could also consider booking a stay on Sunday and Monday nights - these are commonly the quietest nights of the week for hotels and so the room rates are lowest when demand is lowest. The most expensive nights of the week to book are Friday and Saturday.
2. Book last minute
Waiting to get a good deal, rather than booking in advance, especially in today's climate, is also a great way to get the best deals. "While booking last minute may seem risky, it can actually be a good way to score some killer deals. Gone are the days when you need to book your hotel stay months in advance, " admits Tagg, "In fact, booking right at the last minute can save you lots of money if you can keep your nerve and are not traveling somewhere that is likely to be unusually busy."
3. Sign up to travel apps and loyalty programmes
Being savvy, by signing up to emails, and downloading your favorite travel apps will also work in your favor.
"It’s common to find app-only deals on the hotels.com app—as it is for other travel apps too", Tagg says. She advises, "Also to get access to the best and most up to date discount codes, sign up for emails, follow travel companies on social media and check out discount code websites."
"You can also find discounts on hotels on certain occasions—for example, Black Friday or Cyber Monday hotel deals—or the period in advance of national holidays, or anniversaries."
If you are a recurring customer with a particular hotel chain, it's worth signing up for their loyalty programs too. "It really does pay to be loyal," admits Tagg, "Sign up for loyalty programs to enjoy access to the best rates, discount coupons, free nights and VIP services, and extras."
4. Stay in business districts on weekends
Staying in areas such as the City of London, Paddington or Canary Wharf during the weekend means you're more likely to get a great deal for a 5-star hotel, as hotels in these areas are quieter on Saturdays and Sundays without any business travellers.
Emma also explains that executive clubs or club level deals at business hotels can also mean you get extra for your money: "You can pay a small fee to upgrade and enjoy a whole host of amenities, services, and freebies, such as dedicated lounges with free drinks and snacks, laundry services, upgraded rooms, free WiFi and complimentary newspapers and magazines. Sometimes it’s worth spending a little to get a lot."
5. Look for corner rooms
Don't always go for the first room on offer! Emma reveals that a corner room is normally the best in the hotel.
"Due to the structural layout of a building, these rooms generally have the most square footage and windows, while also offering the lowest noise level. It will feel like you have a nicer room, without actually paying for one."
An internationally published digital journalist and editor, Rachael has worked as a writer and editor for both news and lifestyle websites in the UK and abroad including Metro UK, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, GoodTo.com, honey.nine.com.au and body+soul.
Rachael's published work covers a broad spectrum of topics and she has written about everything from the future of sustainable travel, to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world we live in, to the psychology of colour.
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