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Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

Burbank, California
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Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

Last time in London we stayed at the Grosvenor Hotel in the Victoria area. It's a convenient location for tourists, but it's also expensive, okay for a stay about 2 days or so, but may not be such a good idea for our next visit for about 7-10 days. The idea is to find a hotel away from the city center (hoping it will be cheaper), as long as it has decent public transportation system so we won't waste too much time on traffic, and the hotel is clean and safe. We would rather save the hotel costs and spend more in sightseeing, restaurants, tickets, etc. So, what are the tips of finding those inexpensive/clean/safe/decent_public_transportation hotels in the Greater London area?

We tried a little search ourselves, using the date July 19-20 and search for the Holiday Inn brand, most are not cheap, the rate for Holiday Inn-Commercial Road is 115.5 GBP ($190) is among the lowest (still not cheap enough), but several reviewers complained about bad neighborhood with one calling "Tower Hamlets is the most deprived borough in London". Is Tower Hamlets really that bad as to be not safe enough? We are not that familiar with each London neighborhood. So a side question is "What are the good areas/neighborhoods to choose and what are the bad areas/neighborhoods to avoid?" (What are the areas/neighborhoods that are known for inexpensive but decent hotels?)

Speaking of hotel brands, based on our experiences, roughly 98% of Holiday Inn are fine (a few bad apples), 88% of Holiday Inn Express are okay (a few more bad apples); that probably means Best Westerns are also okay. But those are just American brand hotels. What are UK hotel brands (or even EU hotel brands) that are known for being inexpensive while still decent?

Timing can playing a big role too. What time is a year that hotels in London are hot (thus to avoid), and what time in a year that hotel rates tend to be lower?

The above may be some general principles or rules. But if you know of any specific hotels that are inexpensive and decent, please let us know too!

Or there are popular promotions we should be aware of?

Bottom line: what hotels give biggest bang for the buck? Not luxury hotels, just inexpensive and decent.

Any tips are welcome! Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

You will have to go a long way out, or pick a poor area (or both) to get a noticeably cheaper hotel. And pay for that in much longer days out (every day is a whole day since you cant really nip back half way through the day) and less sightseeing time (or longer days and more expensive transport costs.

One place you can look is Croydon. There are some hotels very near to the train station that get good reviews, Hilton or Premier Inn I forget which, which isn't too long a trek in. I wouldn't stay there myself but you may find its a reasonable trade-off, some TA users obviously have done, so look at the top hotels there.

Loughton, United...
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2. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

Premier Inn has a good reputation. It's a British owned chain - no frills, but no corners cut either. Travelodge is another budget chain, but theses are rather bleaker, and cheaper.

If you want a PI on the outskirts of London, then I recommend the Royal Forest Hotel at Chingford, on the very edge of the built up area, overlooking fine scenery, and 7-8 min walk from Chingford station, 25-30 min from the City. A weeknight here is about £72.

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

Forum regular Tex Scott has compiled Google documents for London budget accommodation - see his links:


His list mentions the main budget chains as well as independents, hostels and student accommodation, many are in central locations.

Wales, United...
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4. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

Premier Inn's are a good UK hotel chain. We've stayed in several, most recently the one in Blackfriars and they are always comfortable and clean, if not luxurious. Rates can vary enormously, though, Saturday nights are usually more expensive! We also once had a very good deal on the Jury's Inn in Chelsea. A nice hotel and a good location, though I wouldn't recommend it for a long stay as you will probably get fed up with the trek into the more central areas of London. it's not so much that the journey is long or difficult, more that it will get tedious travelling over the same road or tracks every day!

As far as neighbourhoods go, some are much nicer than others though I wouldn't say many are not safe, particularly if you don't go wandering off the main streets and take the usual precautions that apply to any city.

Southampton, UK
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5. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

There are numerous Premier Inn hotels in London and elsewhere in the UK. Suggest you look for the best prices on PI's website rather than third party sellers. They have two prices: cancellable and uncancellable. If booked well ahead of your stay you can get some bargains. It should be emphasised that PIs are basic hotels and do not have the luxuries of those that are more expensive, e.g. mini bars, safes, free lotions, etc.

San Francisco Bay
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6. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

If you stay in Croydon, which I wouldn't, you'll have to factor in the 28 pounds or so for a round trip on the train for two people per day. Please look up to the upper right of this page on a non-mobile device and read the TOP QUESTION "Budget Hotels in LOndon" A lot of work went into these Top Questions, why not take advantage of them?

Bucks, UK
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7. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

Try the Travelodge, Premier Inn and Ibis brands - all reasonable budget hotels.If you are staying for 7-10 days, however, you might be better off looking for an apartment. Fleet River Bakery gets good reviews, is very central and around your budget, but books up quickly. There are other threads with recommendations.

If you want a budget hotel, those near the Olympic Park in Stratford are now pretty cheap but they are in Zone 2 and options in the evening are limited.

Re time of year - July and August are peak period, Christmas and Easter usually also expensive. If you can come in May and June then you will find the holiday accomodation somewhat cheaper and the weather still decent, but bear in mind that London is a big business hub, there is a steady demand for hotels all year round so prices will not fluctuate dramatically.

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

For a stay of 7-10 days a flat rental may be a better option and possibly cheaper if you did a bit of self catering. Hamlet Apartments, Marlyn Apartments, Aviva Holiday Studios, Belsize Park Apartments and a few others would be under your £115/night mark.

For a hotel, the Premier Inn Hampstead often has good rates as is not too far out.

Edited: 09 June 2014, 16:35
Burbank, California
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9. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

<<You will have to go a long way out, or pick a poor area (or both) to get a noticeably cheaper hotel.>>

One reason I "dared" to say Holiday Inn's 115.5 GBP still not cheap enough is because on May 25 I stayed at the Hilton London Metropole at a rate of 104 GBP (not cancellable), which was a lot cheaper than Grosvenor's 220 GBP. Hilton is considered a luxury hotel, and on map the Metropole location is only about 2 miles away from the Buckingham Palace. So I was thinking if I don't need Hilton's luxury, and willing to stay somewhat away from the city center, it should be not difficult for me to find a good deal. That seems to be not the case?...

Many of you suggested Premier Inn, so I did a little dig in. For June 22-23 stay, I found Premier Inn London Victoria Hotel offers a rate of 82 GBP (no refund) and 97 GBP (refundable), and it seems to be in a convenient location. (Does this one has some not so good reputation?)

There are also ideals of other prospect hotels and even apartments, all very good information; I will continue to check them out one by one.

Thank you all very much for all the valuable information. Now I know I don't need to pay 220 GBP to stay in London.

Destination Expert
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10. Re: Finding inexpensive/clean/safe/public_trans hotels in London

You are at risk of overthinking this. Hotel rates thanks to fairly dynamic and complex computerised revenue management systems can and do fluctuate quite a bit. I've seen the same room grade at the Park Plazas vary by £100/night.

The Hilton group isn't really luxury, more of a solid 4* (whatever they claim) with variable properties. The newer ones - Tower Bridge or the Hampton Inn Waterloo - the latter very no frills and worth a look btw better than somewhere like the Warldorf which is a problematic building but a good location.

The PI Victoria is fine, refurbed about 2 years ago as are many of the PI's (check reviews on TA and booking.com) so under £100 is pretty good. You could also look at the PI Blackfriars or the PI Monument. And perhaps put your dates/criteria into booking.com and see what comes up to help shortlist a few others.