The Best High Design Affordable London Hotels

As a family we love a city break and being only 2 hours by train from London, it’s a city we visit a lot. Over the years we’ve been lucky to have friends that have lived there, which meant a free bed for as long as we wanted it, but now they’ve moved back home, an overnight visit to London has become a bit more of a luxury. That is until recently.¬†Over the last few years, there has been a wealth of affordable, design focused hotels springing up around Europe and London. These hotels are aimed at people just like us, who want a hotel that won’t break the bank but that is a great place to stay, somewhere that has a small but perfectly formed room,power shower, air con, super comfortable bed, with a great location, a cool bar and some where you can grab a quick breakfast before hitting the pavements to take in the city.

As a regular traveller to Europe and a blogger, I am often asked by readers, where I would recommend to stay. You can read some of my previous travel blogs here,here & here.

So with a pending trip to London to visit The Hockney Exhibition currently being planned, here are my round up of some of my favourite hotels in London, based on location, price band and style.

The Hoxton

I’ve stayed at The Hoxton in Amsterdam and it is one of my favourite hotels. The staff are friendly and knowledgable and really helpful. The rooms have the right mix of contemporary and retro design, with the best showers I’ve ever used and gorgeous toiletries, the restaurant is fantastic and good value for money and with the sort of atmosphere that makes you want to stay right there for the evening.


Artist Residence

This is a hotel that I’ve seen popping up on a lot of bloggers Instagram feeds and it is so very instagrammable with its gorgeous eclectic rooms furnished with vintage finds. My friend lives in Cornwall where they have an Artist Residence in Penzance and she eats there regularly and tells me the food is fantastic, so this is definitely on my list of places to stay.

Ace Hotel

This hotel is based in Shoreditch which is one of my favourite boroughs of London for it’s independent shops, bars and makers markets. It’s slightly more expensive than some of the other hotels I’ve mentioned but it has an amazing design throughout the private and public spaces and it also has family rooms, which brings the cost down of having to book 2 separate rooms, if travelling en famille.

Malmaison Islington

Malmaison hotels were one of the fore runners in the boutique hotel concept. I remember staying in their Edinburgh Hotel over 20 years ago when it first opened and being blown away that a hotel of such high end design with a fantastic restaurant & bar could be so affordable. I’ve stayed in many of their hotels over the years and the Islington hotel is in a lovely location, inside a historic gated courtyard in the heart of one of London’s oldest areas right next to the Smithfield Market. To call the area Islington is perhaps a little ambitious on their part, it is in the Borough of Islington but nearer to Clerkenwell and The Barbican although you can walk to The Angel within about 1/2 an hour. The Malmaison rooms are super comfortable though with large beds and bathrooms, theres a great bar, that nearly always has an offer on the cocktails, 2 for 1 etc and the breakfast is always a treat and very good value.

Motel One

A well travelled friend has just been to Edinburgh and stayed at this relatively new hotel and she thought it was excellent value for money, with a clean contemporary interior and good breakfast. The hotel in London is worth checking out for the location and affordability and I’m assured the beds are extremely comfortable. I know I keep talking about the comfort of the beds a lot, but if like me you don’t always sleep as well in hotels, this is a big plus.


This hotel chain started life in Amsterdam, a city I love for it’s design credentials. ¬†They now have 3 hotels in London, the newest being Shoreditch, an area,as I’ve said, is a favourite, so this is definitely on my list of places to stay in London. The design is fun, bright and contemporary and the prices definitely fall into the affordable bracket for London.


Have you stayed in any of these hotels? which ones would you recommend, I’d love to hear from you x






  1. Catherine
    15 April, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    Haven’t been to any of those hotels, but if you are coming to see the Hockney exhibition, then you should go to the Dulwich Picture Gallery to see the Vanessa Bell exhibition.

    • karen
      6 May, 2017 / 7:39 pm

      Funny you should say that Catherine, I’m a huge Bloomsbury group fan and also Patti Smith fan and I believe that some of Patti’s photos from Charleston over the years she has been visiting are part of the exhibition, so yes I agree, I should definitely go there. Thanks for contacting me x

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