I am travelling to London in November and will be there for two weeks. Can you recommend any good hotels that are not too expensive? I would like to be based in a reasonably central area (zone 1 or 2) and be close to an Underground station.
Fortunately, a great number of small new hotels have opened in London in the past six years, meaning that you don't have to put up with sub-standard accommodation to be able to afford a central location.
K West in West Kensington is a modern glass-fronted building close to Shepherd's Bush Tube station and is on several bus routes. Westfield Shopping Centre is nearby and it's also handy for Notting Hill and Portobello Road. With 220 rooms from £109 (Dh630) for a double, including tax, it's very good value but skip the extras: Wi-Fi costs £15 (Dh87), breakfast is £17 (Dh98) and use of the fitness centre costs an additional £10 (Dh58). K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, Shepherd's Bush (www.k-west.co.uk; 00 44 20 8008 6600).
In neighbouring Kensington, in a traditional white stucco townhouse, is Base2Stay, a 67-room hotel offering cleanliness, comfort and location (it's close to the Victoria & Albert and Natural History museums and Earl's Court and Gloucester Road Tube stations) from £113 (Dh653) per night for a small double, including tax. There's free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour concierge, good showers, flatscreen TVs and kitchenettes, but no gym, restaurant, lounge area or bar. Base2Stay, 25 Courtfield Gardens, Kensington (www.base2stay.co.uk; 00 44 2077 244 2255).
Over in east London, the Hoxton hotel is an affordable option for those looking to avoid bland chains. The 205-room, brick-built "urban lodge" is situated on Great Eastern Street close to Hoxton and Liverpool Street stations and in the heart of one of London's most creative areas.
Every three months five rooms are sold for £1 (Dh6) per night, but you have to register online and be fast and lucky to get one at that price. The other rooms sell for between £59 (Dh341) and £199 (Dh1,150) per night, depending on when you book.
There is a caverous downstairs lobby lounge filled with art and featuring exposed brick, large fireplaces and comfortable sofas. The rooms are nearly identical and slick, with quality bedlinens and toiletries, and you get an hour of local and international phone calls, a small Pret à Manger breakfast and Wi-Fi included in the rate. The Hoxton Grill restaurant serves food. The Hoxton, 81 Great Eastern Street (www.hoxtonhotels.com; 00 44 20 7550 1000).
Less welcoming but also much smaller is Shoreditch Rooms, the Soho House Group's latest property at Shoreditch House. The private social club offers room guests use of its rooftop pool. Prices start at £85 (Dh490) for a very small, retro-style double room. Shoreditch Rooms, Ebor Street (www.shoreditchrooms.com; 00 44 20 7739 5040).
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