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britcher Apr 8th, 2013 03:51 PM

Cheap Hotel in London vs. a Little More Expensive but More Central?
I'm planning a trip to London in late August, early September. I don't plan on staying much in my room so I am looking for a simple hotel with the bare necessities. Currently, I am thinking about booking with Travelodge. Several questions though.

The Travelodge I am looking at is in the East End area (in Zone 2 but close to the edge of Zone 1). For $150 more, total, I can be staying in Kings Cross. Is it worth it to spend the extra money to be more central? Or is being further out not a big deal and would it be a better experience to have a base station not in the main hub areas of London? I am planning on day trips to Paris, the Cotswolds, Salisbury, and Windsor so being near a train station would be useful.

Also, are there any non chain hotels that would be around the same price as a Travelodge? Most websites carry the same hotels and I would think London would have more hotels than are being shown?

Thanks for any help.

SusannahT Apr 8th, 2013 04:47 PM

We have just returned from a stay in Waterloo Travelodge and it was fabulous. Clean, comfortable, quiet, great price as we booked early and fantastic location. It is walking distance to Covent Garden, Globe theatre, Old Vic, Houses of Parliament, National Gallery and Waterloo station.

KidsToLondon Apr 8th, 2013 05:44 PM

As long as you are checking "budget" hotel chains in London, be sure to look at Premier Inns—they now have a large number of properties in central London.

For me, the more central the location, the better. Yes, you can stay far afield and commute, but that wastes a lot of time on your visit (and heaven forbid you forget something or otherwise want to go back to your hotel room during the day!)

London has a lot of hotels that meet the "simple hotel with the bare necessities" definition. Unfortunately, the cost of some of those places does not reflect the level of simplicity. Choose carefully (I suggest checking Tripadvisor and other sites before booking).

Happy travels!

janisj Apr 8th, 2013 07:03 PM

Premier Inn have gone up market. At least in the best locations they are MUCH more expensive than travelodges.

Britcher: Where specifically is the 'east end' Travelodge. Could be fine, could be dreadful. And there are other options besides Kings Cross.

What is your actual budget? And - have you looked at other more central Travelodges?

suburbiadeutschland Apr 8th, 2013 09:05 PM

A lot of hotels popped up in the east end to accommodate the Olympic guests....IBIS docklands is one, the IBIS budget hotels are part of the accor hotels chain, they are no frills but you generally get wifi and can book a breakfast, there are different price categories and a couple locations throughout the greater London area. If you are staying longer, why not book a flat - I booked one for a week for about 350£ in Belsize Park, North London, it had the benefit of having a small kitchen area so we ate in a lot. Stayed at another flat in the Lancaster gate area before, that was a little more expensive, but more central...the transportation is good, so if you don't mind that extra journey, east London should be fine.

thursdaysd Apr 8th, 2013 09:12 PM

Right, what is your budget? And are you only looking at chain hotels, and if so, why?

jamikins Apr 8th, 2013 11:41 PM

Agree...what is the location in East End...? If it is in places like East Ham, Canning Town or anywhere around Excel I would say look elsewhere.

flanneruk Apr 9th, 2013 01:12 AM

Millions of Londoners happily live outside the area bounded by the Circle Line (the usual definition of Central London) and see nothing odd or stressful in a 30 min daily commute into town or getting the tube or train to a mainline station for a day out in Salisbury or Windsor.

The East End is a bit more controversial than places like Hampstead because there's a huge Legoland-style set of developments roughly centred on the Olympic area/Excel/O2 that really are pretty charmless, though safe and now with a remarkable range of quite decent eating places. There are also more interesting, cutting edge areas some might get wimpish about, so you need to be precise about what you like and about where in East End you're thinking of.

The problems for your stated plans, though, are:
- most sensible daytrips to Paris mean getting trains very early indeed (around 0530), which means too early for the first tube to leave your local station and connect. So you need either nightbuses (which at 0430 run very smoothly, but not necessarily from where your hotel is) or taxis (which can cost not much less than the Eurostar ticket if you're too far out)
- though we're all happy to commute, most seasoned visitors prefer having a hotel they can retreat to easily at some point during a long day's sightseeing, eating and theatre/opera. That's fine at Kings Cross: it starts getting impractical much further out

- from anywhere, though, the practicalities of a public transport-based day out in the Cotswolds might be daunting. Getting to Paddington isn't particularly trickier from the East End (or many other peripheral areas) than from the inner tourist ghettoes. But getting round the Cotswolds without a car can be, and by Sept (when daylight is 0700-1900) walking - the best way to see the Cotswolds, and possible without a car - requires a bit of planning if you want to avoid tripping over tree roots in twilight.

lincasanova Apr 9th, 2013 02:00 AM

If you see what good rates you can get by bidding on Priceline or using Hotwire wisely, you will be able to stay very centrally in a higher category hotel. Maybe this is the time to study up at and lose your fear of doing that?

I use them all the time and have received 4* hotels for under $90 plus tax and fees even in higher season.

britcher Apr 9th, 2013 08:03 AM

Thanks for the input so far. My budget is probably around $100 per night. The Travelodge I am looking at is in Bethnal Green and is $50 per night.

Its hard to pass up $500 in savings without a good reason. A friend of a friend recently said that Bethnal Green is a good place to stay. I would think there are positives of staying in an area that isn't maybe traditionally tourist.

Mimar Apr 9th, 2013 08:25 AM

< though we're all happy to commute, most seasoned visitors prefer having a hotel they can retreat to easily at some point during a long day's sightseeing, eating and theatre/opera. That's fine at Kings Cross: it starts getting impractical much further out >

I agree with flanner! (A first.) It's really convenient to be able to drop back to your hotel midday, maybe drop off packages, pick up your umbrella, change to different clothes or shoes. If your hotel is at some distance, that doubles the time spent commuting, a waste of your vacation time.

jamikins Apr 9th, 2013 08:53 AM

Bethnal Green has quick access to the centre via the Central Line.

However it is a bit rougher of an area, with few to little tourists - meaning you may feel a bit uncomfortable walking around at night. Or not. Most of the pubs are what I would consider run down and not very friendly to outsiders. Fine for pint I suppose. Its quite ethnic - not a bad thing, but if you arent used to it it is something to be aware of. Its an area I guess could be considered up up up and coming?

I would personally not want to stay there as a tourist, and I commute in from SE London in a VERY ethnic neighbourhood. But I wouldnt recommend people stay at our local Travelodge (and I bet its just as cheap as the one at Bethnal Green).

thursdaysd Apr 9th, 2013 10:45 AM

I stay here:

It is under your budget if you share a bathroom, just over for en-suite. The location is very convenient, both for arriving from Heathrow via the Piccadilly line, and for eating and sightseeing - walking distance to the British Museum, Covent Garden and Soho. I once lived in London, out in Highgate, but as a tourist I want to be more central, for the reasons flanner gave. I want to be able to clean up before going out for dinner and theater, and to not have too far to travel home afterwards.

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