Two London hotels that won’t break the bank

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 9th August 2014

IMG_0898I’m on a quest to find London hotels that are stylish, comfortable and won’t break the bank.

With that in mind, I usually head to the Hoxton in Shoreditch. The only trouble is that it is so well known (roll on the opening of the new Hoxton in Holborn) that you can’t always get a room.

So, in the interests of research, I’ve tried out two new hotels – CitizenM in Bankside (above) and Qbic in Aldgate East (below).

They both, I’m glad to say, fulfil all my criteria – stylish, comfortable and good value.

I stayed at CitizenM the night before my daughter’s graduation (cue proud mum face) and was impressed by its location, a three-stop bus ride from Waterloo Station and a stone’s throw from Tate Modern.

Prices vary, but compared to the average London hotel they are eminently reasonable.

CitizenM is modern (you check in via screens in reception), with an excellent coffee shop, bookstore (great idea), stylish Vitra furniture in the open-plan ground floor area and striking red and black décor.

”It’s like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Blade Runner,” exclaimed my son when he saw it.

My room was small but well designed and equipped with a Samsung tablet that allowed me to control everything from the TV and radio to the lighting, blinds and temperature (probably not the best place to stay if you’re a technophobe).

The staff are friendly and helpful and yes, I’ll definitely stay there again.

IMG_1088This week I tried Qbic, just a five-minute walk from Aldgate East tube.

Apart from the long, anonymous corridors en route to my room (grey and lime green is not my favourite colour combination) it was great.

The building in Adler Street is old but the rooms are new.

They are cube-shaped, with a bed, TV, bathroom, light, power all built in – “like a caravan without wheels,” says the hotel, although they’re an awful lot more chic than the one and only caravan I’ve ever stayed in.

So another thumbs up – I’ll be back there again too.

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