Attending the travel jamboree that is World Travel Market in London this week, I faced my annual dilemma of whether to commute to the show daily from my home or stay up in town. The daily trip to Excel takes at least 2 hours (assuming Southern Rail/DLR behave) so this year, with evening events also on my agenda, I decided to hunt down the best value London accommodation.
My first thought, being a big fan, was to check out Airbnb. I’ve had some great experiences renting through Airbnb and it is usually way cheaper than hotel options. With an ever expanding army of hosts looking to take advantage of spare room rentals, finding a room in London for less than £50 a night is surprisingly easy. However, for this search, location was key I couldn’t find one that matched my quite limited requirements. If I’m being honest, I also felt slightly uneasy as female solo traveller having to find my way back late at night in more offbeat residential areas.
So can any London Hotels match the bargain basement value of Airbnb and provide that all important convenient location and security? Step in Tune Hotels, a hotel concept developed in Asia but now growing in Europe. The idea is simple: ‘ a great nights sleep at a great value price’. All the usual extras – wifi, TV, towels, toiletries, housekeeping – are offered but on a ‘pay as you use’ rate. So, if like me, all you want is a comfortable bed, a decent shower and a convenient, secure location, that’s all you pay for. In my case, £60 per night at the Liverpool Street property. Okay my room was bijoux and windowless but clever design and use of mirrors made it far from cell like and a more than acceptable place to rest my head. It provided exactly what it says on the tin/website!. I was impressed and would definitely book again.
Of course, as soon as you think you’ve found the bargain of the century, someone else will trump you! Fellow travel writer Matthew Teller revealed he found a room at Easyhotel Victoria for just £48 per night. He did declare it to be the smallest room he had ever stayed in though with the bed touched by walls on 3 and a half sides. And those walls are a not especially sleep inducing orange!
But, point proved, London may be one of the most expensive cities in the world but whether you are visiting for business or pleasure, you don’t have to pay through the nose for a decent nights sleep.