Affordable Cool Boutique Hotels in East London
Luxury hospitality is commonly associated with London, the mega metropolitan city. The focus has previously been on large and upscale structures; towering builds for offices, malls, and restaurants with breathtaking views of London. Famed for excellence and prestige, Claridges, Fortnum and Masons remain loyal staples to the minds of many. The sheer number of cool rooftops, festivals, urban gardens, pop-up events and culinary and cultural happenings, is why London remains one of the most visited cities in Europe. Additionally, there has been an ongoing emergence of more boutique hotels on the scene. Many of which have been popping up in East London. The city’s more urban side is a hit for those wanting to pick up vintage buys, eat at a range of top eateries - from a diverse selection, party until all hours and generally walk around and absorb the street art and culture.
Mama Shelter London
Yes, you are reading this correctly. Mama Shelter has arrived in London! The boutique hotel chain is famous for its sultry mood, designer furniture and kitsch approach to hospitality. We had the pleasure of staying at their Paris East branch whilst in the French capital some years ago. We took selfies, partied at clubs recommended by the receptionist and met cool people at their pizza restaurant. If you want an experience, the hotel brand is an option you shouldn’t shy away from. Experiences are at the forefront with an in-house restaurant, masks that you can use to take selfies when you convert your TV to a camera booth. This London brand, however, is no different, upping the ante with Japanese karaoke styled booths and interior courtyard and a restaurant to cater to your gastronomy needs. Pinball machines and retro video games can also be enjoyed at the hip hotel. Located on Cambridge Heath Road, you’re a short walk from Cambridge Heath train station; 10 minutes from Bethnal Green tube and a good haunt of restaurants, cafes, pubs and activities in East London.
There are times when you need more than a hotel room, and that’s when places such as Leman Locke, a new design-led aparthotel in Aldgate, really stand out. It’s ideal for those staying more than the standard two nights, as the apartments come with a bedroom, kitchen and living area. The style is minimalist with a Scandinavian influence, thanks to the white walls, natural furniture and pastel hues. The brand stays true to its creative lifestyle focus. The space is consistently considered and maximised with design aspects showcased nicely without compromising on functionality. A coffee shop, gym, bar, restaurant and co-working space are also available for like-minded types, who appreciate a style in this hip part of East End. Many a corner is instagrammable. The feature staircase in the café best gives an insight of what is to come when you stay at Leman Locke.
The Buxton is a pub and hotel that opened its doors just a few months ago. The younger sister of the East London hit, The Culpeper is already causing quite a wave thanks to its reform and affordable price point. Who doesn’t like a hotel with a rooftop? The building was refurbished during 2019 to form a 15-room hotel right in the heart of Spitalfields. With a brick façade, it oozes sheer Victorian heritage at its finest, neatly showcasing just the right amount of contemporary elements. The history behind the hotel is impressive. Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton was a man who not only actively participated in abolishing the slave trade during the British Empire, but he also founded the RSPCA. Additionally, he was a brewer and owned the iconic Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. The Buxton hotel is sure to honour his efforts attracting a diverse crowd, in a pub with good craft beer among happenings in the area.
This pub is a breath of fresh air in East London, and we have visited several times for the food and atmosphere alone. Split across several floors; it features a traditional gastro-pub on the lower level, which is followed by a restaurant and rooms on the first floor and an urban rooftop with incredible views over the city. It is known for building a community, hosting botanical illustration classes in the past and frequently finding ways to make the most of their rooftop. The food is modern and honest, with many flocking for after-work drinks and a chat before gathering at a long communal table and tucking into tasty bites and dishes. Rooms are cosy and most definitely embody a more eclectic vibe that one might expect from an East London abode. Walls are distressed; there is exposed brickwork in places, mixed chairs and some rooms have a fireplace. It is brimming with character and feels more like you're staying at a friend’s place.
Z Hotel Shoreditch
Functional and minimalist rooms range from doubles to family size at the simple boutique hotel in London’s creative hub. As it’s just 2 minutes away from Old Street and approximately 10 minutes from both Hoxton and Shoreditch train stations, it is the ideal place to book if you want to sample street food on Brick Lane, visit Columbia Road Flower Market or hit the Hoxton rooftop cinema. High-quality, crisp bed linen, aircon, Samsung HDTV with Sky, complimentary toiletries and under-bed storage are in all rooms.
There are a few CitizenM hotels dotted around in London, such as the Tower of London branch but we have a soft spot for the Shoreditch hotel. The small boutique hotel is in a less touristy spot, tucked away down the roads lined with street art. This 216 room hotel doesn’t feel like it’s that big and you get all the necessary services - such as food available across 24-hours at their CanteenM. What we love about this hotel is the location. It is close to several eateries, pubs and bars and cute cafes. Whether you’re a first-timer in the city or a regular, it’s a hit. The fact that the location is by a more quiet side of East London, yet a short distance from Liverpool Street station is equally advantageous.
Nothing quite says home in London more than the Boundary London hotel, situated within the red brick walls of a former Victorian warehouse in Shoreditch. It is most certainly a destination giving people the option to sleep, eat or drink at their space thanks to the Albion dining area, rooftop bar and grill and outdoor terrace up on the roof with London city views. It’s certainly a destination for brunch, fine dining and special occasions. Rooms and suites are spacious and range from double bedrooms to duplex loft suites. Effortless design is at the essence, with each room inspired by a particular iconic designer or movement in the 20th century, from Bauhaus, Eileen Gray to Le Corbusier. If you are seeking a neighbourhood hangout that is design-centric with all the extras, The Boundary Hotel is an excellent quintessentially English option in East London.
The Hoxton Shoreditch
If you want hip and versatility, The Hoxton Shoreditch remains a sturdy contender. It is a magnet for locals and visitors alike that appreciate a multitude of spaces and a welcoming vibe. You can opt for Shoebox, Cosy or Roomie size room, depending on your needs. All rooms have a contemporary flair with parquet floors and industrial details. If travelling solo; as a couple or in a group, this Hoxton haute is likely to tick the box. Their restaurant The Hoxton Grill serves delicious American diner classics from breakfast until late.