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Best cheap hotels in London for families: budget places to stay in the capital

Looking for somewhere affordable to stay while exploring London with kids? We’ve rounded up the best hotels for a bargain family trip, as recommended by real parents.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Feb 16, 2024

The Thames running through London

The words 'budget', 'London' and 'hotel' don’t usually go together, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you need buckets of money to stay overnight in the capital, especially if you’ve got kids in tow. However, finding a reasonably priced family hotel room IS possible, and there are plenty of family hotel rooms in London for just over £100(ish) per night. But Mumsnet users know that it’s not just the price that counts - a good family hotel needs to be welcoming to children, pleasant to stay in and in a good location to earn their stamp of approval.

Everybody’s feeling the pinch right now, and Mumsnet users are experts at making savings to ensure their family breaks are still fun and memorable. We’ve scoured the Mumsnet travel forums to find the top London hotel recommendations from real parents.

What are the best budget hotels for families in London?

1. Premier Inn Kensington

Premier inn, Kensington

Premier Inn Kensington | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"Premier inn Earls Court/Kensington. Tucked away the other side of Earls Court, lots of little shops and supermarket. Easy access to Tube. Really quiet. Been there a few times, super helpful" - recommended by Mumsnet user, thesunwillout

"You can’t really go wrong with Premier Inn. I recommend The Kensington Earls Court one for price and easy accessibility to the tube/central London" - recommended by Musmnet user, Comefromaway

Our verdict

You can rely on Premier Inn for a clean, comfortable room wherever you happen to be staying. London is a big city and there are dozens of Premier Inns to choose from, so finding Mumsnetters’ favourite one was a challenge. Earl’s Court pipped other contenders to the post for its amazing location in one of the swankiest neighbourhoods in the city, its easy links to the rest of London and its fair room prices.

Just round the corner you’ll find the V&A, the Natural History Museum and the epic Diana Memorial Playground at Kensington Gardens. Family rooms sleep up to four, with cots available on request at no extra charge. There’s an on-site restaurant serving breakfast and dinner, and parking is available nearby for around £20 per day.

Nearest tube station: Earls Court (0.5 miles)

2. YHA London Central

YHA London Central

YHA London Central | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"YHA London Central is decent" - Skulldrudgery

"We are a family of 5 and stay in yha youth hostels in London. We fly so pick hostel based on ease of transport to/ from whatever airport we are using." - user1471464218

Our verdict

While amazing bargains can be found at most of the hotels on our list, YHA London Central - and YHA hostels in general - come highly recommended by Mumsnetters for being reliably cheap. You can get a private room within shouting distance of Regent's Park to sleep four for around £100 per night (note that it can creep up to £200 on Saturdays). While the rooms are basic and you can expect to be in a bunk bed, family rooms have a private bathroom and access to a self-catering kitchen. We think YHA London Central makes the perfect cheap and cheerful base for exploring London's best bits.

Nearest tube station: Great Portland Street (0.4 miles)

Travelodge covent garden

Travelodge Covent Garden | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"Really liked the Covent Garden /Drury Lane one last week and will definitely go back with the kids. 20 of us from work stayed there last Sunday for an awards do in Mayfair - was only £49 a room but appreciate this was a Sunday eve! 24 hr bar /restaurant a plus but again, appreciate maybe only to our circs! Small rooms but adequate!" - recommended by Mumsnet user, escape

Our verdict

Like Premier Inn and YHA, Travelodge is a hotel chain you can trust to be pretty much the same wherever you go. Mumsnetters rate the Covent Garden Travelodge for its excellent location, close to some of the most popular attractions the city has to offer. Family rooms have a double or king bed and one or two singles, and you can get discounted parking at the nearby NCP.

Nearest tube station: Holborn (0.4 miles)

Ibis budget whitechapel

Ibis Budget Whitechapel | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"We've stayed in the Ibis Budget in Whitechapel for £100 for two nights. It's basic but clean and close to a tube station" - recommended by Mumsnet user, barberousbarbara

Our verdict

If you want an east London base, the Ibis Budget is a great choice. Nearby you’ll find the Tower of London, Brick Lane and Tower Bridge, and there’s plenty of quirky and interesting shops and restaurants in the area. Rooms only sleep three, so the Ibis isn’t an option for larger families. If you’re in a group of three the hotel’s triple or triple nest rooms are comfortable, if a little small.

Nearest tube station: Whitechapel (0.3 miles)

Read next: The best packing cubes to keep the family organised on your next trip

Z Hotel, City of London

Z Hotel London City | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"For that budget, you couldn’t do better than the Z hotels. Try the one in the City, as I know they’ve got reasonable prices" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Fivemoreminutes1

Our verdict

Like most capital cities, space is at a premium in London. Z Hotels’ innovative use of double bunk beds means four people can squeeze surprisingly comfortably into a small room, with a private bathroom and plenty of clever storage space. Located near the Thames and Somerset House, Z Hotel makes a comfy base to relax and sleep soundly after a long day’s sightseeing.

Nearest tube station: Temple (0.4 miles)

Mentone hotel, London

Mentone Hotel | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"We stayed at the Mentone hotel which is at Cartwright gardens, Bloomsbury. Very easy walking distance to Kings cross and Russell Square tube. They had great family rooms and weren't too expensive. It is also near a Waitrose which was handy for snacks, fruit etc for the children" - recommended by Mumsnet user, greenbeanie

Our verdict

If you prefer an independent hotel to a chain but don’t want to pay over the odds, the Mentone in Bloomsbury comes highly recommended by Mumsnetters. Just five minutes’ walk from King's Cross Station, the hotel is in a quiet, Grade II listed building with large en suite rooms throughout. Family rooms sleep up to five, with cots available for free on request - making this a perfect choice for larger families.

Nearest tube station: Russell Square (0.4 miles)

Read next: The best family-friendly spa hotels in the UK

7. Millennium Gloucester

Millenium Gloucester Hotel, London

Millennium Gloucester | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"My top tip is the Millennium Gloucester. It’s usually fairly cheap and right by Gloucester Road tube in a very well lit area so safe and accessible" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Ratonastick

Our verdict

The deceptively grand Millennium Gloucester has bargain family rooms available for under £200 a night if you’re savvy with your dates. The 4-star hotel is located in stylish Kensington, with the V&A, Science Museum and Natural History Museum a short walk away. Cots and extra beds are available on request, and family rooms are spacious and airy, with two double beds and en suite bathrooms.

Nearest tube station: Gloucester Road (50 metres)

novotel tower bridge, London

Novotel Tower Bridge | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"We are staying this time (as a family) at Novotel Tower Bridge. Great value. Good reviews on trip advisor. Not too far out. Free brekky under our deal. There is a small health area too, if you still want it" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Kez100

Our verdict

Novotels strike a great balance between luxury and affordability, with on-site gyms and restaurants without the hefty price tag. The Tower Bridge Novotel has an indoor play area, board games and you can even bring your dog. It’s well placed for the Tower of London and Sky Garden, and you can hop on the Circle and District line at Tower Hill tube, less than 100 metres from the hotel.

Standard rooms sleep four, on a queen-size bed and a double sofa bed, with free cots available on request. Some rooms do have a glass wall between the shower and the bedroom, which won’t suit everybody.

Nearest tube station: Tower Hill (100 metres)

Read next: The best family hotels in the Cotswolds, as rated by Mumsnetters

9. Leonardo Royal London Tower Bridge

leonardo hotel, london

Leonardo Royal London Tower Bridge | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"The Leonardo Tower is lovely, I'm not sure about the adjoining rooms but it is a lovely hotel. A minute or two walk away from Tower Bridge. If I ever was going to stay in London again I would go back there!" - recommended by Mumsnet user, boomchikawowwow

Our verdict

With views across the city, Leonardo Hotel near Tower Bridge offers a high quality stay for a very reasonable price. The hotel boasts a swimming pool, a gym and an on-site restaurant serving grill, a la carte and tapas dishes.

Family rooms have two comfy double beds, large windows and free cots available on request. The Tower Bridge area makes a great base for exploring London, with attractions such as Buckingham Palace, London Zoo and Big Ben a short tube ride away. London City Airport is just five miles from the hotel and Fenchurch Street station is within easy reach, connecting it to the South East of the UK.

Nearest train station: Tower Gateway (0.2 miles)

10. Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury

Holiday Inn, London Bloomsbury

Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury | Check availability

What Mumsnet users say

"I like Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, it's usually well priced and great access to everywhere" - recommended by Mumsnet user, wheresmyshoe

Our verdict

Near Covent Garden and the West End, this is a perfect base for a trip to the theatre. The hotel offers basic accommodation, with clean, comfortable rooms and an on-site restaurant.

A Standard Double Room sleeps four in a double bed and a fold-out sofa bed, with travel cots available on request. Just 500 metres from the hotel is the British Museum, where the kid-friendly explorer trails bring exhibits to life.

Nearest train station: Russell Square (0.1 miles)

How much is a family hotel in London?

Staying in London isn’t cheap, and if you’re visiting as a family, room rates go up. A family room in a luxury hotel can easily cost more than £700 on a Saturday in the capital, but it’s possible to pay less if you’re willing to compromise and shop around.

The hotels on our list all clock in at under £250 for a family room on a weekday, which is still a lot of money but reasonable for London. The cheapest we found was YHA Oxford Street, with quadruple rooms for a bargainous £113 per night, rising to £170 on a Saturday.

What are the cheapest times of year to stay in London?

Prices drop dramatically outside of school holiday times, and January and February are on average the cheapest months of the year for a family room in a London hotel.

How can you get a cheap hotel in London?

Staying on a weeknight will bring your room rate down a lot. As a rule of thumb, the further from the centre of London, the cheaper it gets, so experiment with different locations - once you’re armed with a tube map, London is quick, easy and cheap to get around. Bargains can also be had if you book well in advance, so plan ahead if you can.

What’s the best budget hotel in London for families?

The best budget hotel in London is Premier Inn, Kensington. Mumsnetters say the location is hard to beat, the staff are friendly and you can always rely on Premier Inn for a good night’s sleep.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what budget family hotels in London were being recommended.

We then did some online research, looking at what cheaper family hotels in London had won accolades or had been featured in 'best choice' lists, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best value family hotels in London at the moment.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.