Budget beds in London: The Big Six

From Shoreditch to Russell Square, and Aldgate to Bankside

Generator, Russell Square

In 1995, Generator Hostels opened its first property, in London, launching an affordable, design-driven model that has since expanded to a host of European cities. After a decade as the flagship, however, the London property has recently been the subject of an £8m refurbishment, completed this year. Close to Russell Square, it now features 800 beds in a collection of dorms, triples and twins. The chain's urban, industrial-chic look is evident throughout, with Tom Dixon furniture, eye-catching Moooi pieces and art installations by the Shoreditch-based collective Acrylicize. The lounge is home to a cinema screen, a small café and a bar featuring a not-quite-lifesize replica Routemaster bus.

Generator, 37 Tavistock Place, WC1H 9SE (020 7388 7666; generatorhostels.com). Dorms from £10.50pp; doubles from £50, room only.

Qbic, Aldgate

The launch of Qbic's London property last November came after the success of its maiden project in Amsterdam. In Aldgate, the group has continued with the same capsule-style, modular rooms as the first hotel. Each compact, private room is made up of a cube-shaped living space, with a double bed, free Wi-Fi, smart TV and monsoon shower. All feature arty touches and murals, although the smallest – the Smart rooms – don't have windows. The Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants of Brick Lane and the bright lights of Shoreditch await outside.

Qbic, 42 Adler Street, E1 1EE (020 3021 3300; qbichotels.com). Doubles from £69, room only.

Clink78, Kings Cross

Formerly known as Clerkenwell Magistrates' Court, this Victorian courthouse once employed Charles Dickens as a clerk and in 1978 fined members of The Clash for shooting racing pigeons with an air rifle. Today, the two courthouses have been converted into computer and television rooms, with space for 500 "inmates" upstairs in a series of dorms and private rooms, some in the former holding cells. Head to the basement for a pint in The Clash Bar or escape on a free walking tour.

Clink78, 78 King's Cross Road, WC1X 9QG (020 3475 3000; clinkhostels.com). Dorms £12pp; doubles £40, with breakfast.

The Dictionary, Shoreditch

Hackney's first youth hostel sits on the doorstep of some of the capital's hippest pubs and clubs in nearby Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Old Street. Husband-and-wife team Eliska and Peter Finlay opened the 200-bed boutique hostel in 2012. Rooms include a range of private dorms and doubles, with exposed brick walls, skylights and metal-frame bunks. Pull-out lockers underneath offer space for storing valuables. Elsewhere, relax in the courtyard garden, enjoy a beer on the roof terrace or head to the hostel's lively bar.

The Dictionary, 10-20 Kingsland Road, E2 8DA (020 7613 2784; thedictionaryhostel.com). Dorms £15pp; doubles £40, room only.

citizenM, Bankside

The citizenM chain started in Amsterdam, then Glasgow and Rotterdam, before opening in London's Bankside two years ago. Today, properties have been added in New York and Paris, with more planned for Shoreditch, Tower Hill and Holborn over the coming years. As with all of the properties, technology plays a crucial role at Bankside. Adjust lights, flick through free movies or close the blinds, all from your personal tablet computer. Downstairs, the lobby sports Vitra furniture and iMacs, while the 24-hour canteen works on an honesty basis.

citizenM, 20 Lavington Street, SE1 0NZ (020 3519 1680; citizenm.com). Doubles from £109.

The Hoxton, Shoreditch

All the rooms are the same size at this egalitarian hotel in the heart of Shoreditch. Stripped of non-essentials, they focus on stylish interiors that reflect the creative neighbourhood outside, with Anglepoise lamps and vintage chairs. A clutch of "concept rooms" takes the look even further, with covetable furniture and art, all sourced from within three minutes' walk of the front door. Quirky touches include the breakfast bag – hung on the bedroom door and filled with yogurt, fruit, juice and granola.

The Hoxton, 81 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3HU (020 7550 1000; hoxtonhotels.com). Doubles from £49, including breakfast.

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
Arts and Entertainment
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Service Receptionist / Warranty Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion the Largest Independent Motor...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Holiday Homes - £100,000 OTE

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game