Cool London hotels on a budget

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Barclay House Hotel, Fulham

You know you've landed on your feet accommodation-wise when you encounter a grand piano whose ivories guests may ask to tickle. And that's by no means the only swish thing in this Victorian terrace townhouse. There's the oak floors, plantation-style shutters, roof terrace (should the sun shine), Philippe Starck en suite bathrooms and Robert Langford hand-made beds, to name but five. The only hitch is that there's usually a minimum stay here of four nights. But hey, with this sort of luxury, is that really such a problem?

• Doubles from ?100 B&B, 21 Barclay Road SW6, 020-7384 3390,

Located on a quiet street conveniently close to Bayswater tube station and only 10 minutes' walk from Hyde Park and Notting Hill, London House is in the vanguard of what may yet prove to be a revolution. While its vibe is "posh modern hostel" (check out the airy, minimalist-inspired eating area), it's clearly still very much a hotel. For instance, its 102 smartly refurbished rooms all come with en suite shower/loo and even a mini fridge. It's just that somehow they've forgotten to charge London hotel prices.

• Doubles from ?67, 81 Kensington Gardens Square W2, 020-7243 1810,

Established 50 years ago as a restaurant by two refugees from Italy and Cyprus who met in London and fell in love, La Gaffe is now a comfy, child-friendly hotel just a three-minute walk from Hampstead tube. The family room is the real pull here – a four-poster for the parents with a separate "room within a room" for two kids (with a third pull-out bed if required). Downstairs, meanwhile, are the wine bar and award-winning Italian restaurant – still going strong and with decor that's an evening out in itself.

• B&B doubles from ?99, family room from ?129, 107-111 Heath Street NW3, 020-7435 8965,

Why settle for a mere hotel room when you can have a whole studio with a kitchen and sitting area in the heart of London for under 80 quid? These brand new air-conditioned studios with all mod cons (hey, even the broadband is a whizzy 100MB job) are set in a recently refurbished period house a short stroll from Russell Square and the British Museum, and Euston, St Pancras and King's Cross stations. Or stay right where you are and enjoy the back garden.

• Studio from ?330 per week, 43-54 Gower Street WC1, 020-7486 9020,

If there were an award for the best value B&B in London (in fact, why isn't there?), there's little doubt in my mind that this would sweep away the competition. It's a mere saunter from the chic cafes and hubbub of Islington's Upper Street, and the owners claim that the only noise visitors to their beautifully appointed Georgian house will hear is birdsong. There are just two bedrooms – both comfortably but simply furnished with impeccable taste – and a small but verdant back garden where the birds gather to serenade you.

• Double room from ?50 (yes indeedy!), Arlington Avenue N1, 07711265183,

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