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In the heart of London’s hipster east side, Shoreditch’s Boundary Hotel (2-4 Boundary St., map) is a nice option, with 12 bedrooms inspired by legendary designers or design movements (there are also four duplex suites on the upper floors). The spacious hotel, formerly a Victorian-era warehouse, comprises three good restaurants—including the terrific Albion, a British-food café, bakery, and shop in one (see: kedgeree, cottage/shepherd pie, bread and butter pudding)—one of which includes a sweet rooftop bar. Rooms start at £225 (£170 on a Sunday).
You’ve come here to eat, drink, and be merry—why not stay above a classic restored pub? In Clerkenwell, the Fox & Anchor (115 Charterhouse St., map) has six uniquely designed rooms just upstairs, some boasting gorgeous claw-foot bathtubs. Rates start as low as £115 a night on weekends. Yes, the pub’s food is good (see: real ale, Welsh rarebit)—and yes, it closes at 11pm.
Also in this very foodie-friendly area—a short walk to Exmouth Market and around the corner from St. John (see: roast bone marrow)—we’ve heard good things about the Zetter Hotel & Townhouse (St John’s Square, 86-88 Clerkenwell Rd., map); its well-appointed vintage-modern rooms start around £222. The seven rooftop suites with large private terraces seem especially amazing!
Very close to the Russell Square Tube station is the popular Montague on the Gardens (15 Montague St., Bloomsbury, map), a 100-unit boutique hotel with individually decorated rooms, a chic “Leopard Bar” with whiskey tastings and cigar terrace, and loads of Victorian charm. The Central London location is excellent, a stone’s throw from the British Museum; easy walking distance to Soho, Covent Garden, and the West End theaters; and well-connected by bus and underground to points further. Doubles are listed to start at £255, but can often be found for less.
Among the better options for budget travelers are the Alhambra Hotel (17-19 Argyle St., Kings Cross, map), a well-located and -priced spot (singles from £64; doubles £75), and Wombat's The City Hostel (7 Dock St., map), which scores favorable reviews for its clean and spacious dorms and private rooms.
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