Culture & Entertainment

Budget-friendly family accommodation: London, England

By: Doug O'Neill
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Budget-friendly family accommodation: London, England

By: Doug O'Neill
London "poshtel" provides a taste of posh for little dosh London, England is one of the most popular destinations for Canadian travellers. Who doesn't long to visit the regal sites of London  or check out London's favourite haunted pubs? The bustling capital can be on the pricey side when you're looking for decent accommodation that's fairly central – and we all know how important it is to find budget accommodation for single and family travellers heading abroad. Last spring I added on a few extra days to a visit to London and had to find some pocket-friendly accommodation at the last minute. A colleague in the travel circle recommended I check out Safestay London, which many travellers refer to as a 'poshtel' – a hostel-like accommodation with some extras. This is not by any means the crammed hostels of my back-packing days which offered vending machines and 24-hour beer parties in the common room. What I found was a newly-renovated 18th-century building that had until recent history been the Labour Party Headquarters in London. (Do check out the plaque in the main foyer). Here's my Safestay London check list: Your family budget option in London: Safestay at Elephant & Castle in London.  A four-bed standard room (ideal for parents and two kids; see photo below of a four-bed dorm-style room)  runs about 88 pounds ($159 Canadian) per night for all four (22 pounds per person).  Compare that to a standard room for four in a chain hotel in the same central London neighbourhood, near Southwark, which would cost the same family of four about 169 pounds per night ($307 - before taxes). Note: continental breakfast is free! Where:  Safestay at Elephant & Castle is just a few minutes walk from the underground tube station (which is what we'd call a subway stop)  that shares its name: Elephant & Castle underground. It's just south of the River Thames. Amenities:   Free wi-fi in the lobby, 24-hour reception (no curfews), a bar, library, Internet room, pool room, and a fairly decent-sized garden (which is well-lit and heated). Plus there's a chill out room – and uber friendly staff on the front desk. If you're there on business or to attend a family wedding, feel free to borrow an iron or ironing board. Vibe: friendly and energetic. On my visit there were single business travellers, lots of travelling university students (I heard a dozen languages at breakfast), and a couple families. The rooms are sound-proof. I was pleasantly surprised at how quiet Safestay was with so many guests. Kudos to the design team. I don't imagine its previous occupants – verbose politicians, perhaps? – were nearly as well-behaved! Nearby London attractions: You're close to such historic sites as London Bridge and you've got three underground train lines to get you about London. (Consider getting an Oyster card for public transportation in London. You'll save buckets!) My favourite nearby spot to eat: Check out my blog post on Borough Market, which has become my go-to place in London for excellent (budget-friendly) lunches – and it's just a quick walk to the Globe Theatre.  Check out the Safestay London photo album: outside-view Safestay hostel, London rooms-purple D.place-outside E-compuer-room coffee-bar

A-four-bed-dorm (Photos courtesy of Safestay London)

Check out the video tour for your own virtual poshtel tour.

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Budget-friendly family accommodation: London, England

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