We love foodie weekend getaways, but prefer to save our pennies for great food and drink. Here are our favourite cheap hotels that are stylish and comfortable but don’t break the bank. From pop up restaurants in an arts hotel in an up-and-coming area in London, to a full continental spread in a stylish hotel in Paris, to a cheap base in Tallinn to discover New Nordic cuisine, all of these hotels are in prime foodie neighbourhoods. We’ve also found some budget foodie retreats on the coast and in more rural settings for a great-value getaway.
Pilgrm, London – under £100 per night
Rooms are small so book the largest you can afford, and if you’re a light sleeper, ask for one away from the road. There are tiny (but very comfortable) bunk rooms, if you’re on a budget, or on a one-parent, one-child getaway. Decor is pared back and stylish, with slate-coloured walls contrasting with white sash windows and Egyptian linen-clad beds, and floors of reclaimed 200-year-old parquet giving a warm homely feel.
For grab and go, there’s a small coffee bar downstairs, by the entrance, that’s run by Workshop Coffee, selling their own blends of coffee, teas and homemade cakes. Between 3 and 10pm, the lounge serves snacks, juices (including Square Root London’s small-batch sodas) and cocktails.
Breakfast is the thing here, kicking off at 7am and continuing until 3pm in the vintage-chic first-floor lounge. There’s full-cooked Pilgrm (with house-baked beans) or a vegan version of smashed avocado, butternut squash hummus and a knock-out beetroot falafel. But the top seller is smashed avocado on toast with crumbled feta, which comes with the unexpected addition of a tomato and olive salsa.
Being in the heart of London, you’ve plenty of dinner choices nearby – from the cheap-and-cheerful Paramount Lebanese Kitchen, next door, to Basque-styled Lurra and Donostia a short walk away. Read our guide to Paddington restaurants here
Book a room at Pilgrm here
Grassmarket Hotel, Edinburgh – under £100 per night
Comic strip wallpaper and complimentary Tunnocks teacakes are just two of the quirky touches at the Grassmarket Hotel, a playful retreat in Edinburgh’s lively Grassmarket area.
One of a clutch of hotels launched by the G1 Group in Edinburgh (the others are The Inn on the Mile, Stay Central and the Murrayfield House Hotel) the focus might be on fun rather than food (there are copies of Beano in reception, the distance to local attractions is measured in footsteps and you have to stumble next door to Biddy Mulligan’s pub for breakfast) but you’re in the heart of Scotland’s culinary capital and the Grassmarket is peppered with pubs and restaurants.
For breakfast you can count the footsteps to nearby Swedish bakery and café Peter’s Yard for a moreish cardamom bun and coffee. Just round the corner on Victoria Street mooch around gourmet stores such as champion cheesemaker I J Mellis and liquid deli Demi John – fill the glass bottles with everything from signature malt whisky to olive oil – while on Saturdays there’s a weekly farmers’ market right outside your door.
Book a room at Grassmarket Hotel here
Hotel Henriette, Paris – under £150 per night
Designed by a fashion editor-turned-hotelier Hotel Henriette is on the Rive Gauche, tucked along a quiet cobbled street in the Mouffetard district. Its 32 rooms are decked out with vintage fabrics and flea market finds and there’s a lovely courtyard garden, plus a breakfast room with a distinct Scandinavian vibe. Breakfast can be eaten inside or out and runs to a full continental spread, from cake and croissants to charcuterie.
Almost 200 restaurant suggestions are split by neighbourhood, from Montmartre’s Café Lomi coffee shop to pretty patisserie Carette in Trocadero. Recommendations closer to the hotel include everything from Moroccan to contemporary French. Even Breton – the menu at L’Auberge du Roi Gradlon features haddock tart with Roscoff onions, galettes and, for dessert, Kouign amann with salted caramel. For where to drink in Paris, check out our guide here.
Book a room at Hotel Henriette here
Conscious Hotel, Amsterdam – under £150 per night
There are four Conscious Hotels in Amsterdam, but the newest, Westerpark, is the first hotel in The Netherlands to be powered entirely by wind energy. There are 89 rooms, Roetz bikes to rent (made from discarded frames), and a vegan-friendly restaurant to try. There are seven types of room to choose from, but all are airy and uncluttered, with iron-frame furniture, light wooden panelling, navy blue feature walls, monochrome bathrooms and spacious Auping beds.
The main draw is the hotel’s Kantoor bar and restaurant, open all day until late. It’s not exclusively vegetarian, but organic ingredients are transformed into meat-free stars such as nettle risotto, tofu cheesecake with dried tangerine, and broccoli crumble. Carnivores can enjoy lamb shank with adzuki cassoulet, huge seafood platters while there’s also a great children’s menu (young guests can pick everything from the “I don’t like that” fried fish with steamed vegetables to the “I don’t know” tomato soup). The signature cocktail menu is also worth perusing – try The Boss, made with vodka, kimchi purée and tomato juice.
The 100% organic breakfast includes avocado, quinoa and watercress on rye, croissants with homemade compote, omelettes made with eggs “from the happiest chickens” and healthy granola.
Book a room at Conscious Hotel here
Merchant’s House Hotel, Tallinn – under £100 per night
Estonia is a worthy member of the New Nordic food scene, with stylishly simple cafes and restaurants tapping into local ingredients. To experience this first-hand, check into Merchant’s House Hotel, in Tallinn’s Old Town. Its 32 rooms are centred around 14th and 16th century buildings that are rich with ancient fireplaces and beamed ceilings, hand-painted frescoes and hidden stairways.
Bedrooms themselves are fairly modern in style, though the Merchant’s Suite (scarlet walls, hand-painted wooden ceiling and clawfoot bath) and Courtyard Suite (large fireplace, exposed stone walls and private sauna) have a little more history.
There’s also a bar and restaurant on site but location is key; it’s an ideal base for exploring the city’s restaurants. You’ll find a guide to our favourite places to eat in Tallinn here but they include Art Priori, whose veg-focused seasonal cooking is minutes away, and New Nordic pioneer, Leib.
Book a room at Merchant’s House Hotel here
La Favia, Milan – from £100 per night
The four-bedroom La Favia guesthouse, an urban hideaway tucked inside a refurbished 19th-century building, takes its inspiration from owners Fabio and Marco’s travels: no two rooms are the same. On sunny mornings, start the day with breakfast in the rooftop garden – eggs cooked to order, pastries, cakes, bread, homemade jams, fruit and juice squeezed from oranges grown in the owners’ own citrus grove.
Rosa et Al Townhouse, Porto – from £150 per night
Though one of the more expensive hotels on this list, Porto makes such a great-value destination and prices include a hearty breakfast. This six-room hotel is a lesson in boutique design. Rooms blessed with original wooden floorboards, cornicing and sash windows that lead to balconies are made even more beautiful with claw-footed baths, contemporary furniture and local art.
Soak up Rosa et Al’s chic and cosy vibe over brunch. 50 jars of tea (some made with herbs from the garden) cover a large serving table; you can choose your own Portuguese tinned cod or sardines; and there’s a dinky walled garden out back where you can sit around tiled tables, eating eggs with spruced-up sides and drinking freshly squeezed orange juice in the sunshine.
Book a room at Rosa et Al Townhouse here
The Rose, Deal – under £125 per night
The genteel coastal town of Deal, on the Kent coast, has gone hip in recent years. What sets this chic new pub with rooms apart is the joyful use of colour. Downstairs is a bar, restaurant and lounge full of bright vintage furniture, while upstairs are eight bedrooms, each painted in a unique bold hue, inspired by the bright beach balls and deckchairs of the local seaside, just a few steps away.
Fine local brews from Kent including Ripple Steam Brewery Ale, Arden Pale Ale and award-winning Chapel Down wine and beer. The bar snacks are well worth ordering alongside a brew – they include cauliflower cheese croquettes and Welsh rarebit.
The Dealston vibe continues in the kitchen, which is headed up by chef Rachel O’Sullivan (previously of Polpo and Spuntino but most recently running the cult Towpath Cafe in East London). Rachel is originally from Australia and, although the menu is big on British comfort food, there’s a fresh Aussie feel to many of the dishes, like chicken schnitzel jazzed up with fennel slaw, and a creative veggie option of violet artichokes, white beans and dandelion and goats curd.
Breakfast is particularly impressive at The Rose. There’s a relaxed vibe in the morning, with magazine and papers piled high and the menu chalked on a blackboard. Vegetarians can fill up on roast Swiss brown mushrooms, oregano, goats cheese and toast, while the Nordically inclined can opt for the Scandi breakfast plate – smoked salmon with avocado, egg, dill, whipped cream cheese and toast. The signature dish is Scotch Woodcock – scrambled egg and gentleman’s relish on sourdough. Most importantly the restaurant passes the morning coffee test, with punchy Climpson & Sons coffee and properly made flat whites.
Green Rooms, London – £50 per night
After a ‘rough luxe’ revamp, the old offices of the North Metropolitan Electric Power Supply Company in gritty Wood Green are now a hip budget hotel and restaurant, Green Rooms. A social enterprise, it offers affordable accommodation for visiting creatives (other guests are also welcome, at higher rates).
In its bedrooms, studio apartments and dormitories the vibe is back-to-basics with style, with simple white bedlinen and vintage wooden furniture. The hotel’s restaurant is an incubator project running pop-up residencies for would-be restaurateurs.
Supported by Johnny Smith, who took The Clove Club from supper club to Michelin-starred restaurant, the first resident was Esteban Arboleda of Colombian Street Kitchen, who dished up plump sweetcorn croquettes, fragrant chicken tamales and pink and black salads. Here are our other favourite London foodie hotels.
Book a room at Green Rooms here
Written by Tatty Good, Lucy Gillmore, Alex Crossley & Rhiannon Batten
First published January 2017, updated August 2019