Price From $87
'Hood Hoxton, a hip and gentrifying area near the East End and the Financial District. The bars of Shoreditch and the shops and restaurants of Spitalfields Market are within a short walk.
First Impression The high-ceilinged, exposed-brick lobby has a minimalist, shabby-chic feel, and the focus is on useful amenities (no gym, no overpriced minibar). "I don't like being ripped off," says owner Sinclair Beecham, cofounder of the British sandwich-shop chain Pret A Manger.
Rooms The 205 rooms are identical, with wood paneling, flat-screen TVs, and down duvets and pillows. Fridges stock free mineral water and milk.
Plus Pret Lite Breakfasts (a pot of yogurt, a banana, and fresh orange juice) are left on a hook outside each door. Local calls are 6¢ a minute, calls to the U.S. are 10¢, and the Internet and Wi-Fi are free.
Minus Great Eastern Street is a heavily trafficked (and rather seedy) strip, so it can be noisy. Request a room overlooking the courtyard or quieter Willow Street.
Details Note that the hotel's pricing structure is modeled on those of budget airlines; rates fluctuate wildly depending on the demand and how far in advance you book. Generally from $87 (£59) if you book a couple of months in advance, includes breakfast. Sales may be cheaper, but beware that last-minute bookings can cost up to $300 per night.