As travel purse strings tighten, luxury budget hotels – or Lotels, as they are known in travel jargon - are becoming the place to stay.
In the same way budget airlines revolutionised air travel by providing only essential in-flight services, with all extras sold at a premium, new luxury budget hotels are taking the same route.
New hospitality spaces like the UK's Big Sleep, easyDorm and base2stay chains; citizenM in Amsterdam; and the first zero-star hotel, Null Stern in St Gallen, Switzerland, provide a good bed and bathroom, a modern, characterful environment and a convenient city-centre location.
‘The development of the ‘luxury budget’ hotel… fits in with travellers’ need for travel to be more experiential and practical, rather than associated with luxury as it has been for decades now," says Daniel Charbonnier, director of hospitality industry consultancy Minds in Motion. "Independent travellers are less bothered with image when it comes to travel – they don’t want to be labelled as any particular type of traveller, but to able to select their travel services to suit them as individuals."
STA Travel has complied a round-up of ten of the world’s best Lotels as follows:
Hostel Metropol, Madrid
A high class hostel in great location in the centre of Madrid. Along with a restaurant bar, the hostel provides internet access for all customers and each room has private facilities. Rooms from £64, including breakfast
Art Hotel, Berlin
Oozing artistic flair from every surface, the uber-cool art hotel has lined its corridors with a selection of works from Dali, Picasso and Kalinsky. Its own street café is a popular hangout with visitors and locals alike. Rooms from £64, including breakfast http://www.metropolhostel.com/
Tailors Hall Hotel, Edinburgh
Originally built in 1621 for The Guild of Tailors, this hotel was restored in 1998 and now offers modern, comfortable accommodation. Hearty breakfasts are served in the stone-vaulted dining area, and there's also a bar - the famous Three Sisters. Rooms from £54
A short stroll from Hyde Park, Umi is a converted townhouse close to the cafés, shops and entertainment of the West End, making it a great base for a break in London. Rooms from £73
Stay Hotel, Los Angeles
This gives a little more luxury than your average hostel, with private rooms featuring flat screen TVs and i-pod compatible radios. Located in downtown LA, it's well situated as a base for exploring LA. Rooms from £50
Mithila Hotel, San Francisco
This intimate hotel has clean, cosy rooms with private bathroom, TV, free wireless access and hairdryer. Its downtown location makes it a great based for touring the area. Rooms from £57, including breakfast
Chelsea International, New York
A real Big Apple bargain, this is a high class hostel with knowledge staff. Rooms are comfortable and there's a communal kitchen for those looking to save money on eating out. There's even pizza provided on a Wednesday night. Rooms from £67
A laid back, Mediterranean style property in the heart of trendy South Beach, the Clay offers spacious rooms, a choice of two in house restaurants and has a bar serving fantastic apple martinis. Room from £55
Peach Hill Hotel, Phuket
Located in the hills between Kata and Akron Beach, the Peach Hill Hotel gives views over the Andaman Sea. It has three swimming pools and all rooms have an en-suite bathroom, TV, air conditioning, balcony and mini bar. Rooms from £24, including breakfast
Al’s Hut, Koh Samui
Al’s Hut, a series of super cool and luxy beach-side bungalows right on Chaweng Beach, has its own pub, restaurant and spa. Rooms from £47, including breakfast