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Easy does it: a cheap London bed

Thanks, Stelios Haji-Ioannou. The man who did much to spearhead the cheap-flight revolution when he launched Easyjet has turned his attention to the hotel industry, with a scatter of cheap-room hotels across Europe. It is his five ‘Easyhotels’ in London, perhaps, that are most needed. The British capital is one of the most expensive cities in the world to find a hotel room for the night, and at the lower end of the market standards are often dire. But would the Easy brand, replete with its faintly nauseous orange colour-scheme, manage to combine value and comfort? I checked into the Paddington Easyhotel to test it out.

First signs were good. Tripadvisor had told me it was five minutes walk from Paddington Station but that must have been written by an overweight tourist toting too much luggage. It took me two. Given that Paddington is a major entry point into London, especially for visitors flying to Heathrow, this can save an extra day’s travel card – a useful saving for travellers on a budget. Things continued well, with a quick and polite checkin, and a room that had a comfortable double bed, just about big enough for me on my own, its own shower and even space to put my bag on the floor. I hadn’t paid the extra £5 for a TV remote, so was delighted to find the flat-screen TV worked perfectly well without – I just had to use the hidden switches on the top. One up for me, I thought: sorry Stelios.

There weren’t many frills. If you want a glass bring your own. If you want a bedside table bring your own. However it did provide towels, sheets, pillows and a duvet, all practical, warm and clean, and an air-conditioning unit (well, even in London you can dream of a hot spell) hung up on one wall. The shower was powerful, two new rolls of loo paper were provided and the toilet worked.

My room was private and quiet. This particular hotel has 42 rooms but they’re not all stretched out around a single corridor, but divided up into sections. I was in a group of three rooms, so though there were various noises in the morning caused by people going in or out it was nothing to get too excited about. Through the night it was silent.

I wouldn’t choose to spend too long in the room, not least because a whole wall and the bathroom door were oppressively painted in the Easy brand orange. But that isn’t the point of a hotel like this: it’s just somewhere to sleep in a city where neither the weather – nor the culture – encourages kipping on the street.

So now we get to the price, which is surely the most important factor in choosing this hotel. On the night I was there the walk-in rack rate was £49, OK but not spectacular. By booking ahead through the website, however, I’d paid just £25 for the room: a small price for a single night.

Paddington is the station where I rush to catch the last train home, cutting short evenings out and all too often arriving too late. Now I have a way to escape the tyranny of the rail timetable without breaking the bank. I’ll be using this Easyhotel again.

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