When it comes to European hotels, the word value used to conjure up images of shoebox-sized spaces located depressingly near the train station. No longer. A new breed of affordable lodging has been popping up all around the Continent, and these ultra-modern digs offer plenty of comfort, stylishness, and amenities alongside their attractive price tags.
Desirable options exist even in notoriously expensive and popular destinations like London and Paris. At the London Bridge Hotel, you can set up a base near the Tate Modern and Borough Market while taking advantage of a plugged-in, 24-hour concierge—all for rates that start at a mere $144. Across the Channel, you’ll find a similarly convenient location in Paris—an easy walk from the Louvre—with the Hôtel Thérèse, where the quirky and charming rooms (starting at $200) are decorated with Parisian paintings from local flea markets.
Art is, in fact, a theme at many new spots. In Vienna, the Hotel Altstadt (rooms from $191) features original works by Andy Warhol and Markus Prachensky. And at Barcelona’s Casanova, the light-filled rooms and public spaces display works by Catalonian artists—which makes sense considering the spot’s proximity to artist neighborhood El Raval. Price tag?$182 per night.
Eye-popping design is also a priority. In Lisbon, Portuguese architect Francisco Aires Mateus renovated a century-old iron factory to create the Fontana Park Hotel. Here, open spaces are punctuated by sharply angled glass staircases and sheaths of hammered ironwork, and rooms start at $195 per night. Art Deco is reborn in Berlin at the Ellington Hotel ($151 per night), where a restored 20th-century façade fronts an updated, all-white interior. And some of Greece’s most creative minds—including Greek Vogue fashion director Michalis Pantos—are behind the design of the Classical 2 Fashion House Hotel in Athens, which bursts with wild colors and murals. Yet the owners have held the rate at a mild $155 per night.
Now more than ever, being wise with your euros doesn’t mean having to sacrifice when it comes to your home away from home. Read on to see the best affordable European hotels in 2009.