If I say staying in London is a very expensive thing to do, that will surprise absolutely no one. I think everybody knows that. But it is possible to do it on a budget. It just depends on where you look for your accommodation. If you’re on holiday, one of the best places you can stay in terms of area is South Kensington, because there is so much here. But it is going to be very expensive to stay here and it’s not possible on a budget. At least you’d think so because there is a very surprising accommodation block here which is enabling all holiday makers to stay at a fairly reasonable price and I’m going to show you what that looks like.
Now this looks like a really nice hotel slap bang in the middle of London, when in fact it is Imperial College’s four star student accommodation. Bet you didn’t think I was going to say that. Fun fact, my career background was higher education, and I used to work for Imperial College London, but never saw the student accommodation, you know, not being a student and all.
The first room I got to see was a shared twin and it was intriguing to me to see, because to me this room feels really American because I don’t remember having dual beds when I was at university myself, but in America we did have the setup for on campus accommodation, so it’s really interesting to see it here in the UK.
The room was even kitted out with tea and coffee making facilities and the bathroom was a pretty decent size as well I thought. They had cute Imperial branded shampoos and soaps and conditioners, which I asked and they don’t give these to the students. You only get them if you’re a guest during the summer. For me, the highlight of this room was definitely the view because it was so adorable. You can see the back streets on the roofs of London.
The next one was an individual single, and look how much light is coming in through these windows. It’s absolutely incredible. I had no idea that Imperial had four star accommodation that looked like this. Definitely better than my university days.
Imperial College is all about minimizing your carbon footprint and so they’ve even got signs up to help you with that. The bathroom seemed a little bigger than the twin, but the shower was still exactly the same and this room even had a window that didn’t open all the way but was so nice to open because of the breeze that then came through. I
t’s so light and airy in here and it’s great to be able to open the window a little bit to let some breeze because it is kind of hot, this English summer. Yeah, it’s a really, really cute room. I kind of wish this had been my uni room. I’d have been so happy with this.
And in terms of a room for going on holiday, it’s just got everything. Like I never really thought about it before. But yeah, university room, as soon as it’s kitted out with the bedding and the bathroom stuff, it has everything that you actually need to enjoy the rest of London. Plus, to be honest, you don’t really spend as much time in the hotel or you shouldn’t really when you’re on holiday or vacationing in London. You should be out and about doing things, so it’s just a really nice place to crash at the end of a really fun day out.
If you’re traveling with someone and don’t mind sharing a bed or you just want to spread out a little bit more, they have a double option, which I thought was very nice, again, but they also have a premiere double. There is so much space and for this kind of sized room in another hotel in South Kensington, it would cost you an arm and a leg.
Like the other bedrooms it was kitted out with the bedding and the towels and it had a nice size bathroom. Amazing. The single bedroom is really great and manageable and will be cheaper than this because this is a premiere double. But the room in here is phenomenal, doesn’t even look like students were ever here. That’s the amazing thing. You know like students tack up things on the walls and they ruin everything. I can say this having been a student and having worked at lots of different universities in hall director roles, but yeah, you know students do all kinds of stuff to their rooms to modify and make it their own and it doesn’t look like a student was ever here.
Another benefit of staying in Imperial student accommodation is the fact that there is a bar just downstairs. East Side I’ve gone to many a time as a worker, so it was so strange to be back, but it’s got such a good vibe.
Everybody’s there having a drink, having a chat, just so cool, and so convenient. An extra add-on you can opt in for is access to the gym as well. Again, it’s in the same area of Princess Gardens so you don’t have to go far and you don’t have to miss out on your exercise regime. It’s super modern and compared to other gyms, it is so, so cheap. It is such a good deal.
If I haven’t convinced you yet that’s staying in student accommodation on a budget is amazing, just look how well connected this place is. You could go to Imperial College because it’s just here, but I don’t know why you would want to on your holiday. You might be more interested in Hyde Park, which is literally just up there. Or, there’s even more down this way.
Literally just down the road you have the Science Museum, which pulls in massive crowds. It’s such a big draw. You also have the V&A Museum if you’re feeling particularly artistic, and then my favorite museum, probably of all the big ones that you have in London, the Natural History Museum. Seriously, seriously go. It’s so incredible.
Because I used to work at Imperial College I know this area fairly well and I can definitely recommend a few restaurants in this area. There are loads of places along Gloucester Road. I put a link to the description of an article that I’ve actually written about it already, but here specifically near South Kensington Station, here are a few recommendations.
For a really good Thai meal, I would recommend Thai Square. There are always people sitting outside Pierino, and it is great particularly in the summer months so that you can sit outside. Tombo is a friend of mine’s absolute favorite Japanese restaurant in London. Down the south end of Exhibition Road there are a lot of restaurants. There’s lots of choices for you to choose from and there are also some little individual places where they sell chocolate and ice creams and just many things for snacks.
But the restaurant I would recommend here is Comptoir Libanais. I absolutely love it. Not sure if I’m pronouncing it correctly though. So if staying at Imperial College’s accommodation block is at all of interest to you, I’ve got all the links you need in the description below. Totally check it out before you book your next trip here to London.