My favorite affordable London chain is actually Dutch. Their glassy open-plan lobbies lined with shelves of orange-and-white Penguin classic paperbacks (which every self-conscious interior designer in London displays to denote postmodern intellectualism), churn day and night with people sipping fine coffee and telecommuting. Check-in is self-guided by kiosk, and rooms are compact—almost podlike—but arranged with genius. Expect massive platform beds piled with body pillows, curvy unit bathrooms slotted into the space with calculated aplomb, and a bedside tablet that lets you control everything from motorized blinds to the color of the room’s mood lighting. There’s even a hefty library of free movies (including porn—like I said, it’s Dutch). My favorite locations are Bankside (near the Tate Modern) and Tower of London, with rooms and a fab rooftop bar overlooking said eternal fortress.