The Cheap Life = The Sweet Life

Who says that the tanking economy needs to slow your travel roll? Want to take a trip to Europe but are afraid you can’t afford it? Consider this: All around Europe, hotels chains are popping up that promise high design at low prices. Like the aforementioned Mama Shelter, which opened it’s doors back in September, there are whole host of properties popping up around Europe that are  totally legit, highly stylized and incredibly affordable. Here are three hotel chains to consider  that won’t break the bank  next time you hop the Atlantic.

1. Room Mate Hotels – Spain/USA

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Cheap, chic and well-located in cities all over Spain as well as NYC and Miami, Room Mate Hotels offer up great accommodations for a really nice price. In NYC, Room Mate Hotels recently took over the property formally owed by Andre Balazs called Hotel QT. They have remained faithful to the decor and price and the hotel is almost always on my list of places to check on when heading to NYC.  In 2009, Room Mate Hotels are on the move, setting up shop in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. 

2.QBIC Hotels – The Netherlands/Belgium

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Their motto is “cheap, chic and no frills” and I think this motto must be tested. With locations in Antwerp, Amsterdam and Maastrich, QBIC hotels promises the budget traveller a fun, sassy hotel experience. They are basically pod hotels, which I have never tried but have always been curious about. With prices starting at 69 Euros, I may be so inclined to find out!

3. Casa Howard -Italy

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Casa Howard are on the high end of what might be considered “budget” but these hotels are so unique and quant, I had to throw them in there. And at rates averaging around 200 per night, it could be considered budget to some people. At any rate, there are four Casa Howard properties, two in Rome and two in Florence. All of them offer up a great alternative to your normal, run of the mill hotel. In fact, Casa Howard do not even define their properties as hotels, but rather as a series of guest houses that promise “exceptional personal sevice”. If you are looking to do a budget trip, save Casa Howard for the part where you want to splurge just a little- you won’t be sorry.

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