Hotel review: Base2Stay Kensington, London

Base2Stay Kensington takes the best of boutique and budget hotels and wraps it up in a fashionable central London location. No hidden extras mean the price you pay at check-out is what you thought you'd pay at check-in.

Base2Stay Kensington

What's to love? Four-star style and five-star service at budget prices. There's no restaurant, instead each room has a modern mini-kitchen where you can whip your own supper on the cheap. The reduced running costs are passed on to grateful guests.

Perfect if you're... into eco luxury without a painful price tag. Base2Stay is the first hotel in the UK to offer guests the use of a dinky electric car. At just £4 an hour and with no petrol or parking costs and no congestion charge, it's a bargainsome way of getting around town. The hotel currently recycles an impressive 80% of its waste. The lovely staff will happily talk you through the full list of award-winning eco-credentials.

Rooming in: Stylish, spotless and high-spec is the order of the day. All rooms are decorated in the same chic sand, chocolate and white colours, and have a relatively spacious double shower or bath, a mini-kitchen with free fairtrade tea and coffee. And - perhaps our favourite girly touch - a plug socket beneath a big mirror so you can easily dry your hair. Ground floor rooms have a patio facing rows of designer private gardens; magically quiet for central London.

What's the food like? Each room is kitted out with a fridge, crockery, cutlery, sink, microwave and even a bottle opener (how thoughtful) nicely hidden behind wooden doors. Pop round the corner to M&S or Sainsbury's for ingredients. Or make the most of the hotels 'up to 30% off' deals at local restaurants, including Strada and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

Things to do, places to see: Residential Kensington is romantic; wander around peeking into private garden squares and envying the posh houses - Kylie and Hugh Grant have homes here - before heading to the Victoria and Albert Museum to brush up on fashion history. The Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Palace are also walkable from here. Alternatively, open a bar of chocolate, shack up with the plasma TV, and pick your way through 1,500 free songs or one of 30 movies at just £2 a pop.

What's the damage: Room rates start from £93 for a single, and from £107 for a double. Includes free wi-fi.

Point me in the right direction: Base2Stay Kensington, 25 Courtfield Gardens Kensington, London SW5 0PG (020 7244 2255/www.base2stay.com)