North Terminus hotel, opposite Gare du Nord, Paris’s Eurostar terminal, is inspired by the multicultural inhabitants of the surrounding 10th arrondissement. The reception is reminiscent of a French kiosk, there are street art murals in the communal areas, and the individually designed, colorful rooms are themed on Africa and Asia. The Neni restaurant serves Israeli-Mediterranean dishes and the bar is dimly lit, with inviting leather armchairs. In the Jogging Corner, guests wanting to explore the city on foot can find maps and route suggestions. Bike hire and guided cycle tours are also available.
Doubles from €143 room-only, 25hours-hotels.com
Mama Shelter, the funky French hotel chain, now in 14 cities across nine countries, has an outpost in Lille right by the two main stations. There are 112 rooms, from small doubles to “XXL” (sleeps four), all with organic toiletries, big screens and free films. The restaurant serves Mediterranean-Asian fusion food, the bar has cocktails and DJ nights, and there is an outdoor terrace with beach-inspired cabins.
Doubles from €109, mamashelter.com
The Wesley is in Euston, a 15-minute walk from St Pancras station and the Eurostar. Rooms are on the small side but modern and well priced for the area, and a bar and kitchen offer locally sourced food. The hotel is committed to sustainability: it was the first in the UK to receive the Social Enterprise Mark and has been recognized by Camden council as a “carbon champion”. A sister hotel has just opened in a converted Methodist chapel in nearby Camden. For a treat, the Great Northern, built in 1854, is London’s oldest railway hotel. Its wrought-iron staircases, broad curved corridors and floor-to-ceiling windows were restored to their former glory a decade ago.
Doubles from £164 room-only, thewesley.co.uk
Urban Yard is a boutique hotel five minutes’ walk from the Gare du Midi, Brussels’ Eurostar terminal. Converted from an old building on Square de l’Aviation, it is a light, garden-inspired oasis, full of plants and flowers – including living ceilings – with an internal courtyard. Room types come in three sizes from Florist (the smallest) to Gardener and Botanist (the largest, sleeping three), and each has contemporary floral furnishings and interactive wallpaper showing Brussels tourist attractions via an augmented reality app. It’s a stone’s throw from one of Europe’s biggest markets, the Midi, which takes place on Sunday mornings.
Doubles from €93 room only, urbanyardhotel.com
The A-Train hotel, opposite Amsterdam Central station, is a family-run, train-themed hotel with 34 rooms. It is converted from two buildings, one of which dates from the late 1600s. Decor includes vintage steam engine prints, railway clocks and model trains, and the first-class rooms have views of the station. A breakfast buffet is served in the Pullman Lounge, which is kitted out like a dining car, with wood-and-leather banquettes. The lounge has 24-hour free tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
Doubles from €129 B&B, atrainhotel.com
CitizenM, an “affordable luxury” group with 29 hotels in 18 cities, has a Zurich branch 10 minutes’ walk from the main station. There is only one kind of room: small but with a king-size bed and a power shower. There is a buffet breakfast until 10.30 and 24-hour food and drink, plus a living room with books and iMacs guests can use. Doubles from £119, citizenm.com
Hotel Schani Wien is a design hotel five minutes’ walk from Vienna’s main station, mixing fin de siècle charm with 21st-century technology. Guests choose their rooms online, check in via an app and open the door with their smartphones. There is a generous breakfast buffet; a 24-hour bar with a free drink for train travelers and 50% off from 6-8pm; and a lounge styled like a Viennese coffeehouse. Travelers who book at least 30 days in advance can save up to 25%.
Doubles from €73.10 room-only, schanihotels.com
Hotel Bernina is a light, bright hotel opposite the central station. The bedrooms have been recently renovated; some have terraces overlooking the courtyard garden. Breakfast is served until 10, after which the breakfast room turns into a co-working space with wifi, books and newspapers. There are regular special offers on the website, such as room upgrades.
Doubles from €90, hotelbernina.com
Henry hotel is a remodeled office block built with the city’s signature red bricks in a quiet side street right by the main station. There’s a nod to its 1950s heritage, with vintage typewriters and mid-century furniture and rooms go from studios to suites. There is a 24/7 bar, kitchen and lounge, with a €6 supper dish Monday-Thursday. The “recreation area under the roof” has a free gym and an affordable spa with a steam bath and Finnish sauna (€15 for one or €25 for two).
Doubles from €118 room only, henri-hotels.com
Classic Hotel Harmonie is an opulent hotel in an 1890s former monastery, very close to the central station. Rooms range from economy to deluxe, with mixed materials (wood, stone, glass and chrome) and textures (lots of velvet and embossed wallpaper). Guests can eat breakfast in the garden and drink cocktails in the 24-hour roof-terrace bar with a view of the cathedral.
Doubles from €93.59, classic-hotel-harmonie.de