The Best Hotels in London

Whether you’re looking for a hip boutique hotel, a sexy weekend hideaway, or a luxury suite fit for a queen, you’ll find that London has some of the best hotels in the world. Style-seekers, lovers of luxury, traditionalists, and even those loyal to specific London neighborhoods or parks are all spoiled for choice.
Collected by AFAR Editors AFAR Staff
Photo courtesy of Dorchester Collection
01
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
The number 45 rules at this five-star spot: not only does it denote the property’s address on tony Park Lane, but also how far it is by car from both Heathrow and City Airports (about 45 minutes in normal traffic), and how many rooms and...
Photo courtesy of Ace Shoreditch
02
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
The cool credentials of the Ace Hotel group (with properties in New York, Portland, Palm Springs, and Los Angeles) show little sign of retreat. Even the unprepossessing exterior of this outpost—hidden within the shell of a former Crowne...
Photo courtesy of Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London
03
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
From the moment the smiling doorman ushered us into the sleek, burnished lobby of the Bulgari, my sister and I felt like a couple of celebrities taking a discreet trip to the capital city. The type of luxury you get here is of a very distinct...
Photo by Molly Shields
04
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
The 19th-century, red-brick former home of one of the first fire stations in London now traffics in a different kind of heat. In 2013, hotelier Andre Balazs—of Chateau Marmont and Mercer Hotel fame—re-launched the Marylebone...
Photo courtesy of Claridge’s
05
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
It says a lot about the values of Claridge’s that the hotel once refused Katharine Hepburn entry because she was wearing trousers (strictly not allowed for women at that time). Instead, one of the world’s greatest actresses was asked,...
Photo by Jack Hardy, courtesy of Corinthia Hotel London
06
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Opened in 2011, this luxury hotel from the Malta-based Corinthia brand occupies a Victorian building (once home to the Ministry of Defense) in the heart of the city, not far from Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery, the London Eye, and the...
Photo by Simon Brown
07
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Housed in a 19th-century French hospital, the Covent Garden Hotel is the oldest and most historic of Tim and Kit Kemp’s celebrated Firmdale hotels portfolio. Opened in 1996 by the husband-and-wife team, it bears a staid style that reflects...
Photo by Simon Brown, courtesy of Dorset Square Hotel
08
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
At this intimate Marylebone hotel, there’s a unique history that goes beyond its setting in a Regency townhouse, or its location overlooking one of London’s earliest cricket grounds. Of more interest to hotel junkies is the fact that,...
Photo courtesy of Flemings Mayfair Hotel
09
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
The historic Flemings Mayfair Hotel, Suites and Apartments is a boutique property that provides a home-away-from-home feel within one of London’s exclusive neighborhoods. Opened in 1851, it was converted from 13 Georgian townhouses dating...
Photo courtesy of Ham Yard Hotel
10
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Most London hotels can’t claim to have a bowling alley in the basement. But then Ham Yard isn’t most hotels. The new address, opened in June 2014, also features a 190-seat cinema with Dolby surround sound, a spa with its own Hypoxic...
Photo
11
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Opened in 1865 as a restaurant, event space, and wine store, Café Royal quickly became a gathering spot for London’s intelligentsia and glitterati. Over the following 150 years, everyone from Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde to...
Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
12
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
A dramatic brick façade forms the unmistakable face of Mandarin Oriental’s first and only outpost in London. The high-end, Hong Kong–based hotel group, with properties from New York to Shanghai, took over the century-old...
Photo courtesy of South Place Hotel
13
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Business at the front, party at the back: that’s the ethos behind this hotel, which opened in London’s financial district in 2012. Weekdays, the clientele in the lobby bar and brasserie is all business, the conversation a gentle hum of...
Photo courtesy of Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London
14
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Occupying the 34th to 52nd floors of the Renzo Piano-designed Shard building, this five-star hotel from the Hong Kong-based Shangri-La brand is all about the views—starting from the 35th-floor lobby, where the 360-degree panoramas...
Photo courtesy of The Beaumont, London
15
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
The Beaumont’s 1926 exterior isn’t altogether conventional. The curious, cubelike sculpture on the left-hand corner of the facade is the creation of one of Britain’s foremost artists. Antony Gormley is best known for creating...
Photo courtesy of Boundary
16
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Despite launching on New Year’s Eve in 2008, Sir Terence Conran’s boutique hotel is a discreet affair. The Boundary was the first hotel project by the eminent octogenarian British designer and his partner, Peter Prescott, but the...
Photo courtesy of The Connaught
17
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
In 2007, the Connaught was incorporated into the Maybourne Hotel Group, which injected more than $100 million into the century-old building and brought the once-reclusive hotel in line with its more welcoming sister properties, Claridge’s...
Photo courtesy of The Goring
18
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
The royal family has made this intimate hotel their home-away-from-home since Otto Goring first opened its doors in 1910—which is why it’s the only hotel to hold an official Royal Warrant for hospitality services, bestowed in 2013 by...
Photo courtesy of The Hoxton
19
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Following the success of its first hotel in the vibrant Shoreditch neighborhood, The Hoxton group opened this second outpost in 2014 in the less “happening”—but super-central—Holborn area, just a short walk from the British...
Photo The London Edition
20
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Stepping into the London Edition, it’s clear to see that Ian Schrager, the man responsible for the legendary nightclub Studio 54, and mastermind of the first-ever “boutique hotel,” has yet again repeated his successful formula....
Photo courtesy of The Ned
21
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
The founders of Soho House and the developers behind such buzzy hotels as New York City’s The NoMad teamed up to turn the historic Midland Bank building into—what else?—a one-stop lifestyle hub that’s drawing regulars of...
Photo courtesy of The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel
22
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Having built the Savoy Theatre, English agent Richard D’Oyly Carte opened a nearby hotel in 1889 to accommodate wealthy American patrons who came to see the venue’s celebrated Gilbert & Sullivan operas. In years since, the hotel...
Photo courtesy of Trafalgar St. James
23
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
Relaunched in a historic building as a new boutique hotel in summer 2017, the Trafalgar St. James is (as the Brits say) bang in the middle of London, perched on Trafalgar Square. The central location overlooking Nelson’s Column and the...
Photo courtesy of The Zetter
24
45 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN, UK
In many ways, the Zetter Townhouse is the quintessential British hotel: quiet and unobtrusive from the outside, playful and witty within. Its exterior is the picture of buttoned-up gentility, a handsome Georgian townhouse at the far end of St...
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