The Top 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.

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 suites it holds—well, make that 46, counting the Penthouse Suite. A member of the Dorchester Collection group, the intimate 45 Park Lane opened in 2011, just opposite The Dorchester hotel, and acts a bit like that icon’s younger, more modern sister, with contemporary-leaning décor by noted architect-designer-artist Thierry Despont. Common spaces feature bespoke furniture and carpets, eye-catching light fixtures, and an artsy flair, while rooms (29 of which are suites) come with Hyde Park views, Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 10-46 TVs, Aromatherapy Associates amenities and—in the penthouse—a wrap-around roof terrace.

In addition to displaying hand-picked pieces by noted artists like Damien Hirst and Sir Peter Blake throughout the building, the hotel hosts an artist-in-residence program and regular exhibits that spotlight emerging talent. Culinary expertise is celebrated, too—focusing on high-grade steaks and seafood, and serving an afternoon tea with a gourmet American twist, CUT at 45 Park Lane was the first European restaurant from legendary chef-restauranteur Wolfgang Puck when it opened with the hotel. Other on-site facilities include a well-stocked gym, library, and cozy bar. If those should fail to satisfy, guests also enjoy access to the perks at The Dorchester, such as a full spa, salon, and four restaurants, including one from Alain Ducasse.
171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW, 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 kind: a feeling that no expense has been spared in the gleaming dark wood of the corridors and the glow of gold tile around the spa; the soft, low lighting throughout the hotel made us feel like we were in a place that values discretion and sophistication above all things. The service was fantastic—reminiscent of the policy of the famous Harrods, opposite, that no matter how bizarre the customer’s request, they will do their very best to fulfill it. And as for the rooms—well, my sister said she’d never slept in a better bed in her life. And that seems to sum up the Bulgari ethos: Whether it’s the food or the spa treatments or simply having a bath in the gorgeous marble bathroom, they want it to be the best experience you’ve ever had of that kind.
1 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London W1U 7PA, 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 space as a 26-suite hotel and 200-seat restaurant, and almost immediately, the celebrities and scene-makers followed. Within the first few months, everyone from ex-Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron to Simon Cowell, Orlando Bloom, and Kate Moss were spotted at the property. Though the initial buzz has died down, the place is still geared toward boldfaced names—and, particularly in the hard-to-book restaurant and bars, exhibits a strict “And who are you?” vibe.

The focus on privacy and gatekeeping comes off better on the hotel side, where it pairs with lovely rooms and suites, cushy décor, and service from personal concierges to make the place feel more like a private club or gracious country home. Even though there are only 26 rooms, there are several configurations available. Entry-level rooms overlook either the mews or the courtyard, and come with amenities like 400-plus-thread-count sheets, marble bathrooms with upscale products, extra seating, and—in some—roll-top bathtubs or original Victorian windows. Lofts and suites offer extras like separate living rooms, dressing areas, second bedrooms, period furnishings, and cathedral windows. Almost all rooms have at least one working fireplace—a fitting homage to the building’s history.
Brook St, Mayfair London W1K 4HR, 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, politely, if she would enter through the back door. Though this outdated tradition no longer stands, there is much about the historic Mayfair hotel that remains timeless. The downstairs Art Deco lobby looks as elegant as the day it was built in 1931, thanks to a renovation at the turn of this century. And the staff, who got their moment in the spotlight when the BBC aired its Inside Claridge’s documentary in 2012, continue to busy themselves, discreetly meeting the wants and whims of every guest. Upstairs, the story is slightly different, with the hallways and corridors starting to show their age. But the hotel’s willingness to work with a trove of contemporary designers—Diane von Furstenberg, India Mahdavi, and David Linley among them—has ensured the rooms, and the hotel, have not been left to languish entirely in the past.
Whitehall Pl, Westminster, London SW1A 2BD, 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 theater district. The overall vibe is one of a 21st-century grand hotel, with a series of elegant public spaces—some vast and high-ceilinged, others warm and cozy—unfolding along the ground floor. Find modern, British-accented fare and a decadent breakfast spread at The Northall restaurant; all-day dining and a recently reimagined afternoon tea service (complete with Champagne trolley) at The Crystal Moon Lounge; and, in good weather, al fresco drinks, bites, and cigars at the leafy Garden Lounge. In summer 2018, the Bassoon Bar re-launched as a 1920s-era, New Orleans-inspired hangout, complete with a creative cocktail and bubbly menu developed by award-winning bartender Marcis Dzelzainis and wine expert Michael Sager. Shortly after, the hotel also opened Kerridge’s Bar and Grill, the first London restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge.

Beyond its common spaces, the Corinthia is home to 283 residential-style rooms and suites, which include chic London and Garden suites (launched in 2018) and seven themed presidential suites, all crafted by David Collins Studio. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, Nespresso machines, high-tech media hubs, and marble bathrooms with rain showers, bathtubs with built-in TVs, heated floors, and ESPA products. Some of the higher-level suites even come with private outdoor spaces, butler service, and expansive views. Further relaxation can be found at the flagship ESPA Life by Corinthia Spa, one of the largest in the city with 17 treatment “pods,” a 24/7 gym, a nail studio, and a vast thermal floor with multiple pools, sauna and stream rooms, ice fountains, and sleep pods for extra serenity. To engage both visitors and locals, the hotel regularly offers unique programming and partnerships, including hosting in-residence experts—from neuroscientists to “futurist” trend forecasters—who lead talks and events throughout their stays.
10 Monmouth St, London WC2H 9HB, 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 its early position in the cannon of hotels, which have since become far more exuberant and quirky. The hotel’s muted, pared-back look will undoubtedly appeal to those who crave discretion. It’s not unusual to spot venerable British actors tucked away in a corner, quietly conducting a meeting. This is, after all, the heart of Theatreland—or London’s West End—where a recognizable clientele comes with the territory. However, the Covent Garden Hotel is by no means the see-and-be-seen spot of its media-magnet sister properties, including Charlotte Street Hotel, The Soho Hotel, and Ham Yard. Instead, go here to sequester yourself with a book in the upstairs drawing room, which, with its crackling stone fireplace and wood-paneled walls, resembles the traditional lounge of an English country house.
39-40 Dorset Square, Marylebone, London NW1 6QN, 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, back in 1985, this was the first hotel opened by Tim and Kit Kemp, who went on to found the much-loved Firmdale Hotels group, which now has properties throughout London and New York City. Though the couple sold Dorset Square in 2002, they re-bought it in 2012, and gave it a thorough re-do to bring it back to their signature style standard.

The 38 rooms now feature modern English décor, complete with individually selected furnishings and eye-catching fabrics, as well as Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, and granite bathrooms with walk-in showers or bathtubs. The top-tier Marylebone Room kicks it up a notch with grey wool walls and a separate sitting room. Some of the rooms run small, but luckily there are comfy public spaces in which to hang out, including a lovely ground floor library with fireplace, honor bar, and views of the square. The Potting Shed restaurant is both a guest and local favorite for its gourmet menu and all-day afternoon tea, as well as its Chef’s Table dinners and weekend Prosecco Brunch. The team here can also put together a custom picnic hamper, stocked with eats, drinks, and a blanket for enjoying in the square or nearby Regent’s Park.
7-12 Half Moon St, Mayfair, London W1J 7BH, 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 back to 1731 and is today one of London’s oldest established hotels. Set on a quiet street in walking distance to Green Park, Buckingham Palace, and Bond Street, Flemings Mayfair has been privately owned by the same family for more than 40 years.

Enhancing the historic property with contemporary touches, Fleming Mayfair completed a £14 million renovation in 2016 which included a new dining experience with Executive Chef, Michelin-starred Shaun Rankin.

A décor featuring shades of bronze and soft greys mixing with teal, indigo, and mustard, creates a sleek but soothing retreat reminiscent of the 1930s within the Flemings Mayfair’s 129 guest rooms, suites and apartments. The one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as a seven-bedroom Townhouse private residence, are individually decorated and boast fully-equipped kitchens and separate living and dining rooms.
1 Ham Yard, Soho, London W1D 7DT, 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 Studio for high-altitude training, a roof terrace with a full vegetable garden, and a karaoke bar curated by Lucky Voice. Ham Yard is the eighth opening for Firmdale Hotels, the chain run by husband-and-wife team Tim and Kit Kemp. Tim brings business brains to the partnership, while Kit handles the interior design. It’s this aspect for which the brand is best known, and Ham Yard is the most exuberant of Kit’s colorful creations. Kit has filled the space with her trademark mismatched fabrics and art works sourced from the likes of Shilo Engelbrecht. Curious touches, such as light installations from cult-creator Gods Own Junkyard, lend the hotel an idiosyncratic edge. The unusual name derives from the Soho square in which the hotel stands. Ham Yard’s emergence has not only created London’s hottest new opening, but also a courtyard space where locals come to sit and linger at the hotel’s partner shops, including Brazilian beachwear brand Frescobol Carioca and a Press London juice bar.
10 Air St, Soho, London W1B 4DY, 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 Muhammed Ali and David Bowie was spotted here swapping stories and hosting celebrations. Re-launched in 2012 as a hotel, Café Royal continues to serve as a vibrant hub for guests, thanks to its central location between Mayfair and Soho, a short walk from theaters, shops, and tourist attractions.

Past a stunning lobby (which recently underwent a $6.6 million re-design), the 160 rooms and suites are warm and streamlined, crafted with materials like Carrera marble, English oak, and Portland stone, and outfitted with Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems, sound proofing, rainfall showers, luxury linens, and free Wi-Fi. All rooms come with perks like complimentary John Lobb shoe shines, while the seven super-luxe Signature Suites feature things like Tudor fireplaces, deep-soaking tubs, private screening rooms, dining areas, and butler service. In keeping with the building’s gourmet history, dining and drinking options include the Laurent at Café Royal grill and sushi bar from celebrated chef Laurent Tourondel; the gilded Oscar Wilde Lounge for traditional afternoon tea service; the bright and modern Papillon for all-day dining with British-French flavors; and Green Bar for botanical-based cocktails and fine liquors. Launched in 2018 inside the Laurent restaurant, Ziggy’s bar serves expertly crafted drinks in a space that pays homage to the late David Bowie, who held a “retirement party” for his Ziggy Stardust alter-ego at the Café Royal in 1970. A spacious gym (with LifeFitness equipment, class studios, and a 60-foot lap pool) and the Akasha Spa (with sauna, hammam, and nine rooms for East-meets-West treatments) round out the facilities.
3 South Place London EC2M 2AF, 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 meetings. But the hotel has a lively side. On weekends, a young, fashionable crowd from nearby Shoreditch and the ever-growing tech center Silicon Roundabout comes for the DJs that regularly include big names such as Ricardo Villalobos. Owners D&D London—the city’s leading hospitability group and brains behind such restaurants as Coq d’Argent—have made food the focus of their first hotel. Within one year of opening, the top-floor, fish-focused restaurant, Angler, already had a Michelin star. And then there’s the art. Sir Terence Conran’s design firm created modern interiors accented with pop-art prints, full-wall installations, and playful sculptures, many created by British artists living and working in the area.
8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London W1K 6TF, 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 works such as the “Angel of the North” in the English town of Gateshead, but on this occasion he agreed to create ROOM—an “inhabitable sculpture” with a luxury suite hidden inside—at the behest of his old friend Jeremy King.

King, for those not familiar with London’s restaurant scene, is one half of Corbin & King. The pair have been working together for 30 years and have accrued a following at spots including the Wolseley, the Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel, and Colbert.

It’s perhaps fitting, then, that the first thing guests encounter upon entering the Beaumont is a pair of double doors pointing the way to the Colony Grill Room and the American Bar. Both spaces are fitted with decadent walnut finishes, Art Deco artwork, and dim, atmospheric lighting. The look and feel recapture the glamour of America during the 1920s and 30s, and that theme pervades the hotel.
2-4 Boundary St, London E2 7DD, 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 inexperience doesn’t show. This is a very polished place that revolves—as you might expect from a furniture-obsessed restaurateur—around good food and seamless design. From the street, you’d barely know a hotel existed. The focus is on the busy, brasserie-style Albion restaurant, whose tables pour out onto the pavement, and the adjoining grocery store, bakery, and cake counter. But that’s not to say the rooms are an afterthought. Hidden away in the upper floors of a handsome Victorian warehouse on London’s Redchurch Street are 17 distinctly designed rooms that brim with custom-made furniture, handmade beds, and a splash of eye-catching art. All are flooded with light through large sash windows and take their cue from leading designers such as Charles & Ray Eames, Le Corbusier & Charlotte Perriand, and Mies Van Der Rohe. For those who believe good design should blend effortlessly into its environment, this is the place to stay.
Beeston Place
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 Queen Elizabeth II, who has been enjoying lunches and teas here since she was a child. Set on a quiet Belgravia side street, just a few blocks from Buckingham Palace, the elegant hotel also hosted nobility, both foreign and domestic, during the coronations of King George VI and the current queen, and—as the first hotel in the U.K. with en suite bathrooms—often served as a convenient place for dignitaries to freshen up prior to an audience at the Palace.

Today, the 69-room spot—which is still owned by the same family—caters to a devoted (and primarily American) clientele, who love the intimate feel, central location, and excellent service, not to mention the rare perks like a back garden. Rooms are cushy and comfortable, with traditionally English décor (silk wallpaper, vintage-inspired headboards, Italian linens, and oversized armchairs) and playful details (pops of color, giant stuffed sheep mascots peeking around corners, and an in-room lighting switch with choices like “Bright,” “Cozy,” and “Oooh”). Upgrade to a suite to enjoy more room and dedicated service from one of the legendary footmen, identifiable by their gold-embroidered scarlet coats. (For even more perks, check in to the gorgeous, two-bedroom Royal Suite, which boasts four-poster beds, a grand piano, a six-seat dining room, antique glassware, and a life-sized portrait of Queen Victoria in the shower.) A steady stream of locals of all ages join hotel guests for lunch on the garden terrace, drinks around the gleaming wood bar or in the fireplace lounge, and the famous Afternoon Tea—just book early for the latter, as there can be a months-long wait list.
199-206 High Holborn
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 Museum, Covent Garden, and The Strand. Set in a former telephone exchange building (part of which is historic Victorian, the other part mid-century concrete), the hotel encourages socializing and working in its open-plan lobby, which is outfitted with library-style wooden tables, book-lined shelves, retro couches, and a couple of guest-use computers, plus plenty of places to plug in. You can order drinks and coffee all day in the lobby, three meals of large-portioned favorites (from fish and chips and burgers to banana splits) in the industrial-chic Hubbard and Bell restaurant, and rotisserie chicken and sides in the speakeasy-feeling basement Chicken Shop.

These communal spaces come in particularly handy if you’ve checked in to one of the smaller rooms—the 174 accommodations come in sizes from Shoebox and Snug to Cosy and Roomy (which is not all that much bigger). The spaces are cleverly designed to feel larger than they are, though, with large, circular mirrors, bespoke wallpaper printed with Charles Dickens scenes, comfy beds, and artwork by students of the prestigious Central St. Martins university. There are also useful perks like free Wi-Fi and one hour of international calling, a light breakfast delivered to your door daily, complimentary water and milk in the mini-fridge, and beer and wine available at the front desk for regular grocery store (not hotel) prices. If you want to linger, late checkout is available for an additional £5 per hour.
10 Berners St London W1T 3NP, 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. Since it launched in September 2013, the EDITION has become a celebrity favorite, with all the attendant publicity that brings. It’s not without merit, either. The open-to-all Lobby Bar is—in signature Schrager style—the communal hub of the hotel, where freelancers click away on free-to-use iMacs during the day and a statuesque, fashionable crowd transforms the space into a lively cocktail bar at night. The EDITION’s somewhat unlikely partnership with Marriott seems to be a hit, with Schrager bringing his particular brand of cool to the marriage and Marriott investing a discernible level of service, which transforms what could have been an intimidatingly hip address into what is a genuinely comfortable place to be.
27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ, 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 both the suit-and-tie and hipster variety. Part-hotel, part-member’s club, The Ned (named for the moniker of legendary, 19th-century architect Edwin Lutyens, who first envisioned the building) features eight dining options set around the former banking hall, from Italian, French, and Californian spots to a New-York-style deli, Pan-Asian favorite, and lounge for an overflowing, British-style Sunday feast, complete with a Bloody Mary bar and mimosa trolley. Hotel guests also have access to a downstairs bar, and a wellness level with a nail bar, gym, separate hair salon and barbershop, Cowshed Spa, traditional Moroccan hammam, and vitamin IV drips by The Elixir Clinic. The spa level also features an indoor pool, while the Ned’s Club Upstairs offers a rooftop pool and restaurant (with views out to St. Paul’s Cathedral) to Club members or those staying in higher-category rooms.

The entire property is done up in cool, vintage-inspired design, including the 250 guestrooms, which range in category from Crash Pad and Cosy to Heritage and six types of suites. All feature 1920s flair, such as mirrored cocktail cabinets, wingback chairs, and Jazz Age motifs, as well as marble-mosaic bathrooms stocked with rainfall showers and 10 full-size Cowshed products. Suites have bonus perks like dining areas, bathtubs, and upgraded views. Take all the pictures you want in your room, but Insta-addicts may want to leave their phones behind when in select public areas: there’s a photo ban in any place that’s part of the Club membership, including that stunning rooftop.
Strand, London WC2R 0EZ, UK
Having built the Savoy Theatre, English agent Richard D’Oyly Carte opened a nearby hotel in 1889 to accommodate the wealthy American patrons who came to see the celebrated Gilbert & Sullivan operas. In the years following, the hotel welcomed such regulars as Winston Churchill, Coco Chanel, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplin, Mel Brooks, and Katherine Hepburn; some of these famous former guests are now celebrated in the menu of theatrical Character Cocktails served at the hotel’s decadent Beaufort Bar, while others have inspired the nine elegant Personality Suites. Anecdotes abound at The Savoy, including the time Marilyn Monroe stopped by for a press conference in 1956 to promote The Prince and the Showgirl with costar Laurence Olivier and caused a media frenzy when she appeared in a black dress that, tantalizingly, revealed her midriff.

But The Savoy, now managed by Fairmont, is not one to languish in the past. The hotel completed an ambitious $350 million renovation in 2010—in time to celebrate its 125-year anniversary—and now features timeless spaces with every modern convenience. The 267 rooms and suites include Art Deco or Edwardian décor, custom-made furnishings, bespoke rainfall showerheads, and Penhaligon’s amenities; many of the higher category options look out over the Thames or city landmarks, and have extras like claw-foot tubs or, in Deluxe Junior Partial Riverview Suites and above, the legendary Savoy Butler service. Rotating programming—from arts and culture events to a writer-in-residence series and expert-led masterclasses—keep guests engaged, while the six dining and drinking outlets include Simpson’s In the Strand (beloved for its Sunday roast), Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill, and the Thames Foyer for the iconic Afternoon Tea.
2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, St. James's, London SW1A 2TS, 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 National Gallery makes it a draw for sightseeing visitors, while the buzzy rooftop bar and underground lounge are popular meeting spots for locals. Sleep with Mick Jagger (in photo form, framed over the bed) in elegant modern guest rooms with buttery leather headboards that echo the swank booths downstairs in the Trafalgar Dining Rooms. The restaurant serves all day, from cold-pressed morning juices to a post-theatre pulled lamb burger. Make reservations for drinks and nibbles on the Rooftop, and enjoy the views of central London even during cooler months with blankets and outdoor heaters. The hotel taps into local tastemakers and influencers to curate tips and itineraries for guests.
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