Whether you’re a longtime London dweller or heading off on an indulgent weekend away, London’s unrivalled hotel scene offers everything from the kitsch and chintzy to the downright decadent, and all within handy reach of a nearby tube stop. From sumptuous stalwarts including the likes of The Goring and The Savoy, to achingly cool boutiques like the Zetter and The Boundary, we’ve searched high and low to bring you our edit of the best hotels in London, for the ultimate in weekend getaways.
Charlotte Street Hotel: Best For Media Mingling
Set in the heart of media-savvy Bloomsbury, Charlotte Street Hotel was given a glitzy renovation in 2014, with an array of boldly decorated rooms and a lively bar and restaurant attracting regulars from nearby ad agencies and film companies. With cosy fireplaces and bold tartan fabrics, this Fitzrovia hangout is a home away from home, with that added touch of luxury, of course.
Chiltern Firehouse: Best For Celeb Spotting
A magnet for media mavens and cool entertainment types, Chiltern Firehouse is always buzzing with A-listers. The restaurant has a waiting list as long as your grandma’s knitting collection, but if you book a stay in the hotel, they might just let you mingle alongside the rich and famous – for a moment at least. The hotel is charmingly retro, with the perfect mix of timeless and homely with a splash of vintage glamour. Fall into their crisp white linens before you work your swagger down to celebsville. Aka. the Nuno Mendes restaurant.
Claridges: Best For Glamour Puss Foodies
From its swanky Bond Street location to its red carpet clientele list, Claridge’s is, to put it simply, sheer class. An irresistible mix of dazzling Art Deco and grand Victorian flourishes with a side of low-key contemporary luxe. Claridge’s has it all. From the ostentatious Dale Chihuly chandelier taking centre stage in the foyer, to Simon Rogan’s hugely popular Fera restaurant – foodies will love sampling Simon’s imaginative, intricate dishes – Claridge’s is the ultimate treat for a weekend away in the city.
Dean Street Townhouse: Best For Stylish Sunday Lounging
This charming Soho House outpost is made up of three adjoining townhouses close to the original member’s club. Retaining its original Edwardian charm and glamour, the townhouse is very much like being invited to tea at one of your posh friend’s parents, but you don’t have to help with washing up. Pretty wallpaper runs throughout and the dining room serves up everything from oysters, Scotch eggs, mince and potatoes to creamy sherry trifle. Relax with the Sunday papers and enjoy a cup of Earl Grey. Bone china of course, darling.
ME London: Best For Ibiza Vibes
Whilst the exterior of this luxury London offering is somewhat unassuming – in short, it doesn’t look much from the outside – inside it’s a whole different story. Boasting 157 rooms and suites – all super slick and contemporary in design – set around a mesmerising marble atrium, ME London offers both style and luxury in the heart of Covent Garden. The sprawling rooftop bar serves up a mean selection of cocktails, often with the sounds of Ibiza headliners playing live in the background. Sip while you admire London’s iconic skyline then fall into they comfy king-sized beds with a bottle of chilled Moët to toast in the weekend.
The Mondrian: Best For Nautical Design
Designer Tom Dixon really embraced the maritime theme at the Mondrian, transforming Sea Containers House – which was an eyesore of an office building on the south bank of the Thames – into a quirky hotel/transatlantic liner. A swanky one to say the least, it has accents of Art Deco, Pop Art and even a little disco thrown in there for fun. Dixon’s signature copper theme runs throughout, and you’re within walking distance of the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe, to soak up London’s artistic culture. Make the most of the sunny weather and enjoy a tipple on the balcony of the brassy rooftop Rumpus bar. Go on, you know you want to…
St. Pancras Renaissance: Best For History
One of Britain’s most important historic hotels, and a dramatic tribute to the Neo-Gothic obsession and elaborate designs that gripped the industrial age. Step out of the door of the hotel bar and you’ll be standing on the King’s Cross concourse – handy if you’ve come by train – but inside is as lavish and decorative as the exterior of the building. With gold gilded rooms and ornate carvings, this design of the hotel is very much set in the Victorian era, which only adds to to its charm and allure. Step back in time to marvel at the delights the the Renaissance has to offer – from the cathedral-like Grand Staircase to the marble and velvet-clad suites, St Pancras Renaissance is the stuff hotel dreams are made of.
The Boundary: Best For Manhattan Mindsets
Terence Conran's first hotel offering, puts design (unsurprisingly) to the very fore, right from its towering rooftop bar to its uber cool Manhattan-inspired hotel rooms. The expensively pared-down rooms all make up part of this achingly cool converted Shoredtich warehouse, each boasting handmade beds, classic furniture and original artwork. This hipster hangout attracts a throng of media and city folk, but the rooftop bar is where you can achieve a Manhattan state of mind as you sup on cocktails and soak up the city views – albeit with the screeching sounds of sirens and raucous Shoreditch revelry.
The Dorchester: Best For Old School Glamour
Keeping up with Park Lane appearances, it comes as no surprise that The Dorchester comes with a classical, opulent interior stamp. But there’s an impressive variety among the rooms that incorporate everything from 1950s time-capsule apartments and classic English country style to cool and contemporary. There’s no denying this famous hotel’s wow-factor. With a first-class restaurant (headed up by Alain Ducasse) and one of the most elegant hotel bars in London this is a hotel with old school glamour down to a T.
The Goring: Best For The Royal Treatment
A favourite among the royals – this is where Kate Middleton spent her last night as a single woman – this charming family-run hotel has remained within the same family since it opened a century ago. Luxurious yet homely, The Goring is chintzy and elegant with enough glamour to give guests the royal treatment. The bar is essence of cosiness, the restaurant Michelin-starred and the garden the biggest of its kind in London. A palatial stay where you can play at being a Duchess for the weekend. Because, why not?
Savoy: Best For Red Carpet A-List Glamour
With somewhat of a split personality, The Savoy is made up on the one side of Edwardian neoclassical and on the other, glamorous Art Deco. Both tick all the boxes by our book. There’s also an atrium pool with a bubbling jet stream, and two of the finest watering holes in London, The American Bar, granddaddy of London's cocktail bars, and its younger, sassier sibling, The Beaufort Bar. But we love it for its star-studded history – where else can you stand in the exact same spot that Monet painted the Thames, or where Vivien Leigh met Laurence Olivier?
Zetter Townhouse: Best For Eccentric Trendsetters
Pretty much like a decadent boudoir, the Zetter is a fun, hip boutique hotel set in the heart of buzzy Clerkenwell, opening out onto St John’s Square. As well as plenty of cosy, funky-styled bedrooms – think '50s leather chairs, shaggy fur rugs and ornate antique furnishings – there are also deluxe rooftop studios available to rent that boast spectacular panoramic views of the city, particularly dazzling when the sun sets. The Club Zetter bistrot and wine bar just a hop across the square is also well worth a visit.
Artist Residence: Best For Luxurious Homely Charm
An intimate offering but one that doesn’t lack in style and sophistication, Artist Residence is a 10-bedroom beautiful retreat nestled in the heart of Pimlico. The cosy rooms come with reclaimed wooden floorboards, and are dotted with tasteful, shabby touches – think distressed tea-crate drawers, milking stools, antler chandeliers and the like – that all add to the stylish, rustic charm. The hotel’s enduringly popular underground Clarendon Cocktail Bar is full of quirky pop art adornments, and the cocktails are all inspired by historical works of art. Be sure to try the Scream – a heady mix of mescal, lime and cassis.