London is quite rightly one of the global cities of the world. With centuries of history, top attractions, world-class drinking and dining, great nightlife and a whole lot of iconic sights to see, you’ll find it hard to ever be bored in London.
From the West End to the East End, the places to base yourself in London are almost endless; couple that with some of the best hotels the world has to offer, and potential visitors are spoiled for choice. To help narrow it down a bit, here’s a more curated selection of London’s best and brightest hotels.
1. Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard
Actually set within London’s iconic Shard skyscraper — the 34th to 52nd floors, to be exact — the Shangri-la is a 5-star hotel featuring incredible views out over the skyline of the British capital.
Rooms here are stylishly decked out with unique design and boast floor to ceiling windows, so the view of London really takes centre stage. With access to dazzling amenities – including three restaurants, London’s highest bar, and a pool on the 52nd floor – there’s no way guests won’t be impressed.
Location: Its setting within The Shard means it’s located on St Thomas Street, with landmark sights like Borough Market close by and London Bridge Underground Station just a few minutes’ walk away.
2. The Langham London
A classic, well-known London hotel, The Langham has long been a fixture in London’s luxury landscape. First opening in 1865, it has hosted foreign dignitaries, royalty, and celebrities throughout its 150-year history.
Inside, it’s about as deluxe as you’d imagine – from the comfortable, elegantly decorated rooms, to the award-winning bar and restaurant. There’s even a delightful Palm Court to indulge in some afternoon tea. The onsite spa and health club features a 20-yard swimming pool, fully equipped gym, and steam rooms.
Location: Set on Regent Street, close to all the shopping and entertainment options of Oxford Circus, Soho, and jewels of London’s West End like The Palladium.
3. Ace Hotel London Shoreditch
Ace Hotel London Shoreditch is a funky, fashionable hotel with an upbeat atmosphere. Throughout, it has been designed with nods to punk style, with bold, graphic taste being the order of the day; each guest room has also been uniquely decked out for a decidedly cool place to stay.
Enjoy meals at the Ace Hotel’s restaurant (catering to a variety of dietary needs), or grab a selection of refreshments at the hotel’s onsite juice bar — but away from the juice, there’s the rooftop bar to soak up some of the fun, too.
Location: Set in fashionable Shoreditch, Brick Lane is less than a ten-minute walk away, while nearby Old Street Underground Station offers great transport links around the city.
4. The Ned
Located in a former bank, The Ned has layers of history. The Grade-1 listed building was designed by Sir Edwin “Ned” Lutyens 1924 and today incorporates vintage ’20s and ’30s furnishings for an opulent twist on modern-day luxury.
The former Grand Banking Hall is now home to eight restaurants, so guests will never be stuck for something to eat at The Ned. Other great amenities here include a spa, gym, and a swimming pool, while some guest suites even boast their own terraces.
Location: Set in the City of London, a stone’s throw from St Paul’s Cathedral, it’s just a 15-minute stroll from here to Oxford Street, Soho, and the West End.
5. Vintry & Mercer
The Vintry & Mercer boasts style by the bucketful. With its black and white tiles, houseplants, carefully curated details, and selection of mid-century modern furniture, it’s like living in the pages of a deluxe design magazine.
Guest rooms are sleek and stylish in a minimalist boutique-style, while all amenities throughout the hotel feel high-end, especially in the onsite restaurant, which serves up a delicious selection of British and Asian cuisine.
Location: Less than one kilometre to St Paul’s, close to Mansion House Underground Station. It’s easy to take a lovely walk along the storied River Thames from here to Central London.
6. Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s
A modern marvel of a hotel, this 5-star offering boasts a huge glass atrium in its lobby, where guests will find no less than four restaurants to satisfy their appetites. Rooms here are clean and calm, with smart furnishings and large windows — allowing the view of St Paul’s Cathedral to steal the show.
Elsewhere, there’s a health and fitness club to make full use of, including access to fitness classes and even personal trainers onsite.
Location: Situated right beside St Paul’s Cathedral, staying here means being a short walk from Blackfriars, Millennium Bridge, the London Stock Exchange, and other grand sights in London’s business district.
7. ME London by Melia
Another one of London’s contemporary luxe hotels, the ME London by Melia is certainly a designer option. Described as having a “cosmopolitan atmosphere,” the hotel boasts chic rooms featuring integrated tech, Balinese showers, and floor to ceiling windows.
More modern designs feature in the lounge bar for evening drinks, or you may want to opt for the rooftop cocktail bar — also doubling as a prime breakfast spot.
Location: Overlooking Somerset House on the Strand (home of London Fashion Week), from here, you’ll be close to the Lyceum Theatre, the London Transport Museum, and bustling Covent Garden.
8. The Bloomsbury Hotel
The grand Bloomsbury Hotel features top-end service by attentive, professional staff, beautifully appointed guest rooms, and a relaxing guest lounge with a cosy fire.
Staying here doesn’t even feel like you’re staying in a hotel — in a good way. The intimate Bloomsbury Club Bar and Dining Room is a world-class London experience with classic food and drink. There’s also the option to enjoy dinner at the Dalloway Lounge, complete with terrace.
Location: Set on Great Russell Street, The Bloomsbury is surrounded by entertainment options of the West End – think theatres galore, Leicester Square just a ten-minute stroll away, all the shops of Oxford Street and the dining out and drinking in Soho.
9. The Ampersand Hotel
The Ampersand Hotel is located within a Victorian-era building that has been lovingly updated for the modern-day. It’s a cosmopolitan, modern hotel with luxury that boasts original Victorian features throughout, including a sweeping, chandelier-illuminated spiral staircase.
Guest rooms here are classically decorated with bold wallpapers and period features for a stylish stay. Guests can enjoy the games room, work-out at the gym, or grab a bite to eat in one of the hotel’s drawing rooms.
Location: Situated in upscale Kensington and Chelsea, the world-famous Natural History Museum is a two-minute stroll from here, as is the Victoria and Albert Museum (aka the V&A).
10. The Academy
Sultry interiors combine with classic design at The Academy for the ultimate in London sophistication and relaxation. Guest rooms have been designed by an award-winning team and feature marble bathrooms and bespoke furniture.
Set inside a row of Georgian era townhouses, The Academy features a continental buffet served daily, as well as a bar with a terrace that also serves afternoon tea for that quintessential high-end British experience.
Location: Set in Bloomsbury, the West End is at your fingertips. It’s a short walk from here to Leicester Square, Covent Garden, and Piccadilly Circus; the British Museum is practically on the doorstep.
11. Rosewood London
Staying in the Rosewood London makes for a palatial experience – from its majestic exteriors all the way to its spacious and sleek guest rooms. This place is certainly up there as one of the very best London hotels, complete with exceptional service.
There’s the opulent Mirror Room for all-day dining options ‘til late, as well as the elegant Holborn Dining Room for breakfast. Aside from eating and drinking, there’s the option to unwind at the incredible Rosewood Spa.
Location: Covent Garden is a mere five-minute stroll from the hotel’s Holborn setting, while High Holborn is a stone’s throw from the hotel. Many of the West End’s theatres are an easy walk from here, too.
12. The Dorchester
With its Michelin-starred restaurant and 5-star credentials, The Dorchester is one of London’s top luxury hotels. Set inside a beautiful historic building, rooms here have been carefully designed with boutique decor and period features.
Guests can work out at the fitness centre or relax at the Dorchester Spa; even that is ultra-luxe, boasting chandeliers made from South Pacific pearls. Throughout the hotel, fresh, daily floral arrangements keep it feeling well attended to.
Location: Set in Westminster, between Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner, high-end Knightsbridge (home of Harrods) is a ten-minute walk from here, while Buckingham Palace is just over half a mile away.
13. Andaz London Liverpool Street
A classic East London mix of hip modern meets Victorian decor, the Andaz London Liverpool Street features 267 guest rooms, seven restaurants and bars, and a 24-hour health club.
Everything has been meticulously thought-out for guests’ comfort, right down to the Japanese yukata bathrobes and complimentary wines and canapes in the lobby. It is a big slice of luxury.
Location: Right next to Liverpool Street Station, there are lots of transport connections, while Old Spitalfields Market is a five-minute stroll away. Brick Lane is an easy walk, too.
14. The Kensington Hotel
Simply stylish, the Kensington creates a calm environment for guests to unwind in, with elegant features — think chandeliers and four-poster beds — spread throughout the hotel. Some guest suites are designed specifically with families in mind, while others have private balconies overlooking London.
Period drawing rooms house the hotel’s restaurant, while there’s also a fitness centre to work off all that afternoon tea.
Location: Set in the heart of South Kensington, the area’s Underground Station is just 500 yards from the hotel, but “Musem Mile” — including the V&A, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum — is a five-minute walk. Harrods is just 20 minutes on foot.
15. Hotel Cafe Royal
With 5-stars to its name, Hotel Cafe Royal features 160 guest rooms designed to the highest specifications; they’re ultramodern, with clean lines and neutral colours creating bright, airy spaces to relax in after exploring London.
Guests have access to a whole lot of amenities here. There’s a Holistic Wellbeing Centre, complete with a state-of-the-art gym, pool, and hammam. A selection of restaurants and bars will wow any visitor — including the astonishing Louis XVI-style Oscar Wilde Lounge.
Location: Set in high-class Mayfair on Regent Street, Hotel Cafe Royal is just a mile from Theatreland (the West End). It’s also easy to walk to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum.