Yes, most – actually, no, let’s be clear, all – hotels worth their salt now provide free wifi (check out our list of those still charging for internet, the scoundrels!). But not all places with free wifi are created equal. If you need to catch up on emails, Skype the folks back home or just research the best attractions, why not do it in style? Here is our list of the best hotels with wifi in London: from roof terraces with superb views to quiet, relaxing gardens or lobbies that are veritable hives of creative activity. When it comes to nice, connected corners, London's got it covered. Now, what’s that password again?
Right from the get-go, the lobby of Shoreditch’s Ace hotel has been a popular spot for local creative types to come and tip-tap away on their MacBooks while soaking themselves in coffee and generally being cool. Many aren’t actually staying here, which is a shame as the rooms are great: full of urban artisan touches and decently proportioned. And given its proximity to the City, doubles from £155 per night seem pretty reasonable.
Plenty of hostels in town have wifi throughout, but only one has a computer room in a converted courtroom. Another courtroom here houses a TV room, while elsewhere some of the bedrooms are cells that once held the accused. There’s comfy, contemporary furniture throughout, breakfast is included, there’s a licensed bar, and the location is great for pretty much all of Zone 1. It’s a hostel, so don’t forget your earplugs. Dormitory beds start at £13.
The Hoxton Hotel’s ground floor café, Holborn Grind, is a great go-to spot for a relaxed, bright breakfast meeting. If you’ve more serious stuff to do, move it to one of the six designated meeting rooms (from £235 for three people all day). Upstairs, the hotel has won legions of fans for its formula of great value rooms in prime locations, all at prices, if you book in advance and stay at the weekend, that won’t break the bank (from £99 per night).
Fancy working in the garden? Forget the corporate-sounding name, Safestay Holland Park is one of the city’s leafiest hostel options and has beautiful gardens and a terrace built in a Jacobean mansion within Holland Park – ideal for spending an afternoon at your laptop, writing your screenplay. There’s even heating outside in winter. Indoors, accommodation options run from ensuite twin rooms to dormitories with bunk beds with reading lights and privacy curtains, from £17 per night.
About as close as you can get to working from Buckingham Palace, The Goring is an old-fashioned, family-owned luxury hotel in Belgravia. If you’ve a few emails to catch up on, or you just need some respite from the din of central London, the terrace and garden off its lounge are deeply peaceful (and wifi-connected). Inside, the 69 rooms and suites are the epitome of English proper class and refinery, ditto the service, which has earned it endless accolades – and a Royal Warrant to boot.
Another place doing the laptop in the lobby thing well is Dutch chain Citizen M. Food and coffee are available 24-hours, making work marathons a cinch, and the newest branch is stumbling distance from the boutiques on Redchurch Street and Shoreditch’s busiest restaurants, bars and clubs – perfect for that all important half-hour break. Non-fussy, ‘affordable luxury’ is what it’s all about here, which translates to snappy decor and a fair amount of free stuff too in rooms from £159 per night.
If you want to lock yourself away for a few hours of headscratching, head to Hub, a super-connected budget hotel. From booking the room to dimming its lights, to working out what to do in the area, everything here is controlled via an app on your phone or tablet, and it’s clearly working as Hub now has opened five branches in London over the last couple of years. Rooms at this latest branch on Brick Lane are mini but well designed. Prices – from £69 – are very reasonable for the location.
Members’ clubs are always a good bet for doing a little work mixed with a lot of people-watching, and Covent Garden members’ club Hospital Club is no different. Sustenance comes courtesy of an on-site restaurant and two bars, plus you’ve access to meeting rooms and a screening room or, for more inventive presentations, a music studio and a performance space. And if you’ve been partying or working too hard and can’t deal with getting home, 15 rooms start at £180 per night.
Need a little afternoon inspiration in the form of a spectacular view of London’s skyline? Head to Radio at the top of Foster + Partner’s ME Meliá hotel, built in what was once the HQ of BBC radio. Buzzing at brunch and on sunny days (call reception and book a table), Radio is the only terrace with views of the Strand and the adjacent theatre heartland of Aldwych. If you need real peace and quiet though, 30 of the 157 rooms (starting at £230) have private balconies.
Really you just want to work in a pub though, right? Well here’s your chance – sort of. The genius of staying in one of this Smithfield boozer-cum-boutique hotel’s six rooms is that when you’ve had enough of that two-hour conference call, you can pop downstairs for a pint of IPA or even a full Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Icing on the cake? The location: a stone’s throw from the city but a million miles away from your standard business hotel. Doubles from £150.