Choosing the best romantic hotels in London was never going to be an easy task. We defy anyone to walk across Waterloo Bridge with your beloved by your side and not feel your heart glowing. Add in a sunset and you are likely to explode into a mass of pink goo. The city really is one of the best places on earth to be loved up, especially if you make your stay postcard-perfect and pick a hotel where there’s champagne on arrival, breakfast is served in bed and the views will make your hearts soar. Here are ten of our favourite romantic hotels in London.
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Best romantic hotels in London
You can’t help but have a memorable stay in this iconic hotel – from the opulent reception with its sweeping staircase to the uniformed lift attendant, Claridge’s is the very definition of luxury. The hotel is known for its splendid breakfasts in bed, good for those who plan to spend most of their time behind closed doors. Couples will also love the intimate Fumoir bar (once the cigar bar) where you can sip on timeless cocktails in lush art deco surroundings.
Best for: luxury seekers
A wander through pretty Clerkenwell and you’ll feel transported back to a lost London: one of winding streets, hidden churchyards and olde worlde pubs. The Rookery is a hard-to-find boutique hotel housed in a Georgian townhouse where you’ll discover roaring fires, four-poster beds and roll-top baths. Pick the Rook’s Nest suite with its views of St Paul’s and the Old Bailey for the ultimate romantic experience.
Best for: experiencing time-warp London
This elegant hotel not far from Sloane Square is housed in a towering redbrick Edwardian mansion. Step inside and it’s all period antiques and tasselled soft furnishings. There’s a charming garden too – a rare find in central London. Rather uniquely the hotel offers several complimentary refreshments: tea and homemade biscuits in the afternoon, champagne at 6pm each evening and hot chocolate before bed.
Best for: those after a classic London experience
Fifty floors above London’s bustling streets is this seriously smart hotel in Europe’s tallest – and arguably most alluring – building. Book the ‘Romance in the Clouds’ package and you’ll be treated to dinner in your room with a free bottle of bubbly as well as breakfast in bed the next morning. But the real reason you’re here is for the incredible views – from the skyscrapers of the City to historic Tower Bridge, from here you can see it all… and it’s breathtaking.
Best for: those who want to see all of London without leaving their room
Behind the unassuming facade of this Georgian townhouse is the eccentric ‘home’ of Wicked Uncle Seymour. Spoiler: he’s not actually real. Regardless, at Marylebone’s Zetter Townhouse you’ll feel like you’re staying in the home of an eccentric aristocrat. Book the Loft Room for the ultimate decadence – an outdoor bath. Hit the tub with one of the Townhouse’s bottled cocktails from the minibar. And if it gets a little too nippy, you can always order hot water bottles to take to bed.
Best for: cocktail fans with bohemian souls
It might be in historic Fitzrovia but The Sanderson is decidedly modern. Housed in a 1950s building with bedrooms designed by Philippe Starck, the look here is all clean lines and statement furniture – you won’t be able to miss the giant red lips sofa in the reception. There are two packages for couples. The first includes a free room upgrade, champagne, breakfast brought to your room and late check out. The second makes the most of the in-house spa, with massages followed by champagne and strawberries brought to you while you recline in the ‘couples slumber pods’.
Best for: design freaks
In 2013 The Sexiest Bedroom Award (yes, that really was a thing) was given to the Corfu Suite at Blakes, a stunning white room featuring mother of pearl furniture. But the wow factor isn’t confined to that suite alone, each of the rooms at Blakes is decorated in a different style and furnished with remarkable finds sourced from all over the world by hotelier Anouska Hempel. If you can’t get into the Corfu Suite pick one of the plush ‘romantic four poster’ rooms instead.
Best for: admirers of lavish interior design
This 15-room hotel in picturesque Richmond has one of the most romantic locations of any in the capital. It borders the Thames with a terrace and riverside garden that are beautifully lit up at night. There is romance in the hotel’s history too: it was once the home of early twentieth century love poets Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper. Each of the bedrooms is named after one of their works.
Best for: true RomanticsBook Online
Fans of the Antiques Roadshow will be in heaven in this gem of a Soho hotel: it’s overflowing with period items. There are seventeenth-century beds carved out of oak; a marble-topped bath with taps shaped like birds; a mahogany compactum (we had to Google that) and even something called a ‘throne loo’ (we had to Google that one too). It’s a treasure trove of artefacts and the attention to detail is divine.
Best for: history lovers
Where better to fan the flames of desire than at this exclusive small hotel, which was once a Victorian fire station. With just 26 rooms and suites – each with at least one working fireplace – the vibe here is more large house than hotel, which makes for an intimate and personal stay. Don’t forget to book ahead for a table at the famous restaurant downstairs, which in recent years has become a popular celeb hangout. Just mind the paps when you stagger to your room after a cocktail or two.
Best for: gourmands and celeb-spotters
Keep the romance going
The Bailey's Hotel London
A four-star hotel located in a nineteenth-century townhouse on Gloucester Road, The Bailey's is from Millennium Hotels – a group with hotels across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand. This one's a stylish example of their London outposts. The 212 rooms here go all the way up to the signature suite, which comes with its own private staircase, but even the standard rooms look like lovely places to rest heads. That might come in handy if you've done a day's shopping in Knightsbridge or visited the Museum District, both nearby. Olives Restaurant, Olives Bar and Bombay Brasserie are the hotel's in-house eating and drinking spots.
Venue says: “The iconic Bailey’s Hotel is located in the heart of London’s fashionable South Kensington and opposite Gloucester Road Underground station.”