The 100 best hotels in London

From cheap-and-cheerful hostels to palatial luxury, check out the top places to check in
© Simon Brown
Advertising

A flurry of great hotels opening in London proves that the city’s popularity as a destination is stronger than ever. Many of these new places to stay are stunning enough to have made it straight into the Time Out top 20. Our list of the 100 best hotels covers locations right across the capital, and every category from budget basic to blowout luxury (even having your own butler). We’ve listed five-star hotels in Mayfair and a bed for £14.50 in the heart of Shoreditch. Many of the 72 Michelin-starred restaurants in the capital are in top hotels. For budgeteers, there’s an ever-increasing number of good-value options. There’s also plenty of great design and architecture in the mix. So, something for everyone? Ouisijatak, damn right!

Looking for even more options? Check out London’s best Airbnbs.

The 100 best hotels in London: top ten

1
Shangri-La at the Shard
Hotels

Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard

icon-location-pin London Bridge

Despite the fabulous new openings we’ve seen in the capital over the last couple of years, this hotel still offers what none of the others can: the most extraordinary London vistas. Even its foyer is sky-high, perched on floor 34, with a restaurant and the kind of luxe, cosmopolitan, neutral looks you’d expect. Rooms extend up to floor 52, which houses Western Europe’s highest swimming pool, a fitness room and a bar. In between, guest rooms have wraparound, floor-to-ceiling windows (even in the bathrooms) and are furnished in glamorous Asian-international-contemporary style with luxury materials – think marble and silk. Acknowledging it’s all about the views, every room comes equipped with binoculars.

Best for views of London

Time Out says
2
claridge's hotel
Hotels

Claridge's

icon-location-pin Mayfair

What started out as a small hotel run by William and Marianne Claridge in the mid-1800s, soon blossomed into the five-star Claridge's mansion we know today. It's reputation was helped somewhat by visits from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and royalty was inevitably followed by Hollywood stars during the ’50s. All of the hotel's glamour remains today, with art deco chic throughout. There's a dazzling chandelier deisgned by Dale Chihuly in the foyer and Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred Fera restaurant (now run by his protégé Matt Starling) impresses with classy European fare.

Best for old-school glamour

Time Out says
Advertising
3
nickel bar at the ned
Andy Parsons
Hotels

The Ned

icon-location-pin Mansion House

Everything you need to know about The Ned can be described in two words: Soho House. This five-star hotel and members' club has been lovingly refurbished with £200 million from the SH pocket. It's in a former bank in the City and everything about reeks of money. From the marble tables in one of eight eateries, to the rooftop pool (one of two), and the French-polished walnut panelling in their four-poster Heritage rooms. Certain parts, including the rooftop bar (one of 15, ahem) are only open to Soho House members, so it’s worth checking in advance to avoid disappointment. But even the ground-floor bar, open to everyone, is a joy to behold.

Best for grand style and top facilities

4
Booking.com
Hotels

The Langham

icon-location-pin Marylebone

The hotel of choice for many visiting celebs headed for the BBC’s Broadcasting House just opposite, The Langham is the kind of understated, charming place that endures because of its timeless appeal, first-class service and winning spaces, from the art deco Palm Court, where afternoon tea is served, to the cocktail bar and Chinese-influenced spa. Foodies will be thrilled that Roux at The Landau reopened in spring 2018. Rooms are distinctly English.

Best for A-list celeb-spotting

Advertising
5
mandrake hotel
Hotels

The Mandrake

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Inspired by the plant it’s named after and converted from a RIBA-winning building in Fitzrovia, this OTT hotel was an instant hit with the fashion crowd when it opened in 2017. And no wonder: its dark, intimate and opulent styling offers sumptuous and quirky elements wherever your eye lands. The 30 bedrooms, set over four floors around a beautiful hidden courtyard, are little works of art in their own right. Gorgeous, different and a stunning addition to the London hotel scene.

Best for Instagram likes

6
Booking.com
Hotels

The Pilgrm

icon-location-pin Paddington

Hate checking in? You’ll love The Pilgrm. With this affordable (by London standards) 73-room hotel, Jason Catifeoglou – formerly of the Zetter group – has done away with reception, minibars and phones to create a hotel that has a personal feel and features superfast wi-fi, Marshall speakers, 24-hour pantries and natural toiletries. (Plastics begone, we’re using soap on a rope!) He has sensitively retained and restored original Victorian fixtures and fittings while adding interesting reclaimed ones to create a unique space that’s a real winner. Head chef Sara Lewis (formerly of Grain Store) works wonders in the Lounge.

Best for innovation

Advertising
7
Kettner's Townhouse bedroom
Simon Brown / Soho House
Restaurants, French

Kettner’s Townhouse

icon-location-pin Soho

Older Londoners will have fond memories of Kettner’s restaurant, opened in 1867 by August Kettner, chef to Napoleon III, which has been incorporated into this gorgeous new townhouse hotel from the Soho House group. The massive restoration project involved 15 Georgian townhouses (including 11 listed buildings), plus Soho House Greek Street. The result? Thirty-three lavish rooms, from ‘cosy’ to suites, with both original features and twenty-first-century nods to art deco design. 

Best for a trip down memory lane

8
la suite west hotel
Adrian Houston
Hotels, Boutique hotels

La Suite West

icon-location-pin Bayswater

Vegans and health buffs rejoice: this sleek Japanese-inspired hotel in Bayswater has been designed with your lifestyle choices in mind. Yin and yang interiors paired with Japanese minimalist furnishings, Zen vibes, and on-site Vegan restaurant Raw will all help you stay healthy while staying in the capital.

Best for park life

Time Out says
Advertising
9
Michelin star restaurants in London - Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester
Hotels

The Dorchester

icon-location-pin Mayfair

In keeping with its Park Lane location, The Dorchester is the bee’s knees, from its opulently classical interior and grand lobby to its first-class restaurants (including three-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, headed by Jean-Philippe Blondet) which employ some 90 chefs. A cutting-edge attitude encompasses impressive service, state-of-the-art mod cons and a magnificent spa complete with glittering tearoom The Spatisserie.

Best for dining

Time Out says
10
Will Pryce
Hotels

Nobu Hotel

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

There's no denying that the biggest draw for Nobu Hotel is the restaurant. Who could resist their renowned Japan-meets-South America cuisine? But if you're spending the night (or a few), you'll be pleased to know that Nobu's contemporary vibes run trhoughout. Expect floor-to-ceiling windows, sizeable walk-in showers and a spectacular cocktail bar. 

Best for hipster epicureanism

The 100 best hotels in London: 11-20

11
boundary hotel
Hotels

Boundary

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

The best thing about this boutique hotel tucked away down a Shoreditch allewway is the importance they put on design. Then that's hardly surprising considering it's owned by Sir Terence Conran. Each of the 17 rooms has a different style to it and the corner ones all pay tribute to pioneering designers. Think Charles and Ray Eames, Eileen Grey and Mies van der Rohe.

Best for tastefully crackpot inventions

12
Booking.com
Hotels

The Curtain

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Overnighters won’t want to miss the in-house Red Rooster restaurant (quality, Obama-approved, Southern-fried everything) before nipping down to the basement club (Skepta’s been) or taking in the cool Manhattan-style surroundings where warehouse meets hip meets luxury. There are also quality furnishings, gorgeous bathrooms (with rain showers), fully stocked minibars and a rooftop mini lido.

Best for hipness in spades

Advertising
13
Ham Yard hotel
Simon Brown
Hotels

Ham Yard Hotel

icon-location-pin Soho

Design director Kit Kemp has teamed her trademark bold colours with antique and distressed furniture to create this grandly proportioned Firmdale complex of hotel, apartments and shops around a courtyard that’s great for warm days – as is the secret rooftop garden. On cold ones, the basement bowling alley is a nice alternative to the brash attractions of Piccadilly Circus.

Best for bowling

Time Out says
14
Rookery
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Rookery

icon-location-pin Farringdon

A boutique time-warp in the depths of Clerkenwell, full of four-poster beds, antiques and one very proud house cat. The charming Rookery is conveniently located amongst all the finest restaurants and bars, but if you don't feel like stepping out there's an 'honesty bar' in the drawing room.

Best for tradition

Time Out says
Advertising
15
Booking.com
Hotels

Henrietta Hotel

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

This is the first London outpost of Paris-based Experimental Group, a collective of friends with a shared love of fine food, wine, cocktails and design. The hotel has 18 bedrooms and suites designed by Dorothée Meilichzon. Picture leopard-print wallpaper, marble skirting boards and zingy geometric floor coverings. All of them have the appropriate wow factor. The 80-seat restaurant is a modern British bistro and bar with a menu by Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous.

Best for seriously OTT decor

16
Palm Court at The Ritz
Hotels

The Ritz

icon-location-pin St James'

This positively palatial London institution is the place to head if you like the idea of a world where jeans and trainers are banned and jackets must be worn by gentlemen when dining. The rooms have been restored to their full Louis XVI glory, but such opulence isn’t for everyone, and neither are the prices. If you fancy being an interloper, book well in advance and pack your glad rags for an elegant afternoon tea in the Palm Court or dinner at the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant, a riot of murals, ceiling frescoes, statues and drapery.

Best for Liberace chic

Time Out says
Advertising
17
The lobby of The Hoxton, Holborn in London
Hotels, Boutique hotels

The Hoxton, Holborn

icon-location-pin Holborn

This sister venue to the The Hoxton in Shoreditch has brought all the style of the East End to central London. Situated a stone's throw from the British Museum, the Holborn branch offers classy midcentury modern decor throughout, iMacs for guests and a lovely cafe/bar.

Best for tomb raiding

Time Out says
18
Shoreditch Rooms
Hotels, B&Bs

Shoreditch Rooms

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Shoreditch House’s stayover option perfectly captures the atmosphere of its neighbourhood, with its fun and slightly retro design. There’s a holiday vibe throughout, with rooms – decked out in pastel-painted tongue-and-groove cladding – that feel fresh and a bit like beach huts, and an excellent rooftop pool in the members’ club next door. If you crave more space, High Road House in Chiswick, also owned by Soho House, has 14 bedrooms from £130 per night (20 percent cheaper for members).

Best for pretending you’re a hipster

Advertising
19
Niall Clutton
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Mondrian London at Sea Containers

icon-location-pin South Bank

With a prime riverside location, a destination cocktail bar and a cinema, the Mondrian is a hotel for international travellers and Londoners alike. Tom Dixon has designed all the furnishings, there's a ship theme running through the public spaces, and right at the top you'll find a glass cube containing a bar. This is luxury with a pinch of fun.

Best for yo ho hoing

Time Out says
20
The Beaumont Hotel
Hotels

The Beaumont

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Located in Selfridges’ former garage, The Beaumont is pure art deco fantasia, courtesy of ace restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. The duo have applied their trademark attention to detail to create a totally stunning space filled with dark wood panelling, curvy deco furnishings and portraits on the walls. The effect is comfortable and clubby. ‘ROOM’ by Antony Gormley, a womblike sculpture/suite is the one to stay in.

Best for art deco styling

The 100 best hotels in London: 21-30

21
Great Northern Hotel
Hotels

Great Northern Hotel

icon-location-pin King's Cross

The city’s first railway hotel, opened in 1854, has been reborn as a 91-room classic, thanks to a fabulous refit. Railway fans will love the couchette rooms with beds snugly fitted into the window to evoke sleeper carriages. Each floor has a pantry filled with jars of vintage sweets, fresh cakes, tea and coffee, newspapers, books and even a USB-friendly printer.

Best for sleeper chic

Time Out says
22
brown's hotel
Hotels

Brown’s

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Historical figures echo in the halls of old-school Brown’s, among them Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, Emperor Haile Selassie and Agatha Christie, whose ‘At Bertram’s Hotel’ was inspired by the place. But the comfortable and elegant Mayfair hotel – London’s first, and built across 11 townhouses – is perfectly at home in the twenty-first century with all mod cons, among them a spa, walk-in showers and free airport transfers, plus arresting original art by the likes of Tracey Emin and Bridget Riley.

Best for immersing yourself in history

Advertising
23
citizenm bankside competition
Hotels

CitizenM Tower of London

icon-location-pin Tower Hill

This latest addition to the growing CitizenM chain (there are Bankside and Shoreditch branches too) is affordable, chic and dependable, from its self-check-in to the youthful contemporary styling of its slick café-bar and reception area. Rooms are small but well designed, with wall-to-wall windows, drench showers, and free wi-fi and movies. Funky-coloured lighting, air con and blackout blinds are controlled with an in-room tablet.

Best for technology

24
st pancras renaissance hotel
Jab Promotions
Hotels

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

icon-location-pin Euston

True to its current name, the gothic-revival Midland Grand (built on the front of St Pancras station in 1873) really was reborn in 2011, looking for all the world like it was built by a stern giant sometime during the Industrial Revolution… then redecorated ever so slightly naffly by his comfort-loving new spouse. The design is sensitive to the original’s context across 120 grand rooms and suites in the historic hotel, and an equal number in a new wing.

Best for trainspotting

Time Out says
Advertising
25
Covent Garden Hotel
Simon Brown
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Covent Garden Hotel

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Slap bang in the heart of the theatre district, this lovely five-starrer oozes charm. You can see it in the floral prints, in the warming colour palate and the classic panelled library. In the lobby you'll find Brasserie Max, decked out like a 1920s Parisian bistro, with a British and European menu.

Best for feeling like a film star

26
Green Rooms - Best design hotels in London

Green Rooms

A 1930s art deco block in Wood Green might not initially have much to recommend it but this is the UK’s first arts-led social enterprise hotel. The Scandi-basic accommodation offers dorm beds at £18 per night with doubles at £54 if you’re an artist; those working for The Man pay slightly more. The brains behind the hotel are Nick Hartwright (Mill Co Project), with Kurt Bredenbeck (Hoxton Hotel) advising on hospitality and chefs mentored by Johnny Smith (Michelin-starred The Clove Club). As well as the ideals and the food, there are exhibitions, yoga and DJ nights. And it’s only 15 minutes from central London by tube.

Best for arty accommodation

Advertising
27
One Aldwych
Cinemas, Boutique hotels

One Aldwych

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

The breathtaking Lobby Bar and Michelin-starred Eneko restaurant set up this modern conversion (of the 1907 offices of The Morning Post) beautifully. The rest of the hotel doesn’t disappoint either, from Frette linen and bathroom mini TVs to an environmentally friendly loo-flushing system. A cosy screening room, excellent spa and swimming pool with underwater sound system playing soothing music may dissuade you from ever stepping outside.

Best for fashion and theatre

Time Out says
28
W London - venue listing - bar area 2
Cinemas

W London Leicester Square

icon-location-pin Leicester Square

A stylish hotel perched on the corner of Chinatown and Leicester Square, the W is a palace for affluent international travellers, rock stars and party people. Firstly, there's a nightclub on the first floor. Secondly, they provide vinyl room service, which isn't as kinky as it sounds. They have playlists curated by DJs Annie Mac and Lauren Laverne that you can select from and order direct to your room. There's also a private 3D cinema screen.

Best for West End hipness

Time Out says
Advertising
29
Hotels

Good Hotel London

icon-location-pin Canning Town

A hotel with a difference, and not just because it resembles a huge shipping container floating on the river. The message ‘Create beauty, do good’ is emblazoned on the wall inside and the interior is all cool, industrial design. The ‘good’ bit is covered off by the training of local long-term unemployed, with the hotel’s profits going back into the project. Cosy cabins, with portholes looking out over the Thames, start at £80 a night. Hang out in the Living Room, a bar and restaurant serving Spanish-based tapas and small plates, or head up to the roof for great views of London.

Best for sleep with a good conscience

30
Booking.com
Hotels, B&Bs

Z Hotel at Gloucester Place

icon-location-pin Marylebone

Budget hotels got a whole lot cooler when Z arrived. The Marylebone branch, in some converted Georgian townhouses, retains much of the original wood panelling and has made the most of its high ceilings. Rooms are contemporary and industrial in style, and the size of them – some minuscule – is reflected in pared-back pricing (from £65 a night, which includes wi-fi, organic breakfast and the 5pm-8pm cheese and wine buffet). Z can also be found in Shoreditch, the City (from £50), Soho, Piccadilly and Victoria, with branches in Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road opening in 2018.

Best for central cool

The 100 best hotels in London: 31-40

31
The Savoy Hotel
Richard Bryant
Hotels

Savoy

icon-location-pin Charing Cross

The hotel loved for its mix of Edwardian neoclassical and art deco design acquired a host of grand new features in its oh-so-twenty-first-century £100 million refurb, including an atrium pool with a jet stream. But we love it for its star-filled history – where else can you stand on the spot where Monet painted the Thames, or where Vivien Leigh met Laurence Olivier? Then there’s Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill and the fabulous American Bar.

Best for A-list glamour

32
100 best hotels in London: The London Edition
Hotels, Boutique hotels

The London Edition

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

The London Edition makes a big impact as you walk into its grand hall of a lobby, complete with double-height rococo ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and marble pillars. Bedrooms are similarly impactful: akin to lodges or dachas, with matte oak floors, wood-panelled walls and faux-fur throws tossed on luxurious beds. Larger rooms come with sofas, some have furnished terraces, all have rainforest showers and Le Labo toiletries (with the hotel’s woody signature scent).

Best for partying and dining with the in-crowd

Advertising
33
Hotels, Boutique hotels

K West

icon-location-pin Brook Green

The staff wear Converse, the fittings are Starck and the suites are former BBC recording studios in this deluxe west London hotel. Rooms are designery but in a cool, understated way. They’re spacious too (the smallest is 23 square metres) and boast in-room tablets, handy smartphones and granite bathrooms with White Company toiletries. Don’t miss the spa – particularly the Snow Paradise cabin chilled to -15C and designed to complement the hot-cold therapy.

Best for cool

Time Out says
34
Booking.com
Hotels

Montcalm Royal London House

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

The latest baby in the now six-strong Montcalm family has all its siblings’ fizz-pop-bang features and then some. Russell Sage’s design is to the fore with statement copper-pipe lighting and silk-lined corridors, but it’s the little touches that make it exceptional: in-room Nespresso machines, Elemis and Hermès toiletries, a complimentary smartphone service with unlimited internet data and selected free local and international calls all add real value.

Best for design twists

Advertising
35
town hall, hotel
Ed Reeve
Cinemas, Self-catering apartments

Town Hall Hotel

icon-location-pin Bethnal Green

Incongruously set in a Grade II-listed former town hall in the otherwise grungy heart of Bethnal Green, this upscale aparthotel is a masterclass in refitting a classic space, retaining many beautiful original features but jazzing up the whole thing with contemporary art in pale-toned, spacious and well-appointed rooms and apartments. The excellent Typing Room and Corner Room restaurants plus a basement swimming pool with sparkly tiles all add to the appeal.

Best for local government

Time Out says
36
100 best hotels in London: The Goring
Hotels, Luxury hotels

The Goring

icon-location-pin St James's Park

This is a classic hotel close to Buckingham Palace (the Middleton family stayed here before Kate’s wedding) with plenty of chintz, mahogany and genteel luxury: polite cards ask you not to use your phone or conduct business during afternoon tea. But as well as being good for a true ‘Downton Abbey’ experience (croquet on the lawn during the summer months and, if you book a suite, the services of a footman are yours), it’s the place for Michelin-starred dining.

Best for traditional English luxury

Time Out says
Advertising
37
hazzlit's hotel
© Ray Main 2009
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Hazlitt’s

icon-location-pin Soho

Eschew modern styling and views for these four Georgian townhouses, named after eighteenth-century essayist William Hazlitt, and you won’t regret it. The flamboyance and exquisite attention to detail are spot-on, while the addition of modern luxuries like TVs (discreetly hidden away in antique cupboards, of course) makes for an elegant whole in the heart of Soho.

Best for aged atmos

Time Out says
38
soho hotel
Simon Brown
Hotels, Boutique hotels

The Soho Hotel

icon-location-pin Soho

The noisy exuberance of Soho is left firmly outside in this Firmdale hotel group favourite: tucked away in a mews, the place is wonderfully quiet, with what was once a car park now feeling like a converted loft building. Its big contemporary bedrooms are peaceful too, with nicely judged touches lifting the decor beyond bland.

Best for being at the heart of the action

Time Out says
Advertising
39
Blakes Hotel, best romantic hotels in London
Hotels

Blakes

icon-location-pin South Kensington

As iconic as when Anouska Hempel opened it 40 years ago, Blakes and its maximalist decor have stood the test of time, a living casebook for interior design students. Inside the singular black-painted row of townhouses, each room is furnished in a different style, with influences from Italy, India, Turkey and China. Exotic antiques picked up by Hempel on her travels – intricately carved beds, Chinese birdcages, ancient trunks – are set off by sweeping drapery and piles of plump cushions. But Blakes doesn’t rest on its laurels: 2016 saw the arrival of a new restaurant inspired by an old-fashioned steamer and the opening of the darkly sumptuous Blakes Below bar.

Best for flamboyance

40
29170.jpg
Hotels

Sanderson London

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

No designer flash in the pan, the Sanderson remains a statement hotel, a Schrager-Starck creation that takes clinical bedroom chic to new heights. Colour is generally conspicuous by its absence: the design throughout is all flowing white net drapes, gleaming glass cabinets and retractable screens. The Purple Bar (residents-only from midnight to 3am) sports a button-backed purple leather ceiling and fabulous cocktails.

Best for minimalism (with a bit of Prince chucked in)

Time Out says

The 100 best hotels in London: 41-50

41
Booking.com
Hotels

Dorsett City

icon-location-pin Aldgate

Set in a 13-storey building formerly called The Matrix, this new hotel next to Aldgate tube station has two restaurants, a bar and 1,600 square feet of meeting space. The hotel features 267 guest rooms and suites, a rooftop bar, and a fitness centre. The hotel brings two popular restaurant concepts from west to east London for the first time, with the opening of Shikumen and VQ (Vingt-Quatre).

Best for a touch of west London in east London

42
The Laslett
Hotels, Boutique hotels

The Laslett

icon-location-pin Bayswater

This award-winning hotel in Notting Hill looks like the home of your dreams: there’s gloriously retro and modern decor here and there, classic Penguin paperbacks for bedtime reading and even bathroom products from Neal’s Yard Remedies. The Laslett has succeeded in doing such a fine job of celebrating the best bits of London art and design, you won’t want to leave. Split across five interconnected townhouses, the hotel offers 24-hour room service, complimentary gym passes and in-room spa treatments.

Best for a bedtime story

Time Out says
Advertising
43
Shoreditch Courthouse Hotel
Hotels

Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

This addition to the five-star Courthouse family brings the elegant Old Street Magistrates Court bang up to date with modern must-haves like a rooftop bar, spa, pool, 196-seat cinema and bowling alley. But its USP lies in the space and its history; to imagine former ‘guests’ like Joe Orton and the Krays in one of the the original courtrooms (now the main casual fine-dining restaurant and an ultra-exclusive members’ bar), or indeed in one of the five cells pressed into service as bar booths, really is special.

Best for aberrant behaviour

44
Booking.com
Hotels

Motel One Tower Hill

icon-location-pin Aldgate

Close to the Tower of London, this is one of the newest low-budget high-design hotels to hit London. Stylish rooms with rainfall showers start from £99 a night, including organic breakfast. Work or relax over cocktails in the modern café-bar, with Chesterfield-style sofas and a fire.

Best for budget designerisms

Advertising
45
ace hotel london, ace hotel london shoreditch
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Ace Hotel London

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Ace arrived in Shoreditch from the US some years back, turning a tatty Crowne Plaza into 250+ spacious bohemian rooms with an emphasis on original and artisanal touches. It continues to impress with a vibe that’s informal, young and fun, with DJs every night, a rooftop bar, a cute juice bar, a coffee shop and even a flower shop founded by hip florist Hattie Fox.

Best for flower power

Time Out says
46
Booking.com
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Dukes Hotel

icon-location-pin St James'

London’s hotel scene is stuffed with some top-notch quintessential Englishness, but few places can lay claim to being the watering hole of James Bond creator Ian Fleming and (some say) the home of the world’s best martini. Beyond Dukes’s bar, chic understated rooms feature regal purple and gold accents and manly (but lovely) marble bathrooms. The Cigar and Cognac Garden is the place to head for a post-dinner puff (though only of cigars purchased from the hotel).

Best for a martini followed by a fine cigar

Time Out says
Advertising
47
Hotels, Boutique hotels

The Zetter Hotel

icon-location-pin Farringdon

There’s a refreshing lack of attitude at this Clerkenwell joint, where staff are friendly and the eco-credentials impressive – free Brompton bikes for guests’ use, for example. Rooms feature walk-in showers with Ren smellies. The downstairs restaurant, Bistrot Bruno Loubet, is a more experimental version of Loubet’s excellent but now sadly closed King’s Cross restaurant Grain Store. The 24 rooms at the Marylebone Zetter, overseen by the fictional Wicked Uncle Seymour, are equally impressive.

Best for cycling

48
Booking.com
Hotels, Rental apartments

The Hoxton Shoreditch

icon-location-pin Hoxton

Famous for its low rates, the Hoxton also deserves credit for well-thought-out rooms. Sure, they’re on the small side and weekend rates can be high, but hey, you’re in the heart of Shoreditch, at one of the hippest hotels in the city, in one of the hippest cities in the world. And if you come on a Sunday (book well in advance, mind) you can enjoy all that hipness from less than £80 a night, including breakfast. Hip hip hooray!

Best for affordable Shoreditch

Advertising
49
Richard Powers
Hotels

Corinthia Hotel London

icon-location-pin Whitehall

The Corinthia’s conversion from government offices to grand hotel takes in an expansive lobby complete with central dome, dark wood and silk-covered walls in the high-spec rooms and luxurious bathrooms with pool-like oval baths, all done with a light, modern touch that avoids self-importance or stuffiness. The Espa spa and subterranean pools (with jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and hot seats) form a complex over two floors.

Best for a stroll to Downing Street

50
100 best hotels in London: Hospital Club, hotel
Richard Booth
Hotels, Boutique hotels

The Hospital Club

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Opened in an eighteenth-century hospital building as a club for creative types, Covent Garden’s Hospital Club has 15 rooms across a range of categories, including the windowless but well-designed Sleeper. All feature Ren toiletries, contemporary artworks, upscale retro tech and high-fashion sex toys.

Best for fostering creativity

Time Out says

The 100 best hotels in London: 51-60

51
100 best hotels in London: Dean Street Townhouse
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Dean Street Townhouse

icon-location-pin Soho

Soho House’s central London spot is a Grade II-listed, 1730s townhouse-turned-chic-hotel. Bedrooms, over four floors, run from full-size with early Georgian panelling and reclaimed oak floors to a sweet split level ‘Broom Cupboard’ room, which can be had off the website for as little as £160 (members get an additional 20 percent discount). Whatever the size, all come with Apple TV and Bose iPod docks, as well as bathrooms with rainforest showers and Cowshed products. The atmosphere is that of a gentleman’s club: both low-key and luxurious.

Best for members’ club vibes

52
number sixteen, hotel
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Number Sixteen

icon-location-pin South Kensington

Kit Kemp’s Firmdale hotels are generally unaffordable to mere mortals, but this South Kensington gaff keeps prices lower and quality high, with bright, generously sized bedrooms that carry the Kemp trademark mix of bold and traditional. Best of all, there’s a large, tree-filled garden, with breakfast is served in a pretty conservatory.

Best for affordable luxe

Advertising
53
Chiltern Firehouse Hotel
Hotels

Chiltern Firehouse

icon-location-pin Marylebone

André Balazs, the man behind the celeb-friendly Chateau Marmont in LA and New York’s Mercer, has a gift for creating exclusive hotels with incredible buzz, and did exactly that with this former fire station, whose lovely red-brick exterior is matched inside by sumptuous colours and design that marries restrained and imaginative beautifully. If you plan to stay in one of the 26 refined suites and want to eat in, book well in advance for Nuno Mendes’s celebrated restaurant.

Best for food

54
Haymarket_BJ_10.jpg
Hotels

Haymarket Hotel

icon-location-pin Soho

A terrific addition to Kit Kemp’s Firmdale portfolio, this block-sized building was designed by John Nash, the architect of Regency London. Wow factors include the bling basement swimming pool and bar (shiny sofas, twinkly ceiling) and the central London location. Rooms are generously sized (as are the bathrooms), individually decorated and discreetly equipped with facilities, and there’s plenty of attention from the switched-on staff. The street-side bar and restaurant are top-notch and the breakfast is exquisite.

Best for hanging by the pool

Advertising
55
St Martin's Lane Hotel - Garden room
Hotels

St Martins Lane Hotel

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

St Martins Lane led the way in flamboyant, theatrical hotel design when it opened in the ’90s, courtesy of Philippe Starck’s playful decor. Clever renovation has managed to update the wow factor for the twenty-first century with mood-interactive light displays and smart TVs, while retaining the stunning floor-to-ceiling windows. Some rooms have private balconies, all offer access to a neighbouring gym, bike loans, and a laundry service for workout wear.

Best for fragrant exercise sessions

56
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Charlotte Street Hotel

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Now a fine exponent of Kit Kemp’s much-imitated fusion of flowery English and avant garde, this gorgeous hotel was once a dental hospital. Public rooms have colourful murals and Bloomsbury Set paintings by the likes of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, while bedrooms mix English understatement with bold flourishes and feature trademark polished granite and oak bathrooms. The Oscar restaurant and bar are classy and busy with a smart crowd of media and advertising folk.

Best for art fans

Advertising
57
ME London
Francisco Guerrero
Hotels, Luxury hotels

ME by Meliá

icon-location-pin Temple

London’s first ME by Meliá is a deluxe beauty by Foster + Partners, modelled on the lines of the 1920s Marconi House next door but with resolutely modern styling – like the breathtaking nine-storey pyramid atrium and rooms featuring triangular windows with views on to Aldwych. The tenth-floor roof-terrace bar offers exceptional vistas. The Meliá White House near Regent’s Park has all the modern touches and style, but much cheaper rooms (581 of them, from around £130 for a double) in a great 1930s apartment block.

Best for rooftop drinking

58
academy, hotel
Hotels

The Academy

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

The decor behind the facades of these five Georgian houses is a mix of restrained country-house florals and intellectual sophistication that’s just right for Bloomsbury’s studious yet decadent history. The library and conservatory open on to a fragrant walled garden, where breakfast is served in summer.

Best for an alfresco start to your day

Advertising
59
Hotels

The Landmark London

icon-location-pin Marylebone

The rows of leafy trees standing sentinel outside soften the otherwise beautiful but imposing red-brick exterior of this classic Marylebone grand hotel, a worthy architectural peer to the likes of the Renaissance and Andaz Liverpool Street. It’s traditional through and through, with marble, gilt and glitz aplenty, and if the decor in the rooms is a little on the safe side, they’re as plush and comfortable as they come.

Best for Solid, understated excellence

Time Out says
60
malmaison, hotel
Hotels

Malmaison London

icon-location-pin Farringdon

Shoreditch gets all the hip plaudits, but Malmaison, on a lovely cobbled square on the edge of the Square Mile, is just as well-placed for an East End night out without the weekend crowds – though you might find some of the cannier ones enjoying the pleasingly understated design and lovely basement brasserie.

Best for old-world elegance

The 100 best hotels in London: 61-70

61
22 york st, hotel
Hotels, B&Bs

22 York Street

icon-location-pin Marylebone

Warm, friendly service coupled with bohemian chic and arresting objets d’époque make this delightfully unpretentious B&B in the heart of Marylebone a real treat. Amenities include good coffee, free rein with hot beverages in an upstairs lounge full of knick-knacks, and hearty breakfasts in a gorgeous pine-floored dining room-kitchen.

Best for French farmhouse charm

62
south place hotel
Guy Montagu-Pollock
Hotels, Boutique hotels

South Place Hotel

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

In keeping with its City location, South Place is a nice balance of formality for its expense-accounters and fun for their guests. Interior decor impresses with conversation-piece art, touch controls in the rooms, and a Bond-themed pool room and library complete with vinyl and turntable. There’s a pretty interior courtyard garden bar too. Foodies will appreciate the Michelin-starred experience at the Angler restaurant on the sixth floor.

Best for sustainable seafood

Advertising
63
BermondseySquareHotel.JPG
© Michelle Grant / Time Out
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Bermondsey Square Hotel

icon-location-pin Bermondsey

Kitsch and fun, this well-located hotel has gimmicks aplenty – loft suites named after the heroines of psychedelic rock classics (Lucy, Lily, Jude, Ruby and Eleanor), private terraces, hammocks and even a suite with an eight-person outdoor hot-tub – but the real draw is its well-designed rooms for competitive prices. The bar’s lounge area is a good spot to relax, and travellers with pooches will love its dog-friendly touches, including beds, bowls and treats.

Best for canine-friendly psychedelia

64
Hotels

Artist Residence London

icon-location-pin Pimlico

With its abundance of exposed brickwork, cool bar and buzzing small-plates restaurant, Artist Residence is a little slice of Shoreditch in the sleepy-but-convenient environs of Pimlico. Part of a boutique chain (there are others in Brighton, Penzance and South Leigh in Oxfordshire), with only ten rooms, it offers good value (doubles from £160 a night) as well as great fun. And it’s well positioned for central sights – the river, Westminster Abbey, Tate Britain – as well as Victoria station, which is a five-minute walk away.

Best for blitzing Zone 1 attractions

Time Out says
Advertising
65
Rosewood Hotel - Best design hotels in London
Durston Saylor
Hotels

Rosewood London

icon-location-pin Holborn

There aren’t too many first-class hotels around Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which is a shame as it’s just far enough away from Covent Garden to be a haven from the teeming masses – and the quiet courtyard outside this restored Edwardian mansion helps. Inside, contemporary design is mixed with original art-nouveau features in rooms with marble bathrooms, Nespresso coffee machine and Czech & Speake toiletries. The spa’s gorgeous too, but our favourite thing? The 200 single-malt whiskies on offer in the bar.

Best for whisky

66
100 best hotels in London: The Lalit London
Hotels

The Lalit London

icon-location-pin London Bridge

Indian hotelier Lalit’s first London outpost is a stunner. There’s its setting for a start, in the grammar school where novelist Lawrence Durrell was a pupil, and the cost of the refurb (£50 million) for 70 rooms filled with high-end furnishings and fabrics like mother-of-pearl and silk. But what we’re most excited about is the Indian theme – from traditional English afternoon tea with a twist to Subcontinental dishes in the former school’s great hall and a basement spa offering Indian therapies.

Best for Indian summers

Advertising
67
Booking.com
Hotels, Chain hotels

Hilton London Bankside

icon-location-pin Southwark

If you’ve no head for heights but want to be near Borough Market, this is a great alternative to the Shangri-La. The bronzed-metal façade with its colourful murals is a clue to the modernity on offer in this affordable, central hotel that features a pool, gym, bar and good-value dining room, as well as contemporary rooms with free wi-fi.

Best for Borough Market grazing

68
sofitel london st james
Booking.com
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Sofitel London St James

icon-location-pin St James'

A grand location in St James’s is the perfect setting for this oh-so-traditional grand hotel, set in a former banking hall. The feeling throughout is one of timeless elegance: muted tones, mahogany furniture and heavy fabrics keep everything quiet and calm, while Nespresso machines and Roberts iPod docks bring a touch of modernity. Don’t miss the Balcon brasserie with its twin spiral staircases.

Best for a weekend in the West End

Advertising
69
Booking.com
Hotels, Boutique hotels

The Ampersand Hotel

icon-location-pin South Kensington

Behind a Victorian stucco frontage, the Ampersand zings with splashes of bold colour against its dove grey and duck-egg blue decor. The hues extend to the lounge, where afternoon tea is served at comfy colourful sofas and armchairs in scarlet velvet. Botanical drawings reference the nearby South Kensington museums.

Best for colour

Time Out says
70
Booking.com
Hotels

Premier Inn London County Hall

icon-location-pin South Bank

This Premier Inn’s position right by the London Eye, the Thames, Westminster Bridge and Waterloo station is a gift for out-of-towners on a bargain weekend break. Check-in is quick and easy, rooms are spacious, clean and warm, with free wi-fi and decent bathrooms featuring very good showers, and extra points are garnered for its friendly and efficient staff. Breakfast, a buffet-style affair in a comfortable dining room, is extra but provides ballast for the day. 

Best for the South Bank on the cheap

The 100 best hotels in London: 71-80

71
Booking.com
Hotels, Boutique hotels

The Trafalgar St James

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square

The Trafalgar is part of the Hilton chain of hotels, but the mood is young and dynamic, and it’s housed in the imposing edifice that was once the headquarters of the venerable Cunard Steamship Company. To the right of the open reception is the boisterous Rockwell Bar; breakfast downstairs is accompanied by gentler music. Its none-more-central location, however, is the hotel’s biggest draw.

Best for hitting the central sights

72
Belgravia B+B
Hotels, B&Bs

B+B Belgravia

icon-location-pin Belgravia

How do you make a lounge full of black and white contemporary furnishings seem cosy and welcoming? Hard to achieve, but the owners have succeeded at B+B Belgravia, which takes the B&B experience to a new level with a style that’s fresh and sophisticated without being hard-edged or too precious. A gleaming espresso machine provides 24/7 caffeine, and there’s a large (if somewhat gloomy) garden to sit in out the back.

Best for a caffeine fix

Advertising
73
100 best hotels in London: Milestone Hotel & Apartments
Hotels

Milestone Hotel & Apartments

icon-location-pin Kensington

Wealthy American visitors make an annual pilgrimage here, their arrival greeted by their regular concierge, as English as roast beef, and a glass of sherry in the room. Yet amid the old-school luxury (butlers on 24-hour call) thrives inventive modernity (the resistance pool in the spa). Some rooms feature the inspired decor of South African owner Beatrice Tillman: Our favourite? The Safari suite, containing tent-like draperies and leopard-print upholstery.

Best for big-game hunting

74
100 best hotels in London: Myhotel Chelsea
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Myhotel Chelsea

icon-location-pin South Kensington

The Chelsea Myhotel feels a world away from its modern and masculine Bloomsbury counterpart. The Sloane Square branch has a softer, more English aesthetic, with white wicker headboards, velvet cushions and BeeKind toiletries in the guest rooms. These feminine touches contrast nicely with the mini-chain’s feng shui touches, Eastern-inspired treatment room and sleek aquarium. Breakfast and cold dishes are served in a bar-restaurant with a modernised farmhouse feel, while Pellicano serves Italian food.

Best for calm

Advertising
75
Booking.com
Hotels, Boutique hotels

San Domenico House

icon-location-pin Chelsea

San Domenico owes much of its tasteful, historic look to interior designer and one-time owner Sue Rogers, who transformed this former private residence into a boutique hotel masterpiece in which all the categories of guest room feature original furnishings or antiques. Royal portraits, Victorian mirrors and Empire-era travelling cases are complemented by fabrics of similar style and taste, offset by contemporary touches to bathrooms. The spacious bedrooms enjoy wide-angle views of London, and some have small balconies.

Best for individual style

76
best hotel bars in london, connaught bar
Hotels

The Connaught

icon-location-pin Mayfair

This isn’t the only hotel in London to provide butlers, but to our knowledge it is the only one that offers ‘a secured gun cabinet room’ for the hunting season. This is traditional British hospitality for those who love stern portraits in the halls but all mod cons in their room, down to TVs and heated bidets in the en suite. Chef Hélène Darroze’s cuisine has won three AA Rosettes and two Michelin Stars, and the hotel’s modern wing houses a swanky spa and 60 square-metre swimming pool.

Best for small-game hunting

Advertising
77
apex london.jpg
Hotels

Apex London Wall

icon-location-pin Moorgate

The mini-chain’s second London hotel (the first is at nearby Seething Lane), shares the virtues of the first, with obliging service, crisply designed rooms (most with balconies) with colourful decor and all mod cons, and quirky but appealing touches, like free local calls, jelly beans and internet, and an iron and kettle in the room. More traditional facilities like a gym and well-priced breakfast menu add to the appeal, and prices are decent for the City location.

Best for chatterboxes