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The best boutique hotels in London, for a stylish stay in the capital

Find out where to go for a stylish stay with our guide to London’s smaller, more individual hotels

Written by
Danielle Goldstein
&
Lola Christina Alao
Contributor
Camila Karalyte
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London is full of glitz, glamour, and very swanky places. And if you want to stay somewhere with character and individuality, give the chain hotels a day off and head to one of London’s gorgeous boutique hotels.

There are plenty of brilliant smaller hotels in London to suit everyone’s taste, from cosy hipster hangouts to extravagant, super-central lodgings that give London’s five-star institutions a run for their money. With artfully designed rooms, well-considered service and quirky extra touches, London’s best boutique hotels are all about being a little less fusty and a lot more on-trend. 

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

Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every hotel featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

London’s best boutique hotels

The Prince Akatoki
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

1. The Prince Akatoki

If you want to feel totally zen in busy London, look no further than this calm Japanese spot in a traditional townhouse in Marylebone. Tranquil and minimal is the aethetic here, with each of the 82 rooms kitted out with blonde wood furnishings, crisp white linen and artfully dried flowers. The glamerous wood-clad Malt Lounge and Bar which focusses on premium Japanese whiskey and sake is perfect for enjoying a quiet cocktail and you’ll find Japanese fusion dishes in the TOKii restaurant. There’s also a gorgeous on-site gym and guests can expect a Japanese breakfast in the mornings. 

Best for inner peace.

The Mandrake
  • Hotels
  • Fitzrovia

Believe it or not, The Mandrake is actually inspired by the plant it was named after and remodelled from a RIBA-winning building in Fitzrovia. Just a 2-minute walk from Oxford Street in central London, The Mandrake is in the prime location. Fancy shopping till you drop while you're here? Well this is the place for you. As for food and drink, The Mandrake has a terrace (the Jurema Terrace), an outdoor dining restaurant and YOPO Restaurant and Bar (serving up a Latin American menu).

Best for Instagram likes.

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  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Farringdon

Tired of soulless luxury? Try this creaky Georgian townhouse smothered in period charm: open fires, four-poster beds, clawfoot tubs and brass shower fittings. It’s ye olde meets ye bouji, with a location in monied-but-still-artsy Clerkenwell. There’s no restaurant, but St John or Smiths of Smithfield around the corner are two of the city’s most reliably great eateries. Word to the romantic (and deep of pocket): the split-level Rook’s Nest suite, which has views of St Paul’s Cathedral, is perfect for popping the question.

Best for period charm in a cool (but not too cool) location.

Hoxton Hotel
  • Hotels
  • Shoreditch

The Hoxton was the first trendy destination hotel to open in East London, and it has built up a great reputation since then for it's chic look and great-value room. This year, Mexican restaurant Maya opened up its doors. It can be found on the rooftop of the Hoxton Hotel and here, you can enjoy tuna tostadas and quesadillas. The rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee making facilities and even a free newspaper. You also get free wifi thrown in so you can use your phone or laptop here with ease. 

Best for chic value without unnecessary extras.

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Great Northern Hotel
  • Hotels
  • King’s Cross

A meeting of absolute style and convenience takes place at the Great Northern. Opened in 1854 to serve the the many passengers using the then-new King's Cross station, this glorious Victorian five-star provides some much needded tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the mainlines and Eurostar, without having to walk more than a few feet. On the lower of five floors you'll find two bars and a restaurant, while each upper level contains its own pantry filled with tea, coffee and cake to make up for a lack of room service.

Best for a prequel to Eurostar’s first class.

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Seven Dials

There’s a lot to recommend here. First there’s the hotel’s location on Monmouth Street, the most attractive street in Covent Garden. Then there’s the decor: each of the 58 rooms displays designer Kit Kemp’s panache for comfort married with talking point interiors: pinstripe wallpaper with floral upholstery, oak and granite bathrooms. There’s a cinema, too, and a peaceful private library and drawing room. And that’s just inside. Bag a table out front and witness the masses strut by, saddled with shopping bags.

Best for a nap after a trip to the Royal Opera House.

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Portobello Hotel
  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Notting Hill

Fun fact: It's believed that Johnny Depp and Kate Moss once filled one of the Portobello Hotel's bathtubs with champagne. But that's not all there is to this hotel. It has a cosy and homely vibe, with  luxury décor. As for the rooms, you can expect plasma TVs and wifi along with unique features like round beds and lovely Victorian freestanding bathtubs.

Best for old-school celeb antics.

Artist Residence London
  • Hotels
  • Pimlico

With its abundance of exposed brickwork, parquet floors, cool bar and buzzing sharing-plate restaurant, Artist Residence is a little slice of Shoreditch in the sleepy-but-convenient environs of Pimlico. It’s the third in a ‘boutique chain’ (the others are in Brighton and Penzance), and offers great value and equally great fun. In an area that isn’t awash with original hotels, this one offers something new and different in a location that’s great for central sights – the river, Westminster Abbey, Tate Britain – as well as Victoria Station.

Best for a hip alternative to Shoreditch.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Bethnal Green
  • Recommended

The Art Deco design of the Town Hall Hotel, combined with its unshakeable utilitarian air, is a truly charming combination and it really does feel like a night spent in a different century. In a world of tasteful blandness and design-by-committee there’s something invigorating about this place’s genuine eccentricities. Food and drink is handled by three separate venues including the Michelin-starred Da Terra and the more informal Brazilian/Italian joint Elis.

Boundary Hotel
  • Hotels
  • Shoreditch

If individuality is your thing, look no further than Terence Conran’s Boundary hotel. Each of its 12 rooms and five suites have been uniquely designed, with handmade beds and original artwork. Even the other bits of furniture have their own personalities, having come from high-style brands including Eames, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. The ground-floor deli-cum-café Albion is lovely, but a touch overrated. We'd advise beelining for the rooftop bar instead, which is one of the East End’s finest spots on a sunny evening. And round the corner is Redchurch Street, which, with its plethora of almost-edgy international boutiques, oozes trendy money.

Best for post-shopping sun-worshipping.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Soho

Older Londoners will have fond memories of Kettner’s restaurant, opened in 1867 by Auguste 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 opulent 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.

  • Hotels
  • Covent Garden

The first London outpost from the Paris-based Experimental Group, a collective of friends with a love of fine food, wine, cocktails and design. The hotel has 18 bedrooms and suites designed by Dorothée Meilichzon, all of them sporting the appropriate wow-factor: leopard-print wallpaper, marble skirting boards and zingy geometric floor coverings. The 80-seat restaurant is a modern Italian bistro and bar with a menu by Silvio Pezzana and Toto Dell'Aringa (founders of Italian Supper Club).

Best for some frankly OTT decor.

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  • Hotels
  • Shoreditch

If you’ve come to town to party and shop, this Shoreditch branch of the Dutch chain Citizen M is hard to beat, just stumbling distance from the boutiques on Redchurch Street and Shoreditch’s busiest restaurants, bars and clubs. Non-fussy, ‘affordable luxury’ is what it’s all about, which translates into snappy decor (Vitra furniture in the lobby, mismatched everything) and a fair amount of free stuff too: films, wifi and everything in your fridge. Breakfast is extra, but food and drink (there’s a cocktail bar) are available round the clock. Other locations include Bankside and the Tower of London. 

Best for a bed in the heart of hipsterville.

Find more London hotel inspiration

  • Hotels

In coming up with this list of the 100 best hotels in London, we considered design, location, service, amenities, architecture, and value for money, as well as less tangible elements like ambience, history and the character of the reception cat. 

B.COM London Widget

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