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The best boutique hotels in London

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

Written by
Danielle Goldstein
Time Out editors
Lola Christina Alao

If you want to stay somewhere with character and individuality, give the chains a wide berth and head instead 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.

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London’s best boutique hotels

The Mandrake
  • Hotels
  • Fitzrovia

Inspired by the plant it’s named after and remodelled from a RIBA-winning building in Fitzrovia, this luxury boutique 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 each little works of art in their own right. Gorgeous, different and a stunning addition to the London hotel scene.

Best for Instagram likes.

  • 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. Doubles just shy of £200 per night.

Best for a bed in the heart of hipsterville.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

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.

Portobello Hotel
  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Notting Hill

The first thing you’ll hear about the Portobello Hotel is that Johnny Depp and Kate Moss once filled one of its bathtubs with champagne. Which obviously sounds like a hoot, but there’s plenty to recommend the classy, quirky Victorian conversion besides that. Just a quick dash from Portobello Road market, the vibe here is cosy and homely, well equipped rather than designy, so you can expect plasma TVs and wifi along with a sumptuous lounge, the odd four-poster and, of course, those 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 (doubles from £160 a night) 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.

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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