The best five-star hotels in London

Treat yourself to a break at one of these luxury options for a hotel stay in London
st pancras renaissance hotel
By Time Out editors |
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As in any world-class city, there’s an abundance of five-star hotels in London (close to 100 at time of writing). The problem is there’s just so much choice. We’ve narrowed it down to the cream of the crop: ten luxury hotels with tip-top service, outstanding restaurants and plenty of creature comforts. There are famous London institutions such as The Ritz and Claridge’s on our list, but we’ve also included exciting newer openings such as The Ned and Mondrian London at Sea Containers. So if you’ve got cash to splash, go spoil yourself at one of these top-flight venues for a superior London sleepover.

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

London’s best five-star hotels

1
Shangri-La at the Shard
Hotels

Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard

icon-location-pin London Bridge

For London’s best views, it’s a no-brainer. The Shangri-La inhabits floors 34-52 of The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building, so on a clear day you can pretty much see the whole city (unless you book one of the cheaper, south-facing rooms). A less welcome aspect of the impressive floor-to-ceiling glass is that you can also see your neighbours in their room. Awkward! (Don’t worry, there are blinds for the timid.) Rooms are furnished in glamorous Asian-international-contemporary style with luxury materials such as marble and silk and all contain binoculars, making it obvious that the star of the show was always going to be the vista.

2
claridge's hotel
Hotels

Claridge's

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Claridge’s continues to fly the flag for Mayfair super-bling with its art deco-meets-Victoriana design and a lobby with pics of previous guests – such as Winston Churchill. Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred Fera restaurant is now run by protégé Matt Starling and is always packed. Off-duty celebs tend to hide away in the handsome, discreet bar – if they care to venture out of their rooms at all. And why would they, when they come adorned with such luxuries as art deco toilet flushes? If it’s payday, book one of the stunning David Linley suites.

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3
nickel bar at the ned
Andy Parsons
Hotels

The Ned

icon-location-pin Mansion House

Perhaps all you need to know about The Ned is that Soho House and £200 million are involved in a sensitive refurb, retaining wood panelling, of an original Sir Edwin Lutyens building. There are gorgeous furnishings, four-poster beds, eight restaurants, 15 bars, a spa, two pools and a boxing gym. Certain parts, including the rooftop bar, are only open to Soho House members, so it’s worth checking to avoid disappointment but even the ground floor bar, open to everyone, is a joy to behold.

4
langham hotel palm court
Hotels

Langham Hotel

icon-location-pin Marylebone

The Langham is the choice of many visiting celebs headed for the BBC’s Broadcasting House opposite. It’s an understated, charming hotel with enduring, 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.

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5
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) employing around 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.

Time Out says
6
Hôtel Ritz.jpg
© Olivia Rutherford/Time Out
Hotels

The Ritz

icon-location-pin St James'

Does the most famous hotel in the world need an introduction? Probably not, but to step into The Ritz is still a semi-magical experience, transporting you back to a time when Britain ruled the world and someone had just invented the train. An update in 1995 injected some modernity into the 1906-does-Louis XVI design, but there’s a wonderful sense of old-school decorum here, appropriate given the sheer quantities of marble and 24-carat gold leaf on site. Be warned: no jeans, no trainers, and jackets for dining, please – apart from at breakfast.

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7
Niall Clutton
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Mondrian London at Sea Containers

icon-location-pin South Bank

This South Bank hotel has been a smash for two reasons: firstly, the fabulous interiors, courtesy of Tom Dixon of Habitat fame; think bold colours and design touches that nod to the building’s nautical heritage, such as the Cutty Sark-like copper hull in reception. Then there’s the location: bang on the river and great for the Tate Modern and Southbank Centre. Icing on the cake? The 56-seat Curzon-run cinema and the Austin Powersy-sounding rooftop club, Rumpus Room.

8
The Beaumont Hotel
Hotels

The Beaumont

icon-location-pin Mayfair

You’d never guess that central London’s most striking-looking hotel was Selfridges’ former garage until a few years ago. After humble beginnings, The Beaumont is now, quite literally, a work of art, with Antony Gormley’s part-suite, part-sculpture, ROOM, adorning its front. Elsewhere decor is pure art deco fantasia and service manages to find the right line between efficient and obsequious; friendly and pseudo-matey. It’s a convenient spot for Selfridges and The American Bar is perfect for a post-spree old fashioned.

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9
st pancras renaissance hotel
Hotels

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

icon-location-pin Euston

Derelict for years, this fabulous Victorian building by George Gilbert Scott was restored to its former glory, with new additions, and opened in 2011. Pamper yourself in the spa and then indulge in a British-inspired meal at the Gilbert Scott. Expect aged Scottish beef, Cornish hake and Yorkshire grouse (in season), preceded perhaps by an 1873 gin cocktail, named after the year the hotel was built. The St Pancras Renaissance is also the best choice for anyone travelling by Eurostar: the hotel has security clearance and a side door takes you straight to the platform.

10
100 best hotels in London: The Goring
Hotels, Luxury hotels

The Goring

icon-location-pin St James's Park

No hotel in London is more English than the family-owned Goring; it’s where the Middleton family stayed before the royal wedding. Expect lots of chintz, mahogany and silk, together with genteel luxury: polite tent cards ask you not to use your smartphone or conduct business during afternoon tea. For a true ‘Downton Abbey’ experience, book a suite and the services of a footman are yours. Hide all twenty-first-century encumbrances in the safe and go back in time for a few days.

Fancy something a bit more romantic?

Hotels

The best romantic hotels in London

Choosing the best romantic hotels in London was never going to be an easy task. 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. 

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