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The best hotels in south London

Staying south of the river? Check out our list of London's best hotels on the other side of the river

By Time Out editors

The best hotels in south London reflect the independent spirit of the city’s south side. The eminently strollable stretch of the Thames between Westminster and Tower bridges is a walk of fame filled with stellar attractions, from the London Eye via the Southbank Centre to the Tate Modern, Borough Market and The Shard, with easy access to the heart of town just north a bit. Further out, there are fewer major sights and tube stations, but plenty of Overground trains and a slice of real local London action. Stay in a Victorian-terrace B&B or gastropub and enjoy indie arts hubs, huge verdant parks, multicultural living and a friendly residential feel. Get your own piece of the south London pie at one of our favourite hotels across the river. From artsy abodes to lavish spaces with their own grounds for tea, these are the ways to live it up South London style.  

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

1. The Alma Hotel

Hotels Wandsworth

This much-loved corner pub might be beautifully trad from the outside, with its sweep of green Victorian tiling, but inside is another matter: it’s all light contemporary furnishings and country-kitchen vibe. The upstairs rooms are styled in modern vernacular, too, with statement-furnishing fabrics, enjoyable showers and feature wallpaper. Stay here to experience that British phenomenon, the gastropub – the kitchen bangs out homemade pub classics along with your full English breakfast, just to a lovely refined level as you'd expect for your holibobs. When you want to venutre out, getting to hotspots like Knightsbridge and Chelsea is easy as (gastropub) pie.

2. citizenM London Bankside

Hotels Boutique hotels Southwark

Tate Modern’s new extension deliberately faces away from the river, directly addressing south London and its Bankside home. CitizenM’s arrival is another arty boost for the area. The mini-chain’s attitude puts style and facilities above slavish service: a very reasonable amount of money buys you automated check-in, groovy social spaces with Vitra furniture, huge beds, rain showers, free films and soft drinks, plus some cute gimmicks such as mood lighting and both morning and sleep-time shower gels. It's a lovely spot. It's also a prime location – step outside if you dare to try London's unpredictable weather and you'll find you're close to Borough Market for all your food needs, and the Southbank, which is full of cool things. There's a 24-hour front desk too, so don't clock watch. 


3. DoubleTree by Hilton Greenwich

Hotels Chain hotels Greenwich

At just 15 minutes’ walk from The Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum, this Hilton Doubletree is surrounded by historic gems, but it nabs a bit of intriguing history for itself too. The hotel resides in a noted mid-twentieth-century building that was once a police station and if you're lucky (or you pay for it) you'll get a room with a view over the Thames. Independent shops, markets, restaurants and other amenities, like the Picturehouse cinema and The O2, are on the doorstep here. Or if you fancy staying in, there's an onsite restaurant and bar. There's a gym too, if you really want to use one on your holidays. Not sure we will, there's plenty walking to be done while exploring the big smoke.

4. Hotel du Vin Cannizaro House

Hotels Wimbledon Common

This is the nearest outpost to London of this popular wine-themed chainlet, lip-smackingly appreciated by Britain’s claret-drinking classes. It’s not just the connoisseur wine list and crowd-pleasing bistro menu they come for, but a sense of modern British indulgence, robes, room service and all. The building, Cannizaro House, is a grand eighteenth-century home next to Wimbledon Common, with gorgeous public areas and lavish grounds where you can take tea or a tipple. Should you want to leave this wonderful place, you're a little walk from the underground, and that'll sort you out for getting into the heart of London. 


5. London Bridge Hotel

Hotels London Bridge

The tasteful, brick-built London Bridge is the classy British foil to the glitzy Shangri-La hotel in The Shard next door, and at a much keener price (especially for the weekend deals). Arrange a trip to the View From The Shard here and you can sip a free glass of Champagne with your afternoon tea in the sleek Quarter Bar. Everything is suavely elegant, from the chintz-free bedrooms to the assiduous service. Ask for a back room to escape the less elegant (but very London) street noise. Or just relax yourself in the sauna. If you want to get among the London life, you're super close to London Bridge. 

Niall Clutton

6. Mondrian at Sea Containers

Hotels Luxury hotels South Bank

Part of the Morgans group, which pretty much invented the style hotel, the Mondrian drips ‘designer’, from its fashiony cocktail bar to the striking modern interiors. There’s no shortage of wow factor, starting with a copper-clad hull crashing through the lobby, but if you by any chance tire of the maritime interiors, you can get a seriously swanky spa or catch a current release at the boutique cinema. Peachy location too – you couldn’t get any closer to the Thames.


7. Premier Inn London County Hall

Hotels South Bank

Location, location, location: on that alone your best budget option south of the river is this chain hotel. It’s just steps from the London Eye, and in the same building - once the grand former headquarters of Greater London Council - as a clutch of family attractions, from Shrek’s Adventure to the London Dungeon. No surprises inside – rooms are purple and practical as usual – but it’s well run, comfortable and friendly. Just a handful of the rooms have Eye views.

8. Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London

Hotels London Bridge

No luxury is too trifling at this showpiece in the dramatic Shard building. Heated toilet seat? You got it. Infinity pool? Dive in. Want a bathroom TV? Just look in the mirror. The big picture is pretty amazing, too. From the lofty vantage point of floors 34 to 52, all rooms offer jaw-plummeting views, as does does Gong, on floor 52, Europe’s highest cocktail bar. Service and amenities are top-flight, as befits a five-star price.


9. Rooms at The Tulse Hill Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels Tulse Hill

This handsome old nineteenth-century hostelry was refurbished in 2014 and has since won various plaudits as a ‘gourmet bolthole’ in a somewhat un-gourmet part of south London. Its unpromising location, on a traffic gyratory, is completely forgotten once you’ve flopped down in one of the nine large and attractively appointed rooms, with their excellent bathrooms with rain showers and Orla Kiely toiletries – but handy for getting to nearby Brixton and Dulwich in your car (parking available). Breakfast included.

10. 69TheGrove

Hotels B&Bs Vauxhall

Good B&Bs are at a premium in central London, but this one ticks all the boxes. It’s in a pretty terraced house in a residential oasis behind busy Vauxhall station, a stroll away from Tate Britain and the riverside and a negligible tube ride from the rest of the centre. With hotel-grade facilities and creamily neutral decor in the nine rooms, it combines tip-top standards with companionable breakfasts and warm, personal service from hosts Kanley and David.


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