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.
Looking for more options? Check out London’s best Airbnbs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 street noise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You may also like
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...