The best hotels in south London
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.
This converted police station, a noted mid twentieth-century building, is the first boutique hotel in historic Greenwich, a quick boat or train ride from town. The deluxe bedrooms in the glass roof extension have superb views; denizens of the lower floors can get an eyeful from the public viewing deck on the eighth floor. Event-goers and performers from the O2 arena nearby get discounts, so you might score a celebrity sighting in the glitzy Oasis O1 restaurant-bar.
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 walk 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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