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© Garry Knight

The best hotels in the West End

Indulge yourself with a stay at one of the best West End hotels

Written by
Time Out editors
&
Paula Akpan
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The West End - one of London's crown jewels - stretches between Regent Street and Covent Garden, from the Thames to the Euston. While no one can quite agree on its exact definition, the area is synonymous with bright lights, Broadway and entertainment around every corner.

It’s where you’ll find everything from celeb-magnet restaurants to perfect post-work pubs, as well as much of the city’s best shopping. And yes, when it comes to the best hotels, those with deep pockets are well catered for in the West End, but so too are those on backpacker budgets if you know where to look (that's where we come in). Here's our pick of the best hotels in and around the West End.

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

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  • Hotels
  • Strand
  • price 4 of 4

Age-old charm and Edwardian flair meets art deco style at this London staple but, be warned, this location is not for those on a budget. Fans who are happy to spend at least half a grand a night on a room (not including breakfast) return year after year for the super-luxe attention to detail, from the front desk to the bathroom fittings. Plus, the location looking out over the river on the Strand is far from a turn-off. As far as sustenance goes, you’ll be in good company: The Savoy Grill, now helmed by Gordon Ramsay, has hosted everyone from Marilyn Monroe to The Queen.

  • Hotels
  • Leicester Square

The location of this 82-room, seven-floor, no-frills hotel couldn’t be better if you want to be in the thick of it, flashing-lights and all. Thistle is slap-bang between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus and the rooms – which come with tea-making facilities, Nespresso machines, free fast wifi, free soft drinks in the minibar and good rain showers – are pretty sizeable given the price tag. Breakfast is included and there’s a small gym, while a restaurant provides no-fuss fare (pasta, pizza, burgers), which can also be ordered in advance and taken up to your room.

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  • Hotels
  • Hostels
  • Soho

Keen to be right next to Oxford Street but not pay through the nose for the privilege? This cheap and cheerful backpacker hostel in the heart of Soho might be exactly what you're after. You won’t find much in the way of fancy details, but there are reasonably priced dormitory rooms, twins and doubles, along with a roof garden and guest-only bar. Wifi is free, too, and a buffet breakfast can be had for under a tenner. For location and price, it’s hard to beat: the whole of the West End is walkable from your base here on Dean Street.

  • Hotels
  • Soho

If you’re looking for contemporary glamour with a side of eccentricity, try this Firmdale hotel, which is perfect for Regent Street, Oxford Street and Soho shopping. It’s a big space that includes a clutch of boutiques and some contemporary apartments set around a central courtyard, which is busy in summer with alfresco drinkers and diners. Co-owner Kit Kemp’s imaginative use of colour is in evidence throughout, with eye-catching art and fabrics used to great effect. There’s also a library, theatre/cinema and even a bowling alley.

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  • Hotels
  • Leicester Square

Like its sibling up the road just off Old Compton Street, this Z Hotel in Piccadilly offers simple but comfortable rooms for less than you’d pay elsewhere, along with the added quirk of free wine and cheese in the lobby every evening between 5pm and 7pm. Rooms are certainly cosy and don’t come with fridges, but they're cleverly designed, there are tea- and coffee-making facilities, TVs, free wifi and power showers in the en suite wetrooms. Really though, aside from the wallet-friendly price, the draw here is the location: quiet but super central.

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Soho
  • price 3 of 4

Named after William Hazlitt, an eighteenth-century writer, the hotel comprises four connected Georgian townhouses and oozes true traditional decadence. Luxurious touches include four-poster beds, freestanding bathtubs, working fireplaces, an honesty bar and a library, along with contemporary details such as iPod docks, REN toiletries and smart TVs. The knowledgeable front desk staff can help with theatre tickets, restaurant reservations and even club guestlists.

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Dean Street Townhouse
  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Soho

Despite claiming to be an illustrious home for aristocrats and artists to rest their heads since 1732, the prices are actually surprisingly affordable. Keep an eye on advance offers and you can get a room for under £150. They're a bit snug, but you're paying for the location. Dean Street is sandwiched between Oxford Street and Shaftesbury Avenue after all, where you'll find prime shopping, eating, theatre, cinema and nightlife. Its in-house eatery is the perfect spot for people-watching in the utmost comfort.

YHA - Oxford Street
  • Hotels
  • Hostels
  • Soho

This YHA branch in London is another backpacker favourite with private rooms also up for grabs. There are 104 beds here starting at a little over a couple of tenners, with dorms and private rooms on five floors above a large pizza café and bar (both open to non-guests). The YHA is a dab hand at catering for a young crowd on a budget, and this branch showcases its expertise by being tidy, clean and sensibly thought-out – access to rooms is via keycard and there is free wifi.

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London Edition
  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Fitzrovia

The London Edition is a sexy, fancy space: think plenty of marble along with ornate ceilings and a colossal silver egg-shaped objet d’art for a chandelier in the lobby bar. Rooms mix modern-day hunting lodge tropes (dark wood, warm lighting) with sensible, sleek practicality. Naturally, there's an on-site basement club called, well, Basement, while Michelin-starred Jason Atherton runs the Edition’s much-lauded restaurant, Berners Tavern.

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