The best hotels near Big Ben
The Corinthia is a stunner. Once Whitehall offices, it’s now a grand hotel in contemporary style, bringing design flair to spaces like the white lobby with a central dome and spherical Baccarat chandelier, and the circular Northall restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling windows. Hi-tech rooms are sumptuously furnished in soft colours. This is a place for sybarites: marble bathrooms have underfloor heating, separate rainforest showers and oval bathtubs; and there’s a blissful subterranean pool, part of a ‘thermal floor’ that also includes sleep pods and heated loungers.
Right on the river, just across Westminster Bridge from Big Ben, London Marriott County Hall has some of the best views in London. The old County Hall building has been sensitively converted with rooms in a calm grey palette, with bright splashes of colour and mid century-style furnishings. The best bits of the old place have been retained, like the library, where afternoon tea is served, and the wood panelled Gillray’s Steakhouse. There’s a big pool, sauna and steam room on the sixth floor.
This hotel is all about location, location, location. It’s part of a reliable budget chain – with clean, modern rooms, Hypnos beds and decent bathrooms with good showers – but it’s this branch’s position right by the London Eye, the Thames, Westminster Bridge and the Palace of Westminster that make it so desirable for visitors on a budget. Other advantages are free wifi and tea- and coffee-making facilities in the rooms. Breakfast is extra but provides ballast for the day.
Fuller’s pub Sanctuary House describes itself as an ‘ale and pie house’ and serves a range of pies, along with some other traditional British fare, in typical pub surroundings on the ground floor. So far, so normal. Upstairs, though are 34 plush bedrooms decorated in calm neutrals with smart furniture, thick floor-to-ceiling curtains, bathrobes and slippers, and mini-fridges. Larger rooms have king-size beds. Full hotel services are offered, including room service and a 24-hour reception.
With a prime location right on Trafalgar Square, and Big Ben and Parliament just a stroll away down Whitehall, the Trafalgar is a vibrant, youthful hotel housed in the former Cunard shipping line offices. It’s part of the Conrad Hilton brand, though it does its own thing, style-wise. Downstairs, the Rockwell Bar has wooden floors, white plastic tables, and purples and greens. Bedrooms go for chic simplicity, with white and cream walls and walnut furniture. The rooftop Vista Bar is probably the hotel’s best asset.
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