You can escape the drudgery of normal life without going anywhere near Heathrow or even travelling further than Zone 3. We’ve found the best London hotels for a staycation – the ones that will transport you to a world of luxury, which come with brilliant extras (infinity pool in the clouds, anyone?) or let you experience the best of London without having to navigate the night tube at 4am. From Soho to South Ken and Highbury to Hoxton, fall in love with our beautiful, buzzing metropolis all over again with a stay at one of the best London hotels for a staycation.
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The best London hotels for a staycation
One of London’s grandest hotels, The Langham is a wonderful place to immerse yourself in our capital’s rich history. As you wander the never-ending corridors, imagine the individuals who’ve done the same: Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Princess Di. The Langham is such an institution that it features in not one, but two Sherlock Holmes books. Today its pleasures still abound: the cocktail bar is known for its show-stopping creations and its afternoon tea is one of the most delightfully inventive in town.
In an historic crescent in Bloomsbury, across three Georgian townhouses, is this great value, family-run B&B. Londoners and tourists alike will appreciate the setting – just around the corner from the British Museum, in an area dripping with literary connections. There’s something else special about the place though – guests get access to the crescent’s garden and tennis courts. Dig out your whites and enjoy a game amid the grand residencies of this ever-so civilised part of town.
One of London’s most charming and characterful small hotels, Zetter Townhouse is the home of (the sadly fictional) Uncle Seymour. And what an eccentric chap he is. His home in Marylebone is filled with antique furniture, weird and wonderful trinkets and a bar serving the best cocktails in town. A stay here includes all sorts of delightful extras – like hot water bottles to order and, for those in the Lear’s Loft suite, a luxurious outdoor bath. If only we all had an uncle with a home like this.
With its dizzying height and futuristic outline there’s something otherworldly about the Shard. And a stay at the opulent Shangri-La, which spans floors 34 to 52, will instantly make you feel like you’ve left the mundane parts of the city behind (Northern line, we’re looking at you). Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise the head-spinning views. But perhaps best of all is the guest-only infinity pool on floor 52, with vistas that take in St Paul’s and the London Eye. Oh London, all is forgiven!
There’s much more on offer at this slick Soho hotel than you might initially think. As a guest you get to kick back in the large rooftop bar on the fourth floor where there’s also a kitchen garden providing honey and herbs for the bar’s cocktails. If this doesn’t sound charming enough there’s another surprise in the basement: a 1950s-style bowling alley and dive bar (which isn’t dive-y at all). Staycationers will also appreciate the luxurious rooms (with fabulous bathrooms) and the excellent, pretty-as-a-picture afternoon tea.
Ever dreamed you lived in Soho? Popping by Bar Termini for your morning espresso. Rolling straight from the theatre into bed (or vice versa). Well, a stay at Z Hotel lets you live out your Soho dream, and what’s more it won’t leave you in the red for the next six months. This excellent value hotel is formed from 12 former Georgian townhouses and now has modern rooms, a cute downstairs café and even offers free wine and cheese in the evening. Just what any Soho-ite would want.
Design fans pay attention, Town Hall Hotel might just be your spiritual home. This gorgeous conversion brings together original Edwardian features, modern minimalism and carefully chosen mid-century furniture to create a seriously stylish hotel that’s quickly become popular with film location scouts. But it’s not all about the looks, there’s also an excellent food and dining offering: for drinks, the Peg & Patriot, and for food, the Typing Room, both awarded four stars from us. And don’t forget you’re in the heart of Shoreditch, so you can go and let off steam at the local clubs without having to navigate the night bus back to Zone 3 at four in the morning.
Don’t have a membership to Shoreditch House but fancy a taste of club life? If you stay in Shoreditch Rooms you get full access to this stylish members-only establishment – from the rooftop pool to the ping pong tables and unlimited pick ’n’ mix. There are 26 small double rooms, each immaculately decorated. If you’re after more space, enquire about the Club Row rooms a short walk away; they come with mid-century furniture and antique chandeliers. Discerning Londoners will feel right at home.