London’s best hotels for your next English adventure
Finding the best hotels in London is a formidable endeavor. As one of the most visited cities in the world – welcoming 21 million people in 2019 alone – the city is packed with luxurious and historic accommodation. (Seriously. You’re more likely to stay at an iconic hotel than, well, not stay in one.)
But how do you reduce it when there are so many options for hospitality? Below is a guide to our favorite hotels, whether you want an iconic location a stone’s throw from major tourist attractions like Buckingham Palace, or a boutique hotel in a trendy part of the city. And don’t worry, most of them offer afternoon tea.
Without further ado, the best hotels in London.
Renowned interior design firm Roman and Williams has transformed the former Bow Street Magistrates Court and Police Station into the elegant NoMad Hotel in Covent Garden. Inspired by the Victorian era but also the New York jazz era (a nod to the hotel brand’s American roots), expect clawfoot tubs, golden cabinets, Lelièvre damask wallpaper moody and marble fireplaces. Meanwhile, the old police yard has been transformed into an all-day restaurant adorned with greenery.
Claridge’s is perhaps the crown jewel of London hotels. The five-star Art Deco property, located in Mayfair, has welcomed everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Cary Grant, Brad Pitt and Mick Jagger. (The Rolling Stones even filmed their music video for “Scarlet” here.) When you’ve been around since 1812, you’ve got to have quite a story.
While that doesn’t mean the hotel is afraid of the new: this fall they opened The Painter’s Room, a blush-colored bar that embraces modern mixology. And every December, their Christmas tree is a festive and avant-garde attraction for tourists and Londoners alike because of its decorating celebrity: in 2019 it was Christian Louboutin, while 2017 saw the late great Karl Lagerfeld adorn its branches.
There is perhaps no more elegant boutique hotel in London than Brown’s, where Rudyard Kipling wrote The jungle Book and Alexander Graham Bell made the town’s first phone call in 1877. The rooms are adorned with English wallpaper and pops of color, and the restaurant, Charlie’s, serves a Sunday roast where the roast beef comes by the cart. The upscale shops of Savile Row are a short walk away, as is Hyde Park.
From the moment you step into Rosewood London through its cast iron doors, you know you are ready for a sophisticated stay, from its black and white floors to its grand marble staircase that winds throughout. Their afternoon tea is inspired by famous artists throughout history: currently, they serve a menu inspired by Yayoi Kusama, which includes tea cakes made to resemble his famous pumpkins.
Come to the Connaught for its five-star accommodation and service, stay for its unrivaled food and drink offerings: the Hélène Darroze restaurant has three Michelin stars, while a more casual restaurant is that of Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The Connaught Bar has been officially named the best bar in the world. (Order in their travel martini cart.)
This month, they’re opening the Red Room, an additional bar that features four scarlet works by Jenny Holzer, Ti-a Thuy Nguyen and Trina McKillen.
Also note? The Aman spa, the only one built outside the Aman resorts.
In the heart of Chelsea is the Cadogan Hotel, a collection of five connected townhouses where the doorman greets you in a bowler hat and the rooms are filled with over 400 original works of art. (Including a Swarovski encrusted peacock.) Like most hotels in London, there is quite a story behind it. This time the stories are outrageous: one of the row houses is the former residence of Lillie Langtry, a mistress to King Edward VII (then the Prince of Wales), and once upon a time Oscar Wilde was arrested in room 118.
Attracted by modern and modern maximalist interiors? Look no further than Ham Yard, the Kit Kemp designed hotel right in the middle of Soho. The bedrooms, all with floor-to-ceiling windows, offer either a view of the London skyline or a tree-lined courtyard. There is also a library, spa, gym, theater, rooftop garden and 50s style bowling alley. . adorned with vintage bowling shoes to boot.
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Originally appeared on Vogue