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Updated: April 17, 2023
By Santorini Dave
My Favorite London Hotels
• 5-Star Hotel: Connaught
• 4-Star Hotel: Marylebone
• 3-Star Hotel: Strand Palace
• Boutique Hotel: Soho Hotel
• Family Hotel: Taj 51
• Pool: Berkeley
• Kitchen: Cheval Knightsbridge
• Near Big Ben: Conrad
• Hyde Park: Mandarin Oriental
• London Eye: Marriott
• Buckingham Palace: Goring
• Victoria Station: DoubleTree
• Paddington Station: Hilton
• Kings Cross: St. Pancras Renaissance
• East London: Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square
• Best New Hotel: Mayfair Townhouse
London Hotels – Tips & Recommendations
- London is one of my favorite cities in Europe. So much to see and do! A first time visitor could easily fill a week of sightseeing in London, but at the very least, plan for a 4-night visit.
- Best Luxury Hotels in London: Connaught • Shangri-La • Savoy • Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
- Best Boutique Hotels in London: Soho • Montague on the Gardens • Mandrake • Batty Langley’s
- Best London Hotels for Families: Taj 51 Buckingham Gate • Athenaeum • Connaught
- London Hotels with Swimming Pools: Connaught • Shangri La at the Shard • St. Pancras Renaissance • Landmark • Berkeley • One Aldwych • The Marylebone • Jumeirah Carlton Tower • Marriott County Hall • Marriott Park Lane • Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel • Best Western Chiswick Palace & Suites • Staycity Aparthotels Greenwich High Road
- London Hotels with Kitchens: Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences • Athenaeum • Cheval Knightsbridge • Cheval Harrington Court at South Kensington • Park Plaza Westminster Bridge • The Grand at Trafalgar Square • Staybridge Suites Vauxhall
- London Hotels with Parking: Windmill On The Common (free parking) • Fox & Goose (free parking) • DoubleTree By Hilton Excel (free parking) • The Lodge (free parking) • Prince Regent Excel (free parking) • Holiday Inn Express Newbury Park (5 GBP)
- Best London Airport Hotels: Hilton Heathrow (direct access to Heathrow) • Hampton Gatwick (direct access to Gatwick)
The 9 Best Hotels in London
1. Connaught – Mayfair
Hotel phone: +44 20 7499 7070
The hub of Mayfair from 1815 onwards and a short walk from designer stores, the Connaught is where English charm and historical heritage meet modernity. The grand dark wood staircase, personal butlers, and traditional rooms designed by Guy Oliver all hark back to the days when the hotel’s guests included French president Charles de Gaulle. Rooms in the new wing are bright, contemporary, and somewhat Eastern in design. Families are accommodated in interconnecting rooms with treats for kids, child-friendly menu, and twice-daily, family-only swimming sessions at the Aman Spa swimming pool. Dining options include the two Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze which serves some of the best French cuisine in London. Afternoon tea is served in the light-filled conservatory. The Connaught Bar, famous for its signature martini, runs cocktail classes overseen by award-winning mixologist Agostino Perrone.
• Hotel website • Check prices for Connaught
2. Savoy – Covent Garden
Hotel phone: +44 20 7836 4343
In the heart of West End, the Savoy is the grand dame of London hotels, its roster of past guests including Monet and Laurence Olivier. Once you make your way past feline-shaped topiary and the top-hatted doormen, you are immediately met by the hotel staff and whisked off to your room; there is no reception. Rooms are either English Edwardian or art deco in design, though both come with thoroughly modern bathrooms and rain showers; suites include butler service. Family perks include vacation packages, amenities for kids, and adjoining rooms. Dining options include Gordon Ramsey’s Savoy Grill for classic British cuisine with French touches (dress code). The hotel’s bars are equally illustrious: the legendary American Bar is London’s oldest and renowned for its cocktails, while the Beaufort Bar is dominated by the icicle-like Lalique-style bar serving original creations. The Savoy is one of the best places in London to enjoy afternoon tea.
• Hotel website • Check prices for Savoy
3. Ritz – St. James
Hotel phone: +44 20 7493 8181
The Ritz has been a byword for old-world luxury since 1906. Overlooking Green Park and near Buckingham Palace, the Ritz has played host to countless royals, movie stars, and politicians including Noel Coward, Churchill, Eisenhower. More recently, an episode of “Downton Abbey” was shot here. Conceived by London and Paris-based designers, the high-ceilinged guest rooms are decorated in classic Louis XVI style – the picture of opulence completed with ornate antique furnishings and heavy silk drapes. The three Signature Suites come with butler service. The Ritz Restaurant recreates classic French dishes using the best of British seasonal produce, while the art deco Rivoli bar is an intimate gathering place for cocktails. Non-guests and guests alike indulge in “Tea at the Ritz” every afternoon tea at the elegant Palm Court to the accompaniment of the resident pianist who used to play with Frank Sinatra. Dress code throughout.
• Hotel website • Check prices for Ritz
4. Shangri-La at the Shard – London Bridge
Hotel phone: +44 20 7234 8000
Occupying the 34th to 52nd floors of the Shard (London’s iconic jagged-topped skyscraper) the Shangri-La is London’s highest hotel. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms, restaurant, and bar and Infinity Skypool on the 52nd floor offer unparalleled views of the city. Rooms contain king-sized beds and marble bathrooms equipped with Washlet toilets. While all 17 suits come with personal butler service, the Shangri-La Suite also features its own jacuzzi. Asian specialties feature heavily on the menu of TĪNG, the primary in-house restaurant (and offers classic afternoon tea). The GŎNG bar on the 52nd floor (billed as the highest hotel bar in Western Europe) serves sushi and excellent cocktails. The hotel is close to London Bridge tube; a short walk from Tower Bridge, Tate Modern, and the Tower of London. Well-placed for boat tours of the Thames.
• Hotel website • Check prices for Shangri-La at the Shard
5. Soho Hotel – Soho
Hotel phone: +44 20 7559 3000
This boutique hotel is right in the heart of Soho with excellent dining and nightlife right on its doorstep and soundproofed against the street noise. The entire hotel features bright colors and playful touches that interior designer and co-owner Kit Kemp is known for, from the bold mural behind the bar to the Botero cat sculpture in the lobby. All rooms were individually designed and feature vibrant, eye-catching wallpaper, a signature mannequin, and a striped umbrella in each wardrobe. Some rooms are interconnected to accommodate families. Bathrooms have free-standing tubs and his-and-hers sinks. Guests can relax in the library or in the sculpture-strewn drawing room, complete with a 24-hour honesty bar. A full-scale gym, massage treatments, and manicures can be done in-house. The Refuel restaurant serves contemporary European dishes with a separate children’s menu.
• Hotel website • Check prices for Soho Hotel
6. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park – Knightsbridge
Hotel phone: +44 20 7201 3773
Recently refurbished and now more breathtaking than ever the hotel occupies a historic Edwardian building, the tallest in London upon its completion in 1889. There’s an indoor pool and wonderful spa, (featuring an amethyst crystal steam room, a sanarium, and a Pilates studio) and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The restaurant’s culinary program features traditional British fine dining, a gourmet French bistro, all-day dining and afternoon tea, along with an innovative cocktail bar. Rooms and suites are decked out in custom-made furnishings inspired by art deco style and the flora of Hyde Park, just steps away. The hotel sits in Knightsbridge on the south side of Hyde Park, within a 5 minutes walk of desinger shopping and a 15-minute walk of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
• Hotel website • Check prices for Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
7. Claridge’s – Mayfair
Hotel phone: +44 20 7629 8860
For over 150 years, Claridge’s has defined London’s luxury experience, its elegant art deco interior playing host to royals, actors, and other VIPs. In the rooms, hand-selected furniture, signature prints, and sumptuous fabrics abound. The service is discreet and attentive. Those staying in the top-tier suites are waited on by butlers. Afternoon tea in the sumptuous Grand Foyer is a highlight. Claridge’s Bar is the place to sample vintage champagnes and some of the world’s best wines, while the Fumoir is a dark, seductive space to retreat to for a signature cocktail.
• Hotel website • Check prices for Claridge’s
8. Montague on the Gardens – Bloomsbury
Hotel phone: +44 20 7637 1001
Just around the corner from the British Museum, this Georgian townhouse encloses a luxurious boutique hotel. Brightly patterned wallpaper, luxurious wall fabrics, and hand-crafted furniture decorate the snug rooms. The grandest is the two-room Guv’nor Suite, with its own conservatory and copper bath. Afternoon tea is served in the sunny conservatory, while the smart casual Blue Door Bistro serves mainly Mediterranean dishes. Also on-site, the Garden Grill transforms into a beach bar in summer, complete with palm trees and real sand; in the winter it retains a ski lodge ambiance. Other seasonal perks include tennis viewings in the conservatory accompanied by champagne cocktails during Wimbledon. The Cigar Terrace offers comfortable seating and vintage cigars for connoisseurs; cigar dinners (five-course tasting menu accompanied by cigar tastings) are arranged on request. Pets and families welcome.
• Hotel website • Check prices for Montague on the Gardens
9. Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square – The City
Hotel phone: +44 20 3297 9200
Fantastic luxury hotel near Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. There’s a spa, indoor pool, and two restaurants. The one, two, and three bedroom residences are ideal for large groups and families and have a full kitchen and dining room. The hotel is a short walk from two tube stations.
• Hotel website • Check prices for the Four Seasons
Staying in Mayfair & Marylebone
Mayfair is one of London’s most exclusive neighborhoods with old-world grandeur present in its beautiful buildings. Edwardian townhouses line Mayfair’s streets and surround its landmark squares – Grosvenor Square, dominated by the US embassy, and Berkeley Square, flanked by original 18th-century terraced houses. Mayfair’s most famous shopping street, Savile Row, is where discerning clients come to get their suits cut at the likes of Henry Poole & Co, who once outfitted Charles Dickens. This is a focal area for British designers, home to Alexander McQueen’s designer wear, while Paul Smith, Browns, and Stella McCartney boutiques flourish in surrounding streets. Along busy Piccadilly road, Mayfair’s southern border, Burlington Arcade (Britain’s first shopping arcade) is every bit as grand as in the 1820s, patrolled by ‘beadles’ in top hats and featuring high-end food shops, fragrance houses, and Italian leatherwear. Further east, Bond Street is lined with high street heavyweights. North of Mayfair, newly fashionable ‘Marylebone village’ attracts both moneyed Londoners and visitors: the latter come to visit Madame Tussaud’s and the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street, the former – for the upmarket delicatessens and independent boutiques such as La Fromagerie and Daunt Books.
The Best Hotels in Mayfair & Marylebone
- Connaught (best luxury hotel in London)
- Claridge’s (majestic art deco/Victorian hotel, excellent dining, close to Mayfair shopping)
- Four Seasons at Park Lane (5-star, great location & views)
- Dorchester (old-world opulence, state-of-the-art mod cons, superb dining)
- Landmark (grand Victorian hotel, family-friendly, near attractions)
- Athenaeum Hotel & Residences (grand Victorian hotel, family-friendly, near attractions)
- The Marylebone (contemporary hotel with an indoor pool and spa, stylish restaurant, and comfortable rooms)
- Chiltern Firehouse (intimate, buzzy boutique hotel inside historic building, close to shopping)
Best Restaurants in Mayfair and Marylebone
- Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill (historic restaurant with classic decor, simple, impeccable fish and shellfish dishes)
- Dinings (innovative Japanese tapas and sushi, stark basement setting, relaxed vibe)
- Le Gavroche (2 Michelin stars, French haute cuisine by Michel Roux Jr, reserve months in advance)
- Corrigan’s Mayfair (romantic atmosphere, innovative British dishes using seasonal ingredients, dress code)
Staying in South Bank, Bankside, & London Bridge
Stretching along the south side of the Thames, the two-mile pedestrian walk between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge is an almost non-stop procession of attractions, from historical to post-millennial. The gentrification of the area began in the 1950s to boost public morale after WWII but the South Bank really came into its own in the 21st century with the arrival of several iconic cultural attractions. If you have kids, start at the western end, where they can be entertained by torture, death, and disease at the London Dungeon and sea creatures at the London Aquarium. Next up, the London Eye offers great views of the city on a clear day. Further along, the contemporary art powerhouse, Tate Modern, is flanked by the tiny Bankside Gallery and the rebuilt Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. A food market dating back to the 13th century, Borough Market attracts discerning foodies and London chefs seeking out fresh ingredients for their kitchens. It also has an extensive array of exotic street food stalls – your best bet for lunch. Towering above Borough Market is the jagged glass edifice of the Shard, London’s highest skyscraper, in the nearby London Bridge neighborhood. Pay for the incredible views from the observation deck on the 72nd floor or enjoy slightly less lofty views from Gŏng bar on the 52nd floor for the price of a beer on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.
Best Hotels in South Bank, Bankside, & London Bridge
- Shangri-La at the Shard (superb skyscraper views, contemporary rooms, family-friendly, excellent dining)
- Sea Containers (riverside views, minimalist rooms, contemporary design, terrific bars)
- Marriott County Hall (superb riverside location, close to attractions, modern decor, family-friendly)
- Park Plaza Westminster Bridge (contemporary, design-led hotel, sleek room, close to attractions)
Best Restaurants in South Bank, Bankside, and London Bridge
- Restaurant Story (Michelin-starred Tom Sellers restaurant, playful menu of British seasonal produce, reservations essential)
- Union Street Café (industrial-meets-classic decor, daily changing Italian menu, dainty portions)
- Borough Market (gourmet food stalls – from Lebanese meze to Indian to Scandinavian, great for lunch Wed-Sat)
- Aqua Shard (Modern British cuisine, elegant surroundings, stellar skyscraper views, bookings essential)
- M. Manze (London’s oldest pie shop, menu dominated by pies and mash, busy, family-friendly)
Staying in Soho & Leicester Square
Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, Shaftesbury Avenue, and Regent Street form a rectangle around the dense grid of tiny streets that make up Soho. For a long time, Soho has had a sinful reputation as the city’s red-light district and as a haven for the unconventional: the bulk of London’s gay bars and clubs are still based here. Prostitutes and sex shops are largely gone, replaced by London’s highest concentration of bars, clubs, restaurants specializing in diverse cuisines. Many restaurants are clustered around the leafy Soho Square and Greek Street that leads up to it, while Wardour Street hosts TV production companies. Just south of Shaftesbury Avenue and its grand Victorian theatres is the small, busy Chinatown, its specialty Asian grocery stores attracting chefs and savvy foodies. Many of its restaurants cater to the visiting tourist contingent, but there are a few exceptions serving authentic Cantonese and Sichuan. Bordering Chinatown to the south is Leicester Square, once one of London’s most exclusive addresses and now home to several cinemas. Movie premieres take place at the Odeon Leicester Square; around the corner, Odeon Panton Street attracts film buffs with classics and cult hits. Head south along Charing Cross Road and join art lovers at the National Gallery, or mingle with the crowds and the buskers in front of Nelson’s Column on Trafalgar Square.
Best Hotels in Soho & Leicester Square
- Soho (edgy contemporary hotel, bright colours, family-friendly, near restaurants and nightlife)
- Ham Yard (colourful, unique design, friendly service, families welcome, near restaurants)
- W London (retro, monochromatic decor, party hotel, close to nightlife)
- Z Soho (compact boutique hotel inside townhouses, luxurious fittings, close to nightlife)
Best Restaurants in Soho and Leicester Square
- Ceviche (trendy Peruvian eatery, ceviche and anticuchos (skewers) a speciality, buzzy and fun)
- Patara (high-end Thai dining, excellent service, dinner reservations)
- Ember Yard (Basque-style grill and Spanish/Italian tapas bar, seasonal ingredients, great for pre-theatre meals)
- Bao (Taiwanese street-stall-turned-restaurant, bao buns, sliders and other small dishes, lively atmosphere, queues)
Staying in Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a great neighborhood for first-time visitors to London. It is particularly popular with tourists and reviled by some locals in equal measure for the proliferation of high street chains and the buskers along Bow Street. Its centerpiece is the cobbled Covent Garden Piazza, featuring a restored 19th-century market increasingly filled with high-end boutiques such as Fred Perry and Burberry Brit and a clutch of independent shops selling offbeat jewelry, clothing, and arty gifts. Locals seek out independent shops indicative of Covent Garden’s disappearing quirky character. Neal’s Yard Dairy has long been a purveyor of cheeses by UK’s small, independent producers; Stanford’s on Long Acre is London’s top travel bookstore; and Vintage Showroom stocks vintage menswear. The dining scene leans upmarket with the likes of the Ivy Market Grill and Terroirs competing with mini-chains such as Dishoom and Wahaca. Part of West End and the hub of London’s cultural life, Covent Garden is overlooked by the Royal Opera House, and the surrounding streets are dotted with theaters, from the edgy Donmar Warehouse to the more mainstream Shaftesbury Theatre. Retaining some of its genteel charm and grandeur from centuries past, the Strand runs along Covent Garden’s southern boundary, parallel to the river. It may no longer be ‘the finest street in Europe’, but its western end is lined with several legendary top hotels, as well as the neoclassical Somerset House, home to many London Fashion Week events.
Best Hotels in Covent Garden
- Savoy (glitzy old-world opulence, terrific dining, families welcome, close to theatres)
- ME by Melia in Holborn (minimalist, monochromatic, high-tech rooms, rooftop bar, close to restaurants, theatres)
- One Aldwych (historic hotel, thoroughly modern rooms, popular with theatre-goers and London Fashion Week)
- Strand Palace (affordable hotel with a fantastic central location)
Best Restaurants Covent Garden
- Flesh & Buns (industrial-chic basement, upmarket take on Taiwanese hirata buns, rock soundrack, young, trendy)
- Lima Floral (imaginative Peruvian haute cuisine, excellent cocktails, relaxed ambience)
- J Sheekey (old-fashioned glamour, fish- and seafood-heavy, great for pre-theatre dining)
- Terroirs (rustic French dining in basement, casual wine bar with sharing plates, buzzy, hip)
- Homeslice Pizza (huge wood-fired pizzas with imaginative toppings, trendy decor, families welcome)
Staying in the City of London
Gleaming corporate towers, such as the Gherkin, the Cheese Grater, and the Walkie Talkie, mark the spot where the Romans founded Londinium 2000 years ago. Stretching from Clerkenwell and Holborn in the west to Tower Hill and Aldgate in the east, the City of London is compressed into a compact area known as the Square Mile. Its streets busy with commuting bankers, traders, and lawyers on weekdays, London’s business district is packed with sights, including the Tower of London. To appreciate the City properly, take a walk around Holborn’s excellent small museums, or head to Clerkenwell, a fashionable locale with a post-industrial feel, to browse the boutiques, food stalls, and restaurants around colorful Exmouth Market. Once synonymous with the printing press, Fleet Street now features some fine art deco buildings from its heyday. It leads towards St Paul’s Cathedral, one of the capital’s most symbolic buildings. South of St Paul’s the pedestrian Millennium Bridge leads across the river to South Bank, while to the east of the cathedral is the immense One New Change shopping mall. The seven streets that meet above Bank tube station mark the heart of the City, fringed by the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange, and Mansion House (Lord Mayor of London’s residence). Nearby, the Tower of London showcases the Crown Jewels and recreates the lives of British kings and queens.
Best Hotels in (or near) the City
- Rookery in Clerkenwell (intimate boutique hotel, antique furnishings, romantic, close to restaurants)
- Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square (fantastic luxury hotel steps from the Tower of London)
- Andaz Liverpool Street (grand, revamped railway hotel, simple, stylish rooms, good in-house dining)
- Threadneedles (former-bank-turned-boutique-hotel, contemporary rooms, excellent restaurant, close to landmarks)
Best Restaurants in the City
- Moro (Mediterranean cooking with African twist, post-industrial decor inside Exmouth Market, boisterous atmosphere)
- Sweetings (classic seafood restaurant popular with business set, top-notch service, ideal for lunch)
- Duck & Waffle (40th floor views from Heron Tower, small plates of British and European dishes with global touches, 24-hour service)
- 1 Lombard Street (grand brasserie with Neoclassical interior, meat- and fish-heavy modern European dishes)
Staying in South Kensington & Chelsea
Compact South Kensington brims with attractions. Three world-class museums line Exhibition Road: Victoria & Albert, the Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum, while its vast parks include Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, popular with strolling locals, skaters, and cyclists. In the depths of Hyde Park, the Serpentine Gallery hosts contemporary art exhibitions and the park itself has been a traditional venue for protests. Knightsbridge, flanking South Kensington to the east, is where moneyed Londoners shop at the parade of pricey boutiques – Prada, Gucci, Harvey Nichols – that line Sloane Street and where most of London’s embassies cluster along wide, tree-lined avenues. While the legendary Harrods department store on Brompton Road is often overrun with browsing tourists, the fine food halls can be a pleasure to browse during quieter times, and its art gallery is often overlooked. Further south, Chelsea was once synonymous with the Swinging Sixties and immortalized by the punk movement, but today it’s an exclusive residential area, with grand red brick houses lining the cobbled streets, best known for the annual Chelsea Flower Show. Stroll the pedestrian enclave of shops and restaurants at the Duke of York Square, browse the modern art at the Saatchi Gallery or take a stroll to Chelsea Farmers’ Market on Sydney Street.
Best Hotels in South Kensington & Chelsea
- Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park (Asian themed, old-world luxury, iconic restaurant, close to shopping and Hyde Park)
- Langham (historic hotel with excellent dining, an Chinese medicine spa, and an indoor pool)
- The Milestone Kensington (hotel in a historic 17th-century residence with a pool, spa, and well-loved afternoon tea)
- Berkeley (historic, elegant hotel, Hyde Park views, superb in-house restaurant, rooftop pool, close to designer shops)
- Egerton House (boutique hotel in an 18th-century townhouse with comfortable rooms, great martinis, and afternoon tea. Dog friendly)
Best Restaurants in South Kensington and Chelsea
- Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (2 star Michelin molecular gastronomy, Top 10 restaurants in the world 2015, advance reservations essential)
- Zuma (ingredient-driven contemporary Japanese cuisine, stylish decor, buzzy and hip)
- Marcus at The Berkeley (2 star Michelin, romantic, old-world ambience, intelligent British food)
- Hawksmoor (elegant art deco interior, superb steaks, imaginative cocktails, relaxed and friendly vibe)
Staying in Westminster & St. James
Westminster has been the hub of political power since the 1200s and is home to historic landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster (aka the Houses of Parliament), Big Ben (the bell inside the world’s most famous clock tower), and Westminster Abbey (a thousand-year-old church where all English and British monarchs have been crowned, 16 royal weddings have been held, and Britain’s most illustrious people have been buried). The neighborhood is bounded by the River Thames to the southeast; Mayfair, Soho, and Leicester Square to the north; and Belgravia to the west. The Queen lives here in Buckingham Palace, surrounded by the lush Buckingham Palace Gardens, St. James Park, and Green Park, while the Prime Minister lives at 10 Downing Street on the opposite side of St. James Park between Trafalgar Square and Big Ben. Art abounds in the Westminster and St. James areas with major galleries such as the Tate Britain seated at the southeast corner and the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery on the north side of Trafalgar Square, along with lesser known art and history museums, such as the Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Churchill War Rooms, the Spencer House (built by Princess Diana’s ancestors), and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. Most restaurants in Westminster cater to tourists, though there are a handful of excellent restaurants, bars, and pubs in the St. James neighborhood, near its border with Soho and Leicester Square; standouts include the Regency Cafe (great for brunch) and Aquavit London (fine Scandinavian dining all day).
Best Hotels in Westminster & St. James
- Ritz (standard-setting luxury hotel, sumptuous 18th-century-style rooms, near Buckingham Palace)
- Taj 51 Buckingham Gate (family-friendly, luxury hotel with spacious 1-6 bedroom suites with kitchenettes)
- Goring (wonderful historic hotel near Buckingham Palace, afternoon tea is a must)
Best Restaurants in Westminster and St. James
- Regency Cafe (mid-century cafe in an art deco style known for hearty, down home English breakfast and brunch)
- Aquavit London (Michelin-starred, contemporary, Nordic cuisine from noon to midnight)
- Westminster Arms (historical English pub)
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- London to Paris by Eurostar
We will be in London for 3 days and the number of hotels is crazy but we were looking at 3 hotels that sound great for us but we need advice! We feel that these are nice: One Aldwych, Nomad London and Batty Langley.
Which hotel would you suggest?
For the hotel experience then Batty Langley. For location then Nomad or One Aldwych. Nomad is definitely the best value.
I am planning a trip for two to London and possibly Paris for mid-late September. First time visit. Looking at 9 days total. Will be using American Airlines vouchers for part of the trip costs, so will be booking through AA Vacations. Was looking at Fielding Hotel in Covent Garden for majority of the trip, then taking the EuroStar to Paris for a day or two, then return to London for the flight back to the US. Would it be too difficult to try to fit the last couple of days for Paris, including the EuroStar round trip, plus checking in and out of a Paris hotel? Any recommendation for a short stay hotel for a first time visit to Paris? A consideration is that one of the travelers has issues with getting around due to arthritis.
Sounds like a great trip and easily doable. Stay near St Pancras Station in London (for easy access to the Eurostar train to Paris) and Gare du Nord in Paris (where the Eurostar arrives).
Followed your advise in Greece last year with family (Aria Suites and The Belvedere) and both recommendations were amazing. My husband and I are headed to London to see a concert in Hyde Park in July. We’d like a great hotel with pool and workout facility. We’d love to be somewhere on the water. What hotel would you suggest?
There are several hotels that fit the bill, all on the banks of the River Thames.
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge would probably be my top choice. It’s in South Bank, across the river from the Houses of Parliament, right near major attractions such as the London Eye and a short walk to the London underground. Facilities include a fitness gym and a medium-sized indoor pool.
Another solid choice would be Park Plaza London Riverbank, also across the river from Westminster and in the same price category, but not quite as convenient for public transport as the Westminster Bridge hotel. Good 24-hour fitness center with TechnoGym equipment and a small, 12m indoor pool.
Finally, there’s the Novotel London Canary Wharf – innovative design, state-of-the-art fitness centre, decent-sized pool and good on-site dining. It’s further out of the center than the other two, but near a London underground station.
What are your thoughts on Hotel 41?
Hotel 41 is a 5-star boutique hotel inside a well-maintained Edwardian building – great for people who love quirky old buildings, though the soundproofing of the rooms could be better. This is an old-school hotel in a busy central location; the road it’s on is rather noisy, but then so is much of central London. It’s near Victoria station – useful for train and Underground connections and within walking distance of several major London attractions, such as Buckingham Palace. There’s a black-and-white theme to the 41 rooms and suites and each room is individually decorated, with extra care given to creature comforts – superior beds, high quality furnishings, etc. The service is personalised and attentive. The staff really get to know you and anticipate your needs – most guests love this, but if it’s not something you’re used to, it might feel a little intrusive. The on-site dining is excellent: The Curry Room (Indian food), The English Grill (meat-heavy fine dining), bbar (burgers and cocktails) and Leopard Champagne Bar (champagne & light meals); there’s also an honesty bar and complimentary snacks around the clock (Plunder the Pantry). It’s an excellent place for families with children: there are separate children’s menus, children’s beds, welcome packs and a hotel nanny service. So overall – it’s not cheap, but the location is great, the service and amenities are excellent, it suits business and leisure travellers, families with children and people looking for a place with real character.
Can you recommend a good hotel in Bloomsbury? Mid-range, 3 or 4 star hotel. And also, is Bloomsbury a good area to see the sights of London? We’ll have 4 nights there and want to hit most of the top tourist attractions.
Yes, Bloomsbury is a central neighbourhood with excellent public transport connections, which makes it easy to visit London’s top attractions, and four days is a good amount of time to visit the top spots. One of them, the British Museum, is in Bloomsbury, and others, such as Covent Garden, Oxford Street, the National Gallery and Trafalgar Square, are within walking distance (or a short London Underground ride if you prefer not to walk).
Good hotels in Bloomsbury:
• Ambassadors Bloomsbury – 4-star hotel with bright, contemporary rooms inside a 19th century Victorian building, helpful staff, Italian restaurant-cum-bar
• Radisson Blu Edwardian, Bloomsbury Street – literary-themed hotel around the corner from the British Museum, bold contemporary design, friendly service, good gym, spacious rooms with marble bathrooms, Steak & Lobster restaurant on-site
• My Bloomsbury – boutique hotel inside a Georgian townhouse, simple, stylish rooms – dark wood, cream walls, mini-spa offering massages and facials, retro diner downstairs, short walk from Soho’s bars and restaurants
• Montague On The Gardens – also in a Georgian townhouse, with 88 individually designed, mid-sized rooms, very convenient for the British Museum, known for its traditional afternoon teas
• The Bloomsbury – more upscale than the others, rooms blend classic British furniture with luxurious textiles and all sorts of mod cons, marble bathrooms, refined atmosphere, stylish cocktail bar and afternoon tea, short walk from Covent Garden
Looking for a boutique hotel in London with the following attributes: trendy, fun, centrally located, good bar onsite or very close by, 4 or 5 star.
The one that immediately comes to mind is Soho Hotel. It’s colourful, has individually decorated rooms designed by owner/interior designer Kit Kemp, quirky touches in the drawing room where guests can chill out, a 24-hour honour bar in case you and your fellow guests want a drink in the wee hours of the morning, a well-stocked on-site bar that’s part of the hotel restaurant, and a great location in the middle of Soho, surrounded by bars, pubs and restaurants.
Then there’s its sister hotel, the Ham Yard, also in Soho, so also in the midst of London’s nightlife, but closer to Mayfair – one of London’s most upmarket neighbourhoods. It’s bigger than Soho Hotel, but the concept is similar: funky wallpaper, individually-styled rooms, an on-site bar and rooftop terrace, and fun touches, such as a 1950s style bowling alley.
Another fun boutique place is The W, just off Leicester Square that borders Soho. It’s got this look that’s both retro and futuristic – all chrome and mirrorballs in the lobby, well-stocked downstairs bar and bright, compact rooms. The suites are even better – the Extreme Wow Suite has its own DJ station and vinyl collection, the Screening suite comes with its own private cinema; both come with private steam rooms. It’s a party hotel popular with young professionals.
ME by Melia, near Covent Garden – within easy walking distance from the bars and pubs of Soho and Covent Garden, has an excellent rooftop bar with great views of the Thames and the London skyline. Excellent cocktails, too. Rooms are minimalist and monochromatic, and one of the hotel’s cool features is a black marble pyramid that cuts right through the middle of the hotel.
It’s hard to get more trendy than the Chiltern Firehouse – it’s in the Marylebone neighbourhood, it’s inside a revamped Victorian fire station, has just 26 rooms and open-plan suites, and is a bit of a celeb haunt. The Ladder Bar – the space where the firemen used to keep their ladders – is exclusively for hotel guests and their friends – it’s all comfy wicker chairs, signature cocktails served by bartenders and DJ decks for guest use. And it’s not stuffy at all – there’s no dress code, and guests are made to ‘feel at home’. There’s no smoking at the bar, but they do have a whimsical smoking terrace outside.