Anya Meyerowitz

Guest Luxury Lifestyle & Travel Writer



The Best Hotels in London

The capital’s hotel scene is a smorgasbord of the chic, the elegant and the uber-luxurious, all folded into the myriad streets and alleyways that weave their way around the city’s iconic landmarks, award-winning eateries and multicultural crowds. Some embrace their surroundings, serving up their own version of the slick city hotel, while others have managed to create pockets of peace among the hustle and bustle. Whether your criteria includes sophisticated interiors long-beloved by the fashion elite, the ideal location for a weekend of theatre hopping and gallery gazing or a country house vibe that you don’t need to travel out of your urban dwelling to enjoy, the best hotels in London offer guests more than just a bed, they offer spaces in which to build memories, a tonic to our fast-paced lives and the opportunity to step into the best versions of ourselves - even if only for the night.

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Karen Millen London Hotels

Ham Yard Hotel, Soho

Nestled into the ruffles of spirited Soho, the boutique Ham Yard Hotel has become something of an institution among the city’s most sartorially-savvy, creative types, who meet in the lounges, bar and rooftop terrace to exchange ideas and feel inspired. Colourful and artistic, no space here is redundant, filled with art, playful texture and soulful character, from the hotel’s own bowling alley to their own kitchen garden (no humble brag in the heart of one of London’s busiest districts). Rooms, suites and apartments here are all individually decorated (and an admirable size for a central hotel), and, in true Kit Kemp (the founder and creative of Firmdale Hotels) fashion, all so casual in their cool factor that it requires a moment to really appreciate the interiors triumph taking place here. Whether you’re popping by for brunch or afternoon tea in the airy restaurant or checking-in for the weekend, you’ll soon discover the reason why the property is such a honeypot for the capital’s most discerning.

Knightsbridge Hotel, Beaufort Gardens

The elegant streets of Knightsbridge have been well-trodden by the equally as well-clad residents, and yet, the tree-lined Beaufort Gardens - on which the Knightsbridge Hotel sits - feels somehow hidden and discrete. Just a short stroll from acclaimed art galleries (think: the V&A museum), the ever-evolving seasonal delights of Hyde Park and a smattering of restaurants by top chefs (Heston Blumenthal and Dominique Ansel to name but two), the property is perfectly placed to not only enjoy the fruits of the city but retreat from them when necessary - a rare and sought-after double-life. And the service inside the hotel is just as discrete as its location, requests are dealt with in a fuss-free manner - from booking spa therapists for in-room treatments to restaurant recommendations and 24-hour hour room service (though there is no sit-down restaurant), all carried out seamlessly by the staff. To rehash a clichéd but truthful phrase, the Knightsbridge Hotel is a home-away-from-home.

The Londoner, Leicester Square

One of the capital’s newest, and coolest, hotels, The Londoner - in the heart of Leicester Square itself, has caught the attention of anyone who’s anyone on the London scene. The perfectly polished space, housing a clutch of eccentric bars, a subterranean spa complete with cabanas, a two-screen cinema and views across London from every window, is world’s first super-boutique hotel and is certainly living up to its dramatic entrance onto the hospitality scene. Light-flooded guest rooms benefit from floor-to-ceiling windows - all mellowed by calming pinks and subtle pastel interiors - while the six restaurants and bars, each overseen by Nobu alum Amir Jati, start with the opulent lobby bar and progress through to the signature restaurant Whitcomb’s, where contemporary upscale French Mediterranean small plates and mains are served.

NoMad London, Covent Garden

Already a brand known and loved across America, NoMad’s Covent Garden outpost is the first in Europe. So it’s unsurprising then, that it immediately made ripples among the capital’s most well-clad and in-the-know residents, drawing them in with its instantly recognisable, dramatic central atrium - the eponymous restaurant and undoubtedly the hotel’s (and arguably the district’s) beating heart - draped in greenery, plus velvet furniture and the low hum of chatter from morning through till night. Filling the listed 19th-century shell of a former Magistrates' Court and Police Station with more glamour than it could have ever hoped for, the venue takes centre stage among the West End’s theatre district. Rooms are sophisticated yet homely, the main restaurant is the place to see and be seen, while The Library, exclusively reserved for guests, is an inviting spot for breakfast or drinks away from the hotel’s usual bustle.

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Number Sixteen, South Kensington

Townhouse hotels are having a real moment - as you’ll likely be able to tell from the inclusion of two in this selection alone - and Number Sixteen, nestled between other, equally as picturesque, townhouses, all with those quintessential white stucco columns and black metal railings, is perhaps the best example of one we’ve found. Each of the bedrooms efferverse their own unique charm and tactile yet playful colour palette, the ideal backdrop for the upscale Chelsea textiles and characterful artwork hand-picked by design director Kit Kemp peppered around. Each space, whether private or public, has been meticulously thought through, so that wherever you find yourself, you’ll also find eye catching ornaments and comfortable places to curl up, whether it’s the library with its honesty bar or the quaint garden connected to The Orangery, the hotel’s café-restaurant and the ideal place to take afternoon tea.

Dorset Square Hotel, Marylebone

London’s Marylebone is a neighbourhood designed for leisurely living; designer shops, organic delis, upscale restaurants and a general, pervading sense that life is pretty good. And just away from the main high street, Dorset Square Hotel, a townhouse settled on the edge of a dulcet, leafy square, pays both homage to the enclave’s past as the original Lord’s cricket ground (think: displays of bats and balls turned into tasteful art pieces) and its modern-day value as a sumptuous design hotel. Rooms are generously proportioned, colours allude more to a country house hotel than one surrounded by London’s concrete, and the Potting Shed restaurant is the ideal place to while away an afternoon, dining out on the afternoon tea spread of dainty sandwiches, decadent cakes and scones, high-quality teas and glasses of champagne (just make sure to book early, it’s perhaps the neighbourhood’s worst-kept secret).

Beaverbrook Town House, Chelsea

Known for its original property in the heart of the Surrey Hills, Beaverbrook and its immediately recognisable brand of boutique chic, have expanded into the exclusive, though certainly less green, neighbourhood of Chelsea. Sitting proudly at the north end of Sloane Street, where the Chelsea and Knightsbridge borders fashionably collide, this glamorous address boasts playful interiors by Nicola Harding - a revered name among the hotel interiors elite - an exquisite Japanese restaurant, The Fuji Grill, and the same pervading sense of calm that it offers visitors to its sprawling countryside estate. Here you may retreat from the world for a while, sip on omakase and set the world to rights with loved ones in intimate corners under seductive lighting.

Bingham Riverhouse, Richmond

Nestled on the side of one of the sleepier parts of the Thames, the boutique Bingham Riverhouse - just meters from the organic wellness boutiques, flower shops and boutiques of Richmond - has breathed new life into the bones of two 18th-century townhouses, once rented by Lady Ann Bingham (whose sister married the first Earl of Spencer) and subsequently frequented by literary greats like Edith Cooper and William Butler Yeats. Now though, its country meets cosmopolitan atmosphere, with a light-filled library and drawing room overlooking the private garden that stretches to the river, attracts ritzy locals and those on the lookout for a good cocktail or brunch outside of the city’s centrally-based clutch. The Bingham has Pashley bikes you can borrow, a sister wellness space just a few minutes walk away (with treatments discounted to those staying) and a sharing tasting menu much-loved by those in-the-know.

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