Beyond all the daytime bustle of Covent Garden there are beautiful buildings, cute boutiques and hidden alleyways full of surprises. And when you consider the close proximity of the Theatre District, there really is much to be said for staying at the heart of this thriving area. While often crowded, there’s something uniquely compelling and quintessentially London about experiencing the best of the city’s theatres, shops, restaurants and bars among the cobbled streets of this historic part of the West End.
page8, for luxury and extras
page8 is one of the best situated hotels in London. Right on Charing Cross road, within view of Trafalgar Square and a 2 minute walk from Leicester Square, this property looks like a coffee shop from the outside. That isn’t an accident, they take their coffee very seriously here, but the staff also look after their guests with the same care and attention. For such a busy area, the check-in process is quick and efficient. The rooms are comfortable and incredibly quiet, which is a remarkable achievement given the location. If you do pick this spot, make sure you look up the package offering tickets to neighbouring event space St Martin in the Fields*. Here you can opt for live jazz, summer bands and even carols at Christmas.
* Guests at Page 8 London will have access to a 20 percent discount for events and concerts throughout the year. Guests will be provided a discount code with their room booking confirmation. Bookings can be made on the venue’s website using the code, or directly through the hotel by calling reception or guest services. Guests may also walk into the box office and show their Page 8 key card to access the discount when purchasing tickets on the door – however, availability is not guaranteed on this basis.
Strand Palace Hotel, for location and budgets
Right across the road from London’s famous Savoy Hotel and less than five minutes’ walk from the River Thames, the Strand Palace Hotel offers guests a fantastic location at affordable prices. While the size and simplicity of the rooms reflects the price, this hotel is ideal for anyone simply seeking a place to rest a heavy head after a long day in the capital. Being able to walk to all the major attractions the city has to offer is a rare bonus in London, and one that only adds value to a stay here.
St Martins Lane Hotel, for libations at a hidden bar
This place takes the concept of a hotel gym one step further, offering guests complimentary access to Gymbox – one of the UK’s leading gym chains, located right next door. When you’re not working out, London’s prime entertainment district makes for a welcome distraction – Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus are all around the corner. Inside the hotel, floor-to-ceiling windows flood the rooms with plenty of natural light. Before you hit the sack, be sure to finish the night with a libation at the hotel’s secret bar hidden behind a tea counter.
The Resident Covent Garden, for self-caterers
Mere steps away from some of London’s richest shopping, dining and entertainment options, The Resident is a superior Covent Garden hotel. From standard doubles to suites, all rooms are decked out in plush charcoal carpet, contrasting with splashes of colour from the framed artworks on the walls. Gleamingly modern bathrooms and well-stocked kitchenettes are also standard throughout. Add 24-hour reception offering great local knowledge and services such as pre-visit grocery shopping and The Resident just begs you to stay.
NoMad London, for a stay in a historical landmark
A luxury Covent Garden hotel inside the iconic Bow St Magistrates’ Court and Police Station? You read that right. NoMad, designed and refitted in collaboration with New York-based interior design mavens Roman and Williams, makes superb use of this Grade II heritage-listed building, retaining its original charm without sacrificing a scintilla of contemporary comfort. From the classic doubles to the opulent Magistrates suite, luxurious touches like marble mosaic-tile bathrooms, quality king-size beds and freestanding bathtubs soften the otherwise tough design style.
Fielding Hotel, for a wallet-friendly stay
This hotel, named after 18th-century novelist and playwright Henry Fielding, is a rare thing – an affordable lodging right at the heart of London’s Theatreland. Glowing Victorian lamps illuminate Broad Court, the little lane opposite the Royal Opera House, where the Fielding Hotel can be found. It may lack the wow factor of other hotels on this list but the price and location make up for it.
Radisson Blu Edwardian, for proximity to numerous restaurants
Located on the iconic corner where Mercer Street and Monmouth Street converge at Seven Dials, this Covent Garden hotel is less than a five-minute walk from Soho and is close to many first-rate shops and restaurants. Radisson Blu Edwardian reconciles traditional hotel standards with contemporary taste, giving each room its own unique feel, and its bar is a good spot for post-shopping and post-sightseeing cocktails.
One Aldwych, for an on-site health club
Stylish, sophisticated and seriously plush, One Aldwych can be found where Aldwych meets the Strand, less than a five-minute walk from the River Thames and Covent Garden. Operating under its current name since 1998, the hotel was built in 1907 and designed by the architects responsible for The Ritz hotels in London and Paris. Its elegant rooms are finished with neutral colours that create a warm and relaxed ambiance – perfect for guests looking for an oasis of calm within the capital. Retreat to the health club to blow off some steam in the gym or take a relaxing dip in the indoor pool with soothing underwater music (yes, underwater music).
Covent Garden Hotel, for quirky, individually-styled rooms
If staying in a high-end London townhouse is the dream, then this hotel might well be the reality. Coming in through the main entrance feels like stepping into the pages of Architectural Digest – no doubt the sort of effect interior designer and co-owner Kit Kemp had in mind when she decked the place out in her signature style of contrasting textiles, curious patterns and distinctive headboards. There’s also a screening room where film events are regularly held. In a prime position on Monmouth Street, between Shaftesbury Avenue and Seven Dials, this hotel puts you within five minutes of London’s famous Soho entertainment district.
Henrietta Hotel, for literature buffs
Set across two traditional townhouses on Henrietta Street, Henrietta Hotel gives guests an authentic London experience complete with elegant, modern decor. This place is great for literature buffs as one of the townhouses formerly held the offices of Victor Gollancz Ltd, publisher of acclaimed authors including George Orwell, AJ Cronin and Daphne du Maurier.
The Savoy, for a place to see and be seen
The Savoy has been at the forefront of London’s hospitality scene ever since it opened its doors in 1889. Showcasing effortless elegance accompanied by splendid service, this world-renowned hotel has attracted everyone from celebrities and dignitaries to the global super-rich. Guests who can bring themselves to leave the hotel will find Covent Garden and the River Thames within a five-minute walk, while Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square are less than 10 minutes away.
ME London, for futuristic design and roof terrace
Designed by the architectural design firm Foster + Partners, this hotel is so contemporary in style it almost feels futuristic. Each ultramodern space is kitted out with metal surfaces, bachelor pad-style furniture and mood lighting. Stepping inside the lobby, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve mistakenly made your way into a spaceship. Rooms stick to this slick vibe with extra elements of comfort: enormous plush beds, views over the city and luxurious bathrooms all finished with the same monochrome style. When you’re ready to explore outside of your room, head to Radio Rooftop bar and restaurant – occupying the top floor of the hotel, the terrace has unparalleled views over the West End.
This article is an updated version of a story created by Abigail Malbon. Hugh McNaughtan and Cassam Looch contributed additional reporting.
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