The West End makes up the heart of what most visitors remember about London: its thriving arts scene, diverse residents and endless food and shopping options. Here’s Culture Trip’s pick of the best hotels in the West End.
The West End is home to some of London’s most iconic attractions, from Soho to Leicester Square, and all the famous theatres, galleries and top-notch restaurants found in between. If the main purpose of your visit to the UK’s capital is to catch a live show, then you’ll likely want to stay close to all the action. Hand-picked by Culture Trip, these wonderful West End hotels will help you to do exactly that.
As with all Firmdale Hotels, the Covent Garden Hotel incorporates a sunny, breezy atmosphere with vibrant interiors: expect bold prints, bright colour schemes and the signature dressmaker’s mannequin in every room. This is the perfect option for those who love to lounge – you can watch the world go by from the downstairs brasserie, which offers a fresh, seasonal menu and is perfect for a spot of lunch or a pre-theatre cocktail. Loved as much by local professionals as by visitors, you can soak up the electric after-work buzz in the bar, where the champagne and weekend vibes are always flowing.
The light-filled rooms of Victory House are the real draw of this hotel, which mixes Art Deco simplicity with luxe detailing – think charcoal bathroom fittings, burnished gold lights, crisp white linens and smooth wood panelling. Contemporary and central, Victory House’s location is stellar – it’s right on the doorstep of Leicester Square, which makes it perfect for theatre hopping. Enjoy a hearty breakfast down in the bistro before heading out for the day.
A neon sign in the bar of the W states that “normal gets you nowhere” and this ideology is certainly exemplified in the design of the hotel, with disco balls, DJs and a thriving party scene all drawing in a trendy city crowd. Managing to hit the sweet spot between modern flair and luxury minimalism, mirrored walls, window drapes and colourful prints feature in all the rooms, giving them a bright, open feel. If you’re hitting the London party scene, this is the perfect spot – sitting right in the heart of Soho among some of London’s most famous clubs and bars. Be sure to book the Mega Bar service, where a mixologist will bring a mobile bar directly to your suite to kickstart your night.
Those looking for a home from home should check in to No. 5 Maddox St. – a luxury collection of fully serviced suites just minutes from Bond Street. Available with one, two or three bedrooms, each suite comprises a fully fitted kitchen, rainforest showers and large windows. Personal touches are dotted throughout, adding to the feeling of comfort, from the linen kimonos to yoga mats and Phaidon art books. The 24-hour concierge service is available at the touch of a telephone button; helping to connect you with theatre tickets, massage therapists and restaurants.
One of the mainstays of Piccadilly Circus, Hotel Café Royal is famed for its opulence and nod to French Neoclassicism. It also just happens to be home to one of the best spas in the city. Akasha is cavernous – incorporating a 60-foot pool and nine treatment rooms – with a menu of hammam and hydrotherapy. Those looking to make the most of London’s theatre will love the hotel’s central location and though it sits right in the middle of one of the city’s busiest areas, once you’re inside, the quiet and calm of this luxury bolthole takes over. Rooms are minimalist and modern, with Carrara marble bathrooms and an integrated Bang & Olufsen entertainment system. Downstairs you can enjoy an afternoon tea fit for royalty in the Oscar Wilde Lounge.
If you’re worried that the super-busy location of Assembly – right in the middle of Leicester and Trafalgar Squares – will lead to sleepless nights, don’t be: each of the simple yet eccentric rooms at this new 24-hour hotel has been soundproofed, meaning you can enjoy both the central location and peace and quiet. What with its contemporary decor (think neon signs, oversized cushions and cartoonish sculptures) there’s an undeniably youthful atmosphere, with young travellers making up most of the clientele. Egyptian cotton sheets, power showers and super speedy wifi all add to the feeling of luxury but without the hefty price tag of other urban hotels.
The Piccadilly London is right on Shaftesbury Avenue, so if you’ve come to London with theatre tickets in hand you couldn’t get much closer to the action than here. Rooms are decorated in a plush combination of gold and black, with some even featuring star-studded four-poster beds. Though perfectly placed for exploring the West End, there are plenty of reasons to stay indoors, here – the extensive treatment list, indoor jacuzzi and sauna to name but a few. With knowledgeable, multilingual staff on hand to advise, and a cracking breakfast buffet, it’s got all the right ingredients to have you raring to explore the city around you.
One of the most frustrating things for solo travellers is the compromise you often have to make on hotel rooms, either by paying more for a double room or having to squeeze into a dorm with strangers. That’s where Mimi’s comes in – a boutique hotel in the heart of Soho that offers single-bed rooms at reasonable rates. The rich velvet curtains and wood panelling have the air of a private member’s club, while the hospitality of the staff will make you feel like you’re part of the family. Make sure you head down to the bar – with its cosy corners, low lighting and potent cocktails, you can kick off your night on the town in style.
High-tech, minimalist rooms boasting all the comforts you’ll crave are the goal at Z Hotels. From high-speed wifi to plush beds and in-room tea and coffee facilities, it’s all there. Blackout blinds, dimmable lights and dreamy showers ensure you’re well rested and refreshed for days spent exploring the city – although Carnaby Street and the gastronomic centre of Soho is right around the corner, so you won’t need to stray far for your fix of shopping or top-class food.
The first London outpost of this minimalist Hong Kong hotel group has achieved a subtly luxurious look and feel. Wainscot-panelled walls contrast with Art Deco elements such as navy leather headboards with burnished gold metal insets and tulip chairs made with studded leather. You’ll also find stylish touches such as Co Bigelow toiletries in the marble bathrooms, Marshall speakers on the bedside tables and an air purifier in each room. Meanwhile, the in-house boutique coffee-house brings a combination of high-quality coffee and posh toast concoctions such as goats cheese, fig and honey on sourdough, and smoked salmon bagels garnished with capers and red onion. It’s the perfect pick-me-up before the day’s sightseeing begins.
This hotel was designed with the aim of evoking the nostalgia of your childhood treehouse – if it had been impeccably designed that is. The forest theme is consistent throughout, with natural wooden elements permeating every aspect of the rooms, including the bathrooms, which feature actual tree trunks. Nods to your childhood are scattered around the place in the way of stuffed toys and bird boxes, while playtime can be had at The Nest – a rooftop bar with 360-degree views over the city. Meanwhile, the on-site and Mexican-themed restaurant, Madera, serves up fresh tacos and ice-cold margaritas in front of the world-famous London skyline.
The Hard Rock hotels are renowned all over the world for a reason – and the London iteration certainly indicates why. Showcasing the city’s musical legends throughout the hotel, the rooms feature photos of artists such as Amy Winehouse, while a communal space called Memorabilia pays homage to London’s massive influence on the evolution of rock ‘n’ roll. If you fancy channelling your inner rockstar, you can order a range of musical items and instruments to your room – from the chain’s self-branded record players and curated record collections, to your very own Fender guitar, amp and headphones. You could even have a rock-themed workout at the in-house gym, before a celebratory singalong at one of two hotel bars.
The Haymarket Hotel is a picture of quintessential Britain. Designed by Kit Kemp, the interiors pay homage to the Victorian era with bright contrasting florals, colourful walls and distinctive textiles. The hotel certainly has a lot going on within its four walls: art aficionados will love the Art Walk, which not only showcases the hotel’s own art collection, but also those of famous galleries within the area. Meanwhile, the hotel’s numerous drinking and dining spaces – including a James Bond-style underground pool bar – will keep guests entertained and well fed. Most of London’s top theatres are within walking distance, so you won’t have to allow time for taking public transport.
Transport yourself to the English countryside with a stay at The Grazing Goat – a series of hotel rooms housed above a traditional pub. Rooms evoke a real sense of rural charm, with wood panelling and beamed ceilings, freestanding baths and watercolour paintings of native animals featured throughout. The theme doesn’t stop with the rooms either; downstairs the British menu offers up classics such as Welsh rarebit and fish and chips, with a focus on sustainable and local produce. Be sure to stay over the weekend to sample the pub’s popular Sunday roast – said to be one of the best in town. If you want to feel a hundred miles away from the city centre when you’re not exploring it, this is the place.
Nobu Hotels exude all the Zen elements you’d expect from a traditional Japanese space. Each room comes with abstract artwork, plenty of greenery and a traditional Japanese tea set allowing for a mindful moment to start the day. Modern comforts include Nespresso machines, well-stocked minibars and 24-hour room service if you’re ever feeling peckish (the black cod miso is a very safe bet). The focus on wellness extends to the 24-hour gym, which offers pilates classes, a luxury spa and an outdoor juice bar where you can refuel after a heavy workout. If you don’t stay here, it’s still worth reserving a table at the on-site restaurant for some of the best Japanese food in the city.