The Best Hotels in London for Every Traveller

Opt for a stay at Sea Containers London or keep exploring what London has to offer every kind of traveller
Opt for a stay at Sea Containers London or keep exploring what London has to offer every kind of traveller | Courtesy of Sea Containers / Expedia
Hamish Roy

In days gone by, London’s hotel scene was all white-gloved doormen and suites named after visiting royals. Sure, this buttoned-up splendour was unmistakably British, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Luckily, now there are hotels for every traveller – from die-hard romantics to design disciples and modern-day wellness warriors, too. Here’s our hotel hitlist of a stay to suit you.

1. Artist Residence

Boutique Hotel

Bedroom at Artist Residence London with a four-poster bed and exposed brick chimney
Courtesy of Artist Residence London / Expedia
Art fiends will relish Artist Residence Pimlico, a townhouse-turned-hotel with enough paintings, murals and objets to fill an actual gallery. Founded in Brighton, the first Artist Residence was born from a stroke of inspiration – in return for board, the owners asked local artists to treat the hotel as a blank canvas. The London edition is cut from the same characterful cloth, dressed with punchy prints, flea-market furniture and sculptural lighting. Perhaps the nearby Tate can wait?

2. Sea Containers

Independent Hotel, Luxury

A stylish rooftop seating area at Sea Containers London, with arty lights, colourful arm chairs, modern tables and city views
Courtesy of Sea Containers / Expedia

Sharp-eyed design devotees should drop anchor at Tom Dixon’s Sea Containers on the South Bank. Inspired by 1920s ocean liners, the interiors are awash with maritime details and sleek Art Moderne curves. All of the furniture is bespoke, and the namesake restaurant commands crow’s-nest views of the Thames. Be sure to leave time for the Design Museum and the V&A, where more of Dixon’s famous work is on display.

3. London Edition


The modern dining and living area in the presidential suite at the London Edition, with wood panelling and stylised photos
Courtesy of The London Edition / Expedia

If you’re coming to London for a gourmet getaway, you’ll have been whittling down your restaurant list for weeks – but where to stay? The London Edition is perfectly placed for bon vivants, not least with Soho right on its doorstep. What’s more, the hotel plays host to Berners Tavern, where acclaimed chef Jason Atherton serves his take on British cuisine amid a dining room, nay hall, decked out in extravagant top-to-tail artworks. Cap your evening off in the Punch Room, an oak-panelled drinking den, serving punches to suit every palate.

4. CitizenM Shoreditch

Budget Hotel

A white washing and bedroom at citizenM London Shoreditch with a white double bed, red touches, a shower, a sink and a window overlooking train tracks
Courtesy of citizenM London Shoreditch /

Rubbing shoulders with Silicon Roundabout – London’s answer to California’s Silicon Valley – CitizenM Shoreditch was designed with the tech-savvy traveller in mind. Rooms have tablets that let you dim lights, adjust blinds, scroll through TV channels and change the temperature at the touch of a finger – but fear not, old-school luxuries like comfy mattresses and fluffy pillows come as standard, too. On the ground floor, the buzzy Living Room is the place to meet over coffee or kick back with craft beers. And yes, the Wi-Fi is lightning fast, too.

5. Inhabit


Soft blue and grey interiors, pinewood furniture and framed photographs at Inhabit Hotel in London
Courtesy of Inhabit Hotel / Expedia

Central London isn’t often seen as a place of repose, but the team of wellness warriors behind Inhabit Paddington are on a mission to change that. With their winning combination of soothing interiors, nourishing food and restorative activities, Inhabit has created a bona fide bolthole in the inner city. Guided yin yoga classes and mindful nature walks bring a sense of meditative calm, and the minimalist library offers a space for reading and quiet contemplation.

6. Ham Yard

Boutique Hotel

Terrace bar at Ham Yard Hotel, Soho with wicker furniture and pendant lighting
Courtesy of Ham Yard Hotel / Expedia
In town for a touch of retail therapy? Ham Yard Soho is a shopaholic’s ticket to ride. Part of the Firmdale Group, Ham Yard is outfitted in a bold livery, courtesy of award-winning designer Kit Kemp. Conceived as a miniature village, it opens onto a pedestrianised passageway lined with upmarket boutiques, including jeweller Anabela Chan and Brazilian beachwear label, Frescobol Carioca. Regent Street, Bond Street and Sloane Street are all minutes away.

7. Blakes

Boutique Hotel

Opulent guest room with four-poster bed draped in white muslin with bleached wood furnishings at Blakes Hotel, London
Courtesy of Blakes Hotel /

Kensington icon Blakes Hotel has a dream-like design scheme inspired by far-off lands, making it a perfect match for die-hard romantics. Designer Anouska Hempel splices globe-trotting glamour with a touch of theatrics – one moment you feel as if you’re in an Asian palace, the next a Parisienne apartment. Each suite is as different as the last, from the literary leanings of the Library to the porcelain-toned splendour of Corfu.

8. The Ned


The Ned 2
Courtesy of the Ned / Expedia

Occupying a former bank HQ in the city, the Ned is a sound investment if you’re partial to a tipple. There are eight bars and restaurants, most of which are in the cavernous banking hall, woven between verdite columns and counters of walnut and marble. The drinks menus are refreshed almost as often as the ice buckets, but the Nickel Bar – which often has live jazz – is the place for bourbon and cocktails fit for an all-American magnate.

9. The Kensington

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Chairs, a couch, glass coffee table and artwork on the wall in a hotel room with high floor-to-ceiling windows at the Kensington Hotel in London
Courtesy of the Kensington Hotel / Expedia

Part of the decadent Doyle collection, the Kensington is primely positioned for museum-minded travellers. South Kensington’s glut of exhibition heavyweights – including the Natural History Museum, V&A and Design Museum – are all within strolling distance, as are dozens of art and antique dealers. The concentration is highest on Kensington Church Street, where many of the old-world shopfronts still have hand-painted signs.

For more options, discover our guide on the best hotels in Clerkenwell. Want to be right next door to the vibrant nightlife of south London? See the best hotels near Brixton and book with Culture Trip.

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