The Best Hotels to Book near the London Eye

Enjoy 360° views from the London Eye – before wandering the bustling streets of Southbank
Enjoy 360° views from the London Eye – before wandering the bustling streets of Southbank | Courtesy of Corinthia /
Photo of Claire Dodd
1 September 2021

A ride on London’s unique Ferris wheel is a real holiday high. And once you’re done, visit state-of-the-art museums, designer shops and endless restaurants to enjoy plenty more fun nearby.

Taking a whirl on the London Eye – Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, if you want to get technical – is a must on any trip to England’s capital. Soaring over the cultural hub of the South Bank, it’s your first port of call before exploring the neighbouring streets. You might even follow the Thames east to foodie-hub Borough Market – or catch a play at Shakespeare’s Globe. Keep it all within easy reach with a night or two in one of these great hotels close to the London Eye – all bookable on Culture Trip.

Sea Containers London

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

Marvel at the towering copper reception desk built to look like a ship’s hull and bask in the subtle splashes of colour across the 359 guest rooms and suites on offer. You guessed it – this Tom Dixon-designed abode takes its cues from 1920s transatlantic cruise liners. It’s a glorious mix of glamour and brutalism – with bold furnishings and panoramas of St Paul’s over the Thames.

As well as the opulent gold-hued Agua spa – and the rooftop terraces of bar and restaurant 12th Knot – Sea Containers is home to one of the world’s best bars: Lyaness, previously named Dandelyan. Flop in a plush leather banquette and order a Cereal Martini.

The Hoxton, Southwark

A light and stylish bedroom at the Hoxton Southwark, with two beds, a table, chairs and large windows
Courtesy of the Hoxton Southwark /

Just ten minutes walk from the Thames, the Hoxton is unmissable: look for industrial-chic windows and join too-cool haircuts drifting about the communal spaces. Rooms – inspired by the tanneries and factories that once populated South London – flaunt concrete ceilings and exposed brick walls. Even the handmade glassware is said to be a nod to glass-blowing once practised in the area.

Room categories are ordered by size with the smallest, Shoebox and the largest, acutely named Biggy. Don’t leave without taking in the views from rooftop restaurant Seabird – which serves up Portuguese and Spanish inspired seafood with panoramic views of the city.

ME London

A light and modern bedroom at ME London, with a bed, rug, armchair, reading lights, pink flowers and large windows
Courtesy of ME London /

This Covent Garden bolt hole may be neighbours with the theatres and nightclubs of the West End, but inside it’s the very picture of serenity – the work of architect-giants Foster+Partners. A predominately white colour scheme flows from the guest rooms – some balconied – to the rooftop bar and restaurants. Sip a martini and take in the views across the rooftops of the city, as far as the London Eye itself.

Book a suite and you’ll get complimentary cocktails for two, breakfast, guaranteed restaurant tables and a packing and unpacking service. In short, put your feet up and relax.

The Grand, Trafalgar Square

A stylish lobby area at The Grand, Trafalgar Square, with a chandelier, cream sofas and a reception area
Courtesy of the Grand, Trafalgar Square /

Unless you count Buckingham Palace just down the road, few locations are as succinctly ‘London’ as Trafalgar Square. Here Nelson’s Column – along with clouds of circling pigeons – has watched over London life of picnics, protests and endless New Year’s Eve countdowns for more than 160 years.

The Grand is in the thick of it all: steps from the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, the theatres and restaurants of Soho and the Houses of Parliament. Rooms answer to the description “business-like”: comfortable and decoratively unobtrusive. Which is just as it should be, when what lies outside is so show-stopping – the location is utterly unbeatable.

Corinthia, London

A stylish dining area at Corinthia, London, with armchairs and seats, tables, modern lights and large windows
Courtesy of Corinthia /

You’ve arrived: this is one of London’s grandest hotels – the kind of establishment that boasts its own distinct perfume and discreet but attentive service. In a nutshell, it’s fancy. From the sprawling penthouse suites to the Brompton bike hire – electric available if you don’t want to pedal – this hotel lays on the lot.

It’s a foodie destination in its own right, so make time – and room – for afternoon tea, a rather indulgent ceremony. And book a table to dine at the first London restaurant from Michelin-starred chef and TV’s familiar face, Tom Kerridge. Finish with a nightcap in the embrace of the dimly lit Northall Bar.

The Wellington Hotel, Waterloo

A dining and bar area at The Wellington Hotel, with wooden tables, chairs, armchairs and a TV
Courtesy of the Wellington Hotel /

No trip to London is complete without a pub session. Even better, spend the night in one. The Wellington, owned by traditional London brewer Fuller’s, is right beside Waterloo train station – ergo a short walk from the Thames.

The pub itself is boisterous, but rooms are quiet and homely: there’s London-landmark themed decor – including the Eye – slinky Egyptian cotton bed linen and breakfast included with the room rate. Snug family rooms make stays in central London affordable – but if you’re with elderly or mobility-challenged travellers, note that this is an old building with no lift to the upper floors.

H10 London Waterloo

A rooftop area at H10 London Waterloo, with cushioned seats, tables, candles, plants and stunning city views
Courtesy of Hotel Le Negresco /

Throw back the curtains and discover quite the view: the magnificent London skyline, unravelling towards the London Eye. This place is super-handy for Waterloo Station and you can wander along to the Imperial War Museum. But for our money, the main draws are the floor-to-ceiling guest-room windows and far-reaching views from the upper floors – be sure to request one when checking in and insist on a corner room for a very special dual-aspect view.

Too knackered after a day’s wandering? No need to head back out: there’s an in-house Spanish restaurant for croquettes and patatas bravas – better still, the Waterloo Sky Bar on the eighth floor brings you broad city views.

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

A modern bedroom at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, with a red carpet, white bed, desk, lamp and city views
Courtesy of Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London /

You really couldn’t be closer to the Eye than here: its South Bank location is a landmark-lover’s dream. A few minutes amble from the doors one way and you’re by the Houses of Parliament – the other way is the Eye, theatres and endless great restaurants.

If it pours, duck into the British Film Institute or the Imperial War Museum. And if you’re post-tour footsore, indulge in a massage at the hotel’s Mandara Spa. Top tip: take a lazy dip in the 49ft (15m) swimming pool in pure luxury. Alternatively, see the sights without moving a muscle from the Executive Lounge, which looks out over Big Ben and the London Eye.

Looking for more inspiration? We’ve also narrowed down the best cheap hotels, the best family-friendly hotels in London and the best luxury hotels in London so you can confidently find and book the perfect stay on Culture Trip. There’s plenty to keep you busy, too – from these quirky and unusual things to do in London and this delicious food and drink tour to this relaxing, chilled-out tour of London.

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