The Best Luxury Hotels to Book in London

Looking for a blend of culture and luxury? Look no further than Flemings Mayfair Hotel, which inspired an Agatha Christie murder mystery
Looking for a blend of culture and luxury? Look no further than Flemings Mayfair Hotel, which inspired an Agatha Christie murder mystery | © BRIAN ANTHONY / Alamy Stock Photo
Jessica Dellow

London does luxury like nowhere else – and the city’s high-end hotels are the ultimate proof of that. From historic properties to shimmering skyscrapers, we’ve selected the most amazing hotels in London for a stylish and elegant stay.

London is a time capsule of turbulent and remarkable history. Its streets are layered with medieval structures and polished Georgian architecture, while its skyline is dotted with dramatic, modern skyscrapers. It’s unsurprising that among all this lie some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, each offering a different perspective on the city. Spoil yourself on your next trip to the UK capital with a stay in one of our favourite London luxury hotels.

The Blue Boar Pub

The Conrad London St. James, for heritage and luxury

Located in the former Queen Anne’s Chambers in the heart of Westminster, Conrad London St. James’ 19th-century building is less than a mile from Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. Located next to St. James’s Park underground, guests can book curated city excursions to explore these iconic London sites at their leisure, or immerse themselves in the property’s culture while admiring its world-class art collection, afternoon tea, and restaurants specialising in contemporary British cuisine. Make sure to visit the Blue Boar Pub which was a favourite spot for politicians in between sessions at parliament.

The May Fair, for rubbing shoulders with A-listers in Mayfair

You’re more than likely to rub shoulders with a few A-listers around Mayfair, the affluent neighbourhood that this hotel calls home. Rooms here combine ruby-red velvet furniture, beds piled with goose-down duvets and Sicilian marble bathrooms. The themed suites are even more extravagant: the fuchsia Schiaparelli Suite oozes glamour, with chaise lounges and a free-standing, egg-shaped bath. If you’re after a more mod-minimalist stay, opt for the Ebony Suite – all chic dark woods and metallics – where you can either soak in the colour-changing statement tub or relax on the huge outdoor terrace.

Hotel Mandrake, for gothic eccentricity

The eccentric Hotel Mandrake plays on the mythic status of the plant it is named after with hallucinogenic art installations, other-worldly communal spaces, bizarre taxidermy creations and bespoke shamanic wellness experiences. Immerse yourself in a cocoon of original artwork, provocatively dark colours and sensual sheets in your opulent bedroom. Sip ethnobotanical cocktails before sending your taste buds on a tour of Buenos Aires, Lima and Santiago at the South American inspired on-site restaurants – without ever losing sight of Soho and the West End. Boutique 5 star hotels in London don’t get much zanier than this.

The Level Melia at White House, for convenient access

Close to the city and following a recent renovation, the Level has a unique luxury option

After a recent £40 million renovation of this iconic 1930s Grade II listed building, the Meliá White House has been transformed into a true destination hotel. What sets this apart from other hotels is the option to upgrade to a stay at The Level, a hotel within the hotel which gives you all the premium options you would want for an elevated experience. You can use a separate check-in desk and side entrance for a stress-free arrival, and from that point on you’ll find everything the hotel has on offer available to you with a few welcome extras. Guests will receive complimentary, free flowing freshly made snacks, tapas, beer, wine, soft drinks, and more throughout the day – a offering The Level provides to all Level guest. This location is within a short walk of Oxford Circus and Regent’s Park, so you’ll have plenty of options when stepping out too.

Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch, for hipster eclecticism in east London

The Nobu Hotel is located in London’s hipster stomping ground, Shoreditch, and is a striking ensemble of minimalist Japanese inspiration and east London eclecticism. With an architecturally sharp presence in an artistic area, the building plays with natural light and industrial features, such as steel beams, while still staying true to Nobu’s sleek, contemporary-luxury style. This jewel of the east is also home to a branch of the hotel’s eponymous, world-renowned restaurant, which offers a sophisticated dining experience that blends the best of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. After a deep sleep your decadent room, enjoy equally lavish dishes such as black cod miso and yellowtail sashimi.

Flemings Mayfair, for Georgian mystery in Westminster

Flemings Mayfair, London

It’s clear to see why Agatha Christie used Flemings Mayfair, converted from 13 Georgian townhouses dating back to the 1700s, as a setting for one of her novels. Deluxe and executive rooms feature soft, bronze tones and bespoke furniture that nods to the hotel’s 1930s heyday, while suites come with high-end extras such as honesty gin bars. Fine dining here comes in the form of seasonal menus inspired by the Channel Islands at Ormer Mayfair, where renowned chef Shaun Rankin crafts dishes from freshly-caught seafood and foraged shoreline herbs. Manetta’s Bar is not to be ignored either; regal in decor, it was once the rendezvous for Mayfair’s prestigious literary and artistic residents.

The Ritz London, for a stay fit for royals in Piccadilly

The Ritz London has long been synonymous with the elite. Fittingly opulent decor sweeps through the hotel, with droplet chandeliers adorning the ceilings. The finest cuisine is served in the hotel’s Michelin-star Ritz Restaurant, home to a spectacular dining room held up by marble columns and overlooking the lush Green Park. Afternoon tea at the Palm Court is a must during your stay; dress up to nibble on tiered trays of almost-too-pretty-to-eat cakes, classic mini sandwiches and sublime scones with Cornish clotted cream. Walk in the footsteps of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts with a night in the Trafalgar Suite, which famously featured in the hit film, Notting Hill (1999).

Bulgari Hotel London, for contemporary luxury in Knightsbridge

In contrast to Knightsbridge’s more traditional hotels, the Bulgari puts a contemporary twist on classic luxury. The hotel is so high-end that there is minimal difference between the rooms and suites. If you’re looking for a noticeable upgrade, opt for a signature Bulgari Suite; the bathroom – a Nero Marquina marble affair – is particularly impressive, fitted with a walk-in steam shower. Architect Antonio Citterio has kept the brand’s silversmith history alive with flashes of silver throughout the interiors. For a late-night tipple, you can’t beat Nolita Social for its live music and eclectic cocktails.

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, for a top-tier grande dame in Knightsbridge

Steps from Knightsbridge, one of the most affluent districts in London, the Mandarin Oriental is a top-tier grande dame. Winston Churchill was once a regular, and the Edwardian building has remained intact following a renovation worth millions in 2018. Rooms are contemporary and light, maintaining a classic English elegance with neutral decor and furniture adding pops of emerald, teal and dusky pink. The most exuberant of all, the Mandarin Oriental Penthouse comes with two master bedrooms with private terraces overlooking Hyde Park, and a library housing books curated by Heywood Hill bookshop (a long-standing institution in Mayfair). The Presidential Suite adds va-va-voom with a custom-designed sofa in Quality Street purple and an acorn-shaped pendant light fixture.

Corinthia London, for the sights on your doorstep in Westminster

This belle-époque establishment is the epitome of opulence. Previously the old Ministry of Defence building, the property is within walking distance of South Bank and the West End. From the terraces of the top-floor suites, you can tick off all the London sights – Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament – while the rooms themselves are stylishly minimalist, with neutral sandy tones complemented by cocoa-coloured furnishings. The Garden Suites are an ode to the classic English garden, with plants, splashes of olive-green and contemporary artworks on the almond walls creating a botanical sanctuary. The serene vibe continues in the award-winning ESPA Life spa, which spans four floors and boasts a dark, steel pool; a glass-walled sauna fringed by a dramatic fire; and a lavish marble and leather spa lounge.

Claridge’s, for living like an aristocrat in Mayfair

Among the most prestigious luxury hotels in London, Claridge’s has been a home away from home for the rich and famous since the 1800s. There’s a timeless art deco feel throughout, and the hotel has become a landmark in its own right. Service here is a cut above the rest, especially in the suites where a personal butler is at your beck and call. Live like an aristocrat in the Royal Suite, where you can tinker away on a grand piano. Don’t skip dinner at Davies and Brooks, where the menu pairs flavours like dry-aged duck with a lavender glaze, roasted Jerusalem artichoke with watercress, and triple crème dipped in black truffle.

The Ned, for living like a modern-day Gatsby in Bank

The Ned is the sort of place a modern-day Gatsby would pick as his local hangout. Set in a spectacular former banking hall in the financial district, the hotel is an ode to the 1920s. The rooms vary in size and each have delicate finishing touches and distinguishable features. The most lavish of them all is the Lutyens Suite – named after the hotel’s architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens. It offers private access to the exclusive rooftop, where you’ll find a pool with a backdrop of towering skyscrapers. The Ned’s nine restaurants cover worldwide cuisines – dine at Kaia on a Sunday for an all-you-can-eat Asian-Pacific feast or the Nickel Bar for classic American fare and cocktails, surrounded by majestic verdite columns.

The Savoy, for timeless elegance on the Strand

The Savoy was one of the first luxury hotels in England. Its rooms have hosted a flurry of star-studded guests, such as Marilyn Monroe and Oscar Wilde. Most rooms have huge windows that drench the space in natural light and frame views of the Thames – meaning many of London’s landmarks can be spotted from the comfort of your plush bed. These days, the Savoy also marches ahead in sustainability: rooms use energy-efficient light bulbs, and onsite restaurant Kaspar’s has a three-star Sustainable Restaurant Association rating; the chefs use locally-sourced, seasonal produce and all food waste is converted into renewable energy.

Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, for panoramic city views at London Bridge

It’s hard to miss the Shard piercing the London skyline. The striking, contemporary structure is home to the exquisite Shangri-La Hotel – the only property in the city that provides guests with 64km (40mi) views over London. The hotel begins on the 34th floor, 125m (410ft) up, and all rooms come equipped with binoculars so you can spot the capital’s iconic landmarks from afar. Each room boasts sublime views and is decorated with marble, leather and silk. The panoramas from the London Suite are unbeatable, taking in the main hotspots and the Thames. On level 52, you’ll find the hotel’s heated infinity pool, where you can peep over the edge to experience London from new heights. Although it’s tempting to stay put, make sure to venture to nearby Borough Market, one of the oldest food markets in the city.

The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone, for antique extravagance

Conjuring the home of a long-lost, and slightly outlandish, relative, this Georgian townhouse delivers an unconventional stay. Its 24 eccentric bedrooms feature mismatched antique furniture, bold colours and unrestrained patterns, while the Superior rooms boast bespoke four-poster beds and tempting “rain dance” showers. Hidden at the end of a private staircase, you’ll find Lear’s Loft (aptly named after the house’s former resident and author, Edward Lear) – a treasure trove of Asian artwork and interesting ornaments. Feeling thirsty? Head to Seymour’s Parlour, where bartenders can whip up pretty much any tipple that takes your fancy.

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, for a Hogwarts-worthy escape in Euston

A historic haven that opened in 1873, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is nothing short of remarkable. The interior matches the impressive facade, and retains original Neo-Gothic features from the building’s former life as the entrance to St Pancras International station, combined with painted ceilings and grand, carpeted staircases that wouldn’t be out of place at Hogwarts. Absorb views of the Eurostar and King’s Cross station from the Junior and Grand Suites. Featuring an original 19th-century staircase spanning three levels and an alluring marble bathroom complete with a rainfall shower, the Grand Staircase Suite is by far the most impressive. The on-site Gilbert Scott Restaurant and Bar is timelessly elegant, while up on the roof, you’ll find Roof Garden St Pancras, an all-weather botanical retreat serving wood-fired pizzas and barbecues in the summer.

Pan Pacific London, for understated luxury in the city

Located in London’s Square Mile district, the Pan Pacific only opened in 2021 but has already become a favourite with high end travellers looking for a hassle free stay in the city. The hotel and rooms are a fusion of south-east Asian style and British refinement which results in a calming sanctuary away from the busy streets that surround the building. The rooms also block out any traffic noise so a peaceful nights sleep is guaranteed. The wellbeing floor is a must when visiting with spa and sauna facilities on offer as well as a spacious pool overlooking nearby Liverpool Street Station. We love the restaurant too and can recommend a special treat with the themed afternoon tea too. | © Pan Pacific London

Why not treat yourself and stay in one of the best spa hotels in Old Street or London’s most famous hotels? Alternately, check into one of the best boutique hotels in London for a special stay. For something out of the ordinary, try one of the most unusual hotels in the UK, or these castles in England you can actually stay in, now bookable on Culture Trip.

This article is an updated version of a story created by Abigail Malbon. Additional reporting was added by Nick Dauk and Cassam Looch.

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