London does luxury like nowhere else – and the city’s hotels are the ultimate proof of that. From historic buildings with a million stories to tell, to brand new skyscrapers dominating the city skyline, stay in elegance and style with Culture Trip’s pick of London’s best luxury hotels.
This is what true luxury looks like: glossy interiors, a Knightsbridge location and a ridiculously high price tag to show for it. The service is really the true selling point of the Bulgari; staff are polite, professional and more than happy to tend to your every need. The wellness centre is worth a visit, although you may struggle to choose from its epic list of treatments.
The Covent Garden location makes this handy for those wanting to do the tourist trail; the West End is especially accessible. However, it’s the hotel’s little touches that make this a really special place to stay – think Hypnos mattresses, Nespresso machines, floral displays and a show-stopping afternoon tea.
Often touted as the best hotel in London, the Mandarin Oriental is as stunning inside as it is at first glance. Located a stone’s throw away from London shopping institution Harrods, it’s the home of Heston Blumenthal’s two Michelin-starred restaurant Dinner, and the place where the Queen herself learned to dance in the 1930s. The hotel is currently closed after a fire which followed a recent multi-million pound refurbishment, but the Mandarin will undoubtedly recover and bounce back better than ever.
The fact that the Corinthia has a miniature version of Harrods inside should probably give you a hint about how opulent it is. Rooms with river views are stunning, but even the cheapest option is a delight. The spa, featuring a Daniel Galvin hair salon and huge sauna is a particular highlight. On the flip side, if you’re looking for fun the Bassoon Bar has live music and great cocktails to start your night in style.
One of London’s most famous hotels and a favourite of royalty and celebrities, Claridge’s is known for its delicious afternoon tea – but it has so much more to offer. The 1920s Art Deco-style interior is classic and timeless, while the plush rooms have stunning views of London or the hotel’s inner courtyard. If you’re looking for the full luxury treatment, it really doesn’t get any better than this.
The luxurious Beaumont hotel channels Art Deco elegance that has become synonymous with Mayfair, making it one of the most sought-after hotels in the neighbourhood. The location – right by Selfridges – is a selling point, as is the ’20s styling of the hotel and complimentary chauffeur-driven vintage car. Book yourself in for a Hammam, massage or facial treatments or explore the facilities, which include a warmed marble slab and freezing plunge pool.
The Ned is the current favoured hotel for the trend-set, thanks to its millennial-friendly decor and rooftop pool with stunning views of St. Paul’s. There’s a slight issue if you’re hoping to get Insta-famous, though – the hotel has a photo ban. On the plus side, this means you truly appreciate the moment without worrying about capturing it at the right angle. While you’re there, enjoy the vintage-style quirky interiors and much talked-about Cowshed toiletries.
The Shard, Europe’s tallest building, is a must-visit for anyone exploring London – but why just go for a cocktail 36 floors up, when you could stay and wake up to the views? The top-floor infinity pool is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the whole hotel has a calming feel that probably comes from watching the people of London scurry underneath you as you relax with a wine in hand.
Located in Holborn, the Rosewood is a serene place in which to escape the bustling London streets. Trendy and sleek throughout, this modern gem always makes for a comfortable stay. The restaurant and bar are particular highlights, with knowledgeable staff only too happy to offer their recommendation.
A truly beautiful hotel, the Covent Garden really does have its own kind of charm. Owners Tim and Kit Kemp have styled it beautifully, with bright, quirky furnishings that give an elegant and unique finish. It doesn’t have the grandeur that some luxury London hotels offer, but if you want a stay that’s fun and unpretentious, this is perfect.
Once you’re inside, you could be fooled for thinking you’re in a cool San Francisco hotel, rather than London’s Soho. There’s no hint of British elegance in these rooms, but rather a modern, edgy and sleek finish. The unimposing building itself, however, does date back to 1835, and there are a few touches in public areas to remind you of this – the stucco ceiling in the lobby being the perfect example. Berner’s Tavern, overseen by chef Jason Atherton, is known to be one of the best restaurants in London and well worth the visit.
There’s more to this hotel than just the prominent London address. The Art Deco building is stunning from the offset, and the 1920s theme only continues to impress throughout the hotel’s public areas and rooms. Don’t forget the food; CUT restaurant is expensive, but arguably one of the most delicious steaks you’ll ever eat.
A true historic London hotel, Brown’s is simple, classic and overwhelmingly British. Founded in 1937, it’s famous for being the place where Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book and has seen more than its fair share of well-known visitors. Art and antiques are a focus here, and there are plenty of stunning pieces to take in. Rooms are a highlight, as is the HIX restaurant.
Swanky Mayfair is the location of the Connaught, meaning you’re surrounded by luxury from the offset. The hotel’s style is an oxymoron of modern tradition; old fireplace, gold gilding and portraits meet minimalist furniture and a cool colour palette. Bathrooms are made from Thassos marble, with bathtubs and toiletries that make relaxing the easiest task. The whirling staircase is a stand-out feature – definitely worthy of an Instagram picture.
Another traditional London hotel, The Berkeley first opened its doors in 1897, and it’s been impressing guests ever since. Nowadays a highlight is the Pret-a-Portea – a fashion-themed afternoon tea featuring mini cake versions of the latest catwalk trends. When you’re done eating, head up to the legendary rooftop pool for some chill-time and memorable views.