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The 15 Best Luxury Hotels in London

London’s most luxurious hotels can be found lining the streets of Mayfair, Knightsbridge and other wealthy well-known pockets of the city
London’s most luxurious hotels can be found lining the streets of Mayfair, Knightsbridge and other wealthy well-known pockets of the city | © BRIAN ANTHONY / Alamy Stock Photo
London does luxury like nowhere else – and the city’s high-end hotels are the ultimate proof of that. From historic buildings to shiny new skyscrapers, this is one of the easiest cities in the world to stay in elegance and style.

London is a time capsule of turbulent and remarkable history. Its streets are layered with Medieval structures and polished Georgian architecture, and its skyline is dotted with dramatic contemporary skyscrapers. It’s unsurprising that among them all are some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, each offering a different perspective on the city. Here are Culture Trip’s favourites so that you can spoil yourself on your next trip to the UK’s capital.

The May Fair

Hotel
Mayfair_MayFair_hotelscom
Courtesy of The May Fair / Hotels.com
You’re more than likely to rub shoulders with a fair few A-listers around Mayfair, the affluent neighbourhood that’s home to The May Fair. Rooms combine ruby-red velvet furniture, beds piled with goose-down duvets and Sicilian marble bathrooms, but the themed suites are more extravagant. The fuschia 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 a colour-changing statement tub or relax on a huge outdoor terrace.
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Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch

Suite Hotel, Spa Hotel
Nobu Shoreditch
Courtesy of Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch / Hotels.com

The Nobu Hotel is located in London’s famously hip stomping ground, Shoreditch, and is a striking ensemble of Asian 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 style of contemporary luxury. A jewel of the East in more ways than one, the hotel is also home, of course, to a branch of the eponymous world-renowned restaurant – a sophisticated and innovative dining experience that blends the best of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. After a deep sleep in one of its decadent rooms, enjoy equally decadent dishes like black cod miso and yellowtail sashimi.

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Flemings Mayfair

Boutique Hotel
Flemings Mayfair, London.
Courtesy of Flemings Mayfair / Hotels.com

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 and bronze tones and bespoke furniture that nod to the hotel’s 1930s heyday, while suites come with high-end extras like 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 place of rendezvous for the prestigious literary and artistic residents of Mayfair.

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The Ritz London

Suite Hotel, Chain Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel

The Ritz London has long been synonymous with the elite and a place to go for royals. The fittingly opulent decor sweeps through the hotel, and droplet chandeliers adorn 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 greenery of Green Park. Having afternoon tea in the Palm Court is a must at The Ritz, and you should dress up to nibble on tiered trays of almost-too-pretty-to-eat cakes, classic mini sandwiches and sublime scones with Cornish clotted cream. Stay in the Trafalgar Suite to travel back to the 1800s – submerged in twinkly chandeliers and classic patterns – which famously featured in the hit film Notting Hill (1999).

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City, Fine Dining, Stylish, Traditional, Historic, Family Friendly

Bulgari Hotel London

Spa Hotel
Bulgari Hotel
Courtesy of Bulgari Hotel London / Hotels.com

Juxtaposing most lavish Mayfair hotels, the Bulgari puts a contemporary twist on classic luxury. The hotel is so high-end that there are minimal differences between the rooms and suites, so opt for a signature Bulgari Suite if you’re looking for a noticeable upgrade. 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 menu of eclectic cocktails.

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Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Spa Hotel
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, despite undergoing 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 views of Hyde Park’s greenery, two master bedrooms with private terraces, and a library housing books curated by Heywood Hill (a long-standing institution in Mayfair). The Presidential Suite, on the other hand, has a touch of va-va-voom thanks to a custom-designed sofa in Quality Street purple, and an unusual acorn-shaped light structure.
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Corinthia London

Spa Hotel
The Corinthia Hotel is close to some of London’s most popular attractions
Courtesy of Corinthia London / Hotels.com

This belle-époque establishment is the epitome of opulence. Previously the old Ministry of Defence building, the hotel is within walking distance to most of the West End’s top spots. From the terraces of the top-floor suites, you can tick off all the London sights – marvel at Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament – while 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; it’s like relaxing in your own botanical sanctuary. The serenity 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.

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Fine Dining, Stylish, Traditional, Modern, Cosy, Relaxed

Claridge’s

Spa Hotel, Hotel
Claridge's
Courtesy of Claridge’s / Hotels.com
Among London’s most prestigious hotels, 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 – staff undergo rigorous training to ensure it’s faultless – 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.
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The Ned

Spa Hotel
The Ned
Courtesy of The Ned / Hotels.com

The Ned is the sort of place a modern-day Gatsby would pick as his local hangout. The hotel feels like an ode to the 1920s, set in a spectacular former banking hall in the financial district. All of the rooms vary in size but have delicate finishing touches and distinguishable features. But 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. Its 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 African verdite columns.

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Arty, Design, Stylish, City

Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London

Hotel
Shangri La The Shard
Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London / Hotels.com

It’s hard to miss The Shard piercing through the skyline. It’s home to the exquisite Shangri-La Hotel – the only hotel in the city that can provide guests with 64-kilometre (40-mile) views of London. The hotel begins on the 34th floor, 125 metres (410 feet) up, and all rooms come equipped with binoculars so that you can spot the capital’s beloved landmarks from afar. Each room is decorated with premium textures of marble, leather and silk, and every single one boasts sublime views. The panoramas from the London Suite, however, 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 from the water and 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.

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Sanderson London

Suite Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel
Sanderson London
Courtesy of Sanderson London / Hotels.com

Sanderson is a boutique bolthole in the heart of the West End, just steps from sultry Soho and the shopping paradise of Oxford Street. Its Courtyard Garden is a highlight, drenched in Zen and tranquillity, and much needed after a fast-paced day of visiting nearby landmarks (or an afternoon at the Cocktail Heaven masterclass in the hotel’s Purple Bar). State-of-the-art details filter throughout the hotel, adding character to the ultra-contemporary decor, such as the plush red-lip sofa that sits in reception. All rooms come with 300-thread count linens, but you should stay in the Loft Suite Terrace for its peaceful private outdoor space and free-standing bathtub.

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The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone

Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone / Hotels.com

This Georgian townhouse comprises 24 eccentric bedrooms for those after a slightly more unconventional stay in the city – it feels like the home of a long-lost, and slightly outlandish, relative. Decor favours mismatched furniture, bold colours and unadulterated patterns, and you’ll find a bespoke four-poster bed in the Superior rooms, along with a tempting “raindance” shower. Meanwhile, hiding at the end of a private staircase is Lear’s Loft (aptly named after the house’s former resident and author, Edward Lear) – a treasure trove of Asian artwork and interesting ornaments. Head to Seymour’s Parlour, where bartenders can whip up pretty much any tipple that takes your fancy.

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St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

Boutique Hotel, Suite Hotel, Business Hotel, Hotel
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, Kings Cross
Courtesy of St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London / Hotels.com
A historic haven that opened in 1873, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel’s architecture is nothing short of remarkable. Inside is just as impressive, retaining original Neo-Gothic features from the building’s former life as the entrance to St Pancras station and combining them 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, but the Grand Staircase Suite is by far the most impressive. It features an original 19th-century staircase spanning three levels, and an alluring marble bathroom complete with a rainfall shower. The Gilbert Scott Restaurant & Bar is timelessly elegant, while up on the roof, you’ll find RoofGarden St Pancras, an all-weather botanical retreat serving wood-fired pizzas and barbecues in the summer.
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About this place:

City, Fine Dining, Historic, Stylish, Traditional, Family Friendly

The Franklin London

Boutique Hotel
The Franklin, Knightsbridge
Courtesy of The Franklin London / Hotels.com

This swish Knightsbridge haunt is a short stroll from the V&A, Science Museum and Natural History Museum, yet it feels tucked away from the hordes of tourists. High ceilings and picotee-blue walls sweep through the palm-scattered entrance, and the same whimsical vibe is continued in the rooms. You’d be content in any of them, with their heavy velvet curtains, mirrored furnishings and framed pressed flowers, but the Garden Suites are perhaps the most impressive. French doors open onto a Juliet balcony overlooking the manicured gardens below, and a contemporary metal four-poster bed is backed by towering arched window-pane mirrors.

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The Savoy

Hotel
The Savoy,
Courtesy of The Savoy / Hotels.com

The Savoy was the first luxury hotel to hit the streets of Britain. Its rooms have hosted a flurry of star-studded guests, such as Marilyn Monroe and Oscar Wilde, who came to experience the fine service and luxury for themselves. Most rooms have huge windows that drench the space in natural light and frame views of the Thames – the majority of London’s landmarks can be spotted from the comfort of your plush bed. These days, The Savoy is also marching ahead when it comes to sustainable travel. Rooms use energy-efficient light bulbs, and one of the hotel’s restaurants, Kaspar’s at The Savoy, has a three-star Sustainable Restaurant Association rating. The chefs use locally sourced, seasonal produce, and all food waste is converted into renewable energy.

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About this place:

Fine Dining, Romantic, Traditional, Stylish

This article is an updated version of a story created by Abigail Malbon.

These recommendations were updated on April 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.