The Coolest Hotels in London

Lets Adore and Endure Each Other graffiti by Steven Powers in Great Eastern Street, London.
Lets Adore and Endure Each Other graffiti by Steven Powers in Great Eastern Street, London. | © Benjamin John / Alamy Stock Photo
Bianca Barratt

Travel Expert

In ever-changing London, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a veteran at planning trips to the capital, you’re unlikely to exhaust your options when it comes to cool and unique hotels. Make this list your first port of call when choosing where to stay.

When it comes to hotels, London’s diversity is unmatched. From over-the-top eccentricity and dreamy design to unique themes and budget boutiques that punch above their weight, each one is as inimitable as the last. Don’t overlook high-end neighbourhoods like Fitzrovia and Marylebone in your hunt for on-trend interiors. Shoreditch might have garnered a reputation as London’s capital of cool, but in this individualistic city, voguish boltholes can be found wherever you turn. This list is Culture Trip’s pick of the best.

1. nhow London

Chain Hotel, Hotel

nhow London
Courtesy of nhow London / Expedia

One of the newest hotels in East London, the nhow is in a perfect location for anyone looking to explore this trendy part of town. There are a number of places to stay in Shoreditch, and this is very close to that area, but you’re also in a great place to head into central London if you want to try something a little more refined. The London motif is everywhere, from tube themed lifts to the sounds of the underground in the gym. If you are spending an extended period of time at nhow London, its worth getting an upgrade to one of the penthouse suites as there aren’t many rooms that offer this amount floor space in the city.

2. Chateau Denmark

Boutique Hotel

LOFTHOUSE APARTMENT BED
© Chateau Denmark

Denmark Street’s heritage positions it as a place where over the years publishers, musicians, studios and guitar shops have all gathered. Maintaining those traditions, this themed property is set over 16 buildings and has 55 session rooms and apartments. There is a sense of hedonism and playfulness throughout, with deliberately exuberant touches in every space giving everything a unique sense of style. Chateau Denmark can claim to be many things, but boring is certainly not one of them.

4. The Laslett, Notting Hill

Boutique Hotel

The Laslett, Notting Hill
Courtesy of The Laslett, Notting Hill / Expedia
The Laslett is located in leafy Notting Hill and takes its name from Rhaune Laslett, the founder of the Notting Hill Festival (which would later become the world-famous carnival of today). The library, covered in tomes and objets d’art, is the perfect place for tea. The Laslett celebrates local artists and displays their work throughout its space, as a true champion of Notting Hill’s rich cultural heritage.

5. Artist Residence London, Pimlico

Boutique Hotel

A unique metal four-poster bed frame, exposed brick wall, and a couch and armchairs in a hotel room at Artist Residence London
Courtesy of Artist Residence London / Hotels.com

The Artist Residence brand has become synonymous with homely boutique charm, and its Pimlico outpost is no exception. Wooden floorboards, fireplaces and old leather armchairs are complemented by an array of local artwork and custom furniture. The hotel attracts everyone from well-heeled socialites to bohemian artists, making it one of London’s most culturally relevant hotels.

6. The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone

Boutique Hotel

A double room at the Zetter Townhouse Marylebone with antique furnishings and a faded, floral-patterned rug, window curtains and headboard curtain.
Courtesy of The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone / Hotels.com

Opulent, exciting and mysterious, The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone is the former home of an eccentric fictional Victorian character. The more-is-more decor features candelabras, Union Jack flags, gilt frames and stuffed animals, while some rooms have dramatic, carved four-poster beds. Book Lear’s Loft for the copper bathtub on the terrace, and try your hand at mixing a cocktail with the kits provided in each room.

7. citizenM London Bankside

Budget Hotel, Hotel

citizenM London Bankside
Courtesy of citizenM London Bankside / Expedia
Aimed at digital nomads, citizenM offers affordable luxury in abundance. You’re just as likely to see a group huddled over MacBooks, flat whites in hand, as you are London residents enjoying an evening aperitif. There are citizenM hotels in Shoreditch and Tower Hill, but the Bankside branch on the city’s stunning and culturally vibrant South Bank is a favourite.

8. The Standard London, Kings Cross

Boutique Hotel

A stylish and spacious guest room with a private balcony at The Standard London.
Courtesy of The Standard London / Expedia.com

It’s hard to decide whether The Standard turns time backwards or forwards. Its ’70s Brutalist exterior – complete with a cherry red, pill-shaped elevator – is nostalgically futuristic, like it belongs on the set of Thunderbirds (2004) or Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). Inside, tartan-inspired fabrics and modern furniture are undeniably vintage, while the curved, pod-like windows feel like they’re from another time to come (book the Queen of Queens for cinematic views of St Pancras station). Head to the retro Library Lounge to pour over books about space, science or psychology while sipping a classic cocktail, but the on-site restaurant, Decimo, deserves an entire evening of your time for its modern-Mexican fare (such as manchego cheese quesadillas and zingy aquachile, or ceviche) and dramatic skyline views through floor-to-ceiling windows.

9. The Pilgrm, Paddington

Boutique Hotel

The Pilgrm
Courtesy of The Pilgrm / Expedia

Even though there’s no reception desk, The Pilgrm has made checking into the hotel simple – guests do it through their phones. However, if needed, there is someone available to answer questions. Inside, designers have given the reclaimed furniture from schools, hospitals and military facilities a contemporary update. Before heading out for the day, visit the street-level café, Workshop Coffee, for a selection of coffees, teas and sweet treats. Breakfast and brunch are also available in The Lounge.

10. Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden

Boutique Hotel

Henrietta Hotel
Courtesy of Henrietta Hotel / Expedia

Covent Garden’s curvaceous Henrietta Hotel is the most Instagram-ready in the city. Its 18 rooms blend Art Deco-inspired style with Italian design and millennial pink bathrooms that wouldn’t be out of place on a Wes Anderson film set. Henrietta Bistro serves equally pretty plates of food, with a fresh and vibrant menu inspired by southwest France, Corsica and the Basque Country. Literary-inspired cocktails recall the building’s former use as a publishing house, such as the Adventures in Two Worlds – a bucolic combination of single-malt whisky, lemon and vanilla-honey syrup.

11. Mondrian Shoreditch

Boutique Hotel, Suite Hotel

The revamped Mondrian Shoreditch brings a glimpse of New York to London’s favourite hipster hangout. The converted warehouse takes the rough with the smooth – think exposed brickwork complemented by velvet drapes – and attracts an edgy East London crowd. The rooftop is one of the most popular spots in the city and there is the award winning Bibo restaurant to try if you want some fine dining on your next stay here.

12. Qbic Hotel London City

Budget Hotel

Double bed in a room decorated with white walls and a large print of a dog at Qbic Hotel London City
Courtesy of Qbic Hotel / Expedia

This Scandi brand is all about chic minimalism, with enviable eco-credentials to boot. The name Qbic stems from the rooms’ cube-like design and ingenious layout that maximises space. With fast wifi, hot showers and super-soft, fluffy beds, this is the place to recharge. For a great start to your day, visit the on-site restaurant and have the full Motley Grail and a cappuccino.

13. The Hoxton, Shoreditch

Boutique Hotel, Business Hotel, Chain Hotel

The Hoxton, Shoreditch
Courtesy of The Hoxton, Shoreditch / Expedia

Sometimes it’s better to stick with the original. The Hoxton has been something of a trailblazer when it comes to exporting East London’s aesthetic overseas. There are branches in Chicago, Portland, Amsterdam and Paris, to name just a few, but this Shoreditch branch – with its parquet floors and industrial details – was the first. Rooms come with Chesterfield sofas and minimalist back-lit mirrors, but you can also opt to hunker down in one of nine concept rooms designed by local artists. Its open-plan lobby and dining area is a hub of activity and the perfect spot to appreciate an impeccably made negroni.

14. Hazlitt’s Hotel, Soho

Boutique Hotel

A wood four-poster bed with blue and gold drapes in a hotel room at Hazlitts Hotel
Courtesy of Hazlitt’s Hotel / Hotels.com

Hazlitt’s is a Soho institution and offers an escape from the miasma of London. Its bedrooms are gloriously peaceful with cushy four-poster beds, velvet armchairs and roll-top baths. The library is a relaxing space where you can curl up in front of the fire with a good book, a drink from the honesty bar and the resident cat, Sir Godfrey. For special occasions, book one of the suites – the Duke of Monmouth has a private terrace.

15. Treehouse London, Marylebone

Boutique Hotel

A bed in a stylish hotel room at Treehouse London, with a cushioned bench next to the window
Courtesy of Treehouse London / Hotels.com

Every playful room at the sky-brushing Treehouse Hotel has a view. The best can be found in the Skyline King rooms, where you can settle into a snug window seat and look out over Regent Street. Childhood- and forest-themed decor is scattered throughout; beds have carefully placed stuffed toys while bathrooms have tree trunks with cuckoo clocks. The rooms are designed to appeal to your nostalgic side but with all the hallmarks of an on-trend hotel (concrete walls, warehouse-style windows and plenty of plants). On the roof, you’ll find a clubhouse for adults; The Nest is a whimsical wooden bar that combines Turkish rugs, hanging plants and woodland trees with sweeping city views.

Loving the London life? Discover where to stay in the capital for a local experience. Alternatively, treat yourself to a stay in one of the top luxury hotels or the best spa hotels in Old Street. If you’re headed west, check out these top West London hotels. Or, for something out of the ordinary, try one of the most unusual hotels in the UK, now bookable on Culture Trip.

Sofia Vyas contributed additional reporting to this article.

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