The French would say métro, boulot, dodo (literally: tube, work, sleep) to describe the daily routine we all have to endure. Don’t be tricked by those fancy-sounding words: routine is boring, even in French – and especially when the winter seems to not want to go away and the summer holidays are still a mirage.
But how can we escape the London fog, without leaving the city? Simple: pretend to be a tourist in your own ’hood.
With that in mind, here’s stylist.co.uk’s ultimate London staycation list.
The Dukes London
Nested in a secret courtyard – minutes from Piccadilly circus and the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street – Dukes London is Mayfair’s best kept secret. Thanks to the elegant wood, velvet chairs and shiny chandeliers, entering the hotel feels like being in a luxurious time capsule. Dukes London might be small but is full of surprises; the GBR restaurant – headed by chef Nigel Mendham – being the tastiest one. The menu is a revisitation of British classics with a sophisticated touch that marries perfectly with their signature exquisite cocktails. The warmth of the atmosphere, so unusual for a hotel restaurant, will make you feel at home and never want to leave…thank God they serve breakfast.
More than 100 years ago, Mr Goring decided to install a sheep in every room of his hotel. Why? For businessmen waking up in the middle of night, seeing the sheep was like seeing a familiar face. They instantly knew where they were: at The Goring.
Today, this tradition is very much alive, and eccentricity is one of the strongest assets of this opulent hotel. But the (Michelin) star of the venue is The Dining Room. Headed by Executive Chef Shay Cooper, the restaurant is a joy for the senses: while your taste buds will be out of control, the elegant but relaxing atmosphere will wrap you in a warm, decadent hug, all seasoned with a bit of good old French charm.
The Laslett nailed the very concept of staycation. This stylish little gem hidden in the charming neighbourhood of Notting Hill is the place to go if you want to be a tourist in your own city, just for one day. Their Live Like a Local program promises to make anybody feel part of the arty West London community. Minutes away from the iconic Portobello road, the hotel is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the buzzing Notting Hill cultural scene. From a pit stop to the eclectic antique shop Les Couilles du Chien to a lingerie fitting at Bodas, Notting Hill is much more than a Hollywood cliché.
If you’ve always wished you were born a couple of decades earlier, head to The Henrietta. This Covent Garden hotel is a Seventies dream, despite opening in May 2017. The methodical design, featuring bold colours, contemporary accents and original pieces, give the space a unique Parisian flair. Add in the big glass roof on the mezzanine, and The Henrietta is definitely the newest cool kid in town.
Nothing screams ‘cool’ more than a rooftop lido in the heart of Shoreditch. Opened less than a year ago, this New-York inspired oasis is already one of the neighbourhood’s favourite creative spots.
Not only a hotel but a members club, The Curtain is the perfect place to work and network, but also to drink one of the fabulous cocktails from the Trash Tiki bar. And the best part? You can do all this while relaxing on a lounger by the pool.
If opulence is what you’re after, The Mandrake will not disappoint. This surrealist space opened in September 2017 to give Londoners a taste of hedonistic fun, and entering the lounge already feels like being teleported into another dimension.
The details of the interiors are carefully chosen to make the visitors feel at home in a luxurious botanical paradise, with the Jurema Bar at the heart of the hotel. During the summer, the delicate smell of jasmine flowers in this evergreen jungle will tempt you to enjoy a delicious cocktail, and another one…
The Ned is more than a hotel, it’s a real complex. Set in the former Midland Bank building, the space includes 10 restaurants, 250 bedrooms and a range of men’s and women’s grooming services.
Most importantly, it is the home of the ‘Ned’s Club’. Here, members have access to a rooftop pool overlooking the London skyline, gym, spa, hammam and late-night lounge bar in the bank’s original vault.
But while the amenities are incredible, what stands out is the decor. Entering The Ned is like getting lost in the roaring Twenties– the chicest vintage revival around.
54 Queen’s Gate
More than a hotel, 54 Queen’s Gate is a cosy guest house in one of the most glamorous of London’s neighbourhoods: Kensington. There are 24 spacious bedrooms overlooking the park and a cosy lobby to spend an evening reading by the fire or enjoying delicious cocktails, making the hotel a perfect home away from home to relax and disconnect. And in walking distance from the buzzing Notting Hill area and right next to Hyde Park, this newly-renovated city retreat is perfect for a weekend spent strolling around London’s dreamiest streets.
The Wellesley Knightsbridge, a Luxury Collection Hotel, London
Overlooking Hyde Park, The Wellesley Knightsbridge is certainly a luxurious experience from the moment you arrive to when you (begrudgingly) have to leave.
From its Italian marble floors to its top-hatted doormen, the hotel doesn’t shy away from all things opulent. Keeping the building’s original Art Deco features, too, it is both statement-making and stylish in its appearance.
With references to film and music stars of previous decades littered throughout the hotel, it certainly boasts a unique decor.
And there’s entertainment going on as jazz evenings are held in the Jazz Lounge on Friday and Saturday evenings. It’s even home to one of the largest cigar humidors in the world, boasting 400 cigars.
This luxury boutique hotel offers a brilliant butler service.
Ideally, Hyde Park Corner tube station is only a two-minute walk away.
No spa or gym, but it with such fine dining on offer you won’t want to be doing anything else.
From its black, gold and marble décor to the selection of dining on offer, as soon as you arrive at the Dorsett City hotel, it’s Chinese influences can be immediately felt.
And it doesn’t stop there. From its opulent furnishings to its facilities on offer (gym, laundry service, 24-hour room service) it’s certainly catering to its clientele.
The 13-storey hotel (note: there’s no fourth floor as it’s considered unlucky in China) offers great views of the city, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the Tower of London from your bedroom window. And it even boasts an incredible rooftop bar, too. Who wouldn’t want to sip cocktails and take in stunning views after a long week at work?
Not only are the bedrooms super stylish and comfortable but they also have White Company products found in the stunning bathrooms.
Positioned right next to Aldgate tube station, it’s in a very convenient location, too.
Located in Canary Wharf, Novotel makes everything simple and enjoyable from the moment you enter the hotel.
Without a standard reception desk, booking in and checking out really is hassle-free, so it’s ideal if you’re only staying for a night or two.
From exposed brick to rough wooden walls, the interior décor gives a nod to all things maritime. Keeping things contemporary, the entire hotel is sleek and sophisticated – including the restaurant which serves up utterly delicious dishes.
Just 10 minutes’ walk from Canary Wharf station, it’s easily accessible, too.
No. Ten Manchester Street
Situated just minutes away from Oxford Street in Marylebone, the No. Ten Manchester Street hotel is housed in a beautiful Edwardian townhouse. Not only is it surrounded by boutique shops and quirky cafes, but it’s right in the heart of the city, too.
From its contemporary and cool décor to its low lighting, the hotel is certainly inviting. With 24-hour room service and Wi-Fi, it sure does makes life easy during a weekend stay.
With a cigar terrace and restaurant inside, you’ll probably struggle to actually leave the hotel. Instead, just order breakfast in bed, slip on a pair of monogrammed slippers and wrap yourself in a robe.
Andaz London Liverpool Street
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Shoreditch, the Andaz is a calm oasis to escape the chaos.
The design combines the building’s stylish nineteenth-century features with a sleek new interior decor. Suites are spacious and modern, but as comfortable as a real apartment. You can even enjoy the food in the minibar, at no additional cost.
The best feature? The lavish Masonic Temple dating back to 1912 nestled in the heart of the hotel – one of London’s best-kept secrets.
Images: Courtesy of the hotels