Fancy spending the weekend in London, staycation style? With so many gorgeous hotels in the capital we can’t say we blame you. If you’re not sure where to check-in, let our guide to the best London hotels help you.
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. But how can we escape the London fog, without leaving the city? Simple: pretend to be a tourist in your own ’hood.
Sure, country escapes are tempting, but although you might be used to the hustle and bustle, London is one of the most exciting cities in the world and deserves to be enjoyed as such.
This means getting the giggles over bubbly bottomless brunches, trying out immersive experiences, feasting on the best of French cuisine, sipping cocktails in library bars and discovering the city’s most enchanting hidden spots. And then, of course, retiring to a luxurious hotel and king size bed after it all.
We know it can be overwhelming with a lot of lovely hotels to choose from, so we’ve put together a selection of our favourites to make you feel right at home for the weekend.
From the uber luxurious The Goring to the millennial pink-decorated Henrietta Hotel, check out the best London hotels for a staycation.
100 Queen’s Gate Hotel London
100 Queen’s Gate Hotel is pretty much everything you could ask for when taking a quick break to the city. Set just a whisper away from South Kensington tube station, you’re not only plonked right in the middle of one of London’s most beautiful areas, with towering white houses everywhere you look, but you’ve also got incredible museums like the V&A at your fingertips.
After you’re done wandering west London’s prettiest streets and getting your cultural fill, retire to your stylish hotel room that’s full of character. We particularly loved the quilted leather headboard which evokes a cigar-parlour vibe, and the eye-catching pictures set against dusty-grey walls.
It’s always tempting to have breakfast in bed when you’re on holiday (or just any opportunity that presents itself) but we would recommend pulling on some clothes to feast downstairs, where the hotel puts on a hearty spread in a beautiful setting. The botanical room was our favourite, with plants protruding from every corner and Instagrammable geometric tiles.
45 Park Lane
Located right in front of Hyde Park, 45 Park Lane is a sleek escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital happening just outside its doors.
Your first stop should be the Bar 45, where enjoying at least one or two perfectly mixed Negroni cocktails is a must (or a classic G&T, if that’s more your cup of tea), before making your way down to CUT, the hotel’s gastronomic pride and joy.
From Japanese sashimi and Italian hand cut tagliatelle to their mouth-watering grill specialities, the restaurant is a destination in its own right.
And, of course, the rooms are not to be overlooked. A sleek and almost masculine look is the peculiarity of the hotel – a modern touch that makes it stand out from the crowd of classic luxury establishments. Plus, waking up to a view of Hyde Park is most definitely a treat.
No. 5 Maddox Street
Now, if you really want to feel at home on your staycation in London, a hotel room alone just won’t do. Enter: No. 5 Maddox Street, the boutique-style hotel alternative, offering hotel-like luxury suites and mini apartments perfect for staying the whole weekend.
Tucked behind Bond Street, it’s in the optimum location for a shopping trip with your friends or exploring the shows currently on at the West End. Or, you could just stay in and enjoy your lavish surroundings. Seeing as you have your own kitchen and living room, cooking up a feast and lounging about shouldn’t be a problem.
Size options start at one bedroom and go up to three, with some even having a mezzanine. The decor style is plush, contemporary and chic, feeling homely without too much fuss. Although staying here is like having your own apartment, you won’t be left without the perks and services of a hotel. Not only is there a 24-hour concierge, there’s also daily housekeeping, dry cleaning, REN skincare products (big woop for this), a chocolatey welcome tray, use of fitness facilities AND in-room spa treatments.
Now is a better time to stay than ever as this luxury brand (Living Rooms has five venues in London) is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and just completed a swanky, new refurbishment of No. 5 to take it to that next level of wow.
From the outside, you’d be forgiven for assuming it was just another lovely, but run of the mill, modern, luxury hotel in the capital, however, what lies inside the ME London is another story entirely. The street level floor and bar of the hotel is dotted with artwork that changes seasonally, all very chic and impressive - but it’s when you take the lift up to the first floor and step into the lobby that you are blown away.
A magnificent 24 metre high white marble pyramid, that has to be seen to be believed forms the centrepiece of the hotel reception. The space is dimly lit and atmospheric, with a light show to entertain you while you check in (along with a glass of fizz from the champagne bar).
The hotel corridors are black marble, in sharp contrast to the white rooms and suites. Technophobes beware, the rooms are high tech, with not a light switch in sight, everything is controlled digitally.
ME London sports three restaurants, most notably, the stunning Radio rooftop bar, as well as the well-known STK restaurant and newly launched Zela.
The Trafalgar St. James
The Trafalgar St James hotel is a stylish, cool, contemporary hub in the heart of the West End. Sitting just a stone’s throw away from Piccadilly, it’s close to Theatre land and other major London landmarks that tourists flock to, like Buckingham Palace.
But don’t let that put you off, the hotel actually feels like a sanctuary for Londoners thanks to the chic interior style, with portraits of British pop culture icons (think Mick Jagger, Blondie and Michael Caine) adorning the walls both in the lobby and the rooms and suites themselves.
For a selection of delicious sharing plates and a cocktail or two, a mosey on up to the rooftop bar is an absolute must. Thanks to the prime location, the views of Trafalgar Square (and the best of London’s skyline) are nothing short of stunning. If you aren’t a fan of heights, there is always Rockwell, the botanical bar, charmingly billed as ‘Dali meets Darwin’ on the ground floor.
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 Landmark London
If it’s elegance and sophistication that you’re after from your London escape, The Landmark is the luxury hotel to book for a lavish staycation. As the name would suggest, the hotel is highly distinguishable thanks to the sheer size and character of the hotel’s Victorian exterior, a nod to its history as one of the original railway hotels.
Situated in the heart of Marylebone, a must-see feature is the venue’s magnificent winter garden courtyard, where you can dine in an exotic oasis, among the palm trees even as it gets chilly. Many of the rooms overlook the terrace, making it feel like you’re in a much more tropical land, far away from London’s busy streets.
After you’ve indulged at breakfast (which, by the way, is one of the most superior buffet selections we’ve ever seen), you can slip off to the Landmark spa and wellness centre, where you can swim it off in the pool or relax with a harmony facial or reflexology treatment.
Or, should you decide you do want to leave the hotel, you’re in the perfect spot to explore the rest of the city, thanks to the Landmark’s central location, just minutes from Marylebone tube.
The Laslett nailed the very concept of a 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.
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 Hotel. This Covent Garden hotel is a Seventies dream, despite opening in May 2017.
The methodical design, featuring bold colours, contemporary accents and original pieces, gives the space a unique Parisian flair. Which makes sense, really, considering the Experimental Group behind the project is French, and has two gorgeous hotels in Paris that are definitely worth a visit.
Add in the glass roofed-mezzanine, delicious restaurant downstairs, and the Henrietta Hotel 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, library bar 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
Overlooking Hyde Park, The Wellesley Knightsbridge is 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. The building has also retained its original Art Deco features, making it both statement-making and stylish in its appearance.
The hotel is known for its love of jazz, hosting jazz evenings on both Friday and Saturday evenings in the aptly named Jazz Lounge. It’s also home to one of the largest cigar humidors in the world, boasting 400 cigars.
No. Ten Manchester Street
Situated just minutes away from Oxford Street in Marylebone, No. Ten Manchester Street 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 glam 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.
If you want to feel like an aristocrat for one night, the easy solution is to book a room at The Dorchester. To make it extra glamorous, choose one of the suites that overlook Hyde Park and enjoy the view while sipping on a delicious cocktail from your new living room window or, even better, while you indulge relaxing bubble bath in the white marble bathroom.
To complete the experience, stop by for lunch on a Sunday to enjoy The Grill’s mouth watering Sunday roast offer. The best part? The restaurant also caters for vegetarians and vegans, so nobody is left out.
The Prince Akatoki
The Prince Akatoki sets itself as a minimalist oasis in the heart of one of the busiest metropolis in the world.
Located in Marylebone, metres away from Marble Arch, the hotel is nicely tucked away and blends perfectly with the surrounding private houses – creating a sense of privacy which is very rare in the city.
The decor is Japanese-inspired and minimalist, the tones are neutral and the atmosphere is calm; so much that it’s easy to feel like you have escaped the big smoke for a weekend away. Their restaurant TOKii’s fusion menu is the icing on the cake and is definitely one to try.