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Best hotels in London: luxurious staycation ideas for sleeping in the city

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Megan Murray
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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. 

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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 Ned to the millennial pink-decorated Henrietta Hotel, check out the best London hotels for a staycation. 

  • The Ned

    The Ned is truly one of London’s most luxurious and stylish hotels, housed in a Grade-I listed former bank that will take your breath away as soon as you walk through the majestically large doors. From bottle green, marble columns which line the ground floor’s central walk ways to the bandstand in the centre which comes alive in the evenings to the sounds of live jazz, spending time at The Ned feels like travelling to an era past, full of glamour and decadence. 

    On this floor you’ll find a flurry of restaurants including a pink-hued health hot spot for foodies, a sleek sushi bar, the vintage looking Millie’s Lounge and the art deco Nickel Bar which is the place for a stiff drink. 

    The hotel’s delights don’t stop there. As a guest of the hotel you’ll also have access to the fascinating Vault Bar downstairs, which allows you to sip cocktails in an actual former bank vault. There’s also a plush gym, spa and pool for relaxing and a beauty parlour in case you fancy having your make-up done. Or, head to the roof where you’ll see London’s skyline sparkle and can dine, drink or even swim looking out to the city.

    After all that you’ll be ready to dive into a huge bed, dressed in five-star-quality sheets and stylish adornments like cushions and throws straight from Soho Home. For us a highlight is the metro tiled bathrooms which all come complete with incredible-smelling Cowshed toiletries. 

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Henrietta Hotel

    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.

  • The Curtain

    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.

  • 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.

  • The Dorchester

    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.

If none of these London hotels tickle your fancy, see our London weekend guide for more ideas, or the best hotels with a pool. 

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Images: The Ned / courtesy of venues

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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