Best Hotels in London | Luxury & Boutique Hotels in London

Vibrant, buzzing and charming

'A man who is tired of London is tired of life' noted Samuel Johnson, author, critic, and Grub Street hack.  Four centuries after Dr Johnson's birth, London can still boast of being the most cosmopolitan and exciting capital in the western world. With its theatres, concert halls, night clubs, architecture, and shopping, it is literally buzzing with life 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.  With the City of London dominating the world's financial centres, there is great wealth but also pockets of deep poverty. It is fortunately still possible to find hotels of character, owned and managed by families, amidst the swathe of branded corporate hotels that dot the capital. They are rightly cherished by the Guide.

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Featured hotels in London

The Draycott, CHELSEA

In three red brick Edwardian town houses on a quiet street, this luxury hotel has 'lots of character'. It is part of the Mantis Collection owned by Adrian Gardiner. 'It is expensive, but a good base

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One Aldwych, STRAND

In a grand Edwardian building that once housed the offices of the Morning Post newspaper, this luxury hotel is liked for its 'helpful' staff, its 'superb' food and its 'elegant' public spaces filled

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San Domenico House, CHELSEA

Occupying two Victorian town houses whose original red brick balconies overlook a residential street, this hotel has 'a most pleasing ambience and an emphasis on comfort and service'. It has been

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Hotels in London

  • The Capital, KNIGHTSBRIDGE

    Twin topiaries flank the entrance of this traditional stone and red brick town house hotel on a quiet street minutes from busy Knightsbridge. It is owned by David Levin; his daughter Kate is the

  • Charlotte Street Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    On a lively street north of Soho, this stylish hotel, part of Tim and Kit Kemp's Firmdale group, is boldly decorated with vivid colours, and much original art by Bloomsbury artists. A small cinema in

  • Durrants, MARYLEBONE

    The Miller family's traditional hotel in Marylebone village 'lives up to its amiable and quietly efficient reputation', says a guest this year. Earlier visitors liked the 'personal, slightly

  • The Goring, VICTORIA

    'Expensive but excellent', this luxury hotel a minute from Buckingham Palace 'stands out amongst its peers for the attention to detail'. Long the favoured choice of royal visitors, it has elegant

  • Hazlitt's, SOHO

    'A stunningly individual hotel, unlike any other we have stayed at.' Peter McKay's quirky hotel, in a group of historic Soho buildings, is 'filled with old architectural features, old furniture, old

  • The rockwell, EARLS COURT

    There are 'helpful staff', 'thoughtfully furnished rooms' and a 'relaxed atmosphere' at this modern hotel in west London. Michael Squire and Tony Bartlett are the owners; it is managed by Ocky Paller.

  • The Victoria, MORTLAKE

    Five minutes' walk from Richmond Park, this 'cheerful' pub-with-rooms is in a leafy residential neighbourhood with 'a pleasant village feel'. It is owned by celebrity chef Paul Merrett and

  • The Zetter, CLERKENWELL

    In a converted Victorian warehouse in a fashionable neighbourhood, this 'quirky' hotel has 'imaginatively styled' rooms, a popular restaurant combined with a 'buzzing' bar and 'exceptionally friendly'

  • Number Sixteen, SOUTH KENSINGTON

    'Conveniently situated' on a quiet side street near the Victoria and Albert Museum, this modern hotel, in a mid-Victorian terrace, is close to the shops and cafés of South Kensington. It is part of

  • Knightsbridge Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    On a quiet, tree-lined street minutes from Hyde Park, this handsome town house hotel is part of Tim and Kit Kemp's Firmdale group. The cosy sitting areas are filled with contemporary art and

  • Covent Garden Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    'Distinctively decorated' in vivid patterns and bright colours, this small hotel, part of Tim and Kit Kemp's Firmdale group, is liked for its 'superb comfort and fantastic service'. Bedrooms are

  • Dorset Square Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    In a Regency town house overlooking a quiet garden square (the original site of Thomas Lord's first cricket ground), this small hotel is part of the Firmdale group owned by Tim and Kit Kemp. Eva Mount

  • County Hall Premier Inn, LONDON, Greater London

    Minutes away from the London Eye, this good-value hotel occupies the historic Portland stone County Hall building on the banks of the Thames. The simply furnished bedrooms have a desk, tea- and

  • Threadneedles, LONDON, Greater London

    'The staff could not have done more to help us and our wedding party; they formed a guard of honour when the bride left for the ceremony.' A conversion of a Victorian banking hall, this luxury hotel,

  • The Soho Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    There is much character in this glamorous hotel (part of Tim and Kit Kemp's Firmdale collection), from the massive Botero bronze cat in the lobby to the imaginative melange of prints, colours and

  • B+B Belgravia, LONDON, Greater London

    'A great place.' A short walk from Victoria station, this 'modern' B&B occupies an elegant Grade II listed Georgian town house. Some rooms have views over the garden; those at the top are quietest;

  • The Hoxton, LONDON, Greater London

    'Urban industrial design meets chic comfort' at this 'intensely stylish' hotel in a lively part of town. The 'enormous' lobby has exposed brick walls, stone fireplaces, leather armchairs; upstairs,

  • Haymarket Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    In the theatre district, this 'beautifully furnished' hotel (Firmdale Hotels) occupies three John Nash-designed buildings. It is managed by Lisa Brooklyn, with 'the nicest and most helpful staff'.

  • The Nadler, London, Greater London

    Formerly known as base2stay, this modern hotel near the museums and Kensington Gardens aims to provide no-frills 'affordable luxury'. It is part of the Nadler Hotels group (see also The Nadler

  • The Levin, KNIGHTSBRIDGE

    'Everything is just about perfect' at this 'immaculate' small town house hotel close to Harrods and Hyde Park. It is owned by David Levin. Harald Duttine is the long-serving manager; the staff are

  • Church Street Hotel, CAMBERWELL GREEN

    'Good fun', this 'flamboyant, friendly' south London hotel, in three converted town houses, is owned by Greek/Spanish brothers José and Mel Raido. It is decorated in 'extravagant' Latino style

  • Sanctuary House Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    Above a traditional pub serving home-made pies, there are good-value modern rooms at this updated Victorian ale-and-pie house (part of Fuller's Hotels and Inns). The 'very comfortable' bedrooms (some

  • The Main House, LONDON, Greater London

    Loved for its location and gracious decoration, this 'elegant home from home' is in a Victorian house on a quiet street off Portobello Road. Each suite of the B&B occupies an entire floor and has

  • Indigo, LONDON, Greater London

    In a converted town house opposite a small garden square, this modern hotel (part of the InterContinental Hotels Group) is conveniently located for Paddington station and the express trains to

  • St James's Hotel and Club, LONDON, Greater London

    In a quiet cul-de-sac, this opulent town house hotel (Althoff Hotels) has marble pillars, Murano glass chandeliers, rich fabrics, and original artwork including a collection of portraits from the

  • Sydney House Chelsea, LONDON, Greater London

    In a peaceful residential street just minutes from the King's Road, this Georgian town house is part of Brownsword Hotels' aBode collection. Vojin Mandic is the manager. The compact, modern bedrooms

  • Ten Manchester Street, LONDON, Greater London

    In a red brick Edwardian town house just off fashionable Marylebone High Street, this discreet hotel (City and Country Hotels) has 'comfortable', individually designed bedrooms; four open on to a

  • The Halkin by COMO, LONDON, Greater London

    Guests are offered a welcome drink at this contemporary hotel in an elegant neighbourhood of embassies and grand Georgian-style residences. Part of the COMO group, the hotel is managed by Simon

  • The Rookery, SMITHFIELD

    'It was a pleasure to slip into this soothing space bang in the middle of busy Smithfield.' Guide inspectors had a 'wicked time' at this small luxury hotel in a neighbourhood once infamous for all

  • Bermondsey Square Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    In a 'fabulously modish' area -- a branch of the White Cube gallery is a few minutes' walk away -- this modern hotel has 'reasonably sized' rooms with a wet room, and a 'comfortable bed with plenty of

  • Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, LONDON, Greater London

    Occupying a sympathetically refurbished Grade II listed Edwardian building, this modern hotel, once Bethnal Green town hall, is liked for its stylish rooms and 'friendly, helpful staff'. The ornate

  • The Alma, LONDON, Greater London

    Down a cobbled alley, this modern inn, a former metal works, has a popular local bar and comfortable bedrooms. Managed by Sean Young, it is run on green lines: solar panels provide energy for hot

  • The Fielding, COVENT GARDEN

    On a 'charming' traffic-free lane close to the Royal Opera House, this small hotel has a romantic exterior - window boxes with flowering plants, fairy lights at night. A 'simple, well-located place to

  • The Grazing Goat, MARBLE ARCH

    In a 'peaceful little zone' minutes from Oxford Street, this stylish pub-with-rooms, decorated with stuffed goats and old London prints, 'will appeal to the young at heart'. It is owned by the small

  • The Zetter Townhouse, CLERKENWELL

    On a quiet cobbled square, the exterior of this 'elegant' double-fronted Georgian town house might appear sedate. Through the light blue front door, however, the 'wit and (zany) flair' of Michael

  • The Orange, LONDON, Greater London

    Occupying an impressive white-painted building dating back to 1846, this smart pub-with-rooms has been renovated in a chic rustic style. It is part of the Cubitt House group (see also The Grazing

  • Sloane Square Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    On a fashionable square, this 'very pleasant' hotel is well located for the shops and restaurants of Chelsea and Knightsbridge. Some of the 'smart' bedrooms overlook the lively square; quieter rooms

  • 41, LONDON, Greater London

    With a champagne trolley wheeled out at check-in, guests receive a royal welcome at this luxury hotel close to Buckingham Palace. Part of the Red Carnation group, the hotel occupies the fifth floor of

  • H10 London Waterloo, LONDON, Greater London

    Guests are offered a glass of cava on arrival at this good-value Spanish chain hotel, in a modern, purpose-built block on busy Waterloo Road. Public rooms are decorated in sleek, contemporary style,

  • The Ampersand, LONDON, Greater London

    In a renovated Victorian building, this eclectic South Kensington hotel takes inspiration from its learned neighbours: rooms and suites are decorated in themes (botany, geometry, ornithology,

  • Qbic Hotel, LONDON

    Close to Brick Lane, in a lively neighbourhood known for its curry houses and young creatives, this new hotel has stylish, no-frills rooms and a hip, buzzy atmosphere. The enormous lobby/seating