Best Luxury and Boutique Hotels in London

The capital's finest accommodation

'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


On a quiet street in fashionable Knightsbridge, a smiling doorman greets guests at this traditional stone and red brick town house hotel; past the threshold, the small lobby has fresh flowers,


The Draycott, CHELSEA

The Union flag flies above the entrance of this ‘sophisticated, very friendly’ luxury hotel, part of Adrian Gardiner’s Mantis Collection, on a quiet street near Sloane Square. ‘It is one my favourite


The Portobello, LONDON

On an ‘elegant’ residential street in Notting Hill, this quirky little hotel returns to the main section of the Guide under the new ownership of Peter and Jessica Frankopan, whose small Curious Group



The service is ‘exceptional’ at this privately owned, contemporary hotel beside St John’s Square. It is managed by Ashley Ely. Guide inspectors in 2015 were impressed: ‘Everything was mint fresh (the



David Levin ‘clearly sets high standards’ at his ‘immaculate’ hotel in a discreet town house steps from Harrods and Hyde Park. ‘Everything is just about perfect,’ reported a recent guest. ‘It is


The Arch London, LONDON MARBLE ARCH, Greater London

On a pleasingly quiet street near busy Marble Arch, this colourful modern hotel is liked for its ‘excellent’ restaurant, ‘unfailingly helpful’ staff and ‘well-thought-through details’. It is owned by


Hotels in London

  • Charlotte Street Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    In Fitzrovia, this stylish hotel pays homage to the Bloomsbury group, with flashes of artistic exuberance, and original paintings by Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Roger Fry and other famous British

  • Durrants, MARYLEBONE

    In lively Marylebone village, the Miller family’s traditional hotel has a ‘personal, slightly eccentric’ feel. ‘We like the ambience, and the staff, particularly the amazing head porter, are

  • The Goring, VICTORIA

    Founded by Otto Goring, great-grandfather of the present owner, Jeremy Goring, this grand Edwardian institution continues to innovate and renovate. The doors closed for a month for the first time in

  • Hazlitt's, SOHO

    Guests ring a bell to enter Peter McKay and Douglas Blain’s ‘stunningly individual’ hotel, which occupies three Georgian houses off Soho Square. Inside, ‘every corridor and every room has much to

  • One Aldwych, STRAND

    A papier mâché dog covered in Beano comic pages greets guests at this contemporary luxury hotel on the edge of the West End’s theatre district. Once home to the offices of the Morning Post newspaper,

  • 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

    In a leafy residential neighbourhood with ‘a pleasant village feel’, this ‘cheerful’ pub-with-rooms is owned by restaurateur Greg Bellamy and celebrity chef Paul Merrett. Popular with locals, who like

  • Number Sixteen, SOUTH KENSINGTON

    Guests like the vibrant colours and stylishly mismatched furnishings at this modern hotel, on a discreet side street of white stucco terrace houses. ‘I was blown away,’ one visitor said. Another

  • Dukes London, LONDON

    Members of the aristocracy once frequented this discreet town house hotel close to Clarence House and Buckingham Palace; today, it continues to be an intimate luxury hotel with peaceful bedrooms and

  • Knightsbridge Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    On a quiet, tree-lined street minutes from Hyde Park, this handsome town house hotel (part of Tim and Kit Kemp’s Firmdale group) is within walking distance of Knightsbridge’s cafés, bars and

  • Covent Garden Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    In the heart of Covent Garden, this characterful hotel (part of Tim and Kit Kemp’s Firmdale group) has a theatrical air, with bright colours and clashing patterns. ‘Distinctive’, individually

  • Dorset Square Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    Overlooking a leafy garden square (the original site of Thomas Lord’s first cricket ground), this Regency town house is decorated with a lively mix of colours, patterns and textiles. It is part of the

  • The Stafford, LONDON

    In a peaceful setting just off Piccadilly, this sophisticated hotel, in three converted town houses, has a long and intriguing history weaving together a nanny to Queen Victoria’s children, several

  • County Hall Premier Inn, LONDON, Greater London

    Steps away from many London landmarks, this good-value hotel occupies the historic Portland stone County Hall building on the banks of the Thames. Sea Life London Aquarium and the London Dungeon are

  • Threadneedles, LONDON, Greater London

    Close to the Bank of England, this luxury hotel (part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection) is in a converted Victorian banking hall with marble floors, walnut panelling, ornate pillars, and a glorious

  • The Soho Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    Fernando Botero’s ten-foot-high sculpture of a bronze cat greets guests in the lobby of this glamorous hotel, part of Tim and Kit Kemp’s Firmdale collection. It is on a quiet street in an area packed

  • The Royal Park Hotel, LONDON

    ‘We really like this hotel.’ Antique furniture and original oil paintings add a ‘gracious’ feel to this elegant hotel, in a conversion of three Grade II listed Georgian town houses on a tree-lined

  • 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

  • The Hoxton Shoreditch, LONDON, Greater London

    In a lively part of town, this ‘intensely stylish’ hotel is liked for its good-value bedrooms and animated atmosphere. The ‘enormous’ lobby has exposed brick walls, stone fireplaces and leather

  • Haymarket Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    ‘Beautifully furnished’, this stylish hotel, part of Tim and Kit Kemp’s Firmdale Hotels group, occupies three John Nash-designed buildings in lively Theatreland. It is managed by Lisa Brooklyn-Fuhres.

  • The Nadler Kensington, LONDON, Greater London

    Near the museums of South Kensington, this modern hotel occupies a white stucco town house on a leafy residential square. Part of the Nadler Hotels group (see also The Nadler Liverpool, Shortlist

  • 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

  • The Sanctuary House, LONDON, Greater London

    Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and St James’s Park are all within easy reach of this updated Victorian ale-and-pie house, on one of the most ancient streets in Westminster. It is managed

  • San Domenico House, CHELSEA

    There is ‘a most pleasing ambience’ at this ‘delightful’ hotel, on an elegant residential street of red brick Victorian town houses off Sloane Square. It has been run by the Melpignano family, with

  • The Main House, LONDON, Greater London

    There are period features, antique furnishings and an airy, uncluttered feel at Caroline Main’s elegant Victorian house, on a quiet street off Portobello Road. B&B accommodation is in spacious suites

  • Indigo, LONDON, Greater London

    Conveniently located for Paddington station and the express trains to Heathrow, this modern hotel (part of the InterContinental Hotels Group) is in converted town houses opposite a small garden

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

    Close to Green Park, this luxury hotel (Althoff Hotels) has marble pillars, Murano glass chandeliers, rich fabrics and original artwork, including a collection of antique portraits. The Victorian

  • 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 building just off charming Marylebone High Street, this discreet hotel (City & Country Hotels) has ‘comfortable’, individually designed bedrooms; four open on to a private

  • 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

    On a quiet alley near the historic meat market, Peter McKay and Douglas Blain’s small luxury hotel is a ‘soothing space’ in the middle of a fast-developing area. A conversion of a collection of

  • Bermondsey Square Hotel, LONDON, Greater London

    On the square in a ‘happening’ area, this modern, privately owned hotel has a lively interior. ‘Reasonably sized’ bedrooms have a wet room and ‘a comfortable bed with plenty of pillows and cushions’;

  • Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, LONDON, Greater London

    In an animated spot in east London, this trendy, modern hotel occupies a sympathetically refurbished Grade II listed Edwardian building that was once the Bethnal Green town hall. It has stylish rooms

  • The Alma, LONDON, Greater London

    In a former metalworks down a cobbled alley, this remarkably peaceful modern inn has a popular local bar, and comfortable bedrooms in a courtyard annexe. It is run on green lines: solar panels provide

  • The Fielding, COVENT GARDEN

    A hop, skip and grand jeté from the Royal Opera House, this small hotel fronted by flowering window boxes is a ‘simple, well-located place to stay’. It is managed by Grace Langley, with ‘helpful’

  • The Grazing Goat, MARBLE ARCH

    ‘Youthful in spirit’, this pub-with-rooms lies in a chic enclave behind Marble Arch within the Portman Estate (the name comes from the goats once grazed here by Lady Portman, who was allergic to cow’s

  • The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell, CLERKENWELL

    A ‘friendly, welcoming’ place, this ‘elegant’ Georgian town house on a cobbled square is praised by a visitor this year for its ‘informality and excellence’. It is part of the small Zetter group;

  • The Orange, LONDON, Greater London

    In a converted Georgian building in Pimlico, this ‘friendly, informal’ pub earns an upgrade from the Shortlist after a positive report by Guide inspectors. ‘We liked it a lot for the style (lime oak,

  • 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. Visitors were ‘impressed by the clever design and smart fixtures’ of the

  • 41, LONDON, Greater London

    There is a private club atmosphere at this discreet luxury hotel close to Buckingham Palace. On the fifth floor of a historic building (also home to sister hotel The Rubens at the Palace), it is part

  • H10 London Waterloo, LONDON, Greater London

    In an asymmetric, purpose-built block, this good-value Spanish chain hotel is on busy Waterloo Road. Service is ‘highly organised and friendly’; guests are offered a complimentary glass of cava on

  • The Ampersand, LONDON, Greater London

    Inspired by the Royal Albert Hall and museums nearby, the rooms and suites in this renovated Victorian building have been given refreshing modern design themes relating to botany, geometry,

  • Qbic Hotel, LONDON

    In a lively neighbourhood known for its curry houses and young creatives, this funky modern hotel has stylish, no-frills rooms, high-spec technology and a buzzy atmosphere. The enormous, open-plan

  • The Pilot, London, London

    Accessible by Tube, boat and cable car, this jauntily decorated North Greenwich pub-with-rooms is in a fine 1800s building. It is managed by Eduardo Labaronnie for Fuller’s Brewery. Stylish bedrooms

  • The Hoxton Holborn, London, London

    Close to Covent Garden, Bloomsbury and the Strand, this youthful modern hotel has enlivened a former office building with good-value accommodation and a number of buzzy eating and drinking spots. It

  • The Bull & The Hide, London, Greater London

    On a narrow, pedestrianised street in the busy City of London, this refurbished modern inn stands on a site that was once a Tudor dwelling, and subsequently a tavern. It is part of Richard

  • St Paul's Hotel, London, London

    Beside a small park, a former boys’ school has been transformed into this smart, modern hotel. It was built in 1884 by Alfred Waterhouse, who designed the Natural History Museum; with its detailed

  • Ham Yard Hotel, London, London

    The latest addition to Tim and Kit Kemp’s Firmdale group, this large, modern hotel close to Piccadilly Circus wraps around a tree-filled courtyard whose grand centrepiece is an impressive bronze

  • The Connaught, London, London

    On a peaceful corner in Mayfair, this revamped and restored late-Victorian luxury hotel retains many of its lavish period features, and a commitment to the standards of a bygone era. Part of the

  • Sofitel London St James, London, London

    ‘We have taken to staying here whenever we are in London.’ In a ‘wonderful’ location just off Pall Mall, this large hotel (part of French group Sofitel) is in a handsome neoclassical building with an