London does luxury like nowhere else – and the city’s high-end hotels are the ultimate proof of that. From historic buildings to shiny new skyscrapers, this is one of the easiest cities in the world to stay in elegance and style.
1. Rosewood London
Rosewood is located in the deeply historic neighborhood of Holborn. It is a very short distance from prime historic attractions like the British Museum, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The architecture and structure of the hotel itself has Edwardian and Renaissance influences, having been built back in the 1910s. The entrance to the hotel is built in the style of a carriageway, and the entire hotel itself, along with its neighborhood, is simply brimming with Old World beauty and charm. If you’re someone prone to romanticizing the past, and if you appreciate ornate architecture as opposed to minimalism, this is definitely for you.
2. Cadogan Gardens
11 Cadogan Gardens occupies four adjoining redbrick townhouses in the heart of Chelsea. It embodies all of the old-school charm, splendour and English eccentricity that you would expect of a historic, five-star hotel by Sloane Square, while a top-to-tail refurbishment in 2016 ensures it is fit for the modern guest.
This place is where traditional décor and modern convenience merge to meet guests’ high standards, while leaving them with a personalized level of service most find addictive and unforgettable. Celebrities abound in this hotel, which can feel like the center of the universe during key cultural events like London Fashion Week, The Chelsea Flower Show and royal weddings.
4. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
After a fire in June 2018, this local stalwart reopened last April. Gone are the heavy curtains and throws. Instead, everything is lighter, fresher—even the marbled lobby. Rooms have been painted a pale gray, and had gold lampshades added. The carpets have been replaced with wooden doors, and there are little libraries curated by beloved bookseller Heywood Hill. Still, the best rooms are the Hyde Park-facing ones, where the sound of the Household Cavalry clip-clopping past is better than any morning alarm. Artist Leah Wood has revamped the Butterfly Terrace with floral art; in the ballroom—where Queen Elizabeth learned to dance—every inch of gold leaf has been restored; and both Bar Boulud and the molecular Dinner by Heston Blumenthal are packed every night.
5. Sheraton Grand London Park Lane
A freshly exfoliated five-star celebration of art deco, shining with mirror-plated pillars and papered with gold and silver leaf. Sleep in a bed chamber prickling with Twenties pizzazz, drink quinoa vodka cocktails in the outré bar, and feast on Amalfi sharing plates in the self-consciously “current” restaurant
6. Shangri-La at the Shard
Occupying the 34th to 52nd floors of the Shard (London’s iconic jagged-topped skyscraper) the Shangri-La is London’s highest hotel. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms, restaurant, bar, and the gym and Infinity Skypool on the 52nd floor offer unparalleled panoramic views of the city. Decorated in tones cream, grey and blue and livened up with contemporary art, the rooms contain king-sized beds, binoculars and espresso makers. Marble bathrooms are equipped with Washlet toilets and Acqua di Parma toiletries, and while all 17 suits come with personal butler service, the Shangri-La Suite also features its own Jacuzzi.
7. The Savoy
Perfectly placed on the north bank of the River Thames and set within Covent Garden’s vibrant shopping and theatre district, The Savoy is a well-known luxury hotel in Central London, managed by the Fairmont hotel brand. The 268 lavishly appointed rooms and suites are decorated in either Edwardian or Art Deco style, and feature luxurious marble bathrooms. Many rooms afford great views over the River Thames. Suites also benefit from The Savoy’s dedicated Butler Service. For relaxation or exercise, indulgent spa treatments, a 24-hour gym, and a private pool are available. The Savoy is also known as a destination hotel for foodies and drink connoisseurs alike: a choice of seven stylish restaurants and bars offer something to suit all tastes.
8. The Dorchester
The Dorchester is another London landmark and institution, the kind of place to stay in if you want the royal treatment, even if you can’t afford to shop in the Chopard concession in the lobby. Its ritzy-yet-comfortable rooms and suites, many with splendid views of Hyde Park, are models of understated luxury, adorned with elegant drapery and recherché ornaments. And overall the feeling is traditional and formal, without being stuffy.
9. The Ritz
Oozing opulent style, The Ritz is a bona fide London landmark as well as a five-star hotel. Its world-famous afternoon tea and ideal location next to Green Park make it the perfect destination for a quintessential London experience.
Converted from a set of Victorian town houses in a secluded street in South Kensington, Blakes sets the bar for luxury boutique hotels. Each exotically-inspired room is finished with opulent attention to detail; as a whole, the place exudes indulgent excess carried off with style and a touch of drama.
11. The May Fair
You’re more than likely to rub shoulders with a fair few A-listers around Mayfair, the affluent neighbourhood that’s home to The May Fair. Rooms combine ruby-red velvet furniture, beds piled with goose-down duvets and Sicilian marble bathrooms, but the themed suites are more extravagant. The fuschia Schiaparelli Suite oozes glamour, with chaise lounges and a free-standing egg-shaped bath. If you’re after a more mod-minimalist stay, opt for the Ebony Suite – all chic dark woods and metallics – where you can either soak in a colour-changing statement tub or relax on a huge outdoor terrace.
12. Bulgari Hotel
Juxtaposing most lavish Mayfair hotels, the Bulgari puts a contemporary twist on classic luxury. The hotel is so high-end that there are minimal differences between the rooms and suites, so opt for a signature Bulgari Suite if you’re looking for a noticeable upgrade. The bathroom – a Nero Marquina marble affair – is particularly impressive, fitted with a walk-in steam shower. Architect Antonio Citterio has kept the brand’s silversmith history alive with flashes of silver throughout the interiors. For a late-night tipple, you can’t beat Nolita Social for its live music and menu of eclectic cocktails.
13. Four Seasons Hotel
This hotel definitely has great brand value and recognition because of all the celebrated guests it usually hosts. One of its key facets is the fact that it is located within walking distance of most of the major tourist attractions, such as Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park. This means you’ll be within walking distance of most of the important parts of London. They also have a really lovely staff, always helpful and always empathetic.
14. The Lanesborough
Luxury trip planner, Sienna Charles, is obsessed with this traditional gem in the heart of London. According to these in-the-know agents, the classic hotel’s new ownership under the high-end and incredibly impressive Oetker Collection, has “reinvigorated the classic hotel to its former glory.” With luxurious, Regency-style furnishings, ornately decorated suites and old-world elegance, this hotel is holding on to its traditional roots.
15. Ham Yard Hotel
An arty boutique hotel with colourful soul. Stylish interiors fashioned by designer Kit Kemp, a buzzy bar and restaurant, bowling alley, spa, cinema and snug rooftop terrace with its own kitchen garden, welcome you in from the surrounding bustle of Soho. Every corner brims with character, art and texture.