As Samuel Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Thankfully, there are plenty of properties around the city -- from luxurious grand dames to charming boutiques -- to help prevent that from happening. Even better, some of these hotels have hosted royalty, and are close to bucket-list attractions like Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, so you know they’re worth their salt. To help you map out your holiday, we rounded up our favorite hotel in 10 popular London neighborhoods.
1. The Savoy, Covent Garden
The Savoy name is not only well-known in London, but the world over. Opened in 1889 (and refurbished in 2010), this grand dame on the super-exclusive Strand thoroughfare continues to be one of the city’s poshest properties. It’s the type of place where guests are greeted by name, and every corner has a fabled former life, from the American Bar (where Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra had a drink) to the Savoy Grill (where Sir Winston Churchill dined). With optional butler service, 24-hour in-room dining, afternoon tea service, and sophisticated rooms, you’ll feel like an A-lister yourself. And if you need to get in touch with reality, the tourist-packed Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and National Portrait Gallery aren’t far away.
2. The Langham, Marylebone
The Langham, which opened its doors in 1865 as the city’s first luxury hotel, is as much a London landmark as Big Ben or the London Eye. The historic hotel happens to be the birthplace of traditional afternoon tea, which it still serves, by the way, in the Palm Court. Adding to the extravagant experience is the stately Victorian facade, which gives way to concierge and butler service, a gorgeous spa, a 52-foot swimming pool, a swanky cocktail bar, and an elegant restaurant inside. It’s even close to Oxford Street and prime shopping areas. But as you can imagine, the amenity-packed property primarily attracts the upper crust who can afford it -- and that includes Lady Gaga.
3. The Goring, Belgravia, Westminster
Let’s not bury the lede: This Westminster property is where Kate Middleton spent the night before her wedding to Prince William. hotel, which opened in 1910 just down the road from Buckingham Palace, has a longstanding legacy with the royal family, and you, too, can live out your fairytale fantasies here. Book a stay and take advantage of the five-star hospitality and luxurious details, including bespoke silk wallpaper, an antique elevator, and spacious hallways (said to have been designed to accommodate ladies’ voluminous gowns). Quintessentially British, It’s all a Downton Abbey dream come true.
4. The Lanesborough, Knightsbridge
With sparkling chandeliers and rich window dressings, The Lanesborough -- on a coveted corner near Hyde Park -- was not designed for pared-down tastes. No, it’s all about lavish Regency style here. But make no mistake, you won’t be sacrificing convenience for style -- rooms also feature modern comforts like tablets and unlimited movies on demand. The 24-hour butler service means you won’t have to exert any energy packing and unpacking, and tea and coffee is served with the daily wake-up calls. Other property highlights include the Library Bar, which stocks hard-to-find Cognacs; the fine-dining Celeste restaurant; the 18,000-square-foot spa; and the Withdrawing Room for a drink or lunch. The price here is steep, but the sticker shock is warranted.
5. The Milestone Hotel and Residences, Kensington
Butler service? Yes. Free welcome drink and fresh flowers upon arrival? Of course. And let’s not forget about free hotel-wide Wi-Fi, free overnight shoe shine, twice-daily housekeeping, and chauffeur-driven Bentley service. With a two-to-one staff-to-guest ratio, this London hotel -- near Kensington Palace and London’s most exclusive shopping -- stands out for its above-and-beyond service, though the themed rooms, like the Safari and Venetian suites, are big draws, too. Just expect to pay a pretty penny.
6. Grosvenor House Suites by Jumeirah Living, Mayfair
If it’s good enough for Meghan Markle, it’s good enough for us. Located on Park Lane, one of London’s most sought-after addresses, Grosvenor House Suites is a favorite of the Duchess of Sussex -- not to mention countless other travelers, too. And that should come as no surprise, given its quality services -- butlers, concierges, private cars, bespoke grocery shopping, in-room spa treatments, and a guests-only restaurant and café with a skylight and fireplace. Plus, accommodations have between one and five bedrooms, but all feature sleek kitchens, spacious dining areas, and top-notch amenities like electric blinds and sound systems. Tip: Book one overlooking Hyde Park.
7. Sanderson London Hotel, Soho
Don’t judge a book by its cover -- or a building by its facade. In the case of Sanderson London Hotel, the corporate exterior contradicts the edgy, whimsical decor (originally designed by Philippe Starck) waiting inside. There are plenty of areas that vie for attention, from the 80-foot glowing lobby bar to the courtyard garden with Mad Hatter-themed afternoon tea and evening DJs. The dramatic cocktail bar with silk purple curtains, the tranquil spa with meditation beds and a chill-out zone, and the cozy billiard room with a two-story stained-glass window will also ensure you’re occupied when you’re not out exploring Soho -- home to gay-friendly bars and clubs, record stores, boutique shops, and hip eateries.
8. Rosewood London, Holborn
Located on a busy thoroughfare in Holborn, the Rosewood London makes its sophisticated persona known from the start. The stately face of this Edwardian mansion -- complete with a majestic arch and neoclassical columns -- is a clue into what’s inside: a stunning white marble staircase, a dazzling copper-gilded hall, two outstanding restaurants (one casual and one fine-dining), and a deluxe spa with high-end treatments and crystal steam rooms. Rooms, with their lavish marble bathrooms, are also noteworthy. And although the ambience is undoubtedly upscale, tongue-in-cheek artwork by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe lightens the overall mood.
9. The Montague on the Gardens, Bloomsbury
Splendid afternoon tea service, lavish Victorian décor, and top-notch hospitality -- it doesn’t get more British than The Montague on the Gardens. Located within walking distance of the British Museum, the hotel is a relaxing respite following a full day of exploring. Comfy beds and evening turndown service cap off the day well. Relax on the outdoor cigar terrace, or grab a drink in the plaid-quilted bar. Even better, hide out in the hotel’s private garden.
10. Portobello Hotel, Notting Hill
Notting Hill is arguably London’s prettiest neighborhood -- and Portobello Hotel, a charming, 21-room boutique property on a quiet street, adds to the photogenic vibe. Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman Naomi Campbell, and the White Stripes are among the celebs that have found refuge here -- and that will make sense the moment you step inside. Rooms are outfitted with antique beds and Victorian claw-foot bathtubs, and historic pieces of art. (Much of the décor has been sourced from the local market.) Although there aren’t many on-site amenities, the cozy, well-stocked honor bar is a nice touch, and some great restaurants and nightlife venues are a short walk away.
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