17 best hotels in London for every type of traveler

Sep 19, 2020

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The city of London has thousands of hotels, which makes it near-impossible to select just the right one. When you factor in things like the neighborhood, budget and personal tastes, searching for the perfect spot spend a night (or many) can seem overwhelming.

To help narrow things down, TPG has pulled together a list of the best hotels, taking into consideration that some people prefer something stylish, some are looking for a splurge, others want to use points and others just want something affordable yet comfortable and safe. So, for your next trip to London, here are some of the best hotels to stay in — or maybe even for just grabbing a quick drink or afternoon tea.

The Corinthia London. (Photo courtesy of Corinthia London)
The Corinthia London. (Photo courtesy of Corinthia London)

Remember, if you’re booking a hotel without a loyalty or points program, you can always see if the hotel participates in the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program. Cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express have access to the program, which offers perks and benefits when booking at participating hotels, such as:

  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available;
  • Daily breakfast for two people;
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout;
  • Noon check-in, when available;
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi; and
  • Unique property amenity, such as a spa or food and beverage credit.

For hip luxury

1. Rosewood London

This monumental Edwardian hotel has it all: contemporary, luminous guestrooms, the signature Sense Spa, butler service options and a number of distinctive dining/drinking options. The TPG favorite is definitely the Rosewood’s Scarfes Bar. It has a warm, inviting members-only type feel and a music-inspired graphic menu featuring innovative cocktails.

Room rates start at $593 per night.

(Photo courtesy of Rosewood London)
The Scarfes Bar. (Photo courtesy of Rosewood London)

2. Shangri-La at the Shard

The Shard is the tallest building in the U.K., making the Shangri-La at the Shard a step above (literally) most other London hotels. The luxury property starts on floor 34 and occupies 18 levels of the skyscraper, overlooking the River Thames and London’s urban sprawl below. It’s also home to London’s highest infinity swimming pool.

Room rates start at $611 per night.

The Shangri-La the Shard. (Photo courtesy of Shangri-La)
The Shangri-La the Shard. (Photo courtesy of Shangri-La)

Related: 8 points-friendly London hotels for families of 4

For classical luxury

3. The Corinthia

Once home to the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence offices, the historical Victorian landmark underwent a massive renovation that was completed in 2011. The Corinthia‘s guestrooms feature amenities like marble bathrooms with heated floors and king beds, but if you’d prefer things like a private lift and a spacious outdoor terrace with a fireplace, life-size chess set and views of the London Eye, you’ll have to splurge for the Whitehall Penthouse.

Room rates start at $723, but the Whitehall Penthouse will cost you close to $5,160 per night.

The Corinthia London. (Photo courtesy of Corinthia London)
The Corinthia London. (Photo courtesy of Corinthia London)

4. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Although the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park features elegant, traditional English decor, the hotel, which overlooks the park, still feels crisp and new thanks to a recent renovation. Guestrooms overlook the park or a charming English courtyard, and suites come complete with butler service — some even have fireplaces.

Room rates start at $885 per night.

The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. (Photo courtesy of The Mandarin Oriental)
The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. (Photo courtesy of The Mandarin Oriental)

5. Claridge’s

This timeless Mayfair landmark dates back to 1856, hosting famous historical figures like Queen Victoria and Audrey Hepburn to celebs like Kate Moss. Claridge’s furnishing and decor are traditional yet chic, with some guestrooms and suites designed by Diane von Furstenburg and David Linley. Fans of the famed decor can even bring some of it home with Claridge’s online shop.

Room rates start at $745 per night.

Claridges London. (Photo courtesy of Claridges London/Facebook)
Claridges London. (Photo courtesy of Claridges London/Facebook)

6. The Langham

Full of historic charm, the Langham dates back to 1865 — its opening ceremony was performed by none other than the Prince of Wales. With 360 rooms and suites, the Palm Court, which has been serving up afternoon tea since the olden days, and the Chuan Body + Soul, a wellness center with spa and fitness options, this West End property’s spacious luxury will immediately charm you.

Room rates start at $341 per night.

(Photo courtesy of The Langham London)

7. The Savoy

One of the most coveted hotels in Europe, the Savoy (a Fairmont property) is best known among AvGeeks as the spot where Etihad’s A380 Residence butlers are rumored to have completed an intensive course before working flights. Between the Thames Foyer’s stunning glass cupola and the famed American Bar (voted the World’s Best Bar in 2017), you’ll never want to leave.

Room rates start at $734 per night.

Related: A hotel review of the Savoy, London

The Savoy in London. (Photo courtesy The Savoy)
The Thames Foyer in the Savoy London. (Photo courtesy of The Savoy)

8. The Ritz

You may have spotted The Ritz London in the film “Notting Hill” featuring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant or in the popular TV program “Downton Abbey”. The guestrooms and suites boast French classical decor, including soft color palettes, decorative moldings, gilded mirrors and hanging chandeliers.

Room rates start at $559 per night.

The Ritz London. (Photo courtesy of The Ritz London)
The Ritz London. (Photo courtesy of The Ritz London)

For budget travelers

9. Mama Shelter

For a funky stay on a budget, Mama Shelter in east London has hip yet comfortable rooms featuring smart TVs with free movies on demand and safes built into the nightstands. The hotel has fairly normal amenities like a gym, restaurant and a garden bar, plus slightly quirkier ones like karaoke rooms.

Room rates start as low as $76 per night.

((Photo courtesy of Mama Shelter London/Accor)
(Photo courtesy of Mama Shelter London/Accor)

10. Citizen M Tower of London

Citizen M Tower of London is all about comfort and functionality, all while keeping things trendy and affordable. The hotel touts large, comfortable beds, smart TVs with free movies, fast Wi-Fi and iPad-controlled illumination, blinds, TV and room temperature. Plus, there’s a rooftop bar that overlooks London’s top sights.

Room rates start at $93 per night.

CitizenM London. (Photo courtesy of CitizenM)
CitizenM London. (Photo courtesy of CitizenM)

Related: The best points hotels for a staycation in the UK

For points travelers

11. The Academy London

The Academy London (a member of Hyatt’s Small Luxury Hotels) is the result of five Georgian townhouses converted into a hotel. Just steps away from Russell Park, the Edwardian brick terraced buildings blend in seamlessly with their surroundings, and the hotel’s interior is just as charming: an Art Deco-inspired bar and attached courtyard, a vintage library filled with books and a small but welcoming lobby.

Room rates start at $198 or 20,000 Hyatt points per night.

The Academy London. (Photo by Lori Zaino/The Points Guy)
The Academy London. (Photo by Lori Zaino/The Points Guy)

12. The London EDITION

Located in Fitzrovia on the edge of Soho, the London EDITION has the traditional Ian Schrager Edition guestroom staples: wood-paneled walls and the furry throw blanket, but also a distinct modern British charm. The dark, moody Berner’s Tavern features cuisine by Michelin-starred U.K. chef Jason Atherton — and if you’re willing to splurge, stay in a room or suite with outdoor space.

Room rates for the Bonvoy Category 7 property start at $626 or 50,000 points per night.

The London EDITION. (Photo courtesy of Marriott)
The London EDITION. (Photo courtesy of Marriott)

13. 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel

This Hilton Curio Collection property was once a former 1870s townhouse but is now a Victorian hotel. Although you can use your points to stay at 100 Queen’s Gate, boutique hotel fans will enjoy decor details like moldings, chandeliers and rich, velvety fabrics throughout the historical property. The W/A Kensington Restaurant & Bar and the ESQ bar are particularly chic places to hang out and enjoy British-fusion cuisine or cocktails.

Room rates start at $164 or 60,000 points per night.

100 Queens Gate. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Shaw/Hilton)
100 Queens Gate. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Shaw/Hilton)

14. InterContinental London Park Lane

For contemporary British vibes, stay at the InterContinental Park Lane. Ideal for business or leisure travelers craving a sleek and central place to stay, guestrooms look out over the hotel’s courtyard or Hyde Park’s verdant green foliage.

Note this hotel reopens on September 21, 2020.

Room rates start at $297 or 60,000 IHG reward points per night.

The Intercontinental Park Lane. (Photo courtesy of IHG)
The Intercontinental Park Lane. (Photo courtesy of IHG)

For boutique hotel fans

15. Ham Yard Hotel

The Ham Yard Hotel describes itself as an “urban village”. Considering it features 91 colorful guestrooms/suites, 24 apartments, 13 independent stories, a rooftop terrace, spa, gym, theatre, drawing room, library, bowling alley and more — a village (or perhaps even a town) seems like an accurate description.

Room rates start at $465 per night.

The Ham Yard Hotel. (Photo courtesy of Ham Yard Hotel)
The Ham Yard Hotel. (Photo courtesy of Ham Yard Hotel)

16. The Curtain Hotel

Complete with a rooftop pool and lounge, a spa, co-working space, a screening room, a buzzy member’s club and 120 guestrooms/suites, The Curtain is located in the hip neighborhood of Shoreditch. This hotel is for the cool kids — so expect trendy amenities to match — exposed brick, Marshall speakers, artwork by Pete Hawkins and some very inviting freestanding bathtubs.

Note this hotel is currently closed, but reopening with new Covid-19 measures in place soon.

Room rates start at $323 per night.

The Curtain Hotel. (Photo courtesy of The Curtain)
The Curtain Hotel. (Photo courtesy of The Curtain)

17. The Hoxton Holborn

This hipster hub has 220 guestrooms — aptly named for their size from Shoebox to Biggy. You might as well be in Brooklyn with guestrooms decked out in leather furnishings complete with industrial brass and wood details, but you’re not — instead, you’re smack in the centre of London with easy access to everything (walls have Dickens-inspired wallpaper as a reminder, too).

Room rates start at $140.

The Hoxton Holborn. (Photo courtesy of Hoxton)
The Hoxton Holborn. (Photo courtesy of Hoxton)

Bottom line

When it comes to the London hotel scene, you’re spoilt with choice. So much choice, in fact, that it may be tough to pick just the right spot. But this list can help, whether you’ve got points to burn, are on a budget or are looking to go all out. And whether it’s a staycation at home or your first trip to the U.K., London — and this list — has a hotel for you.

Featured photo courtesy of the InterContinental London

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