There’s a time in every young man’s life when sleeping in dodgy hostel bunks and eating two-minute noodles with other young travellers is the ultimate adventure.
There also comes a time in every slightly-older man’s life when he thinks, “Screw that! Give me 5 stars or give me death.” For that second stage, we did some serious research.
After wetting our lips on the finest gin London has to offer, resting our heads on the softest of pillows and waking up with the suave demeanour of Mr Bond himself—let’s just say we doubt you’ll miss the 10 bed dorm.
The 10 Coolest London Hotels, 2018
Designed by Jacques Garcia—the French designer behind Hôtel Costes in Paris, La Mamounia in Marrakech and NYC’s NoMad—this former baptist church is now one of London’s most decadent hotels.
“Garcia is a master of mixing a reverence for the historical with a theatrical bohemian opulence” (Conde Nast Traveller).
Its super-sexy interior, set against a traditional exterior, is the French architect’s tribute to what the Victorian era was all about: having a classical rigour while leading a private life of craziness and debauchery.
If this mis-en-scene tickles your fancy, and you’re keen on staying in a lavish, avant-guard hotel in the heart of Holborn (one of London’s coolest high-end districts), amongst a thriving mix of bars, shops and restaurants, this one’s a no-brainer.
The Sanderson is a 5-star boutique experience located in the electro-beating heart of London’s infamous Soho district.
The landmarked 50s building has been gentrified by Philippe Starck into an ethereal jazz of baroque and modern design that makes the Hilton look like a gold-polished turd.
Its mad hatter design blends extravagance and simplicity, making it feel like you’ve followed Alice into Wonderland.
And after a few whiskies, who knows, maybe you have?
#3 ME London
ME London hangs atop the southern tip of Covent Garden.
The 57 guest rooms, including 16 suites, offer (arguably) a better view over the major local landmarks than you get from London Eye: the City-Skyline, Trafalgar Square, London Bridge, and the River Thames can all be seen through floor-to-ceiling windows.
In 2013, ME London was honoured on the famous Conde Nast Traveller Hotlist, and in April this year the head concierge received the prestigious ‘Golden Keys’ hotelier industry award.
The Belgraves blends traditional British hospitality with an American bohemian attitude. A mere stone’s throw away from Victoria Station, Belgraves is the first European instalment of the Thompson Hotels luxury experience, and is located in one of the London’s most affluent neighbourhoods.
If the hotel’s 80-seat restaurant, intimate library bar, and fitness center don’t keep you entertained, check out the nearby internationally renowned shops, sites, and the bustling Sloane Square.
#5 Town Hall Hotel & Apartments
Set in London’s vibrant East End, the award-winning Town Hall Hotel & Apartments combines Edwardian architectural splendor with 30s Art Deco and cutting edge contemporary design.
The one-of-a-kind suites contain designer kitchens and bathrooms, and original vintage furnishings. Oh, and did we mention the bar menu has over 200 spirits, beers, and cocktails?
#6 CitizenM Bankside
192 luxury rooms await at CitizenM’s London Bankside hotel: a place where “style and affordability get it on together”.
Just a two-minute stroll from the Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge, the place is chic and designed exquisitely for the 21st-century guest.
Mood lighting and climate control can be adjusted from touchscreen tablets, and a wide selection of box-office movies are available for free.
#7 Shoreditch House
Guests of the Shoreditch House, a private members’ club tucked away in East London, are treated to 26 bedrooms kitted out with vintage AM/FM alarms, hot water bottles, fresh Cowshed cosmetics, shampoo’s and soaps from the adjacent spa, powerful rainforest showers, and a range of classic books, toys, and games that they are encouraged to borrow. Rooms are open to both members and non-members.
One word suffices to describe this East London hotel: “eclectic.” And where else would you find a converted Victorian warehouse with 17 individually designed rooms and suites, three restaurants and bars, a small British food store, a deli and a bakery?
“Oozes class and style”—Design My Night.
Rooms include the Charles & Ray Eames Room, the Bauhaus Room, the Scandinavian Room, and the Young British Designers Room.
#9 Ham Yard Hotel
Located a two-minute walk (or a three hour pub crawl) from Piccadilly Circus, the Ham Yard’s rooms are all tailor-made, and feature floor-to-ceiling windows with excellent views of the surrounding city.
If you stay, make sure to make the most of the quirky add-ons, such as the fitness centre with a hypoxic chamber (a fitness tool, which simulates altitude), a cinema, a rooftop garden and a 1950s-style bowling alley.
#10 The Arch London
Anywhere with a Martini Library gets our seal of approval. There’s also something called “Le Salon de Champagne” (with a graffiti ceiling of famous quotes and tasting notes created by award-winning illustrator Sara Fanelli), so pick your poison.
It would be tough to go wrong in this family-owned 5 star urban sanctuary. Oh, and in case you were worried that it’s only about the booze, the 82 individually designed rooms at The Arch London are spectacular, too—as are the restaurant and bar.