There’s a time in every young man’s life when sleeping in dodgy hostels 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 recumbent 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. Read on and explore our top 14 picks for cool London hotels.
Hotel Cafe Royal
Recently renovated and reopened, Hotel Cafe Royal is a luxury dream come true right in the heard of London’s West End. Located on Piccadilly Circus and walking distance to most of London’s designer attractions and shops, Cafe Royal is perfect for work or play. It offers stylishly appointed rooms, incredibly attentive staff, high-end restaurants, cool cafes and a number of bars. Their gym and pool is amazing and worth staying at for this alone. We’ve stayed here and we love it.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $795 per night
The Nobu, Shoreditch
From its Executive Room to its Studio Suite the Nobu Shoreditch marries Japanese and East London aesthetics with style. A unique creation, Nobu Shoreditch is an expression of Design Hotel’s iconic creative expression, and is one of just 10 hand-selected hotels in the boutique chain. Highlights include a cavernous below ground restaurant, its proximity to old street station and Shoreditch High Street, top notch service and facilities (including a pilates studio, treatment rooms and a Technogym). And of course it has a range of rooms to suit single travellers and families alike, so you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to base yourself while experiencing everything Shoreditch has to offer.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $277 per night
L’oscar, Central London
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. As you would expect from Garcia—a master of mixing reverence for the historical with dramatic bohemian opulence—L’oscar has a super-sexy interior set against a traditional periphery. In other words, it’s a tribute to what the Victorian era was all about: maintaining a classical rigour while leading a private life of craziness and debauchery. If this lavish mis-en-scene tickles your fancy, and you’re keen on staying in an 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.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $363 per night
Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden
Henrietta Hotel is a two minute stroll from the Savoy theatre, and is one of the best rated locations in London. Set at the top floor of no. 15 Henrietta Street, the Grand Henrietta (we cannot recommend this room highly enough), gives you stunning views of London from your private balcony: rooftops, landscape and landmarks including the London Eye are all at your fingertips. And all rooms in this hotel are romantic escapes in of themselves, complete with intimate details, exclusive finishing and exquisite furniture. There’s also rainforest showers and (in some rooms) a claw foot bathtub—for ultimate relaxation.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $449 per night
The Ned, Poultry
Condensed, The Ned experience is “Sitting by the pool on the rooftop of a 100-year-old building, looking out over St Paul’s Cathedral and beyond.” Expanded? We’ll leave that to your imagination. Check in here if you want to experience a historical masterpiece worthy of Game of Thrones’ favourite short-lived character.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $334 per night
The Distillery, Portobello Road
Located a mere 1-minute walk from Portobello Road Market, The Distillery in London features a top shelf bar and gin collection. Situated in the heart of the Kensington and Chelsea district, the nearest airport is London Heathrow Airport, 18 km away. This area is a great choice for travellers interested in architecture, monuments and entertainment.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $200 per night
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. Who knows: after a few whiskies, maybe you have?
BOOK @ Booking.com From $387 per night
ME London, Central 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.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $416 per night
Belgraves, Central London
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.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $164 per night
Shoreditch House, Shoreditch
Guests of 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 for the bucket list.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $262 per night
Ham Yard Hotel, Soho
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.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $701 per night
The Curtain, Shoreditch
The Curtain is nestled among among Shoreditch’s premiere bars and eateries in an artsy neighbourhood. With everything you would expect from a hip, upscale hotel like this (and more) you’ll be blown away by more than the service. Bonus features include being close to both Old Street tube station and (2 miles from) the Tower of London.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $267 per night
The Principal London, Bloomsbury
If you like literature, history or architecture, the Principal London, Bloomsbury, is the place to be. A Grade II* listed landmark building, The Principal occupies the eastern flank of Russell Square in Bloomsbury. We won’t give too much away, but the opening of this 334-room hotel really restored the original building to her original glory—while administering a shot of adrenaline to the heart of London’s most literary neighbourhood.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $338 per night
The Mandrake, Fitzrovia
Harry Potter’s hallucinogenic plant (the mandrake) with the scary goblin face whose screams can kill a person is probably not on your mind as you enter this hotel. However, although the Mandrake hotel doesn’t exactly dominate the small street in Fitzrovia that it’s in, it should invoke an involuntary double-take upon arrival, such is the class and luxury on offer.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $541 per night
The Pilgrm, Paddington
The Pilgrm, Paddington describes itself as a “refreshing break from the ordinary.” With a pared back design, at once modern and antique, it has achieved its aim, paying homage to its history and location. If you appreciate old world design and British craftsmanship you’ll feel right at home.
BOOK @ Booking.com From $186 per night