London sets the standard for proper. It doesn’t get much better than afternoon tea at Claridge’s. Post-work drinks at The Connaught. Dinner at 5 Hertford’s LouLou’s. A coveted invitation to The Twenty Two. You’re back in the world, and London is calling. So we have the best hotels in London, where you need to stay now. And one of them is essentially a private club that’s the place to see and be seen in London right now.
London is a city that competes for the best hotel experiences in the world. There are not one but two Mandarin Orientals. Not two but three Four Seasons. Almost every international luxury hotel portfolio has a foothold here. And we can’t get enough of it. So how did we come up with this list? Well, these seven hotels are so English it hurts. We could blindfold you and put you on a plane to an unknown destination — and if you woke up in one of these hotels, you would undoubtedly know you’re in England. Here’s a look at our list of the best hotels in London.
The Hotel: Claridge’s
The Location: Mayfair
As far as the Hall of Fame of best hotels in London, Claridge’s is on the list. Claridge’s is an elegant five-star luxury hotel in the heart of Mayfair. The hotel opened in 1856. But it didn’t become a destination for the cultural elite until the 1920s. Its art deco interiors have been paired with a roster of rotating designers over the years that makes the atmosphere unique. There’s a variety of rooms and suites you can choose from, each equally grand in its own way. Claridge’s also has plenty of restaurants and bars. The Painter’s Room offers innovative cocktails. Claridge’s Bar serves classics and vintages. The Fumoir is a dimly lit 1930s-inspired bar and perfect escape into another era. Of course, there’s The Foyer & Reading Room, which serves comfort food and is iconic for its afternoon teas. You can also access Claridge’s own wine cellar and art space.
The Hotel: Hotel Café Royal
The Location: Soho
This is the hotel, on the best hotels in London list, that most people may not know. Hotel Café Royal promotes itself as London’s vibrant living room. It’s incredible location between Soho, Mayfair, and St. James makes it a great place to mix into the culture. Accommodations range from guest rooms to suites, from signature suites to exclusive wings — each option more luxurious than the last. But if there’s one area where Hotel Café Royal reigns supreme, it’s the dining experience. Parisian Brasserie Lutetia and the Oscar Wilde Lounge welcome you for afternoon tea. In addition, there is Cakes and Bubbles, launched by Albert Adrià, one of the world’s best pastry chefs. Next, Alex Dilling, following his success at a couple of Michelin-starred restaurants, recently opened a French venture here. It was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings ever at Hotel Café Royal. The hotel also has its own wellness spa, indoor pool, and fitness center.
The Hotel: The Connaught Hotel
The Location: Mayfair
For its bar alone, The Connaught is firmly on the list of the best hotels in London. The Connaught is a five-star hotel known for its pristine service and elegant comfort. Rooms and suites have been refurbished by famed designers Guy Oliver and David Collins. Choose from standard rooms to larger suites that sleep up to four, each with its own terrace. Like other hotels on this list, The Connaught has plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. Visit the newly designed three-Michelin-star restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught. Also, the Red Room is a don’t-miss hideaway bar only accessible through the velvet curtains of The Champagne Room. An ode to the color red, it features artwork by prominent female artists, like Louise Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer. If you’re looking for an Aman fix, The Connaught also features an Aman Spa. It’s the only one that exists outside of the Aman Resorts.
The Hotel: The Lanesborough
The Location: Hyde Park Corner
On the list of the best hotels in London, is the Grand Dame. The Lanesborough is part of the Oetker Collection’s masterpiece hotels. In 2019, it received multiple awards for best hotel in London. Located steps from Hyde Park, The Lanesborough is set in a mansion that has gone through renovations by the famous designer Alberto Pinto. The hotel has an exceptional collection of 93 rooms and suites, each with high-tech amenities and refurbished interiors. Each room has 24-hour butler service to pamper you. You can also access the exclusive Lanesborough Club and Spa, which won Best Urban Spa at the Good Spa Awards in 2021. The Lanesborough Grill serves modern British fare, while The Garden Room is great for cocktails and lighter dishes. The Lanesborough is also a great setting for weddings and social events with its decadent atmosphere and top-tier service.
The Hotel: The Twenty Two
The Location: Mayfair
It’s maybe the coolest on our best hotels in London list. If you’re looking for something with a contemporary edge, The Twenty Two is a newer chic hotel that recently opened its doors. It’s located by Grosvenor Square in the Mayfair district and is set in a storied manor. With decor inspired by 18th-century France, the hotel includes 31 rooms and suites in a maximalist aesthetic. Designed by Natalia Miyar, the rooms are decorated with velvet, silks, and Egyptian cotton, and the bathrooms are done in marble. At The Twenty Two’s restaurant, run by executive chef Alan Christie, you can find lighter, simple dishes with a Mediterranean influence. The Basement Club features indoor and outdoor bars with red-velvet couches and house music playing till late at night. The Twenty Two is a great option if you want something a little more bohemian but just as upscale.
The Hotel: The Arts Club London
The Location: Mayfair
The Arts Club is an exclusive gathering place for a community of cultural thinkers and leaders who champion the arts. For annual membership fee of about $2,800, you can access a variety of events and programs. The important piece here is that it also doubles as a hotel, featuring rooms and suites on the top two floors of the building. In addition, the restaurants, bars, gallery, and performance space are great for mixing into the crowd. When hungry, try the Brasserie for seasonal Mediterranean fare, Kyubi for contemporary Japanese cuisine, and the members’ lounge for club favorites. For a Cuban-inspired bar with cigars and whiskeys, try Oscuro. Finally, Leo’s is a late-night cocktail bar that has DJs and live music.
The Hotel: Mandarin Oriental
The Location: Knightsbridge
The Mandarin Oriental is known for its plush service, and this hotel is no different. Located in Knightsbridge, the hotel embraces the bustling life around it while giving you luxurious refuge from the crowds. The rooms and suites were done by the incredible designer Joyce Wang. For dining, there’s Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which has garnered two Michelin stars and world admiration. There’s also the Aubrey London for a Japanese Izakaya experience, and The Roseberry for all-day dining. Of course, the Mandarin Bar and the Hyde Park Garden are there for you to enjoy the outdoors. And, this Mandarin Oriental has a full spa and wellness center for recharging.
Special note: A brand-new Mandarin Oriental will be opening in the Mayfair district this winter. It will feature 28 rooms and 22 suites. And it will be the first UK venture of Michelin- starred chef Akira Back.
Too important to leave out of our desired locales is The Berkeley, a five-star modern luxury hotel in Knightsbridge. It includes renowned pastry chef Cédric Grolet’s first patisserie outside of France. There is also the Rosewood, located in Holborn and featuring a slew of lush accommodations and dining experiences. Lastly, there is the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge with its sleek design and quality service.