London is known for its bold architectural statements: the Palaces of Westminster, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Tower Bridge all immediately spring to mind. Beyond these public icons though, the luxury hotel scene is just as impressive.
You know the ones. The Savoy, The Dorchester, The Ritz… these famous London hotels have stood the test of time and continue to attract those seeking a taste of how ‘the other half live’.
Yet they’re not the only addresses worth checking into.
No matter your personal taste and style, there’s an opulent escape with your name on it. The hardest decision is simply picking one, as there are dozens of worthwhile options. But there is an easy way to narrow the choices.
Five star London hotels often fall into three categories: grand dames, storied abodes filled with centuries of history; new classics, blending traditional style with a more contemporary edge; and modern marvels, where the old playbook has been scattered to the wind.
The best luxury hotels in London
In no particular order, and by no means a complete list (there are dozens of worthy properties, but we can’t feature them all), these are some of the best luxury hotels London has to offer.
Ask anyone to name London’s best hotels, and there’s a good chance The Dorchester will be among the first to fall from their lips. It’s iconic. A property which has welcomed countless dignitaries, celebrities and even members of the Royal Family since 1931.
A fun fact, it was also the world’s first hotel to be constructed of reinforced concrete. But it’s the interior that truly sets it apart: this is palatial grandeur with a penchant for florals. Every room is over the top: rich wallpapers, elegant sitting areas, and enough marble to rival The Vatican.
The dining front does not disappoint either. Three Michelin star haute cuisine at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, award-winning high tea in the Orchid Room, The Grill at The Dorchester from rising star Tom Booton. And The Dorchester Rooftop? Spectacular.
Even if you don’t intend to stay the night, a visit to The Dorchester is an absolute must.
Hotels always sound better when you add ‘the’ to their name. The Ritz London in Piccadilly, on the edge of leafy Green Park, is one such hotel, a British icon steeped in 115 years of history.
Within its plush confines are an extravagant array of rooms and suites, each not unlike those found in Buckingham Palace. Think chandeliers and canopied bedheads. While its regal splendour may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly has a lot of fans.
Booked into a signature suite? You can be ferried from the airport in style, with a complimentary transfer in one of its bespoke Ritz-blue extended wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantoms.
When it’s time to dine, you can enjoy freshly baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve in the Amber Room, or treat yourself to Michelin starred fare at The Ritz Restaurant.
A fusion of Edwardian and Art Deco style, The Savoy in central London has been a fixture of the local hotel scene for 130 years. Rather than remaining a throwback to the past, it has kept up with times, giving its dining and public spaces a dramatic, modern twist.
From cocktails in the jet-black Beaufort Bar to a celebration of British cuisine in Savoy Grill by Gordon Ramsay, not to mention the newly-opened 26-seat 1890 by Gordon Ramsey, this is a hotel that will keep foodies in their element from dawn till longer after dusk.
Many of the hotel’s 267 rooms and suites overlook the River Thames, the London Eye and beyond to Big Ben, reminding you that you are indeed in one of the world’s greatest cities.
Variety is the spice of life. At The Connaught in Mayfair, suites are adorned in an almost kaleidoscopic variety of architectural styles, including the maritime feel of The Prince’s Suite, the contemporary flair of the Mews, and majesty of the Connaught.
The rest of the hotel is similarly eclectic. There’s the conservatory dining room of Jean-Georges at The Connaught, cocooning lounges and armchairs in Michelin starred Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, and the almost punk-Deco of the Red Room cocktail bar. It works though.
Aman Spa is also onsite for nourishing treatments such as a grounding massage ritual (that features actual Peruvian mud), and a purifying body polish and wrap. All treatments feature all-natural skincare products from Aman.
Welcoming travellers since the 1850s, Claridge’s has evolved considerably over the years, with a transformation into an Art Deco gem in the 1920s and 30s the most significant. It soon became the talk of the town, and its shine – like the sparkle in its chandeliers – has not faded.
Within this five star hotel are 190 beautiful rooms and suites, many of them featuring a modern take on the Art Deco style. Restaurants and bars follow suit, with the rose pink Painters Room cocktail bar, degustation dining of L’Epicurie, and The Foyer a taste of what’s on offer.
As with almost every London hotel, afternoon tea is an essential tradition. Claridge’s offers a sumptuous affair, with dishes from Smoked Scottish salmon sandwiches to freshly baked scones and almond and hazelnut éclairs. Luckily, there’s also a gym onsite.
Shangri-La, The Shard
The Shard is London’s tallest tower – a glittering monolith of glass and steel rising 72 floors into the sky. And near its peak? Shangri-La The Shard, a five star sanctuary offering 18 floors of pure indulgence, complemented by divine views from every one of its 202 rooms.
When not soaking in a deep bathtub and enjoying the view, guests can treat their taste buds to British-meets-Asian à la carte dining at TÄªNG, or sky-high cocktails and champagne at GONG, the highest bar in Western Europe. The sky pool on level 52 is a stunner too!
Location-wise, the hotel is perfectly placed for exploration, only a short stroll from Tower Bridge, the HMS Belfast, and bustling Borough Market. Further afield, just hop on the tube and you’ll reach icons such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and more in no time.
The London Edition
Edition Hotels is a brand to watch. Each property is wildly different, both a product of its location and playground for designers to unleash their creativity. The London Edition, on the edge of Soho in historic Fitzrovia, is the perfect meeting of the past and present.
For starters, it’s housed within a row of Georgian townhouses, with their grand architectural details inspiring the decor, yet it has a free-spirited modern feel too. Each of its 173 guest rooms and suites is surprisingly understated, a light and bright space of oak floors, wood-panelled walls and custom furnishings. Not unlike a private yacht.
The hotel’s three bar and dining options, on the other hand, are the opposite. The artwork-heavy Berners Tavern, newly-revamped and private club-esque Punch Room, and opulent Lobby Bar have taken a ‘more is more’ approach, with moody lighting and furnishings that fill all available space.
Velvet banquette seating, glossy cabinetry, marble bathrooms, and cowhide rugs. On paper, The Hari in Belgravia probably shouldn’t work, yet the finished result is actually quite stunning – a hotel brimming with personality.
An easy way from Knightsbridge, Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, the 85-room hideaway is entered via a two storey lobby tailor-made for socialising and relaxation, with multiple nooks where you can chat or read a book lifted from its well-stocked library.
Hari Bar and the Garden Terrace are your go-to options for cocktails and light eats, while il Pampero Italian restaurant is also on hand to take you on a seasonal culinary adventure. When it’s time to work off those meals, the onsite gym with Peloton bikes is also available.
Soho is London’s cultural heart, a colourful district home to an eclectic mix of bars, pubs, clubs and people. W London fits right in, with its playful decor, high-tech gadgetry, and in-house cocktail bar ‘The Perception’ meaning you don’t have to venture far for a good time.
Each of its 192 rooms and suites, including the Austin Powers-like Extreme WOW Suite, feature iPad-controlled lighting, temperature, music, room service and streaming entertainment. There’s also a fully-stocked MixBar with wine, snacks and cocktails.
Positioned on the edge of the West End theatre district, the hotel boasts the energising Away Spa and well-equipped Fit gymnasium, plus three meeting and events spaces (including a 3D cinema) for when you need to get down to business.
The Londoner Leicester Square
Billed as ‘the world’s first super boutique hotel’, The Londoner takes hearty inspiration from its theatrical West End location. With 350 spacious rooms and 35 suites, plus a quirky array of dining options (check out the rooftop izakaya), it’s eccentric in all the places.
Rich timber panelling plucked from a country manor, a blush pink chaise lounge to recline on, an illuminated Hollywood-style vanity mirror – it’s vintage luxe with personality. Even the basement is impressive, with a serene, subterranean spa complete with poolside cabanas.
Above ground, there’s a total of eight venues to taste your way through, including Joshua’s Tavern, a crowd-pleaser for gin lovers; The Stage, serving petit fours, oysters, champagne, and caviar; and signature venues 8 at The Londoner Japanese Izakaya and Whitcomb’s Mediterranean.
The New Classics
InterContinental London Park Lane
As a tourist, navigating London is like exploring the Monopoly board, with names like Bond Street, Liverpool Street Station, and Mayfair all triggering our nostalgia. One of the game’s other premium addresses is Park Lane, where InterContinental Park Lane is right at home.
A magnet for well-heeled travellers since 1975, the flagship is all about timeless elegance, with crisp lines and tactile finishes that make you want to run a hand along them. And the views? Stunning.
Club InterContinental, open exclusively to members and guests in Club level rooms, affords perhaps the greatest view of all, across the Royal Parks to Buckingham Palace beyond. While in the lounge, guests can enjoy an exquisite afternoon tea, evening tipples and more.
A hop, skip and a few fashionable steps from the department stores of Knightsbridge, Bulgari Hotel London is a rare diamond. Cut from the same cloth as its sister property in Dubai, the chic 85-room establishment is all about effortless service, matched by a sparkling flair for design.
While every room is worth unpacking your case in, the seven Bulgari Suites are a perfectly-tailored cut above. Each one is vast, with its own distinct character; some have toasty open fireplaces, others terrace views across the expanse of Hyde Park and trendy Knightsbridge.
After a friendly greeting by two dapper doormen, guests enter a haven of style, complete with a cool private spa, 47-seat cinema, and even a cigar shop and samping room. Dining is equally stellar, with the New York Italian of Sette by Scarpetta, and Nolita Social Bar and Lounge.
Impeccable styling? Check. Michelin chef? Check. Marble for days? Of course! The Biltmore Mayfair is a luxury London hotel designed for travellers with a taste for the finer things. There’s even a Bentley you can take for a spin, or be chauffeured around in, if you’d prefer.
Facing prestigious Grosvenor Square, only five minutes stroll from Oxford Street, The Biltmore is a member of Hilton’s independent LXR Hotels & Resorts family, designed to offer a unique experience native to its location and history. And does it ever.
Behind its imposing red brick façade are 250 rooms, 49 suites, and eight signature suites enjoying views of the city and private butler service. Brunch at Café Biltmore, featuring a menu overseen by Michelin chef Jason Atherton, and a lavish afternoon tea are both must-tries.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
It’s a group renowned for exceptional service and quality, yet Mandarin Oriental raised the bar even higher in London. Opened at the turn of the century, the Edwardian building was reborn into a 21st century destination, feeling both modern and a throwback to days of old.
Refurbished in 2019, its opulent rooms and public spaces now sport a more contemporary feel thanks to designer Joyce Wang. Dining options range from fantastical Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (home of the ‘meat fruit’) to The Rosebery, where it’s never too early for champagne.
It wouldn’t be a Mandarin Oriental without a little pampering relaxation. The Spa delivers in the form of 13 luxurious treatment rooms, and a couple’s suite with Rasul water temple, where guests can enjoy skin conditioning treatments involving mud, heat and steam.
Nobu Hotel London Portman
A delicious fusion of British charm and Japanese elegance, Nobu Hotel London Portman builds upon the legacy of Nobu Matsuhisa – the acclaimed celebrity chef and restaurateur, known for blending traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients.
It goes without saying food is a substantial element of the experience, with Nobu Restaurant plating up tantalising dishes such as Rock Shrimp Tempura, Miso Black Cod, and Yellowtail Sashimi with thinly sliced jalapeño peppers, complemented by exclusive sakés.
Guest rooms, from Superior to the Saijoukai Suite and Nobu Penthouse, all follow the Japanese ‘wabi sabi’ design philosophy, which finds beauty in imperfect simplicity and asymmetry.