Luca Micheli

Hotels, Neighbourhoods & Places to Visit in London

Sandra Gouveia

London is a multifaceted, multicultural place and those who visit it know that here plenty are the things to do and places to visit, so as Samuel Johnson once put it: “…when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

In fact, there is no ultimate “best” in London, be a neighbourhood, accommodation or a venue as this sprawling city caters for different tastes, pockets and moods. The most we can do is present a curated list of hotels and places to stay in London so that you take the most of what this modern Babylon has to offer. Get to know the city well, even before stepping foot on its vibrant grounds.

Keys Areas in London

Josh Edgoose

Marylebone, Mayfair, St James’s

Mayfair is one of the most elegant neighbourhoods in London with its high-end hotels, top-notch restaurants as well as luxury boutiques, first class jewellers and bespoke couturiers making it a great place to stay to experience the wealth and charm of London. The highly busy shopping vein of London, Oxford Street, is here located and a bit more to the east another famous road – Park Lane – separates the district from the royal Hyde Park.

 

Adjacent to Oxford Street in the north is Marylebone, a charming urban village renowned for hosting some of London’s most visited attractions: Madame Tussauds, Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes Museum. While in Marylebone, don’t miss out on its many diverse restaurants and charming Georgian Houses.

 

South of Mayfair is St. James’s, a rather posh area located right next to the unmissable Buckingham Palace.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in Marylebone, Mayfair & St James’s

The Dorchester – Dorchester Collection

Bordering Hyde Park, The Dorchester, regarded as one of the very best, luxury hotels in London, is the chosen address of many heads of state, royals and film stars when staying in London. This old world charm property is defined by its high-quality service, refined decór and pure elegance. No visit to The Dorchester is ever complete without a seat at the table of the multi-awarded Alain Ducasse French restaurant – should you experience a hard time ordering, the tasting menu will always prove to be an excellent option.

 

Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

Down on Park Lane, one more name comes to mind: the five-star hotel Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, moments away from three of London’s most beloved green areas: Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James’s Park. The top-floor glass-walled spa, apart from heavenly four-hand massages, offers its guests unwinding panoramic views over London’s skyline, including the prominent The Shard and London Eye. When London is blessed with warmer temperatures and sunny skies, having an al-fresco lunch at Amaranto Italian restaurant proves to be a real delight.

 

Claridge’s

Right at the very heart of Mayfair, Claridge’s takes pride in having some of London’s most spacious rooms and suites, all exquisitely decorated in both a historic and contemporary style. The hotel’s Art Deco inheritance, together with impressive marble floors and glittering chandeliers, have been setting the mood for crowned heads from all over the world. Take a leap of faith by attending a cooking masterclass and discover the secrets behind the mouthwatering food prepared by the hotel’s top-notch chefs. Not a fan of kitchens? Treat yourself to the ultimate dining experience, in a highly-sensorial wine dinner, at the intimate Reading Room. Last but not least, sip a drink at Claridge’s Bar – former Causerie – a city’s institution since the Second World War times.

 

The Ritz London

Strategically located on Piccadilly Street, between Green Park and department store Fortnum & Mason, The Ritz London is a St. James’s vedette in its own right. The luxury hotel has been featured countless times in the big screen (who doesn’t remember Julia Roberts breaking Hugh Grant’s heart in the movie Notting Hill?), having its arcades and trademark signage set the tone for romantic scenes. The Ritz first opened its doors in 1906 by the hand of César Ritz himself and the result couldn’t have been any better, from the extravagance of the Rococo era to staggering, high-ceiling salons that dazzle all of those looking for glamour and unparalleled service. The world-renowned experience of staying at The Ritz London goes way beyond its fine accommodations: drives in Royce Phantoms or attending one of London’s most celebrated afternoon teas, are some of the additional reasons that justify picking this emblematic hotel.

Josh J

Covent Garden, Soho

Covent Garden is a lively place to visit with all its shops, great dining options and cafés along with street art performances in the Piazza. The neoclassical market located right at the centre of the neighbourhood is one of its most famous attractions as is the Royal Opera House and its terrific ballet and opera shows. Leicester Square is another entertainment spot here offering a different type of fun that ranges from cinemas and casinos to great venues where you can dance the night away.

 

North of Leicester Square is yet another place where the buzzing nightlife vibe remains awake – Soho. This quarter is an unconventional neighbourhood, considered the gay hub of London. Different theatres are found in the area as well as several cafés, bars and restaurants.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in Covent Garden & Soho

The Savoy

The first luxury hotel in London, The Savoy, has been sitting on the banks of the river Thames for over a century – and by the Strand thoroughfare – welcoming guests to some of the most elegant rooms in the city, beautifully decorated with Art Deco, Edwardian features and a touch of contemporary essentials. The gorgeous views over the Thames from its opulent signature suites have inspired artists like Monet and Whistler to paint masterpieces, while entertainers like Sinatra and Garland have amused visitors at the iconic American Bar. Strategically located in the Strand, The Savoy London is just a stone’s throw from the many cultural sites such as the Royal National Opera, the Lyceum Theatre, and the Somerset House.

 

The Soho Hotel, Firmdale Hotels

A short walk from Oxford Street and situated in London’s entertainment district (Soho) is The Soho Hotel. The penthouse Terrace Suite is the hotel’s best showpiece, yet every single room in The Soho is carefully designed for the utmost comfort combined with an invigorating and contemporary combination of colours, textures and patterns.

If tired of all the excitement of buzzing London and dying for a lazy night in, the suggestion is to lavish at a delicious dinner in Refuel Restaurant and without even stepping out of the hotel, head to the luxurious screening rooms to watch the film club’s selected movie while sipping a delicious Pommery Champagne.

Bond's Hotel in London

The Savoy London is the chosen home for England's most famous secret agent, James Bond himself. Ready for some Martinis at the hotel's legendary bar?

Explore Hotel

provided by Booking.com

Tamara Menzi

Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia

The 20th century Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals – which included Virginia Woolf – found in Bloomsbury a hub for debating and sharing their common passion for the arts. Until today, this neighbourhood remains the erudite quarter of London, as it’s where several cultural and educational institutions such as the British Museum and the University of London are grounded.

 

West of Bloomsbury and north of Soho, is a rather eclectic residential area where Edwardian apartments coexist with social houses – Fitzrovia. Plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars are found across Charlotte Street, a central vein in the district that leads up north to one of the most iconic symbols of Fitzrovia, the BT Tower (often associated with Coldplay and their “Fix you” album).

 

A smaller area with fine architecture is found adjacent to Covent Garden and the City. Strategically located close to some of London’s top attractions, Holborn also hosts a few highlights of its own: the unexplored Inns of Court, the 12th-century Temple Church and the unusually diverse Sir John Soane’s Museum.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in Bloomsbury & Fitzrovia

Rosewood London

The day at the Rosewood London begins in the elegant and glamorous Mirror Room with an à la carte breakfast or by picking one of the other delicious menu options which include, of course, the Benedict eggs, bacon and baked beans of the typical English breakfast. However, the charms of the Rosewood go beyond their cuisine and splendid cocktail bars. The Pavonazzo marble staircase (original to the building), the peaceful courtyard, the spacious rooms and eloquent interiors designed by Tony Chi and Martin Brudnizki are some of the features that have surely contributed to the graceful rise of the hotel (opened only in 2013) to one of the top contemporary and luxury hotels in London.

 

Kimpton Fitzroy London

The Kimpton Fitzroy London is set on a magnificent 19th-century palatial building that easily intertwines grandeur with polished contemporary design. Yet there is more than wowing architecture and décor to it: several modern world amenities prove how the Kimpton Fitzroy is always one step ahead of its guests. Forgot your phone charger, or maybe your toothbrush? Don’t worry, they got you covered. Travelling with your pet? No additional charges are required and they’re welcome to join the nightly wine reception. And there’s more: free loan of designer bikes to explore the city, delicious local treats in your mini-bar and for the cold winter nights, selected rooms with their own fireplace – just to mention a few.

 

Sanderson

The retro and quirky design within the walls of the Sanderson is something of a kind. From the Salvador Dalí red-lips sofa duplicate at the entrance to the luscious Purple Bar and its clean, modern rooms, the Sanderson is a great option for those looking for a nice boutique hotel in London close to several shopping venues, theatres and galleries.

The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea served at the relaxing Japanese garden courtyard is a must-go for the sweet tooths. The Alice in Wonderland quirky details will make you feel like you’ve tumbled down the rabbit’s hole into a world of delicious treats and lovely ambience.

Michal Parzuchowski

King’s Cross

Camden Town’s weekly market is the most well-known attraction in this unconventional area nestled between Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. Juveniles, free thinkers and tourists normally head here for the live music venues and thriving nightlife.

 

Right next to it is King’s Cross, an area where gentrification successfully brewed a healthy share of cultural, entertainment venues and eateries. The Kings Place arts hub, the British Library with its endless books and original copy of the Magna Carta, and the Harry Potter 9 ¾ platform within King Cross Station (sadly, trips in the Hogwarts Express are still not available for muddles) are only some of the must-visits in King’s Cross. Amusement for everybody is the motto, be it for families, romantic couples, art lovers, green seekers or night owls.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in King’s Cross

Great Northern Hotel, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, London

Having witnessed the extraordinary change of King’s Cross identity, the Great Northern Hotel is a Victorian landmark with an identity of its own. Located literally a stone’s throw away from the St. Pancras International train station and from the tube, this luxury boutique hotel offers three types of rooms: the smaller, intimate and comfortable Couchette rooms – designed after a sleeping car – are the perfect choice for shorter stays, whereas the larger top-floor Wainscot and the luminous Cubitt rooms should be the choice for longer ones.

For a late night drink at the hotel head to the Snug Bar and for lavishing cocktails the GNB Bar. If you’re on the go, generous meat sandwiches are served at the Kiosk, but once you return to the hotel, from “dawn through to midnight”, Plum & Spilt Milk is committed to cater to your taste buds.

 

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

Can you imagine waking up and looking out the window only to see the trains at St. Pancras International train station waiting to depart? St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, located within the station itself has made it possible. The hotel’s red-brick façade and sophisticated interiors were designed by George Gilbert Scott, a knighted Gothic revival architect who referred to the hotel as “almost too good for its purpose”. Indeed, the former Midland Grand is much more than just a hotel, it is a monument boasting historical gems such as the grandiose Grand Staircase leading up to a beautiful painting of the Seven Virtues, the first Ladies’ Smoking room in Europe and the first revolving doors in the world. Great works of restoration have made it possible for this golden age hotel to reach our times intact, opening doors to those looking for the utmost old-world luxury of Victorian grandeur combined with contemporary and exquisite décor.

Colin Watts

London City

The historic, gentrified and hip Clerkenwell is set between the East End and the City. Architects, designers and artists are attracted to the creative flair of the area, where independent boutiques, galleries and stylish restaurants abound. Exmouth Market is a thriving food-oriented street right in the centre of Clerkenwell open during weekdays and a great place to go in London to enjoy good food and a congenial atmosphere. For high-quality dance shows, Sadler’s Wells is a one-of-a-kind venue presenting masterpieces with all types of dances.

 

The less artsy but more get-down-to-business The City district – or Square Mile – is another famous place in London where the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the Museum of London are located.

Much has changed since the Romans first settled here, and now, the historical heart of London is its financial hub as well, hosting the Bank of England and the London Stock Exchange.

Smithfield Market – considered one of London’s most haunted places due to its dark “Bloody Mary” executions – is a buzzing, historic wholesale meat market in the northwest (surely not suitable for vegetarians).

Where to stay

Best Hotels in London City

The Ned

When Nick Jones – founder of the Soho House UK – saw the abandoned Art Deco Midland Bank building, he couldn’t help falling in love with it at first sight and envision what is now The Ned, an upmarket design hotel nestled in the heart of the business and banking district of London. First designed by Edwin “Ned” Lutyens, many are the well-preserved details to explore – the almost one hundred verdite African pillars, palm-tree crystal chandeliers, and the original walnut banking counters. The Ned is much more than a historic hotel, it is a private member’s club, a foodies complex (featuring nine different restaurants) and an unwinding place for the City busy workers. St. Paul’s Cathedral is within walking distance or simply a glimpse away from your selected room or from the rooftop pool (from where you can also marvel at the view over London’s skyline).

 

Andaz London Liverpool Street – a Concept by Hyatt

Once the Great Eastern Hotel, the beautifully designed Andaz London Liverpool Street is set on a Victorian building in the busy City. Business meets leisure, and history meets modernity in this multifaceted hotel where opulent, original Victorian features such as a 1901 Ballroom and a (not so) Secret Masonic Temple coexist with unconventional, modern pieces. The controversial Gherkin, the Barbican Centre, the Tower of London, the century-old Old Spitalfields Market, Liverpool Street Station and the charming Finsbury Circus Gardens are all within walking distance.

 

The Rookery

Sophisticated, romantic and luxurious: The Rookery in Clerkenwell is a boutique hotel that is guaranteed to take you back to the elegant Georgian period with its antique-filled rooms, fine furniture, classical figures and beautiful oil paintings in gilt frames. The two-storey Penthouse suite – The Rook’s Nest – looks like the setting of an Agatha Christie novel offering fantastic views over St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Old Bailey Courthouse. Every single room in the hotel is named after past residents and workers from the area (such as the architect Horace Jones, the Master Baker John Leeland and the servant Mary Lane) adding even more character to this poetic London hotel.

 

Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square

A stone’s throw from the Tower of London and lodged in a Neoclassical building, is the imperial Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square. The rooms’ design is impeccable and classy, each fit for a different purpose: Guest Rooms for business travellers, Deluxe Suites for a comfortable stay, Specialty Suites for families, and Residences for those looking for a home-away-from-home. In-room dining is an available option, however, you will certainly want to eat and lounge at the elegant Le Dame de Pic restaurant and delight at the sensational flavours of (three-Michelin awarded) Anne-Sophie Pic’s cuisine.

Ambitious Creative Co. Rick Barrett

East London

To many the trendiest quarter in London, this is where hipsters and creatives find their Mecca. Once the decadent stepsister of Shoreditch, the cool bars at Hoxton Square, avant-garde galleries, witty street art and bohemian stores of Hoxton gave this area a new and quite eccentric face. Hoxton Market is still an outlasting symbol of Hoxton’s cockney soul selling all the habitual goods.

 

Adjacent to it, eclectic Shoreditch paves the way for an unusual mix of tones: Indian influences are found to the east in Brick Lane, a large chunk of the modern world to the west in the City and right in the centre, the Victorian Old Spitalfields Market boasting a combination of fine eateries with original shops and stalls. In the trendsetting Shoreditch Triangle – comprising High Street, Great Eastern Street and Old Street – 19th-century warehouses were transformed into creative workplaces, studios, bars and pubs.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in East London

M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City

A dynamic and savvy hotel fit for millennials right “at the heart of London’s Tech City”. The brand proclaims M to be the younger and edgier sibling of Montcalm and telling by the avant-guard exterior and clean, modern interior design it sure is.

As a good night’s sleep is essential for anyone who’s travelling – be it business or pleasure – M’s own Sleep Concierge is there to help you find the perfect setting for your sweet dreams. A Hot Stones Heaven or Deep Tissue Massage at the hotel’s Spa will also do the trick, followed by a laid-back meal at the Plate Restaurant (don’t forget to add in an after-dinner dessert and cocktail at Plate Bake and Bar just a floor below).

 

The Curtain

As you enter The Curtain, a clubby, chic, yet graceful scene unfolds, unveiling one of the best places to stay in trendy Shoreditch. Featuring brick walls against king-sized beds and marble bathrooms with rainfall-showers in each room plus an all-year heated rooftop pool + terrace, a gym, fine eateries and a wellness centre, this 5-star hotel delivers all you need and more: a Tattoo Studio exclusive for guests/members, a ballroom, a dancefloor, a screening room, exclusive events (including live performances and late night parties) and plenty more.

 

Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch

This Shoreditch Hotel hides a criminal past, not while under the Worldhotels name, of course, but dating back to the times when it was the quarters of the Old Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station. Contemporary components were added to it, but many original features were restored and retained – among them the three prison holding cells at the Jailhouse Bar. An encounter of luxury, history and quirkiness, right by Hoxton Square.

 

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch

In a back street steps away from buzzing Great Eastern Street, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch blends the simplicity of Japanese design with the modern aesthetics of hip East London. The cavernous restaurant – catering signature “Nobu Style” flavours blended with local ones –  is a great place to socialize on pleasurable food. True relaxation and body-mind harmonization are attained at the Nobu Spa, especially if choosing the branded Nobu Signature Rituals.

Robert Bye

Southbank

If you’re a history nut into serious sightseeing, then Southbank is a great place to base yourself in. Many of London’s major attractions are here located, such as The London Eye, The Shard, The London Dungeon, the Imperial War Museum and Tate Modern. Easily explored on foot, there is a vast amount of shopping experiences and eateries in Southbank that can comfortably be combined with an easy breeze ride to the various museums and landmarks of the electrifying city centre on the other side of the Thames.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in South Bank

Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London

Located from the 34th to the 52nd floor of the sky-reaching The Shard, it is needless to say why Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard is one of the newest, most modern hotels in London. In this contemporary sanctuary, all rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking views over the city and little luxury perks such a pillow menu, binoculars, and marble bathrooms with heated floors. Guests are welcomed to enjoy the east meets west culinary delicacies served at the TING Restaurant and relax at the Gong Bar in the 52nd floor while sipping one of its creative cocktails. For a more convivial atmosphere, Bar 31 with its local craft beers and delicious taste bites is the suggestion.

 

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London is conveniently settled in the Southbank just across the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, moments away from London Eye, The London Dungeon and The National Theatre. The décor of the hotel is modern and all +1,000 rooms are spacious and extra comfortable.

For a night well spent at The Park Plaza, reserve the VIP area at the Primo Bar, enjoy the sweeping views over Big Ben and raise a glass of a delicious handcrafted cocktail while listening to the venue’s free live music.

 

Sea Containers formerly Mondrian London

Sea Containers London welcomes all aboard its contemporary boundaries by the Thames. All-day meals are served at the hotel’s restaurant right by the riverside, vibrant nights are delivered on the rooftop 12th Knot (former Rumpus Room) and a glamorous, funky ambience floods the award-winning Dandelion Bar. Pampering takes place at the Agua London spa, ideally followed by an also relaxing in-house movie experience at the Curzon.

Claus Grunstaudl

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf is located in the Isle of Dogs (on the eastern edge of the City), but the number of skyscrapers found in this part of the peninsula could well enough justify changing its name to the Isle of Glass & Steel. Several offices, banks as well as shopping centres are set in the zone together with the tube rooftop Jubilee Park, reminders of Victorian-era architecture and of what was once a powerhouse of the British Empire – the West India Docks. Nowadays, Canary Wharf still keeps up the pace with its charming waterfront eateries and attractive events’ programme.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in Canary Wharf

Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel

The 5-star Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel is set on the same grounds as the historic West India Quay, and yes, its location is a great asset: imagine taking a relaxing swim in a 20-meter infinity pool by the River Thames or even waking up to the stunning view of London’s skyline from a spacious Luxury Suite. Alfresco dining is possible in the Italian restaurant (Quadrato) and pampering your body or getting fit also, at the three-floored Health Club & Spa.

 

Radisson Blu Edwardian, New Providence Wharf

The Radisson Blu Edwardian lays right across the O2 Arena by the River Thames. The rooms at this 4-star hotel are comfortable, with a low-key and stylish design, embellished with beautiful and raw art pieces, which are also found scattered throughout the hotel,  

A free shuttle bus transports guests to Canary Wharf every 15 minutes.

 

Hilton London Canary Wharf

An elegant option by the docks, the Hilton London Canary Wharf is a stylish four-star hotel nestled amid skyscrapers and close to an array of good places to dine and chill while overlooking the waters of the Thames. This is a smart option on the Isle of Dogs offering everything you need for a fabulous stay: spacious and pleasant rooms, a well-equipped fitness centre, delicious breakfast and an attractive restaurant & bar. It is located 5 minutes away from CW’s tube and, therefore, a ride away from some of London’s most famous attractions.

 

London Marriott Hotel West India Quay

The sleek London Marriott Hotel West India Quay is a great fit for business travellers in London’s Docklands with its comfortable, simple and classy rooms.

Biel Morro

Knightsbridge, Belgravia

The Harrods couldn’t be located anywhere other than Knightsbridge, a wealthy area edging Hyde Park to the North and Belgravia to the east. Classical buildings and landscaped gardens are found throughout the neighbourhood where elite shopping experiences and high-end restaurants cater to an affluent clientele. The London Oratory, the Wellington Arch, and the Victoria and Albert Museum are some noteworthy places in Knightsbridge.

 

Belgravia follows the same line as Knightsbridge when it comes to lavish residences and high-class lifestyle places to eat, shop and socialize, especially in the adjoining Buckingham Palace Road. Most foreign embassies are settled here and the Buckingham Gardens are conveniently located within close proximity.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in Knightsbridge & Belgravia

Bulgari Hotel, London

Finding your quiet haven in the Bulgari Hotel London is no challenge. The Italian brand’s world-known exquisite taste and attention to detail reflect itself in the flawless design and peerless materials, exclusively made for Bulgari. The rooms are perfect to wash the away the tiredness of a day spent exploring the prestigious neighbourhood of Knightsbridge, the place where this London hotel put down its roots in 2012.

 

Knightsbridge Hotel, Firmdale Hotels

No other brand seamlessly blends elaborate artwork with the utmost comfort and elegance the way the Firmdale Hotels does. The distinctive, colourful patterns found throughout its embroidered bed frames, furniture and art pieces are sure to enliven you even during the gloomy and rainy days. Quiet and well located, artsy souls craving for elegance in Knightsbridge need to seek no further place to stay in London than in 10 Beaufort Gardens.

 

The Berkeley

Opened in 1897, the Berkeley has seen many glorious days and by no way slackens its efforts on shaping the world of luxury hotels in London. Top-notch service, an idyllic spa, award-winning cuisine and innovative design are there to prove our point. However, the chance to create your own personalized Ferrari in loco, at the Ferrari Atelier, only shows how they go way beyond the standards.

 

The Hari London

The cosy, intimate and sophisticated ambience of the Hari London is what we believe to be its best attribute. “A rest unlike the rest” is their motto, surely made true for visitors staying at the sumptuous Hari’s Penthouse. For full relaxation, a visit to the al fresco garden terrace and classic Hari Bar is a must.

 

The Lanesborough – an Oetker Collection Hotel

The multi-award winning Lanesborough brings 19th-century opulence to Hyde Park Corner. Everybody’s treated like royalty here, including our beloved four-legged friends. Magic is said to happen in a place where every single detail is top-of-the-range from the gold-encased changing room cubicle at the Spa to an around-the-clock butler for guests staying at the Presidential and Royal Suites.

 

Egerton House

This typically English townhouse converted into a luxury hotel couldn’t have turned out any better. The Egerton revives the core values of the British posh culture: hospitality, great service, gracefulness and grandeur. No doubt you’ll be “chuffed to bits” at this “spiffing” hotel.

Paddington, Bayswater

North of Hyde Park is Paddington, home to a famous, busy terminal that connects commuters to several points across the city, including to Heathrow Airport (with the Heathrow Express). The Paddington Station is where the Paddington Bear, a beloved children’s book character, was first found, and following the Pawprint Trail around the neighbourhood is a favourite among families. One of the stops is the Norfolk Square Gardens, a great place for a picnic, and the lovely Paddington Basin with its floating public park and relaxing Merchants Square.

 

Bordering Paddington to the east, Notting Hill to the west and the Kensington Gardens to the south is Bayswater. The atmosphere here is more tranquil and residential, yet the neighbourhood is positioned close to many of London’s attractions. Queensway Street, a primary street in Bayswater, is where both its Underground stations, the Whiteleys (London’s first department store) and plenty of eateries can be found.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in Paddington & Bayswater

Royal Lancaster London

With a sleek, contemporary and light design this west London hotel has taken renovation to the next level. The wide windows in all the light, spacious rooms allow for great views over the city, however, the top rooms in the 18-storey building are the ones which offer the most sweeping vistas over Hyde Park and London’s skyline (The Shard and Wembley Stadium included).

The independent Royal Lancaster London Hotel pledges to “always care”, and indeed they do, promptly. What else? The hotel is located only 5-minutes away from Paddington Station, serves luscious, authentic Thai food at Nipa Thai restaurant and the cocktails prepared with honey from the hotel’s own beehive at Hyde Bar are electrifying.

 

The Westbourne Hyde Park

The Westbourne Hyde Park in Paddington is a modern hotel offering comfortable studios and suites minutes away from Paddington Tube Station and Lancaster Tube Station. As the hotel’s name self proclaims, Hyde Park is in close proximity as well.

Fineas Anton

Notting Hill, Holland Park

This cobblestoned neighbourhood is the perfect setting for a romantic comedy with its charming gardens, beautiful backstreets and lovely brunch spots. Surely someone has already thought of that? Portobello Road with its famous market and chilling cafes is a must-go as is Westbourne Grove, one of the “happening places” in Notting Hill: great restaurants, nice independent boutiques and several entertainment venues are set around it. But we can not mention Notting Hill without mentioning its famous, overwhelming Carnival – considered one of Europe’s biggest street festivals.

 

South of Notting Hill and east of Kensington – and therefore close to excellent restaurants, cafes and pubs – lays an affluent street, district and green oasis: Holland Park. In the park complex, you can find a beautiful Japanese garden with a small waterfall, a glass & stone events venue, an open-air theatre, several playground areas, a wildlife centre, and different sports facilities. Embassies and mansions inhabited by celebrities – including some of the most expensive houses in the world – surround the gardens.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in Notting Hill & Holland Park

The Portobello Hotel

It’s not just the quiet location and bohemian design that makes it all the worthwhile staying at The Portobello Hotel. In this eclectic, luxury hotel in Notting Hill opened in 1971, the 21 rooms look like something out of a quirky Victorian fairy-tale and its new owners were clever to maintain the extra touch of homely, intimate ambience. The hotel prides itself in having hosted several musicians and stars of all sort throughout the years, something that only testifies to it being one of the best places to stay in the Notting Hill.

 

The Laslett

This design boutique hotel from the Living Rooms’ group possesses 51 minimalistic and stylish rooms & suites, all set across 5 Victorian townhouses in Notting Hill. Several art pieces from Londoners and books for all tastes and likings are found in the library, on the ground floor – together with a shop and the Henderson Bar (dare we say the fruity, signature Laslett Cup cocktail here served is a great option for a warm summer day).

Naveed Jan

Kensington, Chelsea, Hyde Park

One of the primmest places to stay in London is, of course, the exact same place that royalty chose as their abode in the 17th century.

The Kensington Palace and Gardens are undoubtedly the crown jewels of sprawling Kensington, followed by the much-visited Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Royal Albert Hall.

Kensington Church Street and Kensington High Street are the most notable streets around, with the latter anchoring all types of shopping locales while Church Street hosts for more high-end brands.

 

The green lung of the Kensington Gardens stretches eastwards into Hyde Park, the largest Royal Park of London. Side by side, these parks are only separated by the W Carriage Dr Road and united by a massive body of water, called the Long Water in the Kensington Gardens and The Serpentine in Hyde Park. Other spots to visit in these esteemed parks include The Peter Pan Statue, the Serpentine Gallery and the Albert Memorial at Kensington Park and the Speaker’s Corner at Hyde Park.

 

The likewise posh Chelsea neighbourhood – north of Kensington – is much more than the name of one of the world’s most famous football teams. Its residents are mainly high-class, fashionable millennials also called the Sloane Rangers.

The far-stretching King’s Road was once a Swinging London’s epicentre, and even though this bohemian heritage has not totally faded, the street polished up – not as much as upmarket Sloane Street though – and is nowadays one of the top shopping meccas in London.

Non-fashionistas will also find an array of places to visit in Chelsea: the contemporary Saatchi Gallery, the National Army Museum, the Cadogan Hall concert hall, the Royal Court Theatre and Stamford Bridge (Chelsea FC Stadium) to name a few.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in Kensington, Chelsea & Hyde Park

Milestone Hotel Kensington

Whichever room you choose to take your good night’s sleep in the Milestone Hotel Kensington, the décor and feel are guaranteed to be unique and flamboyant. Unique artworks and antique furnishing are found throughout, plus lovely complimentary gifts like artisanal cookies, seasonal fruits, and fresh flowers. Three different in-house eateries serve great cuisine and a fine selection of wines, teas and cocktails. 

 

Number Sixteen, Firmdale Hotels

The Firmdale Hotels are well known for Kit Kemp’s exquisite design pieces which only perfect the sophistication of some of the most luxurious boutique hotels in London. Number Sixteen rivals the uniqueness of any of the other six Firmdale Hotels in the capital of England, yet it is the only located in South Kensington (and therefore in close proximity to all of this neighbourhood’s appeals).

During your stay in Number Sixteen make sure you savour a delightful afternoon tea at the harmonious tree-filled garden.

 

The Ampersand Hotel

Also in South Kensington, another charming boutique hotel caught our attention: the Ampersand Hotel. The rooms here aren’t just amazingly comfortable (with underfloor heating in the bathroom), they are also creative gems as each type of room is designed according to a particular theme: music, botany, ornithology, geometry or astronomy. The location is just ideal, right by SK’s tube and minutes away from the museums. Moreover, the feel of the Ampersand easily stands out for the quirkiness, thoughtful extras and welcoming service.

Luke Stackpoole

Westminster

Many are the tourists who give life to Westminster every day, be it out historical interest or simply sheer curiosity as many of London’s must-dos and sees are found here: the famous Changing of the Guard at Horse Guards Parade (in Whitehall), and the soaring bell of Big Ben. This area has been the country’s and Empire’s seat of power ever since the 11th century, so a list of other important places to visit in Westminster should include the Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and Nelson’s Column at Trafalgar Square. Soak up the atmosphere of this historical riverside area and unwind from all the touring around at some of its several cafes, restaurants and shops.

Where to stay

Best Hotels in Westminster

St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel, London

St. James’s Court is an archetype of old-world charm and modernity combined, set in a quite prestigious location – Buckingham Gate. Guests take their pick when it comes to choosing the ambience of their accommodation: there are the classic, typically English rooms or the more contemporary Executive, King and Family rooms. Those wishing to travel further can always go “Around The World in 80 Tastes”, a fine dining journey through the world-wide flavours that influence the kitchen of the Victorian St. James’ Courtyard, the chic Bistro, Michelin-starred Quilon, and elegant Kona.

 

Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences

Glued to St. James’s Court, this is yet another excellent choice from the Taj Hotels chain. Visitors yearning to feel at home in London – in a luxurious way –  are well served in Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences. All Suites have fully equipped kitchens, spacious living rooms, butler service, washers/dryers and Wi-Fi access making it a top choice for regular visitors or for those wishing to share a longer stay in London with their family.

 

Conrad London St James

The location of this 5-starred hotel may well give it great credit – a stone’s throw from landmarks such as Westminster Abbey and Big Ben – but the Hilton Group didn’t just leave it with that. The décor at Conrad London St. James is sophisticated and modern, the service impeccable and the restaurant, bar and lounge great places to enjoy regional favourites like the afternoon tea at Emmeline’s Lounge or even the Ultimate Sandwich at Blue Boar Bar.

Amadeusz Misiak

Hampstead, Belsize Park, Primrose Hill

Just a quick 20-minute train ride from Central London and you’re in the Georgian, narrow alleyways of Hampstead. Retreating from the hectic pace of the city, those gravitating here will find a charming village with several cafes, restaurants, pubs and quaint shops nestled by Hampstead Heath, a very popular green lung in London. This wealthy neighbourhood has been inhabited in the past by several reputable artists and writers and is still nowadays a place of choice by big names.

 

The neighbouring Belsize Park to the south with its fine heritage buildings and tree-lined streets, homes the famous, white-collars and young families alike.

 

Southwest of Camden Town and south of Belsize Park is one of the highest points in London – the 65m-high Primrose Hill. The area surrounding the hill is quiet, residential and expensive, but the superlative here is the fantastic view over Central London, especially during the fireworks on Bonfire Night.

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