Heading for a quick jaunt to London? Our picks of London’s top hotels, from the classic to the cutting-edge and for every type of traveller.
Located above Tower Hill, citizenM Tower of London, the Dutch chain’s third hotel in Britain alongside citizenM Bankside and citizenM Glasgow gives you a sweeping view of this beautiful city, including the Tower of London, The Gherkin, The Shard, Tower Bridge and, in the distance, Canary Wharf.
Designed by the acclaimed Amsterdam-based creatives of Concrete, the building’s glass and limestone facade blends in with its surroundings. Walls are lined with trademark floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stocked with coffee-table books, sculptures and souvenirs that celebrate Britain (toy Morris Minors, miniature postboxes and vintage cricket bats) as well as large pieces of contemporary art by artists such as Julian Opie, Dominic Harris and Peter Lamb.
Furniture from Vitra, citizenM’s long-term partner, is used throughout the hotel, showcasing classic pieces from designers such as Verner Panton, Charles & Ray Eames and Jean Prouvé. In the centre of the new hotel are the self check-in terminals, arranged in circles around small sapling trees, which allow a swift and easy check in and out in seconds. Oversized shelves let the guest enter the humorous world
of citizenM. Filled with travel and art books and unique objects that reflect aspects of traditional British heritage, citizenM’s love for quirky details will delight guests looking for a smart fix of trademark Brit wit. citizenm.com/destinations/london/tower-of-london-hotel
If the Marylebone location or the authentic Georgian architecture isn’t enough, then living vicariously through the home’s fictional former resident, the wicked Uncle Seymour, should be. The Zetter Group founders have filled the townhouse with paraphernalia so eclectic, one can only order a meticulously crafted cocktail and sip it all in. Don’t forget to give Uncle Seymour a nod: his likeness hangs over the fireplace in the parlour named for him; after a nightcap slip into one of the 24 bedrooms, but don’t count on Seymour’s ghost making an appearance. www.thezettertownhouse.com
If you prefer rubbing shoulders with Buckingham Palace types, being within walking distance of St. James Park and Westminster, yet maintain your incognito self, this is the spot. This private hideaway, part of the four- and five-star Red Carnation Hotel collection, invites one to sleep in (hot water bottle between the sheets at turn down is a warming touch), laze about and just be at home. Between the genuinely happy staffers to the exclusive executive lounge – stocked with all sorts of complimentary sweet and savoury treats, and a host who knows how to pour a proper gin and tonic – we didn’t want to leave. www.41hotel.com
A poster child for the “everything that’s old is new again” adage, this Knightsbridge monument to the Regency period was recently stripped to the bones and then reupholstered to a grandeur that may just be its original heyday’s match. The 93 rooms are filled with crystal, antiques, 18th-Century art and a touch of mahogany to richly round things out. Opulent? Yes. Old-school, why not? A butler at your service? Naturally. Lanesborough.com