Insider Guide: where to stay in London

London has heaps of brilliant places to stay, but hotel expert Ianthe Butt curates a list of the capital’s most beautiful hotels, many of which work well for longer trips

Words by Ianthe Butt
Last updated: June 16, 2022
Where to stay in London: a white-sheeted bed with a ruby-red velvet headboard in front of a mint green wall at The Hoxton Southwark

Picking where to stay in London, with a hotel scene as diverse and compelling as its creative, multi-cultural population, can feel like a conundrum. From funky aparthotels and design-led boltholes created with co-workers in mind, to arty crashpads that place the environment first, there are a host of stellar properties to choose from. Whether looking for a laptop-friendly long stay in East London, a spot of R&R in West or a base close to the capital’s selection of museums and galleries in central, these spots combine brilliant location, value for money, gorgeous surroundings and a vibe we seriously dig. Here are nine of the best hotels in London…

 

Where to stay in London | a side view of a double bed with white sheets in The Hoxton Hotel Southwark, against a backdrop of floor-to-ceiling windows
The Hoxton, Southwark

The Hoxton, Southwark

Best for: Creative cool
Location: 40 Blackfriars Road, Southwark, London, SE1 8NY
Price: From 169 GBP/224 USD, room only

Despite springing up across Europe, the Hoxton hotels manage to retain authentic, boutique appeal, minus the eye-watering price tag. A few minutes’ walk from Southbank’s galleries, and Borough Market – buongiorno Padella’s pici cacio e pepe, and Bread Ahead’s squishy amaretti biscuits – bedrooms at the 192-room Southwark outpost fuse industrial-style brass lighting with fern-hued walls, Crittal-style windows, berry-shade headboards and curated-by-locals bookshelves. Open-plan dining spot Albie, all tropical plants, terrazzo tables and a touch of NYC swagger, has ample spots to work, gossip, or do business tête-à-têtes. Six floors house members-only co-working space Working From (read more on that here), and on balmy evenings tropicool 14th-floor restaurant Seabird is the spot for seafood and frankly unbeatable city views – and if that doesn’t take your fancy, you’re in prime position to access London’s best restaurants and cocktail bars, too.
thehoxton.com

Where to stay in London | a sleek, modern, white room at new hotel One Hundred Shoreditch
One Hundred Shoreditch

One Hundred Shoreditch, Shoreditch

Best for: Socially charged co-working
Location: 100 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JQ
Price: From 175 GBP/232 USD, room only

Smack-bang on Shoreditch High Street, few hotels sit as in the thick of East London as this. The former Ace Hotel, given a new personality in One Hundred Shoreditch, which cleverly retains what was already great – a lively, co-working living room and community-focussed ethos – and combines it with a Jacu Strauss-masterminded design shakeup. From Jan Hendzel wooden totems at its entrance to switched-on staff, and cosseting bedrooms with marshmallow-inspired beds, tactile Berber carpets and dried eucalyptus stems in ceramics, it’s a class act. Ozone serve up ethically sourced coffees, a gallery space is curated by East End art institution Nelly Duff, DJs spin tunes at Mr Lyan’s basement bar Seed Library, there’s a pull-up-a-pew neighbourhood wine bar, and buzzy seafood restaurant Goddard & Gibbs to boot. Fizzing with energy, expect sancho leaf martinis and conversation to flow in abundance.
onehundredshoreditch.com

Where to stay in London | a wooden table in front of a dark blue bookcase at Inhabit Southwick Street
Inhabit, Paddington, photo by Nicholas Worley

Inhabit, Paddington

Best for: Serene slumbers
Location: 25 – 27 Southwick Street, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ
Price: From 150 GBP/199 USD

Half-a-dozen Georgian townhouses with Scandi-style decor and positive impact at its core, this green-key-certified wellness-focused bolthole in Paddington is one of the best hotels in London for chic eco-smarts. A great base to explore Little Venice and Hyde Park, Inhabit is all about mind and body wellness, from lobby meditation pods for bite-size resets, to its gym, yoga atrium and infrared sauna. Leafy bedrooms’ gentle slate, sage and cream colour palettes are the visual equivalent of a full body exhale, and comfy VOC-free Casper mattresses and boxes to tuck mobile phones away aid restful snoozes. Socially conscious homewares like rattan boxes made by craftspeople in Myanmar and Studio 306 linen cushions can be found throughout, along with a quiet library plus Yeotown Kitchen for nourishing plant-based dishes and cold-pressed juices, and a pantry with help-yourself healthy snacks.
inhabithotels.com

a bedroom at Room 2 Chiswick, the best hotels for long stays in London
Room2, Chiswick

Room2, Chiswick

Best for: Sustainably minded long stays
Location: 10 Windmill Road, Chiswick, London, W4 1SD
Price: From 129 GBP/171 USD, room-only

Relative newbie room2 Chiswick, steps away from swish Chiswick High Road where well-to-do locals coffeeshop-hop, is the world’s first whole-life net zero ‘hometel’ (meaning that its carbon footprint through its entire lifecycle from build to end of life will equal zero). As well as 86 bedrooms, two on-site lab rooms monitor water and energy use to refine its sustainability initiatives, which include ultra-low flow showers, solar panels and a zero waste to landfill ethos. The downstairs lounge transitions from light-filled working space and café by day into a sultry cocktail spot with Italian bites at night. Design-led bedrooms have marbled wallpaper details, millennial blue and pink palettes, and space-saving kitchenettes. A laundrette, Peleton-equipped gym and checkout a full 24 hours after a 2pm check in make it a great choice for both business travellers and holidaymakers.
room2.com

Best hotels London | A corner room at The Standard, with floor-to-ceiling views over St Pancras Station
The Standard, King's Cross

The Standard, King’s Cross

Best for: Fun, frolics and a disco lounge
Location: 10 Argyle Street, London,WC1H 8EG
Price: From 269 GBP/357 USD, room only

Once one of London’s grittiest neighbourhoods, King’s Cross in 2022 is a thriving cultural hotspot. Home to the likes of the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Coal Drops Yard, the place to bed down here is groovy, 266-room The Standard, housed in the former Camden Town Hall Annexe, just moments from the Eurostar terminal. Followers of Iris Apfel’s ‘more and more and less is a bore’ motto will appreciate its trendy, time warp interiors, which riff on the building’s 1970s roots. Think a wood-panelled music studio, a duo of chef Adam Rawson restaurants, and funky spaceship-looking bedrooms that feature rushes of London Underground-inspired crimson and navy, Bang & Olufsen speakers, and kooky shrimp-pink robes by Craig Green. Hedonists are spoilt for choice, with a cosy library lounge, sexy sky-high dining spot Decimo (reached by a red bubble-shaped exterior lift ) and disco lounge Sweeties. The hotel’s rooftop rightly gains it a spot in our guide to the best outdoor restaurants in London.
standardhotels.com

best hotels in London | A rattan chair at a desk in front of a pale pink wall at Mama Shelter in London
Mama Shelter, Shoreditch

Mama Shelter, Shoreditch

Best for: Flashpackers and families
Location: 437 Hackney Road, London, E2 8PP
Price: From 109 GBP/144 USD, room only

Serving up doesn’t-take-itself-too-seriously fun, Mama Shelter Shoreditch deserves its spot among the best hotels in London for its affordable rooms, inclusive attitude and unabashedly maximalist lounge-restaurant-bar. A whirl of retro-fringed lampshades, graffiti-adorned ceiling, and beaded Darth Vader artwork adorn the hotel’s eclectic heart, attracting folk plugging away on laptops, kids playing foosball, friends brunching on truffle mac’n’cheese, and an international crowd sipping elderflower-infused Suzette cocktails by the island bar. Downstairs, hours can be spent playing Golden Axe on retro arcade machines or singing up a storm in karaoke rooms. Fairly stripped back bedrooms are given personality with Tweety Pie and Sylvester masks atop lamps, and jazzy monochrome carpets. Bathrooms have all-in-one shampoo-and-shower-gel bars, and an ongoing ‘Kidzcation’ package offers an interconnecting kids’ room at half price. If you’re in the market for a night out, it’s a stone’s throw from epic venue Oval Space, one of London’s biggest spots for live music.
Photo by Francis Amiand. mamashelter.com

Best hotels London | A midcentury modern armchair with blue upholstery and wooden arms at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal green
Town Hall Hotel and Apartments, Bethnal Green

Town Hall Hotel and Apartments, Bethnal Green

Best for: Art and food-loving couples
Location: Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF
Price: From 222 GBP/294 USD, room only

Bethnal Green’s former Town Hall brings together old-meets-new architecture (Edwardian period features, Art Deco and contemporary), exquisite restaurants (South American meets Italian at two-Michelin-starred Da Terra, one of London’s best restaurants, tick; plates of burrata in a bloom-and-lamp-filled space at The Corner Room, tick), and artwork at every turn. Statement and subtle pieces have been woven into surroundings (think coquettish wooden marquetry, a Persian Moosehead fashioned from antique Shiraz carpets and retro luggage reimagined as tables) alongside original grand staircases and glass-domed ceilings. 98 light-flooded studios, suites and apartments feature mid-century touches, toiletries by East London’s House of Lady Muck, mid-century touches, and must-have kitchenettes. The 14m-pool – rare in London boutique hotels – is a joy, and at laid-back Silk Weaver bar, bartender Barbara shakes up clever concoctions featuring the likes of chamomile and lavender-infused bourbon.
townhallhotel.com

Best hotels in London | an arched doorway in a dark blue wall that looks into a bathroom with a black-and-white-checked floor at the Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden
The Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden

The Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden

Best for: Culture vultures
Location: 14-15 Henrietta Street, London, WC2E 8QH
Price: From 250 GBP/332 USD, B&B 

Tucked in an attractive townhouse on Henrietta Street, just a few steps from Covent Garden’s market, boutiques and close to Soho and theatreland (not to mention many of London’s best bars), 18-room Henrietta Hotel is small, but beautiful. Created by cocktail whizzes-turned-hoteliers the Experimental Group and with sleek interiors by Dorothée Meilichzon, a stay at The Henrietta has a touch of convivial private home to it, albeit one where you can feast on bucatini with artichoke carbonara, and tiramisu accompanied by small-batch wines from Italy’s west coast at Da Henrietta restaurant. Elsewhere, hunker down for cocktails in the company of botanical artworks on comfy emerald velvet chairs in the intimate glass-roofed lounge, before retreating upstairs to rooms with playful details; curving, geometric headboards, masses of mirrors, with walls licked in salmon pink and denim blue.
henriettahotel.com

Where to stay in London | A pale-pink sofa and a coffee table on a fluffy rug in a pale-blue room and the edge of a made bed at Leman Locke Apartments
Leman Locke, Aldgate

Leman Locke, Aldgate

Best for: Homely, hip long stays
Location: 15 Leman Street, London, E1 8EN
Price: From 120 GBP/159 USD, room only

Locke’s original boutique aparthotel in Aldgate remains one of its best; close to the City, Tower Bridge and Whitechapel Gallery, the 171-studio property is popular with tech companies and digital nomads bedding down for a few weeks at a time. Spacious studios in baby blue and candyfloss shades have fully fitted Smeg kitchens, complete with washing machine and mini dishwasher, comfy beds and options with open-plan living spaces. As well as the Shaman coffee shop which has third-wave brews, a co-working space meets vegan restaurant, yoga studio and gym, an events roster packed with live music that’ll give you a taste of London’s music scene, a book club and running crew lend Leman Locke a friendly, community feel. Stylish, locally tapped-in staff – dressed in their own clothes, rather than uniform – are on hand to help in person or by WhatsApp ramp up the relaxed, home-away-from-home feel. There are also further Locke hotel locations in Dalston and Tower Bridge.
lockeliving.com

Looking for a shot of culture? Discover the best galleries and museums in London, many of which boast stellar restaurants and cafés to boot.