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7 of the best places to stay in London, from hotels favored by royalty to affordable, centrally-located bases

Insider
Insider
 2021-11-30

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Whether you're looking for contemporary, design-forward boutique places to stay or amazing old-world hotels, London has a wealth of stylish options. Narrowing them down can be a tall task, considering all the possibilities.

While our top hotels are listed below, there are two booking platforms we suggest to pad your search. Mr & Mrs Smith is a favorite for luxury accommodations, spa treatments, and stocked kitchens, while Sonder is nice for apartment-style stays in neighborhoods like Camden, Clerkenwell, Kensington, and Notting Hill. Averaging about 80 pounds a night, Sonder features stylish furnishings and all conveniences managed via the Sonder app .

Keep reading for our top handpicked choices for the best hotels in London, based on local insight and repeat stays. Need more? Click over for our list of the 15 best hotels in London , as recommended by a local travel writer.

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The Ned's art deco style and warm decor create a comforting environment for guests.

The Ned

A converted Midland Bank with art deco stylings provides the backdrop of The Ned , which combines a hotel, a members club, a spa, and restaurants ranging from Italian to sushi to a New York-style deli. Live music plays at The Nickel alongside an array of entertainment downstairs — don't miss the cabaret acts at The Parlour.

A night here is pricey but offers more than your typical hotel stay. We recommend booking on a Saturday so you can indulge on Sunday with Ned's Feast, an all-you-can-eat cornucopia of lobster, oysters, salads, and roasts. The hotel's location is also ideal for exploring Shoreditch and the hipster haven that is East London .

Town Hall Hotel

As the name suggests, this hotel is located in an actual former town hall, a grandiose building in an increasingly fashionable area of East London. Polished marble mixes with elaborate stonework, though rooms are quite modern with hardwood floors and sleek beds. Larger apartments are available, and come with separate living spaces and fully-equipped kitchenettes.

Staying on-site also offers easy access to a two Michelin-starred Italian restaurant and a rare indoor heated pool.

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Impressive views start at only 100 pounds per night at the Park Plaza London Riverbank.

Park Plaza London Riverbank

There are numerous Park Plazas across London, but this location is our top pick for its cheap prices, central location, and proximity to London's South Bank. Enjoy impressive waterfront views with the Houses of Parliament just across the bridge. You can find rooms from 100 pounds a night, which includes gym access and a heated indoor pool.

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Rooms at the Hoxton Southwark are small (and aptly named as such) but stand out for decor, amenities, and location.

Hoxton Southwark

This buzzy hotel is a favorite with travelers who prefer an elevated, hip vibe. Rooms are small but come highly curated with handpicked books, breakfast bags, and handmade glassware. There are other Hoxton hotels in London, but this one stands out for its convenient address near the Thames, the Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe, and the London Eye.

Don't miss a meal at the seafood-forward rooftop restaurant, which serves an impressive menu of oysters alongside city views.

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The Ham Yard stands out for incredible design.

The Ham Yard Hotel

If you like your accommodations with a side of eclectic design, check out this colorful and quirky Kit Kemp-designed place from Firmdale Hotels , a collection of centrally located boutique hotels around Soho, Covent Garden, and the like.

The Ham Yard is our favorite of the lot for fun features such as a bowling alley in the basement, which offers added appeals for families, with kids menus and babysitting services. The outdoor dining area with a roof terrace and a bronze sculpture by Tony Cragg is a standout place to relax, and fitness amenities such as a spa and a gym round out the attractive amenities. Though, the most inviting spaces are perhaps the common areas like the library and drawing rooms that beg you to sit with a book and a cuppa.

Blakes London

The boutique Blakes London in tony South Kensington boasts a bohemian style tucked behind a Victorian facade. Gorgeous rooms stand out for rich colors and instead of an on-site gym or spa, the hotel offers a partnership with the South Kensington Club, where guests may use exclusive perks like a bathhouse, hammam treatment rooms, and more.

On property, however, you will find an elegant restaurant, a whimsical courtyard with a glass birdcage-like dome, and a basement bar that is a favorite among posh locals.

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The Goring is a posh hotel favored by royalty.

The Goring Hotel

If you want to feel like royalty, there's no place more regal than The Goring. In fact, Kate Middleton herself stayed here the night before her wedding. It also happens to be across the street from Buckingham Palace.

Sumptuous furnishings fill public spaces and rooms, and despite the ritzy vibe, the hotel caters to families by offering toys and baby gear. There are also two restaurants, one of which is Michelin-starred, a '20s-inspired cocktail lounge, and picturesque gardens.

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