When it comes to outstanding hotels, London is one of the world’s leaders. There are few location that can compete with the variety, the detailing or the sheer passion that the English capital puts into its famed hotels. The Ritz, The Dorchester, names that echo with history and potent memories. They are the homes away from the home when the rich and the famous are in town. Few cities boast even a handful of such iconic resting points, but London has them in abundance.
How can anyone compete? How could a newcomer arrive on the scene and challenge the history and the prestige. Well, the best boutique hotels in London think that they’ve found a way. They meet the opulence of the established institutions head on with creativity. They realise that going all out, trying to challenge the glitz and the glamour of those with a serious head start on them, simply isn’t going to work. So they do something different.
For those that are uncertain, boutique hotels are small to mid sized establishments that focus on their uniqueness to tempt visitors in. They’re typified by exemplary service and passionate staff. There is usually a strong focus on making the guests’ stay a real experience, with novelty or wonderment a high priority for many. Our list of top 10 London boutique hotels represents the best of the best, those hotels that have really made themselves stand out more than anyone else. There are plenty of wonderful hotels in the area, but only the truly extraordinary have found themselves a spot here.
When this ground breaking venture first set up in Gatwick, we were skeptical. Everyone was. A complex contained within the airport itself, its champions said that it would represent the end of shuttle buses and desperate dashes across carparks at some ungodly hour. Its detractors worried that it would be classless and expensive, another example of the premium airport craze that charged outrageous rates by exploiting their convenience.
Stylish, sleek and surprisingly sophisticated, it’s proven to be the former. Resembling some sort of sci-fi sleeping pod, the brand’s rooms have become increasingly popular and, dare we say it, look like they may well be the future. Branches have now opened in 4 other locations, but the original remains by far the best.
Yotel is located at: Ground Floor, South Terminal, Arrivals Concourse, Gatwick Airport, Gatwick, West Sussex RH6 0NN
To find out more please visit: http://www.yotel.com/
The Milestone Hotel
Perfect, that is the word that many use to describe their stay at the Milestone. Even we struggled to pick a fault in it. In the end, we found a few nitpicks, but the fact that it was a real effort to even mount a half hearted criticism should tell you all that you need to know about the excellence on offer at the Milestone.
A newcomer, it walks with the swagger and confidence of an established premier establishment. It’s this confidence that allows them to pull the entire thing off; they offer a sophisticated service without any of the pretentiousness. Gorgeous food, elegant rooms, faultless service are all swaddled in the comforting blanket of friendliness ensuring, as so many of the older hotels fail to do, that you feel entirely comfortable.
The Milestone Hotel is located at: 1 Kensington Ct, London W8 5DL
To find out more please visit: http://www.milestonehotel.com/
Generosity and excellence go hand in hand rarely. Anyone used to dining in the capital is used to paying a premium for the best. A perfect tarte tatin will set you back more than your water bill, a meal for 4 with wine more than a week’s rent. Every now and again though, a service comes along that reminds us that it is possible for the two to walk hand in hand, and when they do they make perfect bedfellows. Hotel 41 is one of the top 10 boutique hotels in London, not because of its impeccable standards. That alone is seen in many places, but it is not often seen in the company of such a giving spirit.
Walk into the executive lounge in the evening, a little peckish before dinner, and be treated to a “pantry raid”. Beautifully cured meats, crisp white loafs, wine, rich butter. All complementary and all in abundance.
Hotel 41 is located at: 41 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0PS
To find out more please visit: http://www.41hotel.com/
The Soho Hotel
Many of the top hotels are in the trendier areas just on the edges of central London. Kensington, Paddington and Clerkenwell are all popular choices, with the occasional outlier in the north of the city. Rarely do we see a hotel as buried in the middle of the action as the Soho hotel. Based, as the name would suggest, in the heart of one of London’s hippest spots, you could not be closer to adventure.
Which is good, because its clientele have included some very important people recently, people that couldn’t afford to miss a thing. We won’t mention names, but we’re talking A-List celebs with partying in mind.
The Soho Hotel is located at: 4 Richmond Mews, London W1D 3DH
To find out more please visit: http://www.firmdalehotels.com/london/the-soho-hotel
The Nadler Kensington
Quaint and cute are not words that one genuinely associates with Kensington, especially not when it comes to hotel. Grand, imposing and impressive yes, but cute? It’s certainly a change from the countless stuccoed establishments that line the streets, daring you to take a tentative peak inside. The Nadler doesn’t have time for that pretension: it’s a simple but elegant base for anyone who wants to stay in style without the fuss.
The Nadler is located at: 25 Courtfield Gardens, London SW5 0PG
To find out more please visit: http://www.thenadler.com/kensington.shtml
Visitors in the winter are treated to a special sight on approaching St Ermin’s. In the cold night, as they trudge towards their destination, weary from the flights and the weather and the stress of London transport, a glitter of light will catch their eye. As they get closer, the sprinkling of little fairy lights reveals itself to be a beautifully wrought metal arch, covered in greenery. It’s as if someone has placed a fairytale entrance smack bang in the middle of this deeply historic area, and going through it will take you away from the hassle. Magically enough, it does.
St Martins Lane
Achingly hip, this wonderfully eccentric hotel captures the spirit of a good boutique hotel. At times, it becomes a little too cool for its own good but its still the essential destination for anyone who wants to experience the real London buzz.
St Martins Lane is located at: 45 St Martin’s Ln, London WC2N 4HX
To find out more please visit: http://www.morganshotelgroup.com/originals/originals-st-martins-lane-london
From the historic architecture of the exterior, you would never expect there to be a modern and hip hotel inside but then you’d be surprised.
One Aldwych is located at: 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
To find out more please visit: http://www.onealdwych.com/home
Charlotte Street Hotel
Perfectly located and well suited to the intrepid visitors who want to take a bit of a wander through the streets of the capital.
Charlotte Street Hotel is located at: 15-17 Charlotte St, London W1T 1RJ
To find out more please visit: http://www.firmdalehotels.com/london/charlotte-street-hotel
The Rubens at the Palace
Greeted at the door by a man in coat and tails, it’s clear what you’re getting yourself into when you arrive. The gentle tinkling of live piano music that floats through the hotels halls is a nice touch.
The Rubens is located at: 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0PS
To find out more please visit: http://www.rubenshotel.com/
Modern and stylish interiors are paired with friendly staff. Is there any words that a hotel reviewer likes to see better than these?
InterContinental is located at: 28 Broadway, London SW1H 9JS
To find out more please visit: http://westminster.intercontinental.com/
South Place Hotel
The final entry on our list of the top 10 London Boutique hotels, this venue is one that ticks all the boxes. Imaginative, friendly and doting, it’s the perfect modern hotel for those who don’t like the grandeur or the price tag of the elite services.
South Place Hotel is located at: 3 South Place, London EC2M 2AF
To find out more please visit: http://www.southplacehotel.com/