10 boutique hotels in London
London has no shortage of accommodation options, from fancy, mansion-like hotels to cheap and cheerful hostels. But if you’re looking for a place to stay that’s exclusive, hip, and preferably a little out of the ordinary, then the boutique hotel scene is the place for you.
A boutique hotel is often small and independent. The building itself may be rather idiosyncratic, having a story of its own to tell, which means the decor and presentation will often be based on a theme relating to the original purpose of the building. And, perhaps best of all, the staff will do their utmost to cater to your every need. If you liked your eggs hard-boiled yesterday, the staff will remember that the day after.
So here we give you some of the top boutique hotels in London.
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1. Chiltern Firehouse
Chiltern Firehouse is a former fire station. The building dates all the way back to 1887 and still retains its charm today. It’s a preferred haunt for celebrities like Cara Delevingne, Kate Moss, David Beckham and Kylie Minogue.
The interior decorations are charmingly retro, the service impeccable and the breakfast in a class of its own. The street outside has changed considerably over the years, but the barber’s shop and newsagents just across the road help maintain an aura of authenticity.
2. Hotel 41
Hotel 41 boasts of many prestigious awards and recognitions, like a 5-star rating from Forbes and the title of No. 1 Top Hotel in the UK in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2018. And we can see why: Here, it’s all about you.
As soon as you’ve checked in, you’re given a choice of four different types of champagne. Once that’s sipped nicely down, you can choose from no less than nine different types of pillow for your bed. These are just a few of the personalised perks you’re in for when staying at this luxurious hotel.
Hotel 41 also has an ideal location, with views of the Royal Mews, and Buckingham Palace’s royal carriages all lined up.
In the lounge, light meals are always available, so you can drop in whenever you want for a nibble, just like you do in your kitchen at home. There are only 28 rooms, so it doesn’t get overcrowded, and there’s plenty of intimacy, as the hotel is only open to guests.
3. The Courthouse Hotel
You may not have been in a courtroom before, but at The Courthouse Hotel you can actually spend the night in one. This former court of law is a listed building in which John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Oscar Wilde have all had their cases tried, and where Charles Dickens was a court reporter in the 1830s.
You’re met with iron bars as soon as you enter the lobby, and you can have dinner in one of the former cell blocks.
Much of the interior furnishings dating back to the earlier days of this former Magistrates’ Court are still intact, but obviously the 116 designer rooms are now steeped in luxurious comfort.
What’s more, there’s a private 100-seat cinema, where on Saturdays you can enjoy a romantic evening with your other half with a classic film and a glass of champagne.
Like the sound of this quirky hotel? Check out our post on unique hotels to add to your travel bucket list.
4. citizenM Tower of London
citizenM Tower of London is anything but a small hotel, but it is part of a Dutch boutique brand. You can choose one of the 370 rooms, sit yourself down by the window and enjoy a view of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The entire exterior consists of windows, from floor to ceiling, which create a special ambience.
The hotel offers a boutique-style stay for travellers on a budget. “We sold the hotel clichés and used the money to make your stay cheaper. Here you have everything you need and nothing that you don’t need,” citizenM proclaims on its website. By that, they mean you won’t find towels in the shape of swans on your bed, but they will make sure you have everything you need for a perfect stay.
If you’re coming to the city on a shoestring, make sure to check out these tips on how to do London on a budget.
5. Artist Residence London
There are only 10 bedrooms at Artist Residence London, so you won’t have to fight for a place in the dining room.
Each of the bedrooms is unique, fizzing with original works of contemporary art and quirky furnishings. The hotel is centrally-located, a mere 10 minutes from Victoria Station, and the Thames is also only a short walk away.
The restaurant is open all day long so you may like to have your breakfast, lunch and perhaps even a traditional Sunday roast there. Or maybe you’d care to unwind at the cocktail bar in the cellar?
6. The Soho Hotel
The Soho Hotel is a mere five minute stroll from the shopping paradise that is Oxford Street. It´s situated on a quiet street in the heart of London’s entertainment neighbourhood.
At the hotel itself, you can pay a visit to one of the two film theatres and enjoy watching movies in the weekly Film Club. The hotel rooms are individually designed and some of them have rooftop terraces that you can have all to yourself.
7. Hotel Café Royal
Hotel Café Royal is an iconic and luxurious 5-star hotel on Regent Street in the heart of London.
The hotel is one of the sights of the British capital in its own right and consists of 160 rooms, a third of which are suites. Upon entering the hotel, guests are greeted with a grand, newly-refurbished lobby, one of the biggest in London.
Aside from using the state-of-the-art training studio and spa, guests can also enjoy delicious cuisine at a range of bars and restaurants, from afternoon tea at the stylish Oscar Wilde Bar with its Louis XVI furnishings, to fine dining from internationally renowned chef Laurent Tourondel at the hotel’s grill and sushi bar, Laurent at Café Royal.
Like the idea of staying somewhere fancy? Check out our tips on how to live like royalty in a castle hotel.
8. Dorset Square Hotel
Dorset Square Hotel is designed in a fresh and modern English style. Most of the 38 rooms have a view of the gardens, which were originally professional cricketer Thomas Lord’s very first cricket grounds.
The property has now been renovated and the former English country style has been replaced by interior designer Kit Kemp. She is known for her bold use of colour, contrasting materials and unique furniture. The interior furnishings are exciting and engaging, ranging from the plush lounge with its open fire, to the dynamic bar and brasserie with its pictures and hand-woven tapestries.
9. Ham Yard Hotel
Kit Kemp has put her mark on the interior furnishings at Ham Yard Hotel, too, and added cosy, cool effects in neon yellow and pink. The rooms have a mix of colours which have no right to go so well together… but they do.
It’s bright and stylish here, and the theatre and 1950’s style bowling alley all add to the eccentricity of this quirky boutique hotel. And as a guest you are invited to a magical rooftop terrace with olive trees, beautiful lavender and a vegetable bed.
Don’t miss the fascinating 135 hour digital clock, or the restaurant wall with its illuminated ceramic pots by artist Martha Freud.
10. The Laslett
The Laslett is made up of five Victorian townhouses which have been converted into a 51-bedroom boutique hotel. Based in Notting Hill, the hotel is named after Rhaune Laslett, a local activist who organised the original Notting Hill Festival, which later became the famous Notting Hill Carnival.
Here you’ll find a slice of English charm, with walls studded with pieces from local artists, as well as antiques from Portobello Market. The hotel has a coffee shop, library and a boutique, and is eco-friendly, too.