London looms large in the imagination. It’s the setting for so much history, theater, culture, literature, and more. Travel and Leisure selected the United Kingdom as THE destination of the year for 2023, and we here at PWT are all over it and so excited!
Many years ago, my father asked me where I wanted to go for Thanksgiving dinner since it was just going to be him and my mom. As a joke (sort of), I replied London! He decided he could mix the trip with business, so off the three of us went one November for one of the most outstanding trips of my life. We toured the Dickens Museum and the British Library. We visited the Lincoln’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court (I was still fresh from law school). And the museum on the City of London to learn about the city’s history through the ages. (My mom and I had both read Edward Rutherford’s London.) We saw a play in the West End starring Helen Mirren and had tea at The Berkeley. Then we made day trips to see the land where the Battle of Evesham ensued and to Stratford-Upon-Avon too. Oh, and to Winchester to see the Cathedral there, where Jane Austen is buried, and to Hampton Court, where one of my dad’s friends sang in the choir.
We filled a ton into that week. London never gets old. There are layers and layers to discover and uncover. And here are just a few of our favorite London hotels to serve as your home base!
The Cadogan Belmond Hotel
The Cadogan Belmond Hotel in London is a special and unique hotel that offers guests a truly unforgettable experience. Situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, this elegant 19th-century townhouse combines timeless charm with modern luxury and sophistication. The hotel boasts beautifully appointed rooms and suites, many of which feature stunning views of the city, and the latest in-room amenities and technology. In addition, guests can enjoy an array of exceptional dining options, including the renowned Cadogan Cafe and a range of luxurious spa and wellness services. However, what truly sets The Cadogan Belmond Hotel apart is its exceptional level of personal service, with a dedicated staff dedicated to ensuring guests have a memorable stay. With its rich history, elegant surroundings, and commitment to excellence, The Cadogan Belmond Hotel is truly one of a kind.
Brown’s Hotel, A Rocco Forte Hotel
Brown’s Hotel, A Rocco Forte Hotel, was established in 1837 and is considered one of the city’s oldest and most prestigious hotels. The hotel has a prime location in the heart of Mayfair and is close to many of London’s famous attractions, such as Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus. The hotel offers a range of rooms and suites, each decorated in a classic English style with modern amenities. The hotel also features a range of dining options, including the HIX Mayfair Restaurant and the Donovan Bar. Additionally, the hotel has a spa and wellness center, offering a range of treatments and services for guests to relax and rejuvenate. Brown’s Hotel enjoys a reputation for luxury and sophistication and is known for its personalized service, focusing on creating memorable experiences for guests.
The Langham London is a luxury hotel that offers a unique blend of history, elegance, and modern amenities. Located in the heart of London’s West End, The Langham is close to many of the city’s famous attractions, such as Regent Street, Oxford Circus, and the British Museum.
This building was established as a hotel in 1865 and is one of London’s oldest luxury hotels with a rich history. As a historic landmark, The Langham London is an example of Victorian architecture and is known for its beautiful interiors, ornate chandeliers, and elegant decor. The hotel features several dining options, including The Wigmore, a traditional English pub, and the Artesian, a chic cocktail bar. The hotel offers a full-service spa and wellness center, too.
Corinthia London is an elegant retreat in the heart of London, where grandeur and heritage meet exquisite, intelligent design and where every comfort is considered. The hotel is housed in a historic building that dates back to 1885 that was designed as a grand hotel. The building has been beautifully restored to its former glory and now features a blend of traditional and contemporary design elements. Features include 283 rooms, of which 51 are suites and seven are duplex penthouses. A destination for dining, the hotel is home to 3 restaurants, including the first London restaurant from renowned Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge and the Bassoon Bar, a chic cocktail bar. Don’t forget the award-winning flagship ESPA Life at Corinthia and the new fitness concept, AMP x Corinthia London. The hotel is positioned in the heart of London and within easy walking distance of Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the West End.
The Savoy is part of London’s luxurious DNA. London’s most celebrated and glamorous hotel, The Savoy, is perfectly placed on the banks of the River Thames and steps away from the vibrant Covent Garden and the Strand in London’s West End. Established in 1889, this hotel played host to many famous guests, including Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra. Be sure to visit the Savoy Museum, whose highlights include Noël Coward’s cigarette case and Marlene Dietrich’s guest card. The Savoy boasts 267 rooms and suites, accompanied by some of the best restaurants in London. From cocktails in one of our award-winning bars to seasonal fare in Kaspar’s, or the best of British in Simpson’s to a traditional Afternoon Tea, we welcome guests for a truly inspiring culinary experience. Plus, the hotel’s Savoy Grill is a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Set in the center of London, The Dorchester is close to Hyde Park in the heart of Mayfair. The hotel has welcomed guests since 1931 and retains its historic charm and Art Deco style. And it’s getting a facelift this year! Prince Philip hosted his bachelor party here, and the hotel brags strong connections to the “James Bond” series. (Bond author Ian Fleming stayed and dined at The Dorchester throughout his life.) It was from the Harlequin Suite that Elizabeth Taylor allegedly declared, from her bath, she’d only do Cleopatra for one million dollars. (She got it.)
Hence, the Promenade restaurant remains an excellent spot to catch sightings of celebrities and royalty alike. With the renovation, the hotel created a lavish 007-inspired cocktail lounge called The Vesper Bar and also an Artists’ Bar where Liberace’s restored, mirrored grand piano still commands attention. That is if the cocktails trolleys don’t distract you. The spacious, welcoming rooms and suites are done in English country house style, and some are the work of stage designer Oliver Messel. Three top-floor suites have wallpaper with beaded-glass accents. The bathtubs are also suitably deep (a priority here at PWT!) The staff is among the best in the world, particularly the concierges. And whatever you do, miss the afternoon tea.
The Lanesborourgh, Oetker Collection
Ideally located between Knightsbridge, Hyde Park, and Mayfair, with London’s most desirable shopping district just a short walk away, this iconic London landmark is at the heart of the capital’s beloved boutiques and fashionable neighborhoods. The Lanesborourgh honors Regency-era luxury with attentive and refined service. (Attention Austen and Bridgerton fans!) The only hotel in London to offer round-the-clock, dedicated butler service in each room and suite, guests are assured their every need is well served – with thought, surprise, and charm.
The hotel celebrates modern British cuisine in the reimagined flagship restaurant, The Lanesborough Grill, which focuses on seasonal produce sourced from around the country, an award-winning afternoon tea service, a seriously seductive Library Bar, and The Garden Room – one of London’s best cigar and Cognac lounges in the city. The Lanesborough Club & Spa is one of London’s most exclusive private fitness and health clubs, offering hotel guests access to internationally recognized experts in the fields of fitness, beauty, and wellness.
At the beating heart of London’s Mayfair Village, surrounded by the chic shops, restaurants, and galleries of Mount Street, The Connaught redefines the British luxury experience. An expertly-judged blend of old and new, The Connaught is the insider’s choice for those who value highly personalized service with a genuine warmth of character. Magnificent rooms and suites demonstrate the best of both traditional and contemporary design, with beautiful, thoughtful, spacious interiors. The Connaught is home to three Michelin-starred dining from Hélène Darroze. For all-hours, informal gourmet dining, Jean-Georges at The Connaught offers something for everyone on the eclectic, imaginative, and fresh-from-the-market menus. Tucked away are the Sommelier’s Table, a rare gastronomic experience for wine lovers and foodies, and the Champagne Room, where you can taste champagne like never before. Here’s a key and very exciting distinction – they are home to London’s only Aman Spa, so you know you’ll enjoy a relaxing retreat after the bustle of the city.
Have any plans to head to London? Perhaps for the coronation? Let’s chat about it!