Best Boutique Hotels In London: A First-timer’s Guide

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London is a glamorous, cosmopolitan city that attracts millions of tourists and business travellers every year. The sprawling metropolis has countless fabulous boroughs, from east to west, and a number of world-class luxury boutique hotels.

Boutique hotels aim to be a one-of-a-kind experience with unique features, creating a special experience for guests. From throne styled toilets to high tech rooms and unconventional art, these hotels strive to impress.

I’ve pooled together the best boutique hotels in London ranging from classic luxury to eccentric charm. So get your London packing list together because you’re sure to find an amazing place to make the most of your experience in London.

The Grand Staircase of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
The Grand Staircase of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

Where to Stay in London

London is a massive city, and you’ll only understand the scale of it when you touch down and start exploring. There is so much going on in every area, it can be difficult to choose where to stay.

If you know the city well, you’ll probably know your favourite area. But these are some of the best areas to stay in London for first-timers.

  • Central London is a broad term that covers 12 boroughs. This includes most of the major tourist attractions, shopping hotspots, theatre districts and quintessential London spots.
  • South London is situated south of the river Thames and is considered to be the picturesque area of London. It’s a bit quieter and greener, with a lot of pastel coloured neighbourhoods and big parks.
  • East London is trendy and edgy. It’s the alternative part of London which has become gentrified enough that the grunge scene is actually very cool, and surprisingly expensive.

This guide mostly covers luxury boutique hotels in Central London, with one or two exceptions. I think that for first-time visitors to London, it is a great base from which to tick off your London bucket list.

The London Eye and Westminster at sunset
The London Eye and Westminster at sunset

Best Boutique Hotels, London

You’ve got your packing list, you’ve planned the perfect London itinerary and now you need to choose a luxury boutique hotel in London. I’ve got you covered with ten of the best.

1. Artist Residence, Pimlico

If you’re thinking that the name of this hip hotel in London is a testament to its creative decor, you’d be right. Artist Residence features unusual art and a bucket load of character.

Situated just 10 minutes for Victoria Station, this magnificent 10 room boutique hotel is an affordable luxury compared to the prices of most boutique hotels in London.

With a sprinkle of decadence and a whole bunch of artistic flair, it offers the best first impression of London. The high ceilinged rooms stuffed with mismatched trinkets, with flashes of exposed brick, and vintage furnishings are simply delightful.

The hotel houses the divine Cambridge Street Eatery. But the soul of the hotel lies in its Cellar Bar, a speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar frequented by trendy travellers and locals who are in on the secret.

Click here to see the latest prices and availability at Artist Residence

2. Flemings, Mayfair

This is the largest hotel on the list, with 129 rooms. It is also one of the oldest and much-loved boutique hotels in London. The hotel has a royal feel, classically styled with a lot of velvet-clad furnishings in the cosy rooms.

It’s also perfectly located to explore everything that Mayfair has to offer, from the fancy shopping avenues to the many pubs, cafes, bars and delicious breakfast spots.

Flemings have apartment options for guests looking for more space and self-catering facilities. But the main attraction of this boutique hotel London is the on-site restaurant, Ormer Mayfair.

Ranked the fifth-best restaurant in London, you’re guaranteed a sublime dining experience.

Check out the latest prices and availability at Flemings

3. Hazlitt’s, Soho

When you step into this hotel you’ll be instantly transported back in time. While most boutique hotels aim to stand out with quirky features, Hazlitt’s beauty lies in its quintessential British taste.

It is an ode to the opulence of the Georgian era. So much so, that when you finally leave your lavishly-styled room, you’ll expect to see horse-drawn carriages on the street.

All 30 rooms are unique but each of them has a historical and glamorous ambience with antique finishes, chandeliers and elegant Moroccan rugs.

And if that doesn’t make you feel like a Georgian royal, the throne-style toilet and claw-footed tubs most certainly will.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of trendy, central Soho is this immersive experience. Fresh coffee and breakfast croissants served in the room, and pompous house cat included.

Click here to see the latest prices and availability at Hazlitt’s

4. Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden

Located in one of London’s busiest and most popular areas, Covent Garden, the Henrietta Hotel is one of the coolest hotels in London.

And you’ll think so too when you find the cocktail recipe book in your room and the impressively stocked mini-fridge to match. I guess it’s to be expected when the owners are bartenders!

Fun meets class in this hotel, with playful decor throughout the hotel and the 18 massive rooms. You’ll see contrasting pastel and primary colours, dusty pink velvet chairs and marble skirting boards. It’s light, whimsical and a whole lot of fun.

Check out the latest prices and availability at Henrietta

5. The Mandrake, Fitzrovia

A Mandrake is a hallucinogenic nightshade plant, and the inspiration for this London boutique hotel. Walking into it, you’ll probably feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and into a Lewis Carroll novel.

Stepping into the lobby, you’ll be entering into a jungle as greenery drips from the awnings, and this is just the beginning. This dreamlike luxury is prevalent in each room with heavy golden drapes hanging from four-poster beds.

The in house restaurant continues the exciting experience with a fusion of British and South American food. And the two cocktail bars serve bespoke drinks to match the magical surroundings.

Situated two minutes from Oxford Street, it doesn’t get more central than this. Step into a luxurious adventure as a guest in this hotel.

Click here to see the latest prices and availability at The Mandrake

6. Ham Yard Hotel, Soho

This is one cool Hotel in London. A playful and colourful interior mirrors the Ham Yard’s fun-loving ideals which run the show at the hotel.

There are a lot of small, quirky touches, such as patterned wallpaper, which are fun without being kitsch. There is even a 1950s bowling alley for guests to enjoy.

Sitting in the centre of Soho with London’s West End, Chinatown and Oxford Street a whisker away, the hotel has a buzzing atmosphere. It attracts a lot of spirited guests and is a great example of dynamic luxury.

The rooftop garden is filled with plants and two beehives. With extra amenities such as saunas and organized massages.

Check out the latest prices and availability at Ham Yard Hotel

7. Eccleston Square, Belgravia

Located in one of London’s most affluent neighbourhoods, Belgravia, techies will love this state-of-the-art boutique hotel, where innovation is the star of the show.

The hotel features tennis courts in gated gardens and Hästen’s beds, renowned as the most comfortable beds in the world, are included in every room.

But that’s not even the best bit. Complimentary smartphones with unlimited data and international calls are available in every room. And all your needs and queries can be instantly attended to by your in-house concierge – an iPad.

Even the luxury marble bathrooms are high-tech. You’ll have a hard time leaving the bathroom, with massage showers, smart glass walls and a TV hidden in the mirror.

Click here to see the latest prices and availability at Eccleston Square

8. Vintry & Mercer

This luxury boutique hotel borrows its name from historic wine and textile trades which were once booming in London.

The hotel is an ode to these trades, offering classic opulence with no frills attached. Sitting on the doorstep of St. Paul’s Cathedral, it’s one of the most panoramic hotels in London, and it occupies one of the best locations in London.

The winning feature of this hotel is the Mercer Rooftop Terrace which has unprecedented views over the Cathedral and the famous Shard skyscraper. And in winter, you can cosy up in a stunning rooftop igloo to enjoy the views.

The rest of the hotel certainly lives up to the rooftop. With world-class facilities and an unbelievable location.

Check out the latest prices and availability at Vintry & Mercer

9. Batty Langley’s, Shoreditch

Batty Langley’s lives true to its name, it is batty and eccentric and wonderful. It offers a luxurious journey back into the Victorian age.

Deep, rich wall colours complement the gold inlaid mahogany four-poster beds. And heavy silk curtains add to the Victorian elegance.

There is no onsite restaurant but rather an honesty bar and high-quality room service. So you can feast on fine food in your bed fit for a royal.

You’ll have a hard time finding the hidden tv, but that’s what the Library is for. Stacked with 3500 books to curl up with on chilly winter evenings.

Situated in Shoreditch, the heart of edgy east London, it attracts trendy foreigners.

Click here to see the latest prices and availability at Batty Langley’s

10. The Zetter Townhouse, Marleybone

If you want to wake up in a hotel with the instant reminder that you’re in London, The Zetter is for you. It pays homage to England and London with some tiny touches and some very obvious furnishings.

Expect to find a Union Jack flag hanging above your huge four-poster bed. It is an old-fashioned styled hotel which plays on a novelty theme without being too cheesy.

Marylebone is an area loved by locals and the antique styled cocktail bar is often packed with people having an after-work-drink. The rooms are sophisticated, comfortable and airy with the slightest touch of kitsch. It’s truly wonderful.

Check out the latest prices and availability at The Zetter Townhouse


Final Thoughts on Boutique Hotels, London.

Wow, there are so many incredible boutique hotels in London that are treasure troves of unique touches and special features. Have you found the perfect one for you?

Get set up in the playground that is one of these hotels and if you can bear to leave it, explore London with a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour.

Either way, London will treat you to an unforgettable time.

Looking for more London inspiration? Check out these articles!

If you’re looking for London travel advice, check out these resources:

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