Putting on the Glitz: London's Top Luxury Hotels



Londoners may not have invented luxury (we'll credit the French with that, or maybe The Ottomans. The Byzantines?) but they've certainly perfected it. From Belgravia to Soho, the capital's luxury hotels are supersaturated with history, and they emerge from some of the greatest talents on earth. The Savoy's air-raid shelter was named "the smartest in London", and The Dean Street Townhouse was the home to Charles II's mistress. London's luxury hotels have, over the last century, become so much more than opportunities to splash around wealth (though it does help if you're happy to do that). They're gold-leafed, flood-lit, marble lined monuments to opulence and splendor, yes, but they're also where the world's greatest architecture and design talent comes together with most revered men and women in hospitality and service. They can transport you in time and take you to unbelievable heights. And after the rivers have been toured and the fish and chips have been consumed, the savvy London visitor should know where to find the best of the best luxury hotels. So if your bank account allows, or you want to take a sneaky daytime peek, we've narrowed down the top ten luxury hotels in London to take your breath away and leave you starry eyed.


10
ST. JAMES'S

Old Belgravia is alive and well in Beeston Place, where the Goring has stood for some hundred and five years. What its Mayfair counterparts like the Dorchester and the Ritz offer in proudly displayed adornment, The Goring offers in a subdued...  Read More


The Shard might be London's most controversial, complex, and – oh yes – BIG piece of modern architecture, but love it or hate it, very few skyscrapers would claim to be "a vertical city". And in this almost-sci-fi megalith is Shang-Ri-La,...  Read More


You can save the artsy cutting-edge for your next London vacation – a stay at the Connaught is all about traditional magnificence and days of yore. But think more pearls-and-martinis yore than milkmaids-and-codpieces yore: The Connaught is...  Read More


It's not all glitz and glam, but if you play your cards right you could live the Mayfair life with Bethnal Green style at Town Hall. From the outside, it might come across as more a sweeping citadel than a classically opulent hotel. But go...  Read More


The Ace Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Ace Hotel

It may be pushing the definition of a "luxury hotel, but The Ace brings its own unique style to classic London decadence. The Ace embraces all things zeitgeisty, but it does it with a knowing wink and a tasteful eye. It's streets ahead of the...  Read More


Dean Street Townhouse
Photo courtesy of Dean Street Townhouse

If you find yourself at the Dean Street Townhouse, odds are you don't need to be told why you should be there. Hidden in plain sight, it's the regular hangout of celebs like Noel Fielding and Sienna Miller, a stone's throw from its ultra-glam...  Read More


4
MAYFAIR

Bring your compass with you – Claridge's Hotel has everything that a London visitor could want, and it could take days to explore all of its nooks and crannies, goodies and services. Nestled in – you guessed it – Mayfair, Claridge's puts...  Read More


The Savoy is the ideal destination for the luxury-minded city slicker. It's smack in the beating heart of The Strand, with the Southbank on one side and Covent Garden's theatre district on the other. The first public building in the world to be...  Read More


2
St. James's

For a hotel so renowned for its classical elegance and old-fashioned opulence, The Ritz presented Britain with a lot of firsts. It was the first hotel to provide en suite bathrooms, and the first to allow ladies to enter unescorted (hence its...  Read More


The Dorchester
Photo courtesy of The Dorchester

The Dorchester may just have perfected modern luxury: The Art Deco era hotel has maintained its history and reputation for inter-war decadence, and stepping through its doors is a headrush to the senses. Its suites, particularly the ones...  Read More


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Meet Arianna Reiche

Arianna Reiche is a London-based writer and publisher. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she studied at the University of Edinburgh before working with Vice, New Scientist,...  More About Arianna

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