Small Is Beautiful in London at These Boutique Hotels

There are boutique hotels tucked away all over the capital.  In converted London townhouses, and down the back streets behind some of London's biggest sites.  

From the more traditional Dukes Hotel designed in classic English style where they make their world famous Martinis to the super stylish 45 Park Lane, sister hotel to The Dorchester, with its Wolfgang Puck steak restaurant, CUT, Mayfair offers many boutique hotels to rival the larger grande dame hotels.

For something more quirky, the Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell should be on your list with its cool design of mismatched items and artefacts gathered from travelling around the world. For a sumptuous design, visit Blakes Hotel in Chelsea - Redesigned by Anouska Hempel, this little gem takes you on a journey through India, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Egypt, and Italy.

Firmdale Hotels has a collection of boutique of hotels in London with two of them making this list. One of our favourites is the Covent Garden Hotel has dressmaker models as signature designs in every room, along with paisley and sumptuous fabrics, creating a homely atmosphere in Covent Garden.

Read on for our other suggestions for top boutique hotels, including Dean Street Townhouse and Hazlitt's in Soho and The Rookery in Clerkenwell.


Hazlitt's is full of character, and is so sought after, it doesn't even need to advertise. Its success is based on word of mouth alone. Dark walled bedrooms give it a great Gothic feel but luxury is not spared here either. The hotel gets its name from the 18th century essayist, William Hazlitt. So writers be prepared, perhaps the muse will descend if you stay here. There is an honesty bar for guests to entertain your friends, and you can also refuel on hearty British fare before stepping out to enjoy the bright lights of Soho and the rest of London too.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: If you want a hotel full of character, this is the one for you.

Read more about Hazlitt's Hotel →

Dean Street Townhouse
Photo courtesy of Dean Street Townhouse

Dean Street Townhouse is a boutique hotel and restaurant from the Soho House Group, located on, believe it or not, Dean Street in Soho. Bedrooms are classified as Tiny, Small, Medium and Bigger, designed in hand-painted wallpapers, upholstered vintage seats and sofas. For those who want to get through the doors of one of London's coolest members' clubs but can't usually get through the membership committee, this is a good way to get a closer look at one of their venues. Make sure to go for dinner in the restaurants, which offers excellent British food in a cool, buzzy environment.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: For the fabulous Soho location and the excellent restaurant that's always buzzing.

Read more about Dean Street Townhouse →

45 Park Lane - Dorchester Collection
Photo courtesy of 45 Park Lane

If the location on Park Lane isn't enough, then the Damien Hirst artwork and Wolfgang Puck's restaurant CUT surely must be! Just steps away from sister hotel The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane has contemporary interiors designed by New York-based designer Thierry Despont, with each of the rooms and suites enjoying views of Hyde Park. A central staircase leads to the first floor featuring Bar 45, famous for its delicious sliders and cocktails and CUT at 45 Park Lane from acclaimed chef Wolfgang Puck is a modern American steak restaurant. 45 Park Lane is a chic boutique hotel offering something a little different for Mayfair.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: For the excellent steak restaurant, chic interiors and fabulous location.

Read more about 45 Park Lane - Dorchester Collection →

Blakes London
Photo courtesy of Blakes Hotel

Blake's is boutique London at its international best. Redesigned by Anouska Hempel, this little gem takes you on a journey through India, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Egypt, and Italy. Decadence, abundance, dark mysteries and beautiful silks delight the eye and ease you into a strange and wonderful world. There are rooms dedicated to Marlene Dietrich and Coco Chanel, but somehow, Hempel's great design eye manages to stop things going too over the top. The hotel has been featured in countless design magazines, and the barmen mixes a mean cocktail too.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: For the sumptuous, stylish common areas, creating the look and feel of decadence.

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The Hari
Photo courtesy of Thompson Belgraves

Belgraves brings a little bit of Brooklyn to Belgravia. That's a lot of the letter B, but just one more needs to be added, BOUTIQUE. If you want to still pretend you're in New York, with cool contemporary fixtures and fittings, and super helpful doormen, then this is the place for you. But London gets a look in too, with British Chef Mark Hix's restaurant menus, which showcase the best of British and provide you with excitement and sustenance to make your stay here entirely pleasurable. If you're a smoker, you'll love the 'cigarden' outside, and if you like shopping, this could be the place for you.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: For the contemporary style of the rooms and common areas.

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The Rookery Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Rookery

The Rookery is a small boutique hotel in Clerkenwell where you'll find a world of period charm. The rooms are traditional with four-poster beds, bookcases and rugs. Polished wood panelling, stone flagged floors, open fires and genuine antique furniture give the place a warm, homely atmosphere – more private club than hotel. The Rookery is the sister hotel to the Hazlitt's in Soho and is ideally placed to enjoy the wide range of excellent bars and restaurants to be found in Clerkenwell. The location is also ideal for those who need to be close to the financial district but also close enough to the West End.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: For the beautiful design of antique furnitiure and wood panelled walls.

Read more about The Rookery Hotel →

I love the Zetter Hotel and Townhouse. Even if you don't need to stay here, there's great service and a wonderful atmosphere in the bar, which is like a Georgian or Victorian gentleman's private club. Mismatched comfy sofas and armchairs line the plush crimson and velvet rooms, curiosities adorn the walls, and the staff mix great cocktails with olde Englishe ingredients. If you can, it's worth staying in one of the 7 rooftop studios, then you'll really feel you're in your very own boutique. Up here, high above the rooves of Clerkenwell, with all the city at your feet, you'll feel, and be treated like a King or Queen.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: For the quirky design, killer cocktails and warm, friendly staff.

Read more about The Zetter Hotel →

The Soho Hotel
Photo courtesy of Soho Hotel, London

The Soho hotel with its twinkly porch lights just welcomes you in. Then wham, as you get inside, you're met by a 10ft cat sculpture. Trendy quirks, great design and pleasing surprises take you in to a kind of Alice in Wonderland world of delight when you step inside this London Boutique hotel. You can dock your Ipod and lie back on the Frette linen sheets and you'll soon be in dreamland before you can even begin counting giant sheep. Full Valet service attends to your every need, and you can eat at the restaurant which is cleverly called Refuel. Organic meals from a farm in Hampshire as well as lots of other delicious choices mean that you won't ever want to step outside this great hotel.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: For the cool, central Soho location and the buzzy bar area.

Read more about The Soho Hotel →

The Covent Garden Hotel works hard at its boutique flavour. Dressmaker models are signature design additions in every room, along with paisley and sumptuous fabrics, this hotel works hard to create a homely atmosphere and a haven from the busy streets outside. If you're at home in Theatreland, you'll be in your element here, just step outside and most of London's biggest theatres are quite literally on your doorstep. Walk just a few steps away and you can stroll by the Thames, or take in London's South Bank and more arty offerings on the South Side of the City. Classic films are screened every Saturday in their very own cinema, now can you get any more boutique than that?

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: For the quaint style on a gorgeous street in Covent Garden.

Read more about Covent Garden Hotel →

Dukes Hotel
Photo courtesy of Dukes Hotel

Dukes Hotel combines English charm with efficiency and an understated sense of luxury. The beautiful front leads into a space that feels more like an elegant home than a hotel, with a focus on comfort and elegance. Dukes Bar is world famous for its Martinis (they make a mean one!) but if Champagne is more your thing, you want to try the PJ Lounge in association with Perrier Jouet. The hotel's restaurant, Thirty-Six, offers chef Nigel Mendham's refined seasonal British cuisine in a serene setting on the lower ground floor of the hotel.

Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: For the old-school English charm, Dukes will be a real hit.

Read more about Dukes Hotel →


Meet Emyr Thomas

Emyr founded London-based luxury travel and concierge service Bon Vivant in 2009 and it’s his business to know London inside out: the city’s best hotels, restaurants, bars, sights and activities...  More About Emyr