Prince William and Duchess Kate aren’t the only ones who can stay in London like a royal. While you may not have an official title, you can definitely travel like royalty on your London vacation. London is a city that certainly attracts its fair share of budget travellers, but it is also a place where luxury is encouraged. From Michelin-starred restaurants to department stores like Harrod’s that have implemented an actual dress code for shoppers, London is a fantastic place to splurge on a luxury getaway. If you are looking for a high-end place to rest your head on your next trip to the British capital, then the following luxury hotels in London are a great place to start the search.
If you want your luxury stay in London to come with a touch of British history, then Claridge’s Hotel is a fantastic choice. The hotel was originally opened in 1812, although it has undergone many renovations and expansions in the 200 years since. Claridge’s has true royal connections, and among the hotel’s many aristocratic guests are counted Empress Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III, and Peter II of Yugoslavia, whose heir was actually born in the hotel. Other notable politicians and celebrities who have frequented the hotel include Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Brad Pitt, and the West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Claridge’s Hotel was known for discretion and for the absolute best of everything that money could buy. Their mattresses were considered to be so amazing that King Hassan of Morocco actually ordered 24 of them to use in his palace. Today, Claridge’s retains this same sense of elegance and glamour that made it so famous. You can spend your stay admiring the interior decor, which was picked out by the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, indulge in pampering treatments in the spa and health club, or entertain guests in a private sitting room or the cozy lobby cafe.
Art deco design, incredible luxury, and a coveted address on Park Lane are the hallmarks of The Dorchester. Built in the 1930s, this high-end hotel is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, but it is a significant building in the story of 20th century London. When Queen Elizabeth II was still a princess, she announced her engagement to Prince Philip at The Dorchester. None of this classic luxury has been lost, and today the hotel is only one of five that Forbes considers to be truly 5-star in the city of London. Decor in the lobby and in the rooms and suites are sumptuous, and you might be tempted to extend your stay just to enjoy the full range of facilities onsite, such as The Dorchester Spa. While the location of the hotel means that world-famous restaurants are just minutes away on foot, you might prefer to stay at the hotel and dine at Alain Ducasse, The Grill, The Promenade, or China Tang, all of whom are frequented by celebrities and politicians alike.
45 Park Lane
If you love the 1930s vibe, Art Deco quality, and luxury of the Dorchester, but don’t mind missing out on the royal heritage, then an alternative might be 45 Park Lane, a town house hotel unofficially a part of The Dorchester Family with a location right next door and literally steps across the street from Hyde Park. As soon as you check in, you will be assigned a host for the entire stay. This host will be at your disposal as a kind of private concierge, and you can ask them to arrange for theatre tickets, dinner reservations, or even to pick up a few essentials from the nearest grocery store. Like The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane has an intentionally 1930s vibe, and it is easy to feel like a heroine from a novel as you sip a cocktail in the speakeasy bar onsite. Rooms come with private balconies overlooking the greenery of Hyde Park, and an iPad controls the lights and climates for you. The last word in luxury and comfort, 45 Park Lane is definitely a place worth the splurge if you are in the mood to be absolutely pampered.
Built in the 1920s and overlooking Hyde Park in Mayfair, Grosvenor House is the epitome of British luxury. From the day it opened more than 80 years ago, this 490-bedroom hotel caters to celebrities, politicians, aristocrats, and the wealthiest business executives. When wealthy American heiresses came across the pond to try to marry a British peer, a temporary stay at the Grosvenor House was the height of fashion, and no other address would do. Today, the hotel hasn’t abandoned its historic roots, but it has embraced all of the conveniences you might expect from a luxury accommodation destination. Each room has a private bar, individual climate control, a satellite television and high-speed Internet, but the location just steps from the West End and Oxford Street means you might not want to spend much time in the room at all. Grosvenor House also boasts an onsite cafe, a library where you can enjoy quite meals and a world-class steakhouse where meals are extravagant and deliciously impressive.
Opened for business in 1889, the Savoy Hotel was the first luxury accommodation in London. Located in Westminster, it paved the way for luxurious turn of the century additions like electric lights, elevators, in-room bathrooms, and even hot and cold running water. Today, it continues to showcase high-end decor and services for guests, and there are few other locations in the city where you can experience this kind of prestige or indulgence. When you check in at the world-famous lobby, you will be following in the footsteps of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles, Edward VII, President Harry Truman, and Elizabeth Taylor. Rooms overlook the Thames River in the heart of London, and they are decorated with the finest white and gold linens. There are upscale dining establishments onsite, but many guests enjoy starting with a cocktail and then venturing out to explore the area’s eateries.
London certainly has no shortage of high-end hotel choices you can pick from. Whether you stay at the Savoy, the Dorchester or any of the other hotels on the list, expect unforgettable luxury in London.
Which era of London luxury are you the most excited to emulate?