There are plenty of hotels in London, but choosing the right one for the ultimate sleepover can be a daunting task. My checklist for the perfect hotel is: stylish design and immaculate service, while dazzling bars, restaurants, and spas are an added bonus which keep me revisiting my favourite haunts time and time again - regardless of whether or not I’m looking to stay over.
Here’s my pick of the eight greatest places to stay, spa and eat in the capital.
Beaverbrook Town House
Perhaps Chelsea’s best kept secret, this charming townhouse is a whirlwind of pattern and colour as soon as you step inside. Expect plenty of drama in each of the thespian-inspired bedrooms: sweeping canopied bedsteads and plush furnishings in every shade of the rainbow are the norm, along with TVs that pop out from the end of your bed, and complimentary minibars that guests are encouraged to raid. Slip downstairs to dinner at The Fuji Grill, the hotel’s sleek Japanese restaurant and bar, where you can indulge in a mouthwatering 20-course omakase menu.
Book: Rooms from £443 (beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk).
The Twenty Two
Behind the doors of this discreet Mayfair townhouse, a unexpectedly playful party pad awaits. This private members’ club and hotel offers plenty of pizzaz in each of its 31 bedrooms. Parisian-inspired romance makes itself known via Pierre Frey wallpapers, opulent draped curtains, and velvet fabrics: no bedroom room here is the same, with even the smallest of pads boasting rich red four-posters and checkered marble bathrooms.
Tuck into elegant British fare in the hotel’s blue-panelled restaurant - or descend the leopard staircase for a boogie at the members’ nightclub downstairs.
Book: Rooms from £650 (the22.london)
The Mitre, Hampton Court
Just skirting the edge of the city, The Mitre, Hampton Court is a Tudor boozer turned bougie boutique hotel. Creaky floorboards and sloping ceilings might hint at the hotel’s history as the former stomping ground for Henry VIII’s courtiers, but patterned de Gournay wallpapers and sumptuous fabrics now reign supreme in all of the individually designed bedrooms.
Splash out in one of the hotel’s suites (naturally, the largest is named after Henry himself), where you’ll find generous four-posters, deep copper bathtubs, and prime views over Hampton Court Palace. Make merry into the early hours of the morning at one of the hotel’s three restaurants and bars.
Book: Rooms from £194 (mitrehamptoncourt.com).
One Hundred Shoreditch
Sitting on Shoreditch High Street, this industrial beast of a building oozes laidback cool once you step inside. Freelancers tap away on laptops in the mid-century inspired lobby, and airy bedrooms feature minimal colour palettes and unfussy interiors, which create an oasis of calm just a stone’s throw from Brick Lane. Expect ivory sofas to sink into, bold artwork, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Do as the east London locals do, and sip on cocktails shaken by award-winning bartender Mr Lyan at the sultry, subterranean Seed Library - or for sunset views over the skyline, head up to the hotel’s leafy rooftop bar.
Book: Rooms from £269 (onehundredshoreditch.com).
The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel
A hushed townhouse sanctuary just minutes from the hum of Sloane Square and Knightsbridge, this Chelsea mainstay is a favourite of those in the know. Understatedly luxe bedrooms are panelled in muted tones and boast gleaming marble bathrooms, while personalised pillow menus guarantee an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
You’ll be best placed to explore one of London’s buzziest neighbourhoods, but if you’d rather hibernate inside, there’s plenty to indulge in between mealtimes. Check out all-day brasserie The LaLee, treat yourself to a bespoke facial by Teresa Tarmey, or enjoy afternoon tea in the lounge.
Book: Rooms from £767 (belmond.com).
Nobu London Portman Square
Of course you’ve all heard of Nobu, but few may be aware that the world-class Japanese restaurant has expanded its offering to a cohort of glossy hotels around the world. Their Marylebone pad is a shimmering glass-fronted behemoth, oozing Japanese zen from top to bottom.
Stylish, minimal bedrooms are kitted out in muted tones and luxe fabrics, and while it might be tempting to order bento boxes to your bedroom, head to the restaurant instead for a serving of miso black cod and a side of people-watching (you might just spot a celebrity or two). Work it all off the next morning at the skylit Pilates studio.
Book: Rooms from £414 (london-portman.nobuhotels.com).
Presiding over Covent Garden market in the building that once occupied the former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, this palatial pad is pretty hard to miss. Within its storied walls, striking original artworks and chintzy furnishings abound, while guests dine on modern American fare at the leafy greenhouse-like restaurant.
Generous emperor beds and glittering gold mosaic bathrooms are the norm in all of the bedrooms, but it’s the split-level Royal Opera suites that offer guaranteed views over neighbouring Royal Opera House. It would be simply criminal not to sample the hotel’s trio of restaurants and bars: slip into Common Decency, the subterranean speakeasy, or Side Hustle, the hotel’s diner-style bar, where you can sip on Latin-inspired cocktails.
Book: Rooms from £403 (thenomadhotel.com).
For those searching for the ultimate indulgence, checking into this belle of Belgravia unveils a playground of no-expenses-spared luxury around each corner. Generous suites are designed by a slew of lauded names, guaranteeing the most stylish of sleepovers for every guest.
Your entire stay could easily be spent hopping between the multitude of bars and restaurants - all under the same roof. Nibble on flakey croissants at the Cedric Grolet bakery, tuck into Michelin-starred fare at Marcus, and schmooze between the hotel’s varied bars. Don’t forget to factor in a trip to the restorative Bamford spa, as well as leaving ample time to spread-eagle yourself by the rooftop pool.
Book: Rooms from £780 (the-berkeley.co.uk).
London Hotels by Gina Jackson, £10.95, is out now, published by Hoxton Mini Press.