Luxury with an intimate, personal touch
There is a large and ever-growing number of boutique hotels in London, some of them very special places indeed.
But what exactly is a boutique hotel?
These days, it seems every establishment with fewer than 100 rooms feels entitled to call itself a boutique hotel. But it isn’t just about size.
It isn’t really about luxury either – although luxury undoubtedly plays a part, with most boutique hotels in London catering to an affluent clientele (or one willing to splurge in order to give itself an expensive treat).
No, what it’s really about is staying in a hotel that’s unique (in a good way!), one with something to offer that you won’t find anywhere else.
Individually designed rooms, stylish decor, personalized service, attention to detail. An ambience that is both intimate and exclusive. These are the things that make the difference, turning a small hotel into a true ’boutique’ hotel.
Here are some of the best…
Covent Garden Hotel
Address: 10 Monmouth Street, WC2
Tube: Covent Garden/Leicester Square
Size: 58 rooms & suites
Boutique hotels in London don’t come much more central than the Covent Garden Hotel, in the heart of theatreland, surrounded by restaurants, bars, cafes, and interesting shops.
The design of the guestrooms has been described as ‘quintessentially English with a twist’. The decor is fresh, light and bright, with antiques and dark-wood furniture set against pastel-colored upholstery, floral prints and soft furnishings.
Some of the rooms have views overlooking the Covent Garden rooftops, giving them a romantic, garret-like feel.
Address: 41 Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1
Size: 30 rooms & suites
Hotel 41 certainly seems an intriguing place, a residents-only hotel with the ambience of a private club and a chic black-and-white color scheme.
Located just behind Buckingham Palace, the entrance is at street level whilst the hotel proper is up on the fifth floor, tucked away from prying eyes.
The location, just round the corner from Victoria Station and a short walk from the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, puts you right at the heart of the British establishment.
Address: 33 Beaufort Gardens, SW3
Size: 29 rooms & suites
An elegant, family-owned townhouse in upmarket Knightsbridge, the Beaufort Hotel overlooks a leafy square and, more than most boutique hotels in London, feels like a private house – an impression enhanced by the free bar in the evenings and complimentary cream teas in the afternoons.
It’s only a couple of minutes’ walk away from Harrods, close to Kensington’s cluster of world-class museums – the V&A;, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum – and the West End is only a short cab ride away.
Address: 86-88 Clerkenwell Road, EC1
Size: 59 rooms & suites
The Zetter Hotel is situated on a cobbled square in Clerkenwell, one of London’s most vibrant, up-and-coming neighborhoods, just on the edge of the City. It’s a little off the usual tourist track and the West End is a 10-minute taxi ride away, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants, including the Zetter’s own Bistro Bruno Loubet, which has a great reputation.
The spacious rooms have been designed in a quirky vintage-modern style – minimalist but comfortable with flashes of striking color.
Hotel Indigo London-Paddington
Address: 16 London Street, W2
Size: 64 rooms & suites
The Hotel Indigo London-Paddington has airy rooms, hardwood floors, and a decor accented with bright colors that are warm and vibrant, but not overpowering. It’s close to the shops on Oxford Street and Bond Street as well as to the green spaces of Hyde Park, and both the City and the West End are easily accessible by public transport.
One of its main attractions, however, has to be its proximity to Paddington Station – less than a minute’s walk away – from where you can catch the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services to Heathrow Airport.
Address: 1 Suffolk Place, SW1
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Size: 50 rooms & suites
Situated in the heart of theatreland, in a touristy part of town, a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery and a short walk from Covent Garden, the classical townhouse façade of the Haymarket Hotel conceals an ultra-modern interior.
Like a lot of boutique hotels in London, the design of the guestrooms and public areas is bold and striking – all pastel colors, gorgeous fabrics and eclectic works of art – and the icing on the cake is a spectacular underground swimming pool.