Luxury, state-of-the-art technology & extensive facilities
Five star hotels in London are plentiful, but, as with every other category of accommodation, the experience you have can vary hugely depending on the place you choose.
The hotel rating system in the UK allots stars according to the facilities a hotel has, rather than to those intangibles that really make a hotel special, such as service and atmosphere. Theoretically, therefore, you could have a soulless, charmless, 20-storey, concrete block in the middle of nowhere that qualifies as five star simply by virtue of having six restaurants, twelve function rooms, and a fitness center. Many of five star hotels have a personal casino or access to online casino.
Happily for those able to splash out, however, there are some genuinely stupendous five star hotels in London.
Sofitel St James
Address: 6 Waterloo Place, SW1
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Size: 185 rooms & suites
The Sofitel St James offers its guests a substantial helping of Parisian chic in London.
Situated in the heart of upmarket St James’s – a wonderful area to stroll around in, especially at dusk when the lights start to come on inside the neoclassical buildings – in a Grade II-listed building that used to be a bank, it’s within easy walking distance of Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden.
Address: Whitehall Place, SW1
Tube: Embankment/Charing Cross
Size: 294 rooms & suites
A hop, skip and a jump from Trafalgar Square, the Corinthia Hotel, a reconstruction of what was originally a Victorian-era grand hotel, has vast, high-ceilinged interiors flooded with natural light.
And, unlike other five star hotels in London, it even has a 24-hour check-in/check-out policy, meaning you can check in at 7am one day and check out at 8pm the next without worrying about incurring extra charges and/or finding somewhere to store your luggage.
Address: 1 Aldwych, WC2
Tube: Covent Garden/Holborn
Size: 105 rooms & suites
Located at the point where the West End meets the City of London, on an intriguing triangular site at the heart of Covent Garden, One Aldwych combines the old-world grandeur of its Edwardian exterior with the modern elegance of its interior spaces.
All the guestrooms have original works of art and bespoke furniture, and the public spaces (including a bar and two restaurants) are clean and cool without being cold.
Address: 5 Threadneedle Street, EC2
Size: 70 rooms & suites
Located in the City of London, the oldest part of the capital (and almost deserted at weekends), Threadneedles is within walking distance of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and the Tate Modern, and a short cab ride away from the West End.
In Victorian times, it was a banking hall. Nowadays, it’s an eclectic mix of old and new, with a stained glass dome dating from 1856, walnut walls, cool marble floors, and a restaurant serving modern European cuisine.
Address: 4 Richmond Mews, W1
Tube: Piccadilly Circus/Tottenham Court Road
Size: 91 rooms & suites
One of the trendiest five star hotels in London, the Soho Hotel is located in a quiet street between Dean and Wardour Streets, right in the centre of London’s media and entertainment district, surrounded by restaurants, cafes and bars.
Although it’s popular with celebrities, there’s nothing pretentious or patronising about the service here if you don’t happen to be Leonardo DiCaprio, and Soho itself has a vibrant, village-like atmosphere.
Address: Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1
Tube: Green Park
Size: 117 rooms & suites
Brown’s Hotel is located on a quiet, evocative, 18th-century street in the heart of Mayfair, just minutes away from Bond Street’s glamorous stores, the Royal Academy, the tempting culinary delights of Fortnum & Mason, and the open spaces of Green Park.
When it opened in 1837, Brown’s was London’s first ever hotel. Those who stay here love its old-world Victorian charm, which has been successfully preserved through the years alongside the introduction of contemporary features common to all five star hotels in London.
Royal Horseguards Hotel
Address: 2 Whitehall Court, SW1
Size: 281 rooms & suites
Definitely a hotel with a history – it served as HQ of the Secret Service during the First World War – the Royal Horseguards is a splendid old Victorian grand hotel, spread over nine floors, close to Westminster and within walking distance of Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, and Buckingham Palace.
Some of the rooms offer panoramic views of the Thames, and the public areas have original tiled floors, high ceilings and chandeliers.