I’ve always had a thing for boutique hotels, you know those special places, small but full of character. They’re often in secret corners hidden away, and not a lot of people know about them…but that just makes them even better. In this post I thought I’d tell you about my favourite of these London hidden gems.
1. 11 Cadogan Gardens
Maybe not so much a secret any more as I’ve mentioned this hotel several times on my blog before. Located behind Sloane Square in London’s higgledly piggledy maze of side streets is this charming bijoux boutique hotel, 11 Cadogan Gardens.
Every room at the beautiful townhouse is different and mine had a four-poster bed and an equestrian theme with a view out to the famous streets of Chelsea.
With beautiful antiques throughout, the public areas are special and intimate but also the height of luxury and opulence. It’s the perfect place to take a break from shopping to enjoy afternoon tea on the terrace or dinner in the restaurant.
2. The Capital
What’s not to like about an intimate family-owned hotel that’s the just about as close to Harrods as you can get? No only is it a stone’s throw from London’s most famous department store but The Capital is also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant and a bar with a world class whiskey collection.
The super intimate hotel has only 49 rooms but each is decorated in a classic style with luxurious fabrics and antiques. A visit to the restaurant, Outlaw’s at The Capital, is an absolute must to try the Michelin-starred menu devised by world-renowned chef Nathan Outlaw and his Head Chef Tom Brown.
3. The Ampersand
From the classic to the more quirky, The Ampersand is such a fun hotel. Combining a Victorian Townhouse building with a modern interior, it’s a fantastic place to stay in London’s fashionable Kensington.
With the hotel’s proximity to London’s iconic museums, the room decor draws on music, botany, geometry, ornithology and astronomy referencing the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the V & A.
I particularly loved this music themed room! Absolutely unmissable at The Ampersand is the Science-themed afternoon teas, one of the most unique of it’s kind in London.
4. The Ham Yard Hotel
I love the Ham Yard Hotel, in fact I love all the hotels that make up the Firmdale Group, a small collection of design hotels in London and New York, but I think that the Ham Yard has to be my favourite. It’s actually so much more than just a hotel as you enter through a beautiful courtyard or village with other restaurants and shops at the hotel’s Soho location. All rooms are designed with eclectic fabrics by the hotel owner Kit Kemp who has an incredible eye for putting together interiors and collecting unique pieces.
As well as being home to a fantastic restaurant and one of London’s most happening bars, The Ham Yard also boasts a 1950’s style bowling alley and a state-of-the-art theatre with its own bar.
5. The Kensington Hotel
For me the Kensington Hotel is the perfect combination of luxury and a home away from home! With cosy lounge areas, a glamorous bar and stylish restaurant, you could basically spend your whole weekend just enjoying this beautiful hotel.
I would also recommend that very reasonably priced weekend brunch which starts with a really delicious seafood buffet.
6. Brown’s Hotel
The thing that I love most about Brown’s in Mayfair is the spectacular history behind it. It’s London’s first hotel, and where Alexander Graham Bell made the first ever phone call and Agatha Christie and Rudyard Kipling were regulars there! Despite the hotel’s age, the interiors are fresh with beautiful mosaic floors and perfectly maintained wood paneling.
They also do an excellent afternoon tea in the stylish Donovan bar and the restaurant is by famous British chef, Mark Hix.
7. DUKES London
Nestled in a courtyard in historic St James is hidden gem, DUKES LONDON. I love the classic decor and the famous DUKES Bar which reputedly makes the world’s best martini!
But my favourite room is the Perrier-Jouët champagne lounge with it’s pink and green colour scheme. Have an aperitif here before dinner at THIRTY SIX restaurant. Oh and dogs are welcome at DUKES so you don’t need to leave your four-legged friend at home!
8. COMO Metropolitan London
Nestled among the grand dames of Park Lane is beautiful boutique hotel, COMO Metropolitan London. With a simple classic aesthetic, this is the hotel for fans of minimalist chic and elegant luxury.
In London luxurious Mayfair, with views over Hyde Park and around the corner from London’s most high end shopping streets, the location is perfect too. Spa and wellness is emphasised with treatments at COMO Shambhala Urban Escape and healthy spa food served at breakfast in the bar. The hotel is also home to the famous Met Bar and to Nobu Park Lane, one of my favourite restaurants in London.
9. The Beaumont
A hotel owned by restauranteurs Corbin and King of The Wolseley and The Delaunay is bound to be a hit and I was super impressed by the beautiful Beaumont Hotel when I went to visit. Inspired by the beautiful art deco hotels of the 1920’s this boutique hotel is a little jewel on a quiet garden square near Selfridge’s.
The hotel’s American bar has that cosy feeling of a private members club and I love the Colony Grill, a restaurant serving food from both sides of the Atlantic.
10. Dean Street Town House
My final boutique hotel is also one of my favourite restaurants in London. Owned by Soho House, Dean Street Townhouse is a super cool and relaxed and the perfect place for all day drinking and dining.
Think super comfy sofas, fireplaces and comfort food in the restaurant. The bedrooms are classically designed and range from the excellent value for money ‘tiny’ sized room to the spacious ‘bigger’ rooms.
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Those are my top ten boutique hotels in London. What are your favourites?