London has a hotel for pretty much everyone and every occasion. Whether you’re in the capital to see a show, go sightseeing or head off on a big night out, there’s a room to call your own (even if only briefly).
The hotel landscape is always in flux with new openings, refurbishments and relaunches, and – aside from in the centre – neighbourhoods go in and out of fashion.
Currently, the east rules the roost. But one change is noticeable and consistent: a love of tech. So, from touchscreen check-in and in-room apps to Smart TVs and space-saving storage, it’s time to settle in and enjoy your stay.
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Best London hotels
1. citizenM London Bankside
“Absolutely no trouser presses, bellboys, or stupid pillow chocolates.” That’s the deal at citizenM, where value for money is king. Tate Modern is a six-minute walk away and tech means there’s no front desk to check-in at – just touchscreens at the entrance. A bedside screen takes the strain in your room, controlling lights, temperature, blinds and TV. And movies here are free.
2. Mama London, Bethnal Green
Only opened in September, London’s first Mama Shelter (it’s a French mini-chain) arrives into Bethnal Green with a style that’s sort-of graffiti and kitsch – plus a sense of communal fun. There are two karaoke rooms, a courtyard cocktail bar, giant Twister board and retro arcade games aplenty. It’s not minimalism but is affordability in a vibrant setting. Rooms in three sizes (small, medium, large) come with 49-inch flatscreens and free movies.
3. The Stratford Hotel, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Designer Space Copenhagen has “fused Scandinavian style with old-world opulence” at a dazzling hotel that covers seven levels of The Stratford building in east London. Lofts for longer stays, and with incredible views, are also available. The hotel has three sky gardens and two restaurants, and in-room treats including flatscreen TVs with Sky and Google Chromecast, DUALIT coffee machines, iPad/iPhone docks and a tablet for room requests.
4. The Standard, King’s Cross
Opened in July, this is the first European property from a hip US chain with hotels in NYC and LA. A funky red lift runs up the outside of a building that used to be the Camden Town Hall annexe. Rooms run from compact to colossal, with great tech in each – huge TVs, Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speakers and free Wi-Fi. Euston, St Pancras and King’s Cross stations are nearby, as are the shops, bars and restaurants of Coal Drops Yard.
5. Good Hotel, Docklands
If a floating hotel with Thames and London skyline views are what floats your boat check out Good Hotel. Transported by barge from Amsterdam to the Royal Victoria Dock, this hotel is as much a social enterprise as a place to stay. Profits help provide training to local long-term unemployed. Two room sizes are available (13 and 30 sq metres) and the area known as the “living room” (bar, reception, library) is great for chilling out.
6. The Hoxton, Southwark
The cool Hoxton chain’s newest London hotel has a South Bank setting, making art stops at Tate Modern easy and strolls to the BFI and National Theatre much less dramatic than their performances. Rooms are offered in categories (Shoebox, Snug, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy) that leave size in no doubt and come with free treats, such as a light breakfast bag and free international calls and wifi.
7. hub by Premier Inn London Covent Garden
hub by Premier Inn aims to blend style with value, while fessing up that rooms are generally on the snug side (beds are big and comfy, though). It has nine London hotels, including this one in the heart of the action. Check-in is by screen, an in-room app controls things and there’s a Smart TV, free Wi-Fi and clever underbed storage. Don’t fret, there’s also a bar and dining area – with staff on hand if you need them.
8. Z Hotels Gloucester Place, Marylebone
Spread across six Georgian townhouses, this 114-bedroom hotel is minutes away from swanky Marylebone and the bustle of Oxford Street. The decor is minimal, but stylishly so, and the rooms have en suite shower or bath, Samsung HDTVs with Sky and nifty storage. The cafe is a great communal space for hanging out and planning the day – and is where the breakfast buffet (extra) is served.
9. New Road Hotel, Whitechapel
While amenities in the rooms of this former textile factory in the East End are the same (exposed brickwork, 49in flatscreen TV, Hypnos bed, rainfall shower and aircon), their sizes are grouped into three categories: Pocket, Warehouse and Loft. So, how much space do you need? You’ll not find a minibar or kettle in any, though, as free unlimited tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available from vending machines on each floor.
10. Montcalm London Marble Arch
Looking for a taste (and smell) of luxury? This plush five-star near Park Lane ticks all the boxes – especially as it offers six “in-room aromas” to match your mood (including romantic, lavender, and fresh grass), plus, there’s a pillow menu. Three TripAdvisor awards testify to its popularity – maybe the mobile phone in each room with free data and worldwide calls helps.