The hotels of London are a wonderful mix of the very old and the very new, of the super-traditional and the uber-funky. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the quirky Mondrian hotel in Southwark and the historic and iconic Savoy, just a 15-minute walk away on The Strand. It’s in the gap between them that London stays.
1. The Goring
Just minutes from Buckingham Palace this grand old Edwardian hotel is awash with opulent country house furnishing and fabrics. Its dining room this year won its first Michelin star. Very family friendly thanks to interconnecting rooms. Do try the excellent afternoon tea.
2. Hotel 41
Tucked away above the Rubens Hotel next door, this elegant but small (just 30 rooms) five-star hotel is a classical design joy from the black-and-white lobby to the black-and-white furnishings in the rooms and the exquisite mahogany throughout.
3. Egerton House Hotel
Two red-brick Victorian townhouses built in 1843 have been turned into 28 five-star rooms and suites. Just a short walk from Harrods, the V&A and the Natural History Museum. Manages to be luxurious and homely at the same time. Check out the wall art; Matisse anyone?
4. Langham London
One of the great London luxury hotels the Langham is famed for afternoon teas in the art deco Palm Court, Michel and Albert Roux's restaurant, Roux at The Landau, and the drinks at its widely acclaimed and award-winning Artesian bar.
5. The Soho
Chic boutique hotel in an old warehouse in the heart of the theatre district. All the 96 beautifully designed rooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling windows. Stylish, quirky and oddly quiet for so central a location.
6. No1 The Mansions By Mansley
Luxury serviced apartments featuring everything from studios to four-bedroom units in an elegant mansion-style building. Fully equipped kitchens and washing machines make it perfect for families with children. Close to Green Park, too.
7. The Savoy
Not so much a hotel as a London institution, this opulent 1889 building is littered with lovely Edwardian and art deco touches. Inside all is elegance and luxury and impeccable service. Check out Gordon Ramsay’s Grill and you must have a drink in the American Bar.
8. Shangri-La at the Shard
Set on floors 34-52 of architect Renzo Piano’s astonishing building it’s all about the views across the city. The inside’s not too shabby either and the glass-walled rooms are beautifully appointed. Book a window table at Gong bar on the 52nd floor bar for sunset.
9. The Mondrian
With 3D spacemen in the elevator, giant blue anchor chains in the foyer and a 1920s cruise ship ambience, this upmarket boutique hotel is cheeky and quite wonderful. You must experience the subterranean Agua spa, Dandelyan cocktail bar and rooftop Rumpus Room bar.
10. M by Montcalm
For those wishing to experience the up-and-coming East End of London – and especially the trendy Hoxton and Shoreditch districts – this chic modern hotel is for you. Be sure to ask for access to the top floor breakfast room.