Best Boutique Hotels in London

The first ever boutique hotel, Blakes, was opened in London in 1981 and London hoteliers weren't shy about copying the individual quirky luxury format. Boutique hotels, some with more claim to the name than others, are now a global phenomenon and Blakes remains one of the best boutique hotels in London.

Our Guru’s selection will steer you clear of the pretenders and point you in the direction of London’s truly exceptional boutique hotels. Whether you're looking for super trendy in the East End or something slightly more central and less achingly hip, these are the best boutique hotels in London:

Best Boutique Hotels in London - West London

Where better to start than at Blakes? In a quiet residential street behind South Kensington its home is an imposing but discreet building with 41 rooms. Still one of the best boutique hotels in London, actress, Gwyneth Paltrow described it as "a super-chic design hotel but comfortable and sexy" and she pretty well nails it. Some of the classic darker rooms with their rich fabrics and Eastern art will be a little too opium den for some tastes but there are brighter, whiter rooms which are equally luxurious. The cocktail bar and restaurant are well thought-of.

Best Boutique Hotels in London's West End

  • One Aldwych, is an Edwardian building, once the home of the Morning Post, which resembles the Flatiron building in New York, but has a very London interior. Rooms are minimalist but still comfortable and luxurious enough, and there is an 18 metre swimming pool and two restaurants.

One Aldwych Lobby Bar

  • The Ian Schrager-designed Sanderson, just north of Oxford Street is one of the most urban of our best boutique hotels in London list, but it manages to be elegant as well as deeply metropolitan. Bedrooms are white and open-plan, some with oil paintings on the ceiling and sleigh beds. The huge bar and internal garden is a buzzy after work haunt.
  • On the other side of Oxford Street, Hazlitt's is where to head for if you want to stay in one of the most characterful of our best boutique hotels in London. Within this row of Georgian houses you’ll find bedrooms decorated with antique furniture, busts and portraits. And the nightlife of Soho is just outside your door.
  • The small but perfectly formed Dean Street Townhouse is the part of the Soho House stable of clubs and boutique hotels in and around London. The rooms are as beautifully decorated and the long low bar with its cosy tables and red banquettes is somewhere to settle in to for the evening. Fab food, good buzz and excellent location make this gem another of our Guru’s best boutique hotels in London.
  • At first glance the Covent Garden Hotel looks fairly traditional, but once you’re ensconced in its snug fabulousness, you’ll notice the funky, modern touches which qualify it for our list of the best boutique hotels in London. It’s in an unbeatable position for West End theatres, and it’s not a bad spot for celeb spotting.

Best Boutique Hotels in London - The City

The Zetter Townhouse

  • With its intimate rooms and leafy verdant garden The Rookery doesn't feel like it is in The City at all. Which is probably exactly why it is popular with people who have spent long hard days slogging in the Square Mile. The only exception is the wood panelled meeting room with its long polished table and stern portraits which looks exactly like the Wall Street meeting room in the eighties film Trading Places.
  • On the other side of Clerkenwell Road from the Rookery is The Zetter Townhouse. Quirkier and less grand than the Rookery it is still a very comfortable addition to our best boutique hotels in London list, decked out with wit, flamboyance and plenty of four-poster beds. The tiny bar has the feeling of a homely parlour and has more of a whisky than champagne vibe.

Best Boutique Hotels in London - South London

Church Street Hotel

  • Quirky and unusual the Church Street Hotel in Camberwell, is a great value addition to the list of the best boutique hotels in London. It feels so Mexican that you half expect to be addressed in Spanish. Ulike our other best boutique hotels in London, it isn't luxurious but what it lacks in swankiness it more than makes up for in fun, style and colour. Magnifico.

If you haven't found anythng to suit you amongst our picks of the best boutique hotels in London, take a look at the full London list:

Happy choosing and please feel free to contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice and booking.

  • Blakes

    London (South West)

    The grandaddy of boutique hotels, theatrical creation of actress Anoushka Hempel, decadent and moody institution on the edge of Chelsea. Individually themed rooms crammed full of oriental and Indian antiques, plus an excellent restaurant.

    41 rooms from $335
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Landmark  -  Comes with a reputation.
    Quirky  -  An experience!
  • One Aldwych

    London (West End)

    The perfect base for those wanting to be in the heart of the West End. Classic on the outside, but wonderfully contemporary on the inside. Spacious rooms and suites, buzzy lobby bar, superb dining in the Axis restaurant and a luxury spa for relaxing after a hard day's sightseeing!

    105 rooms from $408
    Child friendly  -  DVD and games library plus wii console and games
    Swimming Pool  -  Large Indoor Pool
    Bar  -  Popular with locals.
  • Sanderson

    London (West End)

    Ian Schrager's second design hotel in London, in a former textiles building in the rag trade area north of Oxford Street. Great spa and gym, and a fashionable bar.

    150 rooms from $408
    Spa  -  Two storey spa
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Frommers, Johansens, Kiwi Collection
  • Hazlitt's

    London (West End)

    This charming Georgian boutique is full of character and literary associations since 1718. This townhouse is in thick of it on vibrant Frith Street, home to lively bars and popular restaurants. Elegant wood paneled rooms are the perfect base, relax with a book or explore town as and when you wish.

    27 rooms from $262
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
  • Dean Street Townhouse

    London (West End)

    Elegant Georgian townhouse in London's vibrant Soho district. Stylish rooms are designed with panache, and focus on the young and fashionable business and leisure traveler. All British food all day at the snazzy restaurant. A true gem in the heart of the UK's capital city.

    39 rooms from $207
    City Style  -  Grown up and sophisticated style, in a hip part of town- think mahogany fourposters, clawfooted tubs and Farrow & Ball Duck Egg.
    Foodies  -  Mouthwatering modern British cuisine, always interesting, varied and au point. Afternoon tea is a London favourite.
    Great walks  -  Head south towards Trafalgar Square and to Enbankment where you will find the Thames - the perfect guide to mapping out London.
    Sights nearby  -  Picadilly Circus is closeby and a great place to check out what is on at the theatres in the West End.
  • Covent Garden Hotel

    London (West End)

    Traditional elegance meets sexy chic, making a sexy and buzzy, designer hotel in prime Covent Garden location. Classic rooms are exquisitely decorated, with all luxuries considered and children more than catered for. Breakfast is a lavish affair, as is an evening cocktail in the drawing room.

    58 rooms from $524
    Sights nearby  -  You're bang in the centre of London, so everything is within easy reach!
    Local markets  -  Covent Garden is known for its famous early-morning flower market
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Full of character
  • The Rookery

    London (The City)

    Fashionable Clerkenwell is home to this intimate, period charm City bolthole which prides itself on homely atmosphere across three 18th Century houses. Rooms are full of character, classic antiques, open fires and roll top baths. Breakfast in bed or in the garden is the perfect way to start the day.

    33 rooms from $344
    Exclusive offer
    Sights nearby  -  Barbican is a cultural hub worth checking out for performances, screenings and more.
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet
  • The Zetter Townhouse


    Intimate boutique townhouse offshoot of the modernist Zetter, with quirky and eclectic vintage decor and just 13 rooms.

    13 rooms from $300
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Quirky  -  An experience!
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection
  • Church Street Hotel


    This wonderfully vibrant Mexican themed hotel is a shining light in Camberwell. Bright, cheerful rooms are full of character and thoughtful touches. Make sure you sample the to die for tapas, as well as the knockout cocktails in the Havana Lounge. A new wave of affordable and stylish hotels.

    31 rooms from $110
    Exclusive offer  -  London bargain
    City Style  -  A totally unqiue experience with quirky and meticulously thoughtout design, bold colours and unique charm.
    Value chic  -  Excellent value for money- top quality service, decor, cuisine and vibes for a reasonable price tag.
    Local markets  -  Borough Market on the weekend is a fantastic food heaven with stalls from all over Europe and places to catch a quick bite.
    Great walks  -  South London is full of parks, walk ways and beautiful buildings full of history.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Fodors, Good Hotel Guide

Written by  Sarah Empson,
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