London hotels know how to indulge, whether through history, a sense of fun or an understanding that luxury covers everything from an amazing view to a cocktail served in a perfect glassLess
Built in 1889 by the theatre impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, the Savoy has sustained that famous, glorious sense of enjoyment.
First opened in 1865, the Langham’s original palm court still serves an elegant afternoon tea, but this hotel now blends its Victorian history with 21st-century levels of pampering, including cutting-edge treatments at the Chuan spa and a 21-metre swimming pool.
While The Ned was once the Midland Bank’s headquarters, the focus is now on fun. Head downstairs to find a cocktail bar, which was once the bank’s safe deposit vault.
The glass and steel pyramid of the Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, can be seen across the city and beyond. When they check in on the 34th floor, guests at Shangri-La hotel can strike lucky with views of the Thames and out towards the hills of Surrey, Kent and Sussex.
You won’t be the first to discover this luxe address midway between Chelsea and Knightsbridge. It’s been a socialites playground for years; The Cadogan was where Oscar Wilde was arrested in 1895 and actress Lillie Langtry wined and dined.
Like a warm but wonderfully elegant godmother, Claridge’s does indulgence in a superbly entertaining fashion. This hotel has been a home-from-home for royalty, fashion designers and celebrities since 1850.
This 19th-century building was once the National Liberal Club. Today it’s a luxury hotel in London’s most power-packed area, with Downing Street and the Cenotaph a few moments away. The Thames is just as close, separated only by the trees of Whitehall Gardens; the best rooms and suites make the most of this view, including the London Eye.
This posh pad impresses from its postcode alone, backing onto Hyde Park and facing Harvey Nichols. Of all the luxury hotels in London, this is the foodiest, headlining with Heston Blumenthal’s two-Michelin-starred, molecular-minded Dinner.
Luxury doesn’t get much more central than this plush West End hotel near Hyde Park and Oxford Street. You’ll be welcomed into the grand, marble-clad lobby where nods to Churchill quickly become apparent; prints of his artwork are donated by the former prime minister’s grandson.
Art-lovers flock to this five-star favourite on South Bank — and it’s not just because it’s five minutes from Tate Modern and the South Bank Centre. Interiors have been curated to create a living gallery that shouts “art school without the dust”, while Brutalist grey concrete pillars juxtapose colour-popping prints of classics with a twist; think a skateboarding Shakespeare in a pair of box-fresh Stan Smiths.