The Best Hotels in London for a Staycation

London may be labelled as the city that never sleeps, but we're inclined to disagree. Tag along with us as we play tourist in our hometown, taking you inside the handsome hotels that are perfect for a summer staycation.

We don't need to waffle on about how brilliant London is; the entire world already knows it. Sure, discovering new places and meeting different faces is great, but there's also something pretty epic about playing tourist on your home turf - and, no, we're not suggesting you hitch a ride on an open-top tour bus. We are, however, going to take you inside the capital's quirkiest and grandest hotels, each promising a memorable summer staycation. From an art-filled townhouse in Marylebone to a decadent den in Spitalfields, these are our favourite city boltholes.

Staycations over vacations: London's 11 best hotels for a mini-break

Image credit: Simon Brown

hotel

Ham Yard

Soho

Part of the Firmdale Hotels group, this place is like a quirky country house slap bang in the middle of Soho. Owners Tim and Kit Kemp indulged their every whim when it came to furnishing Ham Yard Hotel, meaning an XXL, slide-shaped orange-juice maker, bronze sculpture by Tony Cragg and hand-painted wallpaper were all deemed "necessities". Rooms are kitted out with high-framed beds, padded-linen walls and fluffy robes, while bathrooms are stocked with RikRak (Kit's bath and beauty range) - the signature fragrance of which, Gardenia Greenleaf, has lasting appeal. Soak in the tub until you turn prune-like - a common side-effect of there being an Aqua TV docked at the foot of the bath. Party person? Keep an ear out for the various pop-ups that take place on the roof.

Address

1 Ham Yd, W1D 7DT

hotel

The Henrietta

Covent Garden

Proving that it's not all about high-tech spas and gimmicky gadgets, the first hotel from the Experimental Cocktail Group is an elegant, 18-bedroom boutique stay that provides every comfort. On arrival, drop your bags upstairs and make yourself at home in the neoclassical terracotta-and-navy bar. If there's one thing the ECG knows how to do well, it's cocktails: the list has been expertly curated by several drink historians, who took inspiration from the storied neighbourhood. Try the down and out (gin, Lillet Blanc and crème de cassis), created as an ode to George Orwell, who frequented this former publishing house. Or, alternatively, try your hand at creating your own concoctions back in your room (with a little help from the bedside recipe book), before ordering a midnight snack - warm madeleines with a bucket of chantilly cream, we're looking at you.

Address

14-15 Henrietta St, WC2E 8QG

hotel

Batty Langley’s

Spitalfields

Press the gilt buzzer to gain entry into the whacky Batty Langley - a labour of love that took 20 years to complete (and a vat of polish to get the antique furniture looking pristine). Blending the grandeur of a posh private residence with the eccentricity of a secondary school art teacher, this Georgian mansion has been furnished with a wicked sense of humour. Bookshelves conceal a gentleman's throne and period-style portraits displaying cheeky grins, while a snug sitting room offers up over 3,500 books, alongside a well-stocked honesty bar. Bed down in dark and decadent four-poster beds, draw the opulent gold curtains and sleep in until noon - only moving to enjoy a soak in your roll-top bath or to drape yourself on a mustard silk chaise longue. The next morning, in true lord or lady of the manor fashion, summon bacon-stuffed sarnies, buttery pastries and salmon bagels to the boudoir.

Address

12 Folgate St, E1 6BX

hotel

The Laslett

Notting Hill

The opening of a smattering of fab restaurants has seen a resurgence in west London's popularity, with thirtysomethings making their way back from the capital's east. Named after Rhaune Laslett, a community activist and Notting Hill Carnival organiser, this tiny boutique hotel combines the many hats that this postcode wears, being much-storied, eclectic and creative. Bedrooms are immaculately designed and feature a curated selection of pieces by local artists, with classic English features like cubby-hole beds dressed with sumptuous throws, freestanding baths and black-and-white tiling. Spend hours browsing the gift shop - it's brimming with British design, art and books, which you're encouraged to peruse while perched on a velvet bench in The Henderson Bar. The Laslett truly feels like a home-from-home, and is a particularly nice option if you're hankering after a much-needed weekend of solo R&R.

Address

8 Pembridge Gdns, W2 4DU

hotel

Kimpton Fitzroy

Bloomsbury

A striking terracotta building standing proud in London's literary neighbourhood, Kimpton Fitzroy promises a staycation at its most lavish (and learned). The interiors boast high ceilings, marble pillars and a lot of gold - this is definitely the kind of place where Gatsby would have thrown a party. While the restaurants and lobby take their design cues from the building's rich history, the rooms follow a more modern style, though are no less luxe for it, with their gargantuan beds and roll-top baths. The colossal building houses four restaurants: meet friends for morning coffee in Burr & Co, take brunch in the lush Palm Court, then knock back some excellent oysters at Neptune. Later, head to dimly lit Fitz's to revel in salacious gossip, killer martinis and old-school glamour.

Address

1-8 Russell Sq, WC1B 5BE

hotel

The Zetter Townhouse

Marylebone

One of two boutique hotels of the same name, The Zetter Townhouse in Marylebone is the edgier sibling to its Clerkenwell counterpart. The 24-key Georgian building exudes a warm grandiosity, making it feel more like the country pile of an eccentric, wealthy relative than a hotel. The decor is quintessentially British, with bedrooms featuring upcycled antique church pews and kitsch Union Jack bunting over the four-poster bed. The beautiful frescoed ceiling in the suites is a lovely touch, as is the outdoor copper bathtub - perfect for a late-night soak beneath the stars. Seymour's Parlour is the bar-come-restaurant; a lounge serving a delectable afternoon tea by day, then, come sundown, the red-walled, art-filled salon assumes a seductive air, serving masterful mixes courtesy of pioneering drinks aficionados The Drink Factory.

Address

28-30 Seymour St, W1H 7JB

hotel

L’Oscar

Holborn

Sitting pretty in Bloomsbury, L'Oscar's distinctive architecture, style and atmosphere reflect its idiosyncratic history. Originally the London headquarters of the Baptist Church, the building was damaged by a bomb in the Second World War. Now restored to its former glory, original features including terracotta panels, ornately plastered ceilings and carved fireplaces are complemented by contemporary design. Over-the-top touches such as leather and velvet walls, stylised peacock motifs and butterfly-wing taps are a nod to owner Duncan Shakeshaft's whimsical taste. The hotel's self-professed thespian nature is apparent in the bedrooms, where elaborate decor reflects the Edwardian arts and crafts style, complete with marble bathrooms and commissioned artworks, while the picturesque Grade II-listed former chapel now hosts the Baptist Grill restaurant.

Address

2-6 Southampton Row, WC1B 4AA

hotel

The Mandrake

Fitzrovia

Inspired by the healing properties of its herbal namesake, The Mandrake provides a soothing escape in central London. Luxurious interiors showcasing dark wood and ornamental chandeliers harmonise with a romantic central courtyard filled with hanging vines and cascading jasmine. This spacious refuge from the West End further benefits from high ceilings and huge windows. Suites are done up with vintage light fixtures and fittings and freestanding bathtubs, while the second floor is the place to explore exotic medicinal plants in the in-house glasshouse. Come sunset, head to the French-Spanish restaurant, before choosing between three bars for a post-prandial drink. Waeska offers a botanical-based cocktail menu founded on ethnobotany, while Jurema is located on a first-floor terrace with exclusive guest access, and designed by world-famous landscape architects Bureau Bas Smets.

Address

20-21 Newman St, W1T 1PG

The Curtain

hotel

The Curtain

Shoreditch

The brainchild of New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum, The Curtain cost £70 million and took four whole years to build, so you know it's going to be good. Standing six storeys high, this east London oasis climaxes in an impressive rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city and reaches down into an urban underbelly with a subterranean drinking den. While the name refers to the 16th-century theatre that once stood across the road (and, it's claimed, held the first performance of Romeo and Juliet), we like to think of it as a smokescreen for what goes on within. Live music, low lighting and an air of naughtiness (which is hard to pin down exactly) attracts movers and shakers from film, music and fashion, attracted by the air of exclusivity combined with a generous dollop of fun. The 120 guest rooms, including five suites, sport a moody colour palette and sleek black-and-white bathrooms.

Address

45 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3PT

Treehouse Hotel

hotel

Treehouse Hotel

Marylebone

Treehouse Hotel's message is clear: life's simple pleasures can be enjoyed at any age, and simplicity doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. True to its name, a treehouse theme is evident from the moment you step into the bark-lined lift - riding it feels as though you are ascending the inside of a tree trunk - which carries you up to the 15th-floor reception. There, walls are clad with reclaimed and recycled wood and plants burst through gaps in the walls and cascade from ceilings. The hotel's 95 bedrooms are brimming with quirky treehouse memorabilia, too, such as brightly coloured bird boxes, cuckoo clocks and a tree trunk spearing through the bathroom. Cuddle up with one of the soft toys on the double bed and entertain yourself with the trinkets dotted around the room, including magic eight balls and kaleidoscopes.

Address

14-15 Langham Pl, W1B 2QS

The Lost Poet Rooftop Terrace

hotel

The Lost Poet

Notting Hill

Located at the quieter end of Portobello Road, The Lost Poet is so design-smart that it feels borderline futuristic. There's no marked entrance, or check-in desk, for that matter. Rather, a digital key is sent to you after you've let yourself in via an app. (Fear not: there are physical keys and a receptionist on hand for the less tech-savvy.) Four bedrooms, sprawled across five floors, are each playfully designed by the ridiculously talented Cubic Studios - think Spanish tiling, hand-crafted wallpapers and walls peppered with artworks by local creatives. We suggest seeking out the two-floor penthouse, The Muse, partly for its generous dimensions, but largely for its terrace, which overlooks the street's famous candy-coloured facades.

Address

6 Portobello Rd, W11 3DG

This article was updated on 21 June 2022.

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