Whether you want to walk in the footsteps of the British royal family or simply find the perfect afternoon tea, every traveler should visit The Big Smoke at least once in their life.This international metropolis is not only the capital of England and the United Kingdom, but its roots date back to the Roman era.
Related: London Insider’s Guide
Regardless of your age or who you’re traveling with, London offers something for everyone. From famous historic landmarks like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, to modern art galleries and markets, there’s plenty to see and do in the U.K. capital. Whether you spend your trip shopping on Oxford Street or twirling around the London Eye, here’s where to stay for your upcoming trek across the pond.
Where to Stay in London With Kids: St. James’s
Kids and parents alike will love staying in the St. James’s neighborhood of London. Booking a room in this area means you’re practically neighbors with the Queen herself, with Buckingham Palace located just a short walk away. The family-friendly St. James’s is near 3 of the royal parks- Hyde Park, Green Park, and St. James’s Park- making it the perfect place to stop for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Kids will love running around the parks and checking out the famous swans while parents enjoy a picnic on the lawn. As you tour the area, you can book a show at one of the nearby theaters or pop into the National Gallery to view works from the likes of van Gogh and Michelangelo. For lunch, nibble through Fortum & Mason’s expansive food hall, filled with traditional British snacks, before venturing to nearby Piccadilly for more shopping. This is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in London, but you can find reasonably priced eats if you know where to look!
Best Hotels in St. James Place
As an independent luxury hotel in the heart of London, Dukes provides a bit of privacy for you and your family, thanks to their private courtyard near Green Park and Buckingham Palace. This 100-year-old hotel has comfortable, large suites, ideal for larger groups and families with kids.
Address: 35 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NY, UK
To book: www.hotels.com
The Stafford London
A hop and a skip from the plentiful sights of the West End, The Stafford is an ideal spot for families that value privacy and space on vacation. Each suite is individually designed, and they come at various price points and sizes depending on your needs. At The Stafford, you can pick from rooms in 3 buildings with distinct atmospheres, from the grandeur of the Main House to the countryside vibe of the Carriage House, and more.
Address: 16-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ, UK
To book: www.expedia.com
Where to Stay in London as a First-time Visitor: Holborn and Covent Garden
If you’ve never touched down in London Town, having a central location is essential to exploring every last nook and cranny of the city. There’s no better place to do this than the Holborn and Covent Garden neighborhoods. These adjacent areas encompass a large section of England’s capital, and they contain a plethora of attractions, covering everything from entertainment to history. Plenty of tube lines run through this area, so you’ll easily be able to explore the city via public transportation. Covent Garden is home to endless pubs, museums, restaurants, markets, and shops, and a majority of the famous West End theaters are also located in this neighborhood. The central location of Holborn and Covent Garden is perfect for first-time visitors hoping to make the most of their time in London.
Best Hotels in Holborn and Covent Garden
In the epicenter of London on High Holborn, the Rosewood Hotel was the first headquarters of the Pearl Assurance Company in 1914. Today, it is a modern luxury hotel that still features the original carriageway entrance, a marble staircase, an outdoor terrace, a lounge, and more. The hotel also offers some incredible onsite dining- don’t miss the art-themed afternoon tea in the beautiful Mirror Room or the live jazz at the Scarfes Bar.
Address: 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN, UK
To book: www.orbitz.com
With a just-about-perfect location that puts you in the middle of theaters, nightclubs, and tourist spots, ME London offers everything first-time visitors need! Book one of the 157 guestrooms or 16 suites on this flagship ME property for a five-star luxury experience, complete with a fitness center and valet parking.
Address: Strand, London WC2R 1HA, UK
To book: www.priceline.com
Where to Stay in London for a Local Experience: Chelsea
If your wanderlust inspires you to mingle with locals everywhere you go, it’s important to stay in an area that isn’t overrun by tourists. The Chelsea neighborhood is known among Londoners as a posh place to be, and you’ll find plenty of high-end boutiques and restaurants along King’s Road. During the day, you can explore an art exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery or see a play at the Royal Court Theater. At night, check out one of the many pubs and bars in the area like Juju or The Bletchley.
Best Hotels in Chelsea
Sydney House Chelsea
Just off of the bustling King’s Road, you’ll find Sydney House. This Georgian townhouse offers 21 comfortable, modern rooms with historic touches. For a bit of fresh air, upgrade to a room with a terrace, or book the room on the top floor for access to your very own rooftop garden!
Address: 9-11 Sydney St, Chelsea, London SW3 6PU, UK
To book: www.expedia.com
Belmond Cadogan Hotel
Located on Sloane Street in the heart of Chelsea, this historic hotel features all the amenities you’d expect out of a five-star stay. Staying at this hotel gives you access to the Cadogan Place gardens, a spa suite, and a library, all located just steps from some of London’s best shopping.
Address: 75 Sloane St, Chelsea, London SW1X 9SG, United Kingdom
To book: www.hotels.com
Where to Stay in London for Nightlife: Shoreditch
Shoreditch is London’s trendiest neighborhood, attracting young Londoners and visitors alike with its ever-expanding art scene and vibrant nightlife. Here, you’ll find endless street art, clubs, bars, restaurants featuring cuisines from across the world, and beyond. Staying in this London neighborhood gives you a local’s perspective on the UK capital, but it’s still just a short ride on the tube away from major tourist attractions. Staying in this neighborhood will give you an opportunity to see what it is like to live in London-not just visit.
Best Hotels in Shoreditch
The Hoxton Hotel
The Hoxton opened recently in 2006, but it has already solidified its reputation as one of the coolest hotels in the area. Here, you’ll find contemporary-style rooms, affordable rates, and more. The boutique style is less fussy than other establishments, and the cocktails in the lounge are not to be missed.
Address: 81 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HU, UK
To book: www.travelocity.com
The Z Hotel
With a truly urban vibe, this off-the-straight-and-narrow hotel is budget-friendly and different than anything you’ve ever experienced. It was built into a former office building, so don’t expect too many bells and whistles, but you will feel like part of the neighborhood as you return home from a long day of sightseeing.
Address: 136-144 City Rd, London EC1V 2RL, UK
To book: www.priceline.com
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