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Regardless of which neighborhood you choose, London is full of pageantry. Entrenched in history, the British capital is alive with art, architecture, bars, restaurants, and of course, hotels. And it’s a city of contradictions—where you will find the metal-and-glass Shard skyscraper as well as a 300-year-old pub.
From iconic landmarks to playfully colored houses, each neighborhood is a confluence of culture, history and design. Brush shoulders with London’s leading financial minds in the city, traverse the cobblestoned streets in Covent Garden or uncover the independent shops and galleries of Shoreditch. No matter which area you ultimately settle on, what remains constant is that each one is bustling with city atmosphere and charm.
The Beaumont in Mayfair
With grand homes, chauffeurs, and salmon-pink trousers, Mayfair is an ecosystem all to its own. Bordering both Hyde Park and Regent Street, it’s a world of high-end boutiques, street=side cafes alongside Michelin-starred chefs, window boxes teeming with pastel-colored blooms and the clip-clop of the season’s latest Louboutin heels. Discreet yet stylish, it is here that you will find The Beaumont Hotel. What was once the parking lot for Selfridges department store is now a five-star Art Deco delight.
The Berkeley in Knightsbridge
An intersection of both old and new money, Knightsbridge is one of the city’s top shopping hubs—with Harrods and Harvey Nichols facing one another, as well as a host of standalone chains, boutiques, and one-offs. Here you will have no trouble finding world-class restaurants, bustling pubs and a procession of cream-colored townhouses. First opened in 1897, the Berkeley remains an industry leader with its rooftop pool, two-Michelin-starred restaurant and sensational service.
The Covent Garden Hotel in Covent Garden
Alive with West End shows, Covent Garden is filled with independent shops bursting with everything from books and clothing to records and lipsticks. Here you can see the ballet or the opera, happen upon a street performer balancing knives atop his head or weave through the maze of the historic market itself. In the heart of Covent Garden, you will find its namesake hotel with 58 individually-designed rooms and suites, a downstairs cinema, and a raucous bar and brasserie.
The Langham in Marylebone
Home to the Wallace Collection, one of London’s smallest yet most inventive museums, and a tangle of tiny streets offering great food, shopping, and amenities, Marylebone boasts a village feel, with its intimate leafy streets devoid of the noise and traffic of neighboring Oxford Circus. Steeped in over 150 years of history and on the doorstep of the BBC, The Langham is a classic English hotel with 380 neutrally-designed rooms. Its bar, Artesian, was once named the World’s Best, and its afternoon tea service is divine.
Dean Street Townhouse in Soho
Never quiet and always full of fun, Soho is both eclectic and electric—a place you’ll find thrumming with tourists and locals alike. Bordered by Mayfair, Covent Garden, Oxford Street, Chinatown, and Piccadilly Circus, this is truly London’s central nervous system. At Dean Street Townhouse, the calm and cosseting upstairs rooms feel a world away from the bustling downstairs bar and restaurant. Once inside, you will be met by welcoming four-poster beds and old-fashioned claw-footed bathtubs. It’s a Georgian townhouse with the sensibility of a country hotel.
St. James’s Hotel and Club Mayfair in St. James’s
Within the confines of St. James and nearby Victoria, you will find a long list of named landmarks—the likes of Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben. Then follow your eye line around to the Houses of Parliament or take a stroll through St. James Park, one of the prettiest green spaces in all of London. And hidden away on a quiet cul-de-sac you will find the marmalade-colored St. James’s Hotel and Club. This boutique property is known for its Michelin-starred restaurant Seven Park Place and outstanding culture of service.
The Ned London in the City of London
The City of London is England’s financial core. Once the center of business around the world, it is still an epicenter of trade. Next to the north bank of the River Thames, it is known for its high-rise buildings and as the home of the London Stock Exchange. Nearby landmarks to The Ned include Bank Station, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London Magistrate’s Court. Formerly the Midlands Bank, this impressive building takes up an entire London block. Inside, there are 250 well-designed rooms, a huge spa and pool, as well as eight public restaurants and two more reserved only for guests.
Redchurch Townhouse in Shoreditch
Located between Whitby Street and Redchurch Street, on your doorstep, you will find everything from a high-end spin studio (which is also a partner of the Redchurch Townhouse), Michelin-starred Brat and world-class coffee from Allpress, as well as a series of upscale clothing and design stores. Inside, the 37 rooms have been designed with a 1950s and 1970s slant. Think: velvet headboards and olive-green furnishings. There’s also a delightful outpost of the now Soho House-owned Cecconi’s boasting colorful walls covered by 40 paintings done by 40 local artists all under 4o.