Where to Stay in London + Best Areas to Stay in London – The 2019 Guide

Planning a trip to London and not sure where to stay? Don’t miss this comprehensive guide to the best areas to stay in London to help you plan your perfect trip.

London is my favourite place in the United Kingdom. Maybe I’m biased as it’s my hometown, but there’s something so special about this cosmopolitan capital.

To the uninitiated, this city, packed with more than 9 million people, is a mystlondoery. There are so many things to do and places to see in London that it can be a boggle.

Well, worry no more – I’ve written a comprehensive guide to the best areas to stay in London and where to stay in London to help you choose the perfect spot to suit your travels.

Why not check out my other London guides? 

London Travel Guide – How to Plan Your London Trip
London Travel Tips: 40 Things You Need to Know Before You Go
Two days in London – a step by step itinerary
The Biggest London Sights: Mapped
Cool things to do and see in Shoreditch
The best street art in Shoreditch
The London Pass: The Best Way to Explore London on a Budget
How to Explore the Best of London in One Day

Get Your Free London Travel Tips Guidebook!
40 Insider Tips to Help You Plan Your Trip

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

    We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Powered By ConvertKit

    Best Area to Stay in London: At A Glance

    The best area to stay in London is Central London, particularly if you are a first-time visitor. This is because Central London is where most of London’s tourist attractions and best restaurants are located.  

    Central London properties come at a price, but are well located for getting around and proximity to the big sights.

    There are a lot of areas in Central London, so I’ve included an area by area breakdown to give you more information.

    Best Area to Stay in London For First Time Visitors: The West End

    Yes, the West End is busy, but it’s enchanting. For many, The West End is London – buzzing, packed and always lively.

    The West End – which generally refers toCovent Garden, Piccadilly and Leicester Square – is undoubtedly the best area to stay in London for sightseeing and shopping. But it’s got a lot more to it than West End theatres. Although, if you’re looking for where to stay in London for theatre, this is it.

    West End London
    West End / Sabrina Mazzeo Unsplash

    Day or night, there’s always a play to see, music to hear and something to keep you occupied.

    I think that the West End is the best area to stay in London for first time visitors and, of course, where to stay in London for theatre, as it offers the London experience.

    Prepare yourself for London at its most exuberant and you won’t be disappointed.

    West End Highlights

    • A play at a West End Theatre
    • The British Museum – Britain’s most visited attraction and a tour around the world throughout the ages.
    • Oxford Street – The UK’s most famous shopping street can be an eye-opening, if slightly overwhelming experience – plus its festive lights are practically a rite of passage for Christmas in London.
    • Piccadilly Circus – The bright lights and large adverts are one of London’s most iconic sights.

    Read More: Places to Visit in Covent Garden

    Suggested Hotels in London’s West End

    The Henrietta Hotel

    The Henrietta London - bedroom interior

    A hotel as chic as its address

    One of London’s exciting 2017 hotel openings, The Henrietta has hit the ground running – building a reputation as an exclusive yet enjoyable place to stay in the heart of Covent Garden.

    Excellent quality hospitality is the key to their success. You’d expect no less from the folk behind the Experimental Cocktail Club and the Grand Pigalle Hotel in Paris.

    Inside the hotel feels like someone’s (very expensive) home. That’s partly down to the size (18 rooms) and partly down to the decor. Think contemporary minimalist with quirky art deco touches.

    Interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon has gone to town in the bedrooms – gold lamps, mirrors, upholstered headboards. It all sounds too garish for words when you describe it, but in reality it’s just beautiful.

    It’s nice to see something a bit different to the standard white walls with neutral accents favoured by many hotels.

    Foodies will relish the chance to eat in The Henrietta Hotel’s restaurant, the brainchild of one of London’s most talked about chefs, Ollie Dabbous.

    Clean flavours, simple ingredients – it’s the kind of unfussy food that lingers on the palate (and in your memory) long after you’ve finished the meal.

    The Henrietta, 14-15 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8QH

    Rooms start at £250

    Check rates and availability at The Henrietta

    Hotel Cafe Royal, Piccadilly Circus

    An oasis of calm in the heart of Piccadilly Circus

    Even if you haven’t been to London before, chances are you’ve seen a picture of Piccadilly Circus – one of the iconic London views. Guests staying at Hotel Cafe Royal are lucky enough to see this view as soon as they step out of the hotel – thanks to its Regent Street location.

    Still, it takes much more than a great location to garner a reputation as one of the best places to stay in London. Lucky for us, Hotel Cafe Royal has a lot more on offer – most notably, its spa.

    The Akasha Spa is reason enough to book your trip. A quiet enclave of peace and serenity, complete with a spa menu that will excite even the most dedicated (and dare I say it, jaded) spa-goer.

    Book in for a session in one of the nine treatment rooms. Looking for something a little different? The Akasha Spa boasts London’s first Watsu pool, which is used for a range of specialist hydrotherapy treatments. I challenge you to finish one without feeling completely relaxed (be warned: I’m pretty sure that it’s impossible).

    Hotel Cafe Royal,  68 Regent Street, London, W1B 4DY.

    Rooms start from £330

    Check rates and availability for Cafe Royal

    Where to Stay in London for Tourists? Westminster

    If you’re wondering which area is best to stay in London for tourists – I’m going to say that Westminster is a great bet.

    Winston Churchill statue at Westminster
    Winston Churchill statue at Westminster

    Stretching back from the River Thames, Westminster is at the top of many London visitors’ lists thanks to sights such as The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, and the National Galleries. For this reason, Westminster is the best London neighbourhood for tourists.

    It’s a short walk to the West End and there are good transport links to most parts of London. When it comes to the best neighbourhood to stay in London for sightseeing, Westminster is at the top of the bill.

    Westminster Highlights

    • Westminster Abbey – Royal weddings, coronations and royal burials – Westminster Abbey has seen them all.
    • The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – The seat of British parliament is a suitably ornate affair on the banks of the River Thames. Plus you can’t come to London without seeing Big Ben.
    • Trafalgar Square – There may be fewer pigeons these days, but London’s most famous square is still a great spot to people-watch in the shadow of Nelson’s Column.
    • The National Galleries – The National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery each house an impressive collection. Entry is free of charge, apart from to special exhibitions.

    Want to know more about Westminster? Check out my self-guided London walks – there’s one dedicated to exploring Westminster and its surrounds.

    Suggested Hotels in Westminster

    The Corinthia London, Westminster

    London’s best spa hotel – you’ll never want to leave

    What’s not to love about The Corinthia? A grand hotel that opened less than a decade ago, it’s got luxury London lifestyle stamped all over it.

    The Corinthia London Spa Hotel in London
    The Spa at the Corinthia

    While you might be attracted by the fine-dining restaurants, stellar bars and uber-luxe rooms and decor, there’s one thing that you shouldn’t miss in The Corinthia, and that’s its spa.

    Why have I chosen the Corinthia as one of the best spa hotels in London? ESPA Life is not only the city’s largest spa, but also its most luxurious.

    Imagine 3,300 square metres of pure decadence, ready for you to spend some serious pamper time in. There are 17 treatment rooms and, rather enticingly, private sleep pods for you to have a snooze in after you finish your treatment.

    The treatment list is extensive – covering the usual massages and facials as well as several “journeys” exclusive to ESPA. Skilled therapists will advise you on the perfect combination of treatments if you’re not sure where to start.

    The Corinthia London,  Whitehall Place, Charing Cross, London, SW1A 2BD.

    Rooms start from £350

    Check rates and availability for The Corinthia

    Best Area to Stay in London for Tourist Attractions: London Bridge and the South Bank

    More than just a common nursery rhyme, London Bridge makes a good base for exploring London thanks to its central location and excellent transport links.

    The London Eye on the South Bank
    The London Eye

    London Bridge might not be the first place you think of when you ask where to stay in Central London, but it’s an excellent choice.

    London Bridge and the South Bank Highlights

    • Afternoon tea at Ting in the Shangri La. You can enjoy the views (and the food) from the Shangri La in the Shard by booking in for their afternoon tea.
    • Borough Market – London’s most famous food market. Go with an empty stomach, buy gourmet treats to bring home before settling in to one of the excellent restaurants in the area (Wright Bros. and Brindisa are particularly good).
    • The Viewing Platform at The Shard – Survey the city from the top of its tallest building
    • The London Eye – Observe London as you circle around this giant observation wheel.
    • The National Theatre – Groundbreaking plays, old classics and more – the National Theatre consistently puts on the best shows in town. Tickets can be hard to come by but can often be bought on the day if you have the time to call or queue (or can sometimes be bought online too).
    • BFI Southbank – The BFI is the best place to see classic films from the British Film Institute’s archives. Also hosts talks and panel discussions, as well as the British Film Festival in October. PS – the BFI Mediatheque is one of London’s quirky spots – check it out.
    • Skylon – Dinner and cocktails with views in the Oxo Tower.
    • The Tate Modern – London’s largest modern art gallery towers above the South Bank. A must visit for all contemporary art lovers.

    Read More: The Insider’s London Bridge Area Guide

    Recommended Hotels in London Bridge & The South Bank

    Shangri La at The Shard, London Bridge

    Rooms with an incredible view

    The Shard is London’s tallest building, so it makes sense that its hotel, the Shangri La, has some of the best room views in the city. Still, that doesn’t do it justice.

    View from the Shangri La at The Shard
    View from the Shangri La at The Shard

    Perched on floors 34 to 52 of the building, Shangri La is an excellent luxury hotel in London that just happens to have an absolutely amazing view everywhere you look.

    The hotel is everything you would expect from luxury brand Shangri La – service is friendly yet efficient, with an excellent roster of restaurants and bars and a free breakfast.

    There are L’Occitane toiletries in the room, and marble bathrooms with heated floors. It’s a business-oriented hotel, but still has obvious appeal for leisure travellers too.

    Relaxation wise, the infinity pool on the top floor is a must. I won’t blame you if you get distracted from your laps by the sight of London from above. If you do completely give up on the pretence of swimming, the adjacent loungers come with full service and the same views.

    Don’t forget to book into Ting for one of the best afternoon teas in the city either.

    The Shard is right next to London Bridge station – as in less than a minute away, so you can get around the capital with ease. Borough is full of foodie treats to explore, including the legendary Borough Market.

    Shangri La, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU

    Rooms start at £340

    Check rates and availability for The Shangri La

    Sea Containers, South Bank

    Whimsical style with River Thames views

    I know it’s wrong to have favourites, but the Sea Containers really is one of my favourite hotels.

    Mondrian London at Sea Containers

    Why? Well, it’s located on the South Bank, a short walk away from the National Theatre, Royal Festival Hall and a fabulous street food market. It overlooks the Thames and rooms come with the view to match. More than that though, it’s just got the whole luxury hotel thing down to a T.

    Designer Tom Dixon has excelled here, creating a five star London hotel that is both playful and high-end at the same time. The whimsical style is meant to emulate a transatlantic ocean liner – a play on its Thames-side location.

    Don’t feel like going out? Mondrian at Sea Containers has you covered: whether it’s seeing a film in the in-house Curzon cinema, sipping on cocktails in the rooftop Rumpus Room or spending an afternoon in the spa, you could occupy yourself for a whole weekend without stepping foot outside of the hotel.

    Mondrian at Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD

    Rooms start at £140

    Check rates and availability for Sea Containers

    The LaLit, Tower Bridge

    Unbridled opulence in a well-placed location

    Indian hoteliers Lalit Suri Hospitality Group have brought a taste of the east to the unlikely environs of Tooley Street.

    The LaLit, a five star hotel in London that opened at the beginning of 2017, combines a grand Victorian setting with the opulent decor and hospitality for which the brand are famed.

    The interior was designed by Archer Humphryes of the Chiltern Firehouse – the central dining room, with its rich royal blue walls and parquet floor, is a particular talking point.

    Each of the 70 rooms has a different design and layout, avoiding the cookie-cutter approach that can signal a dearth of personality in a hotel. They’re colourful, without being overwhelmingly so, with more than a touch of contemporary Indian style.

    The redbrick building used to be a school, St Olaves – rather than hide the fact, The LaLit glories in the building’s roots: you can even sleep in the old headmaster’s room.

    Location-wise, The LaLit is a mere hop from London Bridge and The Shard. The South Bank, Shakespeare’s Globe, National Theatre and Hayward Gallery are all within easy reach, as is the famous Tower Bridge and Tower of London. In short, you’re well-placed to explore a lot without even having to take public transport.

    The LaLit, 181 Tooley Street, London, London SE1 2JR

    Rooms start at £350

    Check rates and availability for The Lalit

    London Bridge Hotel

    A stylish and chic hotel by the Thames

    London Bridge Hotel is a modern and chic hotel on a quiet traditional street right at the base of The Shard – Europe’s tallest building.

    This awesome blend of modern and traditional is what London is all about, and the London Bridge Hotel encapsulates that totally. Its rooms are warm, cosy, and spacious.

    One of London’s best tourist destinations, especially if you have kids, is The London Dungeon, and the London Bridge Hotel is located extremely close to this great London attraction. From this hotel, you can get up in the morning and take a picturesque stroll across Southbank to reach Shakespeare’s Globe, enjoying the street performers who sometimes entertain passersby along the Thames as you go.

    In the evenings, enjoy a drink at the hotel’s lounge and bar area which is decorated with a cool modern aesthetic that blends cosy lounge seats with a well-lit bar area. If you’re looking for a relaxed hotel that’s as gorgeous inside as it is outside, and with great views, walks, and attractions all around it, London Bridge Hotel is a fine choice.

    When asking yourself, where should I stay in London, this hotel offers the best hotel location in London.

    Check rates and availability for London Bridge Hotel

    The Best Area To Stay in London for Nightlife: Soho

    I’ve chosen Soho as the best area to stay in London for nightlife. There are a number of clubs and late-night bars in Soho itself, it’s within walking distance to some of the capital’s liveliest clubs too.  

    Trendy Soho has undergone something of a regeneration in the past decade. What used to be a rather seedy part of the city centre has been transformed into one of liveliest parts of town.

    Soho, London
    Soho, London / Luke Stackpoole Unsplash

    While it’s still a lively hub, with some of London’s best restaurants and bars, Soho has also welcomed a range of high-end hotels. If you’re looking for the best nightlife and you’re asking yourself, where should I stay in London, Soho is your new best friend.

    Soho Highlights

    • Yautcha – Delicious all-day dim sum at affordable prices.
    • Bob Bob Ricard – Gorgeous Russian-European hotel serving up gastronomic treats and cocktails. The ultimate date night dinner.
    • Curzon Cinema – Watch the latest indie flicks in comfort and style. Also hosts live talks and panel interviews.

    Read More: The Best Things to do in Soho

    Recommended Hotels in Soho

    Ham Yard Hotel

    Maximalist decor and… a bowling alley to boot.

    If you’ve heard of Ham Yard Hotel, you might be thinking “Ham Yard Hotel – is that the hotel with its own bowling alley?”.

    It’s the very same.

    One of London’s best boutique hotels, Ham Yard combines eclectic and maximalist decor with oodles of personality and bags of comfort.

    This is my favourite property from award-winning hoteliers Tim and Kit Kemp thanks to its unusual style and unpretentious feel.

    Sound like your kind of place (the only answer to that is yes)? You’ll be glad to know that it’s tucked in a handy location at the bottom of Regent’s Street – perfect for your central London break.

    Rooms start at £310, One Ham Yard, Soho, London, England, United Kingdom, W1D 7DT

    Check rates and availability at Ham Yard

    Best Area to Stay in London With Family: Kensington

    It’s not called Museum Mile for nothing. Kensington has some of the city’s best-known museums: The Natural History Museum, Science Museum and gloriously eclectic Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A).

    Natural History Museum, Kensington
    Natural History Museum, Kensington

    Kensington is the best area to stay in London with a family, thanks to the number of free museums within walking distance and its slightly more relaxed pace.

    It is relatively expensive, but there are so many pluses. It’s also easy to hop on the underground or a bus to get into the centre quickly.

    Away from the museums, do like the locals do and enjoy leisurely alfresco coffees in the summer before popping into a high-end restaurant for a culinary treat.

    Kensington Highlights

    • The Natural History Museum – Dinosaur skeletons, geology more – explore the natural history of the world.
    • The Science Museum – Wacky experiments, interactive exhibits and thought-provoking facts. Learn something new during a visit to the Science Museum.
    • Victoria & Albert – The world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design is an eclectic array of over 4.5 million objects.
    • Cambio de Tercio – One of London’s best Spanish restaurants.

    Read More: The Kensington Area Guide: The Best Things to Do, See and Eat in my Favourite West London Neighbourhood.

    Recommended Hotels in Kensington

    The Ampersand Hotel, South Kensington

    Family-friendly luxury in the heart of South Kensington

    Round the corner from the famous so-called “Museum Mile” The Ampersand’s location is draw enough to families planning on spending some time in the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A.

    It can sometimes feel like family-friendly luxury hotels in London are few and far between, but the Ampersand excels at balancing the two.

    Billing itself as one of London’s best family hotels, the hotel offers additional beds for certain room categories and there is also the option of an interconnecting room.

    Families will be particularly interested in the suites, which come with mini kitchenettes. Perfect for preparing kids’ snacks or babies’ meals in. There’s also a full children’s menu in Mediterranean style Apero Restaurant downstairs.

    The Ampersand Hotel, 10 Harrington Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3ER

    Rooms start from £175

    Check rates and availability at The Ampersand

    Blakes Hotel, Kensington

    A sumptuous series of townhouses – a long-established luxury London gem

    OK, this one is most certainly not family friendly, but if you are planning on staying in Kensington sans kids, take a look at Blakes.

    One of the original London boutique hotels, Blakes has been providing London’s visitors with a decadent place to lay their heads since 1978.

    The hotel is the perfect destination for a romantic break in London, thanks to the dramatic and individual decor. Four-poster beds, gilt frames, freestanding baths – it’s theatrical style provides a fitting backdrop for a couples escape.

    Well-heeled Kensington is brimming with dining and drinking options for a special meal. Alternatively, cosy up in the opulent Blakes Below bar for a romantic date night in the hotel.

    Blakes Hotel, 33 Roland Gardens, South Kensington, London, England, SW7 3PF.

    Rooms from £230

    Check rates and availability Blakes Hotel

    Best Neighborhood to Stay in London: Shoreditch

    Street food markets, street art and container shopping centres – Shoreditch never ceases to reinvent itself.

    Cool street art in Shoreditch
    Cool street art in Shoreditch

    Stay in Shoreditch if you want to see London like a local, and if you’re looking for where to stay in East London. In fact, Shoreditch is one of the best places to stay in London, period.

    Yes, there are high end hotels and swanky bars, but a lot of Londoners live, sleep and play in Shoreditch too.

    Shoreditch is the best neighborhood to stay in London for those who want to experience a different side of London. One that’s less glamorous, a bit grittier but that’s full of low-key bars, cool cafes, pop up restaurants and lots to do.

    A slew of luxury hotel openings in recent years means that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a place to sleep in Shoreditch. And, regardless of who you are and what you enjoy, while it may not be the best area to stay in London for sightseeing, Shoreditch is without a doubt the best area to stay in London if you’re looking for that local flavour.

    Shoreditch Highlights

    • Boxpark – The original London shipping container hub of restaurants and shops is still its best.
    • Columbia Road Flower Market – Get up early at the weekend for a dazzling display of floral arrangements at this long-standing market.
    • The Clove Club – No menu – just five courses of perfectly-made food for a show stopping dinner.

    Recommended Hotels in Shoreditch

    Ace Hotel, Shoreditch

    One for the cool kids in buzzy Shoreditch

    Shoreditch is one of London’s coolest neighbourhoods and a fitting home for the Ace Hotel London.

    This London outpost of the achingly cool US chain burst onto London’s hotel scene, paving the way for the many stylish and hip hotel properties that have followed in its wake.

    So, what’s to love? The great location for starters, the vibrant decor, the blink-and-it’s-there service, the effortlessly chic decor – the list is endless. Think sixties decor paired with light wood and splashes of colour.

    Bedrooms are some of the most stylish in town – with denim APC bedcovers and mid-century modern touches. Bathrooms are suitably on-trend too, with concrete sinks and an industrial vibe.

    The lobby / coffee shop and bar is always buzzing, filled with a mix of the city’s creative types and hotel guests.

    Ok, I’ll admit, Ace is not the kind of hotel to book for if you want to escape for a weekend from it all, but if you are looking for somewhere a little different for your stay, this should be the first port of call. Ace Hotel effortlessly pairs five star surrounds with the kind of atmosphere that other hotels can only dream of.

    Night owls can hang out in any one of Ace’s bars. The Gallery Bar makes the perfect pre-dinner drinking spot, whereas Miranda’s, the basement bar is more suited to the late evening and early hours of the morning.

    Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ

    Rooms start from £128

    Check rates and availability at Ace Shoreditch

    The Curtain, Shoreditch

    A slice of New York in a Shoreditch location

    It’s hard to gain a reputation as being cool in Shoreditch these days. In an area that’s brimming with some of London’s coolest hotels, restaurants, pop ups, bars, shops – not to mention street art, you have to be pretty outstanding to stand out from the crowd.

    The Curtain Hotel, Shoreditch
    The Curtain Hotel

    Well, certainly New-York hotelier Michael Achenbaum, the man behind new(ish) hotel The Curtain is doing something right. Less than a year after its opening, The Curtain has cemented a loyal following thanks to its too-cool-for-school attitude and impressive digs.

    The rooms walk the line between contemporary and rough-luxe, with exposed brick bedroom walls metres away from marble bathrooms.

    Yes, The Curtain knows that it’s cool and it’s not afraid to flaunt it – hence the sneaker shining service to bring new life to your trainers, and the customised Carhartt uniforms worn by all the staff.

    You’d have to be pretty jaded not to do a double take at the 1,600 square metre rooftop – which boasts an outdoor pool, day beds and bar that are made for whiling away hot summer days in.

    It’s Shoreditch, so it should come as no surprise that The Curtain has an extensive bar and club offering, including a few restricted to members and hotel guests.

    The Curtain, 45 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3PT

    Rooms start at £155

    Check rates and availability at The Curtain

    Nobu Hotel, Shoreditch

    Nobu’s first hotel in Europe had a lot to live up to. After all, the expectations are riding high on a hotel run by one of the world’s most famous chefs, Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro and Jimmy Sweis.

    Live up it did. Nobu Shoreditch has firmly established itself as one of the best hotels in East London and a must-stay for the discerning visitor.

    Aesthetics are a pleasing mix of Japanese and Western styles: painted screens on the one hand, concrete walls on the other. It works surprisingly well and sets it apart from the urban-industrial look favoured by many other properties in the area.

    There are several room categories to choose from: the smallest, the deluxe category can feel a bit snug, but it’s offset by a texturally-rich decor that somehow makes it feel bigger than it actually is. Bathrooms are stark white (with a few touches of gold here and there ), and all come with walk-in showers.

    East London might not be the first place you think of when you think of where to stay in London for a mindful retreat, but Nobu’s sense of calm, Pilates studio, 24 hour fitness centre and small spa makes it a viable option for a city-based escape.

    Nobu Shoreditch, 10-50 Willow St, London EC2A 4BH

    Rooms start at £149

    Check rates and availability at Nobu

    Best Areas to Stay in London for Luxury City Break: Mayfair, Belgravia and Victoria

    Mayfair, Belgravia and Victoria are actually three neighbourhoods next to each other in Central West London. But for anyone visiting London, they are united by their luxury clientele and some of London’s most prestigious addresses.

    Buckingham Palace
    Buckingham Palace – The most prestigious place to stay in London?!

    So why have I chosen these neighborhoods as the best areas to stay in London for a luxury city break?

    Well, anywhere that’s good enough for the Queen is certainly good enough for me. Buckingham Palace might dominate the headlines when it comes to things to see, but there’s a whole wealth of things to discover in this salubrious area.

    Named after the May Fair that used to be held there until the 18th century, Mayfair’s fairground days are long gone. It’s home to some of London’s best hotels (and certainly some its most expensive), with the high-end restaurants and shops to match. While it’s certainly not the best area to stay in London on a budget, this part of the city is certainly a good area for those looking for luxury.

    Mayfair, Belgravia and Victoria Highlights

    • Buckingham Palace – Visit the state rooms for a glance at the Queen’s official residence.
    • St James’s Park – The best of the central London Royal Parks, St James’s is made for summer picnics and lakeside strolls.
    • Sketch – It’s plastered all over Instagram for good reasons, the pink interiors are good enough to eat. Settle for a deliciously decadent afternoon tea there instead.
    • Royal Academy of Arts – Rotating exhibitions, talks and debates at this acclaimed institution.

    Recommended Hotels in Mayfair, Belgravia and Victoria

    The Goring, Belgravia

    Grand Dame Hotel For a Downton Escape

    The only original London grande-dame hotel still under family ownership, The Goring is a quiet enclave of luxury and tradition in Belgravia. Genteel and elegant, everything about The Goring discreetly ticks boxes for high-end decadence.

    The Goring - Hotel in Belgravia
    The Goring

    Spacious rooms, opulent decor and the kind of service that comes from centuries of practice, it’s no wonder that the Middleton family stayed at The Goring before the last Royal Wedding. The hotel also has one of the best afternoon teas in town, which is well worth a trip even if you aren’t staying there.

    The Goring, 15 Beeston Pl, Westminster, London SW1W 0JW

    Rooms start at £295

    Check rates and availability at The Goring

    Dukes, Mayfair

    James Bond, Martinis and High-End Sleeps

    A few steps away from Green Park (one of London’s Royal Parks), Dukes has everything going for it when it comes to location and history. Luckily, nothing else disappoints.

    This old-school cool hotel is the place to stay for the quintessential London break. Dukes is one of the best choices for where to stay in London thanks to its long-standing heritage of perfection.

    No want is too big, no question too difficult for the staff to help you out with. A recent refurbishment has seen the rooms brought bang up to date with all the expected mod-cons (and a few extras too).

    Location-wise, it’s hard to believe that the frenetic pace of Mayfair is mere minutes from the muffled hush of the hotel. Yet a there’s easy access to Green Park station and in the heart of all.

    Dukes Hotel, 35 St James’s Place, London, SW1A 1NY, England.

    Rooms from £349

    Check rates and availability at Dukes

    Claridge’s, Mayfair

    The iconic hotel that never fails to deliver

    Oh Claridge’s. You simply can’t have a list of the best hotels in London without including one of the long-standing darlings of British hospitality.

    Claridge's London

    While many of the older hotels can err on the dated side, Claridge’s never fails to impress. Guests are welcomed with a striking Dale Chihuly chandelier in the lobby – after that it’s an exercise in the very best of class and style.

    Everyone stays at Claridge’s darling. Royalty, celebrities – you never know who a discreet glance around might uncover. The hotel is half-jokingly called “the annex of Buckingham Palace” thanks to the near-unbelievable number of royals who patronise the hotel.

    The hotel remains very much true to the Art Deco style of the 1920s – think mirrored surfaces and ornate designs that are tempered by an understated colour scheme. Marble bathrooms, Egyptian cotton bed sheets, Claridge’s doesn’t fail to live up to its reputation.

    Book an evening in Michelin-starred Fera, where Simon Rogan oversees a kitchen that sets out (and achieves) to excite and delight.

    Claridge’s, Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR

    Rooms start at £400

    Check rates and availability at Claridge’s

    The Nadler, Victoria

    Boutique family-friendly gem near Buckingham Palace

    A short hop from Victoria, and perhaps more impressively, right next to Buckingham Palace, The Nadler is another property that goes out of its way to be one of the best London family hotels.

    So what can you expect (apart from being neighbours with the Queen)? Family rooms with mini kitchenettes in-room, extra beds at no additional cost and staff will collect meals and deliver them to your room for a small fee (there are no in-hotel dining options).

    You can also arrange babysitting with the hotel’s staff – so maybe time for (whisper it) a quiet night out.

    The Nadler, Victoria, 10 Palace St, London SW1E 5BW, England.

    Rooms start from £129

    Check rates and availability at The Nadler

    Best Area to Stay in London For a Chic Escape: Marylebone

    Although it’s a mere hop, skip and a jump from more popular areas like the West End, Marylebone is a more low-key neighborhood. It’s one of the best London areas to stay thanks to a combination of lots of things to see and lower prices.

    Offbeat museums, trendy restaurants and traditional pubs: Marylebone has been the hub of London’s more genteel social scenes since the 17th century.

    Paddington, just down the road, also has a few cool hotels and tends to be a bit cheaper. So, while it may not be where to stay in London on a budget, Marleybone offers so much in the way of chic and quirky experiences that make it the best location to stay in London for a luxurious but unique time in the capital.

    Marylebone Highlights

    • Daunt Books – Browse the collection in Daunt Books. It’s a book-lover’s dream.
    • The Wallace Collection – An eclectic collection of 18th century finds and one of London’s best museums.
    • Pachamama – Riding the trend of Peruvian restaurants in London, this one is a cut above the rest.

    Recommended Hotels in Marylebone

    Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

    Bags of luxury and eccentricity in a central London location

    Gloriously quirky, booking into the Zetter Townhouse is like taking a trip into the rabbit hole – full of wonderful surprises and almost too surreal to be believed.

    You might wonder what to expect from one of the most romantic hotels in London? Read on…

    Sister to the original Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell (the hotel also just so happens to boast one of Clerkenwell’s best bars on its premises), the Marylebone outpost has inherited all of its sibling’s eccentricities – including the fantasy that it’s the home of some (slightly zany) relative.

    Stepping into Wicked Uncle Seymour’s (the relative in question), prepare to be wowed by the Zetter Townhouse’s colourful yet endearing interiors.

    Though it might feel like a world of its own, in reality, the Zetter Townhouse is only minutes from Marble Arch and Hyde Park. Where better for a romantic picnic, complete with champagne and strawberries? Finished with that? The rest of central London is right on your doorstep, ready for you to explore.

    The Zetter Townhouse, 28-30 Seymour St, Marylebone, London W1H 7JB

    Rooms start from £190

    Check rates and availability at The Zetter Townhouse

    The PILGRM, Paddington

    A new kind of hotel in Paddington offering luxury for less

    Why the missing I in the name? Why not? The Pilgrm isn’t afraid to break the rules. From the absence of a hotel reception, lack of check-in process, in-room telephones and air-conditioning The Pilgrm has done away with some of the traditional hotel norms.

    Has it been a success? The answer is a resounding yes: it’s become one of the coolest hotels in London since it opened last year – a difficult feat given the less fashionable (but very practical) location.

    Four townhouses have been transformed into a beautiful property that makes for the perfect place to stay in West London.

    One of Pilgrm’s big draws is affordability – the prices are low (well, by London standards anyway) but the quality is high. Yes, rooms are small, but filled with little luxuries such as Bluetooth speakers and the very crispest and comfiest bed linen.

    The Pilgrm goes by the mantra that “luxury is care” – in other words you don’t need lots of bells and whistles in a hotel, but the things you do need should be done well and with care.

    The Pilgrm, 25 London St, London W2 1HH

    Rooms start from £99

    Check rates and availability for The Pilgrm

    Best Area to Stay in London if you are Travelling on the Eurostar: Kings Cross and St Pancras

    Kings Cross and St Pancras is an area reborn. It’s also, for convenience, one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in London.

    St Pancras Station
    St Pancras Station

    What was once an outpost of grimy bars and late night entertainment has transformed itself into one of the best places to stay in London outside of the centre.

    St Pancras International is London’s Eurostar station – bringing continental visitors to the area in large numbers. It’s easily the best area to stay in London if you are travelling on the Eurostar – there are great transport connections into the centre and a lot to do in the area itself.

    Kings Cross and St Pancras Highlights

    Recommended Hotels in Kings Cross and St Pancras

    Great Northern Hotel, St Pancras

    Belle Epoque luxury with all the mod cons, in close proximity to the Eurostar.

    Minutes away from the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras International and from Kings Cross Station, the Great Northern Hotel is one of the great railway hotels of the Victorian times reimagined for the modern age.

    There are several nods to the hotel’s Victorian heritage – the elaborate wrought iron balusters winding up the stairs and Chesterfield-style banquettes being two examples. Not to mention the wood panelling and chandeliers. It’s like stepping back in time, but with all the mod cons and conveniences of the contemporary age.

    Business travellers will appreciate the numerous amenities – including a Nespresso machine on each floor and a downstairs cafe serving quick coffees and snacks for a whistlestop break.

    Kings Cross has undergone a complete transformation in recent years with a slew of restaurant and bar openings – bringing much needed life to the area. The British Library and British Museum are close by, and Kings Cross is well connected for transport links into the centre and the City – both of which are only a few stops away.

    Great Northern Hotel,  Kings Cross St Pancras, Pancras Road, London, N1C 4TB

    Rooms start from £245

    Check rates and availability at The Great Northern Hotel

    Best Area to Stay in London for Business Travellers: The City

    London’s financial and business hub has a lot going for it.

    As London’s financial hub, it’s where a lot of corporate entities have their offices. The City is the best area to stay in London for business travellers because of this.

    Don’t think that this means it’s boring though. Some of London’s oldest (and most beautiful) pubs are in the City, plus there are cool destinations like Leadenhall Market and St Dunstan in the East for you to check out during your down time.

    St Dunstan in the East
    St Dunstan in the East

    Be warned, it tends to get a lot quieter during the weekend (but this can also translate into lower prices, so not all bad).

    The City Highlights

    • Duck & Waffle – Everything at Duck & Waffle is a stroke of culinary genius translated to your plate. Plus it’s open all night, perfect for late-night, high-end eats and drinks.
    • Spitalfields Market – A renovated market building brimming with trendy restaurants and bars, and cool vintage stalls (depending on the day).
    • Leadenhall Market – A gorgeous wrought-iron market housing a range of restaurants, shops and bars.
    • St Dunstan in the East – Walk around the ruins of this old church, tucked away in the heart of the city. Ivy climbs up the walls of this long-abandoned church, which was bombed in

    Recommended Hotels in The City

    The Ned, City of London

    The new City hotel that’s fast becoming the hottest bed in town

    There’s a good chance that if you’re in London for business purposes, you are going to have to spend some time in the City. So where better to base yourself for your stay?

    Before The Ned came along last year, staying in the City could be a bit… dull. But Nick Jokes (of Soho House fame) has brought a breath of life to the area with this 252-room luxury hotel.

    The striking listed building used to be Midland Bank’s HQ – built in the 1920s, you can still spot many of its original features in the hotel today. Decor wise, The Ned draws heavily on the Twenties and Thirties for inspiration – adding to the overall sense of exclusivity of the property.

    The eighth-floor, which boasts a pool with views out over the city, and a rooftop bar – is reserved for hotel guests and members only – as is the Lutyens Grill restaurant downstairs.

    In London a lot for business travel? The Ned also doubles as a private member’s club – handy if you plan to visit quite a lot.

    The Ned, 27 Poultry, London, EC2R 8AJ

    Rooms start from £210

    Check rates and availability for The Ned

    Where to Stay in London for Excellent Value: Shepherd’s Bush

    A residential area with a lot to love.

    Shepherd’s Bush is a peaceful area with a memorable name – the origins of which nobody can agree on.

    It’s the best place in London to stay for value thanks to its convenient location and Tube access to the most touristy areas of London, but thanks to its more residential atmosphere, it’s a little more on the cheap side, making it the number one choice if you’re looking for where to stay in London on a budget. So you get a cheaper hotel without feeling like you’re missing out.

    Shepherd’s Bush is also a great place to shop, with two shopping areas within easy reach. Shepherd’s Bush is also a great option when looking for where to stay in London with kids, given its relaxed and residential atmosphere.

    It might not be the best place if you wondering where to stay in London first time, but if you’re looking instead for where to stay in London on a budget, this is a great choice.

    Shepherd’s Bush Highlights

    • Westfield London – An enormous and exciting shopping centre with every kind of highstreet shop you can think of, as well as a cinema and various workshops, events, and activities like yoga and candle making.
    • Shepherd’s Bush Market – A staple of Shepherd’s Bush, this famous market is a traditional, multicultural hub of foods and fabrics from across the world. A great place to wander and explore.
    • Bush Hall – This iconic hundred-year-old venue hosts local musicians, stand-up comedians, and cabaret shows. Check what’s on during your visit and you’re guaranteed to find something you’re interested in!

    Recommended Hotels in Shepherd’s Bush

    K West Hotel & Spa

    A boutique hotel with a modern spa in a great location.

    K West Hotel & Spa offers a wide selection of award-winning treatments at its luxurious spa, making it a great choice of hotel if you’re staying in Shepherd’s Bush.

    Given the area’s already low-key and less busy atmosphere, a hotel with a spa where you can unwind, relax, get a massage, and feel rejuvenated is a great option.

    Staying in Shepherd’s Bush means having central London within reach but also being able to retreat to a quieter area at the end of the day. And after you retreat, why not treat yourself to dinner and a massage?

    They also have a hydrotherapy pool and an herbal steam room for the ultimate in relaxation. The bar also offers fantastic cocktails and has a live DJ playing every weekend if you want something a little more lively. The rooms have a hyper-modern decor that’s bright, colourful, and welcoming.

    Check rates and availability for K West Hotel & Spa


    So there we are, the guide to where to stay in London, area by area.

    I hope that you have an enjoyable stay during your time in my hometown!

    Where to Stay in London: Frequently Asked Questions

    How Do You Get Around in London?

    The simplest way to get around in London is the Underground (what Londoners call The Tube). London’s subway system is old but very reliable, with stations at every landmark, tourist attraction, and area that you might find yourself in. You can also take a taxi, if you prefer. London’s black cabs are iconic and their drivers know London’s streets better than anyone.

    Is Westminster a Good Area to Stay in London? 

    Absolutely! Westminster is one of the most beloved areas of the city, home to the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square. If you’re a first-time tourist to London, Westminster is a must-visit area and a great place to stay. It’s pricey and busy, but if you can afford it then it’s absolutely worth it.

    Where Should I Stay for my First Visit in London? 

    If it’s your first time in London and you’ve got the money, you’ll want to be as central as possible, and surrounded by all the best sights and things to do. For that, you’ll want to stay in the West End or Westminster. In London’s West End you have all the best theatres, shopping and shows at your fingertips, and Westminster features most of the must-see sights of London. This is absolutely the best area to stay in London for tourists.

    What is the Best Neighbourhood to Stay in London?

    That depends on what you’re looking for but, as a London native, I don’t think there’s a better neighbourhood in London than Shoreditch. The hipster capital of London is where all the young Londoners like to hang out. There, you’ve got the best bars and cafes, cool street art, and awesome food markets to explore. Far removed from the glamorous tourist attractions of Westminster, Shoreditch is what you could call the ‘real London experience’.

    Discover London

    Planning to travel to London? Check out my in-depth London guidebook to help you plan your trip and discover the very best of my hometown. 

    From cool things to do, must-visit landmarks and London’s hidden gems plus a wealth of insider tips and suggested itineraries – you’ll find everything you need to know before you go.

    Now that You Know Where to Stay in London. Read More London Travel Guides

    If you are travelling to London, you should also check out these other features and reviews on The Discoveries Of…

    Any questions about what area in London is best to stay, or just about London generally, leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Love this? Save and Share on Pinterest!

    Get Your Free London Travel Tips Guidebook!
    40 Insider Tips to Help You Plan Your Trip

    Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

      We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

      Powered By ConvertKit

      2 thoughts on “Where to Stay in London + Best Areas to Stay in London – The 2019 Guide”

      1. This blog is like the one-stop guide for London Travelers. Very well written and Nice Images. I personally enjoyed my stay at Shangri La. What an awesome view it has. Still, remember after almost a year!!

      Leave a Comment

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Scroll to Top