The Most Romantic Hotels in London
Romantic escapes are not all four-poster beds and rolltop baths (although that’s a good start). London’s lustiest hotels mix bygone-era service, dreamy views, fireside nightcaps and a healthy dose of role play to attract romance-seekers of every stripe. Read on for seven of our favorites, including a newbie where super King beds come standard and a rockstar-approved grand dame made for playing house.
Covent Garden Hotel
In the heart of Seven Dials, walking distance to all the West End theaters, this timeless sleep is part of the Firmdale family, so expect the brand’s signature eccentric British style played out in a riot of color and clashing fabrics. This location ups the romance factor with its second-floor, guests-only drawing room and library outfitted with an honesty bar and two roaring fires. It's the perfect spot for pre-dinner aperitifs and post-theater nightcaps. Guestrooms are all individually designed, but the two Four Poster Rooms have that romantic-escape essential, plus deep soaking tubs and views across London’s rooftops and busy shopping streets below. During weekend stays, know that brunch at the street-level restaurant, Brasserie Max, is available from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., so you can sleep in long past your alarm.
The Portobello Hotel
This Notting Hill hotel has been a celeb favorite since the 1970s and channels the neighborhood’s boho charms into a free-spirited muddle of art, antiques and home comforts. What it lacks in cookie-cutter polish it makes up with bags of personality and sumptuous decor: fuschia pink walls in the lobby, red cloth drapes in the sitting room and elaborate murals in some guestrooms. For a romantic visit, go for the Exceptional Room and enjoy the extra space, private living areas and patio, and enormous bathrooms with freestanding tubs. All stars include a continental breakfast (or cooked breakfast for an extra fee) — just the fuel you need for a day out shopping for antiques on Portobello Road and picnics in nearby Kensington Park Gardens.
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New to London’s hotel scene in 2017, the Henrietta Hotel is the brainchild of the trendsetting Experimental Cocktail Club crew and was designed with their style-loving patrons in mind. Dorothée Meilichzon delivered the decadent interior style, from the satin sheets and velvet chaises to the handmade cloth headboards and wool curtains. The clawfoot tubs and giant bath sheets are made for sharing, while super King size beds take priority over desks or workstations. The point here is play, not work. Even the minibar encourages you to curl up en casa; the superior spirits selection includes London’s Sipsmith gin and rare mezcals. When you do venture out, make it downstairs to sample the best-of-British fare from Michelin-starred-chef Ollie Dabbous in Henrietta restaurant, and don’t miss a cocktail or two crafted by the hotel’s very own drink historians, Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller.
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For couples who find romance in roleplay, nowhere in London lets you play dress up quite like Claridge’s. Smack in the heart of ritzy Mayfair, a stay here is like stepping back to 1920s London — all fawning service and exceptional art deco style. The oversized guestrooms invite early nights and lazy mornings, rich in original details and with quintessential views of the surrounding Mayfair streets. The splurge-worthy suites are all individually styled by famed designers including Diane Von Furstenberg, Veere Grenney and David Linley, most with full marble bathrooms and private living areas. The award-winning Afternoon Tea in the Fumoir Bar is a must, or find alternative indulgence in the top-floor spa. The couples’ treatment includes a Sisley facial, a one-hour massage, and lunch at Fera at Claridge’s restaurant.
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Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London
A business-crowd favorite worthy of a romantic escape? The Shangri-La is it. Occupying floors 34 - 52 of the Renzo Piano–designed Shard building, all 202 guestrooms have unmatched views of London and supply just the sort of swoon-worthy setting you need for a memorable stay a deux. Staying this high above the city feels like escaping to your own private peninsula. Inside, rooms are decked out in marble, silk and 300-thread-count Frette linens, and bathrooms in the larger Suites have standalone tubs positioned for admiring the view as you soak. Head to the 52nd floor at sunset for a dip in the indoor lap pool or a cocktail at Gong, the highest bar in the western hemisphere and a memorable spot for a glass of champagne in the clouds.
A 30-room gem housed in three 18th-century townhouses, Hazlitt's is the old English gent in the thick of Soho's busy bars and restaurants. Inside, the overstuffed sofas and fireside armchairs lend a make-yourself-at-home vibe, though many guests are happy to hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the bedroom door and enjoy the museum-worthy antiques and curios, not to mention the four-poster beds, in private. Even bathrooms add to the elegant atmosphere with clawfoot tubs (in most) and carved wooden toilets. There's no restaurant, but the honesty bar and quiet library are perfect for cozy nights in or enjoying a pre-dinner tipple before exploring the best of Soho.
The London EDITION
The London EDITION, in Fitzrovia, does the romantic stay, big-night-out dinner and celebratory cocktails all under one roof. All rooms and suites come with wall-to-wall wood paneling and faux fur, plush imported linens and custom-made toiletries from Le Labo (the exceptional Penthouse suite has three furnished terraces framing 360-degree views of the city). Book a table at the hotel's Berners Tavern and order from the menu of British classics (we love the elevated fish and chips with mushy peas), then cozy up in the Punch Room with a glass of gin-infused punch with jasmine tea. Best of all, bed is just a hop, stumble and elevator ride away.
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