13 of the best hotels with a view in London – Times Travel – The Times

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Faith Strickland
Tuesday October 25 2022, 17:00pm
Whether it’s watching the sunset at a rooftop bar, ogling the sheer size of the city from a skyscraper or cruising underneath Tower Bridge, London has views from nearly every angle. In the west, Royal Parks and palaces show off the city’s numerous green spaces, while in the east, regeneration since the Second World War has created an architectural blend of brutalist, industrial and the infamous Millennium Dome. For some of the best views in London, these hotels have got the edge, alongside beautiful interiors and top-notch service.
Main photo: Sea Containers (Booking.com)
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Best for a romantic celebration
Zoom up in the glass lift to one of the 18 floors that Shangri-La occupies in The Shard. Split between standard rooms and butler-serviced suites, the hotel rooms have one thing in common: striking vistas across the city. Floor-to-ceiling windows mean that London Bridge, the Thames and the rest of the capital’s famous sites are on display from just about everywhere — including the big marble bathtubs. On lower floors, restaurants such as Aqua Shard and Hutong are the perfect place for dinner with an unforgettable backdrop.
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Best for an elevated business stay
This outpost in Canary Wharf has the distinction of being Novotel’s tallest building, standing at 127m. Bedrooms look out over neighbouring skyscrapers, while an upgrade to a terrace room provides an outdoor view of east London’s industrial architecture. Up on the 37th floor, AA rosette winner Bokan serves a seasonal Mediterranean menu with more of those incredible vistas. Post-dinner cocktails on the 39th-floor bar should be timed with sundown; thanks to its west-facing position, the spot has spectacular views of the sun setting over the city.
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Best for a central London location
The clue’s in the title with this stay just off Oxford and Regent Streets. Formerly a 1960s office block, Treehouse is now a cool LA-inspired hotel. Bedrooms juxtapose teddy bears (a nod to childhood tree-climbing) and brushed concrete walls and ceilings. Mayfair and Marylebone may be in spitting distance but it’s worth planning a dinner at Madera, the hotel’s zingy Mexican restaurant. Alongside spicy margaritas and grilled dishes, the restaurant has wraparound windows that provide plenty of opportunities to play I spy with some of London’s most famous landmarks.
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Best for a relaxing spa experience
Come summer and you could be fooled into thinking that this spot is somewhere in the south of France or Monaco, thanks to the number of yachts bobbing on the water. In reality, the all-suite hotel has been built on a former industrial site in Chelsea. A small astroturfed terrace has views of the water and is a lovely setting for light lunch or afternoon tea. An impressive hotel spa can be found on lower levels, with a 17m swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms, alongside a comprehensive treatment menu. The hotel’s location may be a little quiet but it’s only a short ride on the Thames Clipper to central London.
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Best for sightseeing
With Hyde Park on one side and Green Park on the other, Four Seasons Park Lane has such verdant views you might just forget you’re in one of Europe’s biggest cities. There is a range of superlative suites which feature fireplaces, the choice to add bedrooms, and in one instance, a huge outdoor terrace. The spa’s rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows for views so you can you take in the sights while you enjoy treatments such as a hot stone or deep tissue massage. If you haven’t spotted enough of London’s landmarks through your windows, Buckingham Palace, Belgravia and Knightsbridge are all within walkable distance.
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Best for late nights and clubbing
With iterations in Milan, Tel Aviv and Munich, NYX hotel has landed in London. A short walk from Holborn station, the plot bills itself as an ode to nightlife; think purple UV-style lighting and neon-splattered artwork in the Midtown restaurant, alongside a boozy tequila twist on afternoon tea. The best views are found at Glasshouse, the compact rooftop bar that looks across the City and as far as Canary Wharf. Come sunset, pull up a stool and sip your way through easy twists on classics, from a cherry espresso martini to a mezcal-filled sour.
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Best for food and drink
Designed by renowned American architect Warren Platner, Sea Containers is inspired by 1920s transatlantic ocean liners. Muted greys and backlit mirrors are found in bedrooms, alongside marble bathrooms and views of St Paul’s Cathedral in river-facing suites. The hotel’s in-house bar is run by Ryan Chetiyawardana, better known as Mr Lyan. Recently voted the best bar in the world, Lyaness has a cocktail menu with ingredients you’ve most likely not seen or heard of before, from oyster honey (a combination of honey and oysters) to Japanese fermented grass Amazake
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Best for one of the top rooftop bars in London
Moments from Somerset House and the Thames, ME London’s exterior does well at hiding its wow-factor interiors. Step inside the five-star hotel, however, and any worries around drabness are quickly dispelled. The pyramid-shaped white marble lobby reaches nearly 30m high, with art projections beamed onto walls, while black marble corridors create a dramatic runway to bright, light rooms. With its house music, views over the river, and smart cocktail list, Radio Rooftop is one of the capital’s most in-demand bars — fortunately, hotel guests get priority.
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Best for a luxury stay
From British royalty to Hollywood kings and queens, The Savoy has hosted many stars since it opened in 1889 and a £220million restoration has only brightened the hotel’s shine. The food and drink are excellent; Gordon Ramsay is behind three of the restaurants, afternoon tea is still served in the same way as it was in the 1840s and the American Bar is frequently recognised as one of the best in the world. A mix of art deco and Edwardian style is found in the 265 bedrooms and suites, with river-facing rooms having prime views over the London Eye. The hotel is within walking distance of Leicester Square and Covent Garden, but with a gym, spa, tea store and small museum, you may find you don’t leave The Savoy during your stay.
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Best for a date night surprise
You don’t have to be up high — or on dry land — to enjoy some of London’s best views. Moored in Royal Victoria Dock, mega yacht Sunborn looks over the O2 and east London’s industrial heartlands. The Finnish-built vessel is classically designed, with oak interiors, a double staircase and an impressively large chandelier in the lobby. The 136 bedrooms are all generously proportioned to allay any fears of cabin fever, while the four suites have private saunas. Get to Sundown Bar early to bag an outdoor table for sunset. There is also a restaurant onboard; The Lands End has a seafood-heavy choice of dishes such as lobster tagliatelle and pan-fried scallops.
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Best for an affordable stay
Good Hotel’s name is no accident — the floating hotel looks to do good in just about every aspect of its running. Formerly a detention centre in Amsterdam, the hotel has been given a minimalist redesign, from industrial pipes that run along the ceiling to bright airy bedrooms. Through the Good Training Program, local unemployed people are trained in various aspects of hospitality, while all excess profits from the space go to Good Global Foundation. If you’re still not feeling smug about your altruistic stay, head up to the hotel’s rooftop. One of the best-kept secrets in London, the summer-only space has got views over the O2 and Royal Docks, which is a guaranteed good start or end to your day.
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Best for getting around London
Identifiable by its red and black interiors, citizenM is above Tower Hill tube station, making journeys around the capital a doddle. All 170 bedrooms at the hotel are identically designed, with super king-size beds, blackout blinds and power showers. The Dutch brand prides itself on “affordable luxury” — and with rooms coming in at under £200 per night during low-season, the spot is cheaper than many similar options. From Union Jacks strung in alcoves and rattan footrests to disco-ball lights, common areas are a fun take on British culture, while rooftop bar cloudM has close-up views of the Tower of London.
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Best for families
With its Corinthian-esque white columns and red brick façade, Mandarin Oriental is nearly as regal as neighbouring Buckingham Palace. The five-star Edwardian hotel continues to feel palatial inside with marble lobbies, corniced ceilings and a ballroom where the Queen and Princess Margaret learned to dance. Heston Blumenthal runs Dinner, the two-Michelin-starred restaurant, and in summer the celebrity chef opens a pop-up that overlooks Hyde Park. Rooms were designed by Joyce Wang and blend calming pastels with art deco fixtures such as onyx chandeliers and velvet sofas. Let the hotel know if you’re travelling with children so that touches such as mini bathrobes and colouring-in can be arranged.
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Inspired to visit London but yet to book your trip? Here are the best hotels from Hotels.com* and Booking.com*.
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