The best hotels in London

14 March 2023

With tens of thousands of rooms spread across London’s hotels, travelers have no shortage of choices when it comes to booking a place to stay in the city.

Even once you stay at all the best hotels in London, more will join the ranks every year. 

There are iconic London hotels in some of the poshest neighborhoods that have legacy and reputation on their side, and affordable hotels that prioritize communal spaces designed for mingling with others. Families might prefer something casual from one of the larger chains. 

Where you want to stay can shift the list of best London hotels, too. 

Some of the nicest areas to stay in London for first-time travelers include West London neighborhoods such as Covent Garden, Mayfair, Holborn, Soho and Leicester Square, which are within walking distance of the city’s great theaters and many bustling restaurants. 

For travelers who are eager to explore new neighborhoods, there are the grittier, more creative neighborhoods of East London, including the popular enclave of Shoreditch.

Travelers seeking a quieter and more residential stay may prefer Kensington, while areas along the south bank of the River Thames, such as Southwark, put visitors close to attractions like Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Borough Market and Tate Modern museum. 

No matter what type of trip you’re planning, these are some of the best hotels in London — and you can even use points at many of these properties to put a stay here within reach. 

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Since making its London debut in 2013, the Rosewood has transformed an Edwardian Belle Epoque mansion on High Holborn into one of the most in-demand luxury hotels in the city.

Italian marble is abundant here, from the grand seven-story staircase coiling around the interior of the hotel to the bathrooms in the guest rooms and suites. Other elegant touches throughout the rooms and suites include decorative wainscoting and rich textiles befitting a London hotel, like tweed chairs with pintuck details.

Grab a cocktail at the gentlemen’s club-inspired Scarfes Bar, a cozy spot with more than 1,000 antique books and live jazz anchored by a roaring fireplace, or any of the Rosewood’s multiple drinking and dining venues.

Rates at the Rosewood London start at around 640 British pounds ($778).

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It’s no surprise that this self-described “super boutique hotel” punches above its weight with pops of color, staff uniforms worthy of a stage production, theatrical busts and bathroom vanities reminiscent of backstage dressing rooms. After all, The Londoner, which debuted in 2021, is in the center of London’s bustling entertainment district, just steps from Piccadilly Circus and the city’s famous West End theaters. 

Behind colorful doors with crystal knobs are unusually spacious rooms in a city known for economizing square footage. Of note are the oversize bathrooms with separate water closets for Toto bidets and rainfall showers clad in colorful, gleaming tiles. 

But it’s the hotel’s club-like venues that really stand out. Guests have access to an exclusive lounge — no outsiders allowed — that serves complimentary light bites and beverages throughout the day. Or, mingle with the locals at 8, the rooftop bar dishing out izakaya and Japanese-inspired cocktails. You might even catch live music at the lobby-level Champagne bar, The Stage. 

Rates at The Londoner start at around 499 British pounds ($607) per night. 

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In a city known for astronomically expensive hotel rates, The Hoxton provides a more affordable stay without sacrificing style.

The Hoxton, Shoreditch, was the brand’s first property, which reclaimed a car park in the bustling East London neighborhood. It paved the way for a series of innovative hotels that focus on large, communal public spaces and compact rooms that offer everything travelers need, but few of the extra services that many can live without. 

For travelers who don’t mind squeezing in to save money, the Hoxton’s “Shoebox” room categories offer tight quarters (at the Shoreditch property, from 130 square feet) with a double bed and a small, monochrome tiled bathroom.

It’s a leap up from a hostel stay, but guests will certainly be inspired to join the locals around the cozy sitting areas in the lobby or its two restaurants: the Hoxton Grill and Maya, a new adults-only Mexican rooftop concept that just landed in 2021 (try the spicy tuna tostadas with a “Naked and Famous” cocktail with mezcal, chartreuse, Aperol and lime). 

What you won’t find is a gym or a spa, but the lobby will provide you with a discounted pass to a nearby fitness center. 

Rates at The Hoxton, Shoreditch, can be found from 199 pounds (about $240). 

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Multicolored marbles, dignified terracotta tiles, stained-glass windows and ornate balustrades are a few of the elegant details that make the Kimpton Fitzroy London feel more like a regal estate than a chain hotel.

Revered architect Charles Fitzroy Doll, who worked on the dining room for the RMS Titanic (yes, that Titanic), designed this architectural masterpiece. 

Even in the rooms, thoughtful touches like upholstered canopy beds, rotary-style phones the color of the city’s iconic double-decker buses, picture-frame wainscoting and marble bathrooms stocked with Vetivert amenities make guests at the Kimpton Fitzroy feel like dignitaries visiting London for royal affairs. 

Breakfast here is a casual affair, with simple breakfast sandwiches, eggs Benedict and pancakes at Galvin Bar & Grill or the more casual Burr & Co., near the check-in desk. Later, you can order a cocktail at Fitz’s and sip it on a scalloped velour sofa beneath a twinkling disco ball or grab a seat in a leather armchair by the mantle.  

In addition to the bold design, which doesn’t shy away from its grandeur, the Kimpton Fitzroy stands out as one of the best hotels in London because it still offers Kimpton loyalists all the perks travelers have come to love about the brand: Complimentary social hours, pet-friendly policies and Raleigh bikes you can use for free during your stay to explore the city. 

Rates start at 221 pounds (about $266) or 56,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

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From its enviable address on Park Lane, the JW Marriott Grosvenor House puts guests within walking distance of London’s most iconic sites and attractions, including Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace. 

Inside, the JW Marriott — the former home of the Dukes of Westminster and Gloucester — delivers a classic hotel aesthetic consistent with the JW brand, with plenty of dark wood accents contrasted by neutral hues, light marbles and floral prints evocative of Hyde Park at the cusp of spring or autumn. 

Distinctly British dining experiences are available to guests who have executive lounge access (such as afternoon tea and evening canapes), and the nod to traditional hotel experiences continues at the JW Steakhouse, which sets the tone with dark wood paneling, cast-iron crockery and black-and-white photographs.

Or, enjoy live piano music while tucking into afternoon tea (open-face sandwiches with smoked Scottish salmon, buttermilk scones, treacles, tarts and lemon possets) at The Park Room, which has an English home aesthetic elevated by white tablecloths and jewel-tone velvet booths.  

Rates start at around 306 British pounds ($372) when booked through Marriott, or 52,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. 

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Playing on the area’s affinity for street art, the Andaz Liverpool Street, which has undergone a series of renovations and refreshes, brings splashes of color and saturated velvet furnishings to this Liverpool Street mainstay (it’s been a hotel since the Great Eastern Hotel opened in this red-brick landmark in 1884).

There’s a distinct sense of movement in the lobby, which is also home to a funky bar with steamer trunks, exposed brick and gleaming gold accents. 

The artistic flourishes continue in the guest rooms, where you might find the modern furniture accented by pops of fuchsia. Whether you book an entry-level room or one of the designer suites, expect amenities such as Nespresso machines, Yukata robes and the brand’s signature complimentary minibars. 

When it’s time to eat, head to Lady Abercorn’s for a whimsical British pub experience, including dishes like Punjabi mutton curry, bangers and mash with sage-and-onion gravy and, what else but fish and chips with tartar sauce and minted peas.  

Rates from 311 British pounds ($378) when booked directly through Hyatt or 17,000 World of Hyatt points per night on off-peak dates. 

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Nothing short of a London legend, this renowned art deco hotel is often hailed as the first luxury hotel in England. Even its bars and restaurants are attractions in their own right, such as the Thames Foyer, with its birdcage-like gazebo at the center where pianists might hammer away tunes while guests sip tea beneath the atrium’s glass dome. 

Or perhaps you’ve seen images of the black-and-gold-leaf-gilded Beaufort Bar, which serves vintage champagnes to well-heeled guests, or the glitzy American Bar, where travelers tipple vintage cocktails while listening to live jazz. 

When it’s time to bed down, choose from Edwardian or art deco-inspired rooms, most of which offer views of the River Thames or the city. Best of all, you can now use Accor points to offset the cost of a stay at this Fairmont-managed hotel and don’t forget that Capital One miles transfer to Accor’s All Live Limitless (ALL) program. 

Rates at The Savoy start at 680 British pounds (around $827) per night.  

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Having served such esteemed guests as Napolean III and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle since opening its doors in the 19th century, it’s no surprise this luxury hotel has such an impressive reputation. 

Today, the Langham continues to exude quintessential British elegance, with upholstered pin-tucked headboards, elegant wood furnishings and wainscoting in the accommodations.

Splurge on an executive room or suite for access to the hotel’s club, where you can sip glasses of Taittinger Champagne while nibbling on canapes designed by chef Michel Roux, Jr., of London’s two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche. 

Of course, you can always visit the Langham’s other celebrated dining and drinking venues, including the Artesian, with Japanese influences in the pagoda-inspired bar and on the menu (the Spirit cocktail from the Duality menu features Suntory Haku vodka and jasmine, among other liquors and flavors). Afternoon tea in Palm Court is also a particularly decadent delight.

Make sure to check out the Langham’s fitness and wellness offerings, including the 16-meter swimming pool in a former bank vault. 

Rates at The Langham London start at 480 British pounds (about $583) per night. 

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Another art deco landmark with a litany of celebrities and heads of state in its guest book (among them Audrey Hepburn, Queen Victoria and Kate Moss), Claridge’s doesn’t refresh its interiors with every passing design trend.

Instead, it stays true to its roots with decor such as lacquered wood headboards, shagreen lamps, a cozy neutral palette and thoughtfully appointed marble bathrooms you won’t want to leave, thanks to Toto water closets, the brand’s namesake products and heated mirrors, so you’ll never lose your reflection in the steam.   

Beneath a 1930s Rene Lalique glass panel, you can elbow up to the black-marble horseshoe bar at The Fumoir, which specializes in vintage spirits served from Lalique decanters. Or, retreat to The Painter’s Room, a study in Provencal style marked by a stained-glass mirror and a striking blush-colored marble bar that opened to much-deserved fanfare in 2021. 

Rates at Claridge’s start at 750 British pounds (about $912) per night. 

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The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park straddles London’s Knightsbridge and Hyde Park neighborhoods, placing travelers at the nexus of London’s poshest addresses. 

While here, take advantage of the hotel’s celebrated culinary program, which includes Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which has two Michelin stars to its name. Here, Blumenthal plays with historic British dishes, such as scallop frumenty (circa 1390) and powdered duck breast (circa 1670), with blackberry tarts (circa 1800) and brown bread ice cream (circa 1808) leading the dessert menu. 

There’s also The Aubrey, an outpost of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong’s Japanese izakaya experience that’s sure to delight frequent jet setters, the jewel box-like Rosebery (for afternoon tea and champagne cocktails) and the namesake Mandarin Bar, anchored by a catwalk-style bar and filled with eye-catching design elements by Adam D. Tihany.  

Designer Joyce Wang led the guest room refresh, incorporating Hyde Park-inspired natural elements and art deco flourishes such as custom onyx chandeliers, leather-topped desks and Volakas marble bathrooms stocked with Diptyque products. 

Rates at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park start at 750 British pounds ($912) per night. 

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For travelers who crave color, texture and individuality, few hotels compete with Ham Yard Hotel, a Soho property from Firmdale Hotels that turns a hand-crafted aesthetic into unquestionable luxury. 

The 91 rooms and suites were individually designed by Kit Kemp and channel an “urban village” vibe through an array of patterns and prints — expect a riot of seersucker or chevron, ikats or florals, jacquard or stripes. All rooms, though, have expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and granite bathrooms with oak accents. 

The carefully orchestrated cacophony of color and texture continues in the public spaces and restaurant, Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant, where travelers might sample a smoked haddock Scotch egg with butter crab curry or share a juicy Chateaubriand with friends. If you’re treated to a sunny London day, dine in the heated courtyard. 

Or, head to the fourth-floor roof garden, where you might spot the herbs and vegetables that will season your dinner. Other unusual amenities and facilities include the Croc bowling alley, which dates to the 1950s and will make you forget every preconceived notion you have about bowling with its Howard Hodgkin artworks and silver baby grand piano. 

Rates at the Ham Yard Hotel start at 567 British pounds ($690) per night.

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If you remember seeing The Ritz in “Notting Hill” starring Julia Roberts, you’ll recall the hotel has main character energy. 

With its Michelin stars, majestic marble columns, gilded chandeliers and museum-worthy frescoes, the eponymous restaurant is one of the many alluring amenities at The Ritz London. Here, you reserve dinner dances led by full bands that harken back to a simpler era.

Lean into the over-the-top luxury by reserving a spot for afternoon tea in the hotel’s former ballroom to sample teas curated by tea master Giandome Scanu and nibble on tiered towers of pastries and cakes. 

The rooms are designed with the sort of romantic aesthetic you’d expect to find in the manor of a duchess — marble bathrooms, monogrammed linens, and gold-and-marble mantles. You might find a television tucked in the corner, but guest rooms and suites at the Ritz are meant to evoke far less modern moments in London. 

Rates at The Ritz London start at 654 British pounds ($796) per night. 

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The former Curtain boutique hotel has been transformed by Accor into the 120-room Mondrian London Shoreditch, an unfussy retreat with small rooms but smart design touches, such as retro Marshall radios and cozy leather sofas. 

Guests love the marble showers, which double as steam rooms, and the design details that nod to the neighborhood (exposed brick, Studio graphite artworks). 

When it’s time to eat and drink, head to Laurel’s on the Roof for California-influenced cuisine any time of year, thanks to the retractable glass roof, or dip down to Bibo for tapas created by chef Dani Garcia of Michelin acclaim. Save room for sweets: A chocolate mousse for two and a glass of Pedro Ximenez dessert wine. 

One of the most-loved amenities is the beautiful (albeit tiny) mosaic-bottomed heated swimming pool on the roof, which guests can access until midday. There’s also an elegant fitness center reminiscent of old-school athletic clubs with TechnoGym equipment and Peloton bikes.  

Rates at the Mondrian London Shoreditch start at 249 British pounds (around $303) per night. 

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Warm, welcoming and modern accommodations capture both the spirit of 21st-century London and the Four Seasons brand — particularly if you book a room with a terrace or a suite with a fireplace. 

It’s all about the amenities at the 196-key Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, including the private chauffeured ride in a Bentley anywhere within 2 miles of the hotel, plus twice-daily housekeeping at a time when many hotels are doing away with the service altogether. 

You can even sightsee while squeezing in your workout from the 10th-floor gym, which offers views of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye observation wheel in the distance, or while waiting for your massage at the rooftop spa. 

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Amaranto, dishes up Italian cuisine at night and a binge-worthy Sunday brunch with indulgences like a seafood platter and espresso Negroni. 

Rates at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane start at 810 British pounds ($986) per night. 

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With an exterior harking back to the hotel’s origin as a duo of houses belonging to the Duke of Westminster, you might not expect the organic blend of classic design with contemporary lines.

Even the most basic rooms have curvaceous dark wood writing desks and soothing color schemes, as well as marble bathrooms with bathtub televisions for late-night soaks with your favorite show. The modern amenities continue with Dyson hairdryers and Bang & Olufsen speakers. 

But it’s the food and beverage program that lands the Connaught on best-of lists time and time again. The Connaught Grill is now helmed by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and the only thing more impressive than the exquisite woodworking is the parade of dishes coming from the wood-burning grill. 

There’s also the colorful, light-filled Jean-Georges at the Connaught (perfect for people watching) and gauzy Red Room, which looks appears like a reverie behind a velvet curtain separating it from the Champagne Room.

Of course, guests can also book a table at Helene Darroze at The Connaught, the hotel’s three Michelin-starred restaurant with sumptuous leathers, velvets, hand-crafted wood furnishings and seasonal tasting menus. 

Rates at The Connaught start at 870 British pounds (around $1,059). 

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Patterned Gainsborough silk-lined walls, balconies overlooking manicured lawns and gardens, etched wood headboards and marble bathrooms — these are the types of details you can expect to find when you book a room at The Goring.

The luxury hotel has been in business since 1910 when it debuted with central heat in every room (what may have been a world’s first), and it is, notably, the last remaining luxury hotel in London to be owned and operated by the family that built it. 

Beyond the rooms, which infuse traditional English elements with playful pops of color, the hotel’s proclivity for detail continues to the food and beverage program. At the Michelin-starred Dining Room, guests in the David Linley-designed space can order masterful preparations of British ingredients (foraged mushrooms, Colchester oysters, Rhug Estate lamb saddle, Dorset clams) beneath twinkling Swarovski chandeliers. 

Rates at The Goring start at about 598 British pounds ($728) per night. 

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Rooms at this Rocco Forte hotel are whimsical and eclectic; no two are exactly the same, though they all mix subtle patterns and textures to great effect. 

Like the rooms, the restaurants at Brown’s effortlessly blend classic ingredients and style with contemporary, eccentric flourishes.

Charlie’s, helmed by executive chef Adam Byatt, serves British dishes from silver trolleys beneath coffered ceilings while gleaming wood walls and illustrative wallpaper with botanicals and birds give the space personality and warmth. At The Drawing Room, which employs similar design duologies, guests can enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea.

Brown’s Hotel is also a popular pick for families with young children who don’t want to sacrifice an iota of luxury: Easy-to-book interconnecting rooms and multi-room family suites afford families generous floor plans and amenities that will keep the little ones entertained.

With the Families R Forte program, you might find a stylish play tent set up in your room or suite upon arrival, plus a host of treats and extras specifically for the youngest members of your family (including Albemarle, an oak-wood monkey toy to play with for the duration of the stay). 

Rates at Brown’s Hotel start at 835 British pounds (about $1,016). 

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Unmistakable vestiges of designer Ian Schrager are all over the London Edition, from the walnut wood-paneled walls and faux fur throws in the rooms to the members’ club-inspired Punch Room serving specialty punches set to a wide-ranging sonic landscape that, occasionally, includes live music. 

But you won’t mistake the London Edition for a night at New York’s bygone Studio 54. This hotel is decidedly British — particularly Berners Tavern, the moody restaurant with hundreds of framed photographs and paintings on the walls and an ornately carved plaster ceiling. Grab a seat at the pewter-topped bar for cocktails worth crossing the Atlantic for (try the Ageing Hipster with spiced vermouth, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva rum, American whiskey, maraschino and bitters). 

Rates at the London Edition start at around 314 British pounds ($383) per night or 55,000 points when booking through Marriott. 

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Presiding over Hyde Park is The Dorchester, a hotel dating back to 1931 that is preparing to emerge from a significant renovation.

Light, airy design elements are emphasized throughout the rooms, suites and public areas, nodding to the city’s lush parks (think: dusty rose, pale sage and heather blue), bringing brightness and femininity into the historic property while maintaining its English garden charm. 

Guests will discover entirely new spaces, too, including a flower and pastry shop showcasing the talents of in-house florist Philip Hammond and pastry chef Michael Kwan. There’s also a new contemporary art collection to explore and Vesper Bar, a glowing, glamorous space with a Palladium leaf ceiling that’s replacing the former watering hole known as The Bar. 

Not all of The Dorchester’s well-loved institutions are being overhauled or replaced, however. Travelers can still book a table at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, which maintains three Michelin stars and will reopen in late January 2023.

For a dazzling art deco space with Eastern influences, China Tang continues to serve traditional dim sum. Chef Tom Booton, known for kickstarting his culinary career at 15, is the youngest-ever chef of the revamped The Grill.  

Rates at The Dorchester start at 790 pounds per night, or about $952. 

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If you’re familiar with Dukes, you might be an Ian Fleming fan — or a diehard anglophile. Either way, this elegant property in quiet St. James’s is all about the details. Marble bathrooms are stocked with fragrant Penhaligon toiletries, and most have deep soaking tubs. 

At the historic Dukes Bar, you can sip world-famous martinis poured tableside while waiting for a Bond villain to amble over to one of the deep blue-velvet club chairs. All-day dining is served at GBR — Great British Restaurant — a beautifully mirrored space serving a variety of steaks, Yorkshire chicken, Cumbrian lamb neck and more. 

But for many travelers, it’s the hotel’s quiet address in Mayfair that truly sets it apart — a timeless retreat you can adjourn to beneath a Union Jack flag for a final martini before drifting back to your guest room or suite. 

Rates at the Dukes London start at $361 through Skylark. 

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Housed in a former — you guessed it — fire station, this hotel is the brainchild of celebrated hotelier Andre Balazs. Even though it opened in 2014, the hard-to-book tables at its eponymous restaurant and limited room count ensure the hotel is still one of the hottest spots in London. 

Also keeping the heat level on high are its en-suite gas fireplaces (most rooms have them) and heated bathroom floors. Cozy corner banquettes and armchairs in the room are upstaged only by the gleaming mahogany-paneled headboards. 

But since the hotel holds tables specifically for its guests, you won’t want to waste too much time sitting around your room. Despite the price tag and the acclaim (chef Richard Foster has stepped in to fill chef Nuno Mendes’s shoes), trust us and order the black truffle wood-fired pizza with blue cheese, taleggio, parmesan and pecorino, plus the rib-eye steak. 

Rates at the Chiltern Firehouse start at 770 British pounds ($937) per night.

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Since its debut in 2021, the NoMad London has caught the attention of hotel industry insiders and travelers with its striking public spaces — particularly the eponymous restaurant housed in a multistory glass atrium.

The answer to the chartreuse-hued banquets and cascading foliage in the conservatory-style restaurant is the deep red velvet-and-leather boudoir-inspired library replete with highbrow texts that nod to the transatlantic love affair between New York City and London. 

The frenzy of opulent design decisions continues in the guest rooms, where glittering mosaic-tiled bathrooms with gold fixtures complement the embossed-leather headboards and damask-print textiles. 

Meals at the NoMad Restaurant center around chef Ashley Abodeely’s fondness for showcasing local, seasonal ingredients such as whole Cornish sea bass with Padron peppers and suckling pig with charred cabbage and pear.

But for drinks, head to Side Hustle, where Mexican-influenced cocktails and plates take center stage. Don’t miss the tequila Mai Tais served in skulls and topped with crowns of pineapple leaves and citrus slices. 

Rates at the NoMad London start at 447 British pounds (around $544) per night. 

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Occupying 18 floors of the Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, is Shangri-La The Shard — an ultra-modern hotel infused with the brand’s distinctly Asian heritage.

Expect Shangri-La’s renowned hospitality and flourishes, such as walls embossed with patterns of cherry-blossom branches, in-room tea sets and a food and beverage program specializing in cuisines and flavors found across Asia.  

With one of the highest swimming pools in Europe (the infinity-edge Sky Pool on the 52nd floor), not to mention the restaurant Aqua Shard, on the 31st floor, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and Gong, also on the 52nd floor, views are everything at this Shangri-La hotel. 

After taking in endless vistas of Tower Bridge and other attractions along the southern bank of the River Thames (while sipping an Above the Clouds deluxe cocktail made with Zacapa XO, D.O.M. Benedictine, Malbec, verjus and umeshu, no doubt), consider a stroll around the neighborhood or retreat to the spa for a treatment from Neal’s Yard Remedies.  

Rates at Shangri-La The Shard start at  583 British pounds ($712) per night. 

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