With the cold weather and shorter evenings of the winter sweeping in, for many, it’s the time of year we start to feel the most fed up. At our lowest ebb and desperate to take a few days out and away from it all, what better time to put a smile back on your face by planning a luxurious city getaway in London?
One of the best places in the whole of Europe to splash some cash, do some shopping and spend, spend, spend, the big smoke is the ultimate destination for anyone in search of a little opulence. Whether you’ve scooped a lottery win – after all, the US Powerball jackpot has had $1 billion jackpots up for grabs in recent months – or simply earn yourself a decent wedge through your business endeavours, there are plenty of things to splurge on. From glamorous casinos to designer boutiques, there’s something for everyone – and where better to start than with an extravagant five-star hotel?
We’ve rounded up the top five luxury hotels in London that will make the perfect base for your trip. All that’s left to do is to start packing – though don’t forget to bring an extra case for all that shopping you’ll be doing.
The Dorchester, Mayfair
If hotels had middle names, the Dorchester’s would be ‘Opulence.’ One of the world’s most expensive and prestigious hotels, the Dorchester opened in 1931, during World War II – when the then-General Eisenhower, who was serving as Supreme Commander of the American Forces in Europe, planned the Normandy Invasion while staying there.
Arriving from the airport in the 1964 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limousine in Midnight Blue Metallic that was once owned by Princess Margaret, or one of the Dorch’s other exquisite Rollers, thanks to the hotel’s luxurious transfer service, you may check into an individual room, suite or signature suite.
Individual rooms range in space from the Deluxe Queen to the Executive King. Amenities include a discreet unpacking service, twice daily room refresh, complimentary wi-fi, Bang & Olufsen television, air conditioning, and morning newspaper.
Pronounced, ‘Clah-ges,’ this is where you check in when you absolutely must occupy a suite with a grand piano. At Claridges, you have a choice of two: the Grand Piano Suite and the Royal Suite.
With a rich history behind it since its opening in 1856, the hoel’s most recent awards include a Five Star rating from Forbes and being recognized for having the Best Hotel Interior for its Empress Eugenie Suite. And, with such exquisitely presented treats as these, it’s easy to see why the hotel attracts so many coveted accolades.
No matter how packed your London itinerary, be sure to save some time for Claridge’s iconic afternoon tea. It’s one of the very finest you’ll ever treat yourself to, so don’t miss out.
The Bulgari, Knightsbridge
Overlooking Hyde Park in the heart of Knightsbridge – one of the British capital’s most exclusive districts – the Bulgari is a comparative newcomer to London’s luxury accommodation scene, having opened in 2012. It’s relatively small number of rooms means the staff have more time to pamper its clientele and attend to your every need and many undiscovered wants – so expect impeccable service here, right from start to finish.
At its most basic, the Executive Double Room boasts a generous minimum of 46 square metres, while the luxurious Knightsbridge Suite offers 86, along with expansive views toward Hyde Park and a 24/7 private butler service. The internationally renowned Edgar Sahakian Cigar Shop has its own adjacent Sampling Lounge, where connoisseurs can enjoy rare Havana cigars that can’t be sourced anywhere else.
Rosewood Hotel, Holborn
The idyllic Rosewood London is situated in High Holborn, a stone’s throw from Covent Garden. Even if you only stop in for the Art Afternoon Tea, inspired by acclaimed British sculptor, Antony Gormley, you’ll be tempted to book a stay and see what the Rosewood’s fine rooms have to offer! There’s a special children’s Art Tea menu, too.
The rooms are somewhat smaller than those at the Bulgari; the largest suite, The Grand Premier Room, measures 37 square metres, including an en suite bath with walk-in shower and soaking tub. But the Rosewood more than makes up for it in luxury, as you’ll discover when you’re pampered and spoiled by your private butler with his meticulous attention to detail and imaginative, caring service.
The Shangri-La at the Shard, Southwark
If you’re looking for stunning views of the River Thames, then look no further than London’s highest hotel. Each of its 202 uniquely designed rooms are fitted with floor to ceiling windows, offering breath-taking views of the London skyline and embracing many of its famous landmarks.
The Shangri-La’s sleek suites offer a modern flair with a splash of colorful art. The 71 square metre Premier Shard Suite comes with a bathroom mirror television, 600 thread count Frette linens, and personal butler service.
London is synonymous with the level of luxury that everyone deserves to enjoy at least once in their lives. Whether your here on business or a well-earned break, you’ll have a fabulous place to come home to at the end of your busy day – if, that is, you manage to tear yourself away from all this opulence and divine personalised service in the first place.
Image at the very top of the article: Rosewood Hotel