When we think of hotels in old London town, cobbled stoned streets, antiques and the full English breakfast springs to mind – not raging views.
But London’s ever-changing skyline, dotted with new high-rise hotel offerings means travellers can soak up views that give Manhattan a run for its money.
Here are the best places to stay in the UK capital if you want to cop an eyeful of the River Thames, parks or the city.
InterContinental London – The O2
Standing 18-storeys tall at the edge of the Greenwich Peninsular is one of InterContinental’s newest properties in the capital.
You’ll wake up with a view of the Canary Wharf skyline and glittering Thames (yes, it can sometimes glitter.) Ask for a corner room for views of both sides of the river and the edge of the city. The abundance of natural light will make you look at London differently. Cheaper room option offers you views over the 02 Arena.
Yes, the location can make you feel like you’re away from London’s buzzy hub, which might be ideal for those keen for some quiet time. But it’s truly not far away from the vitals. Those in town for business will be delighted to know it’s a four-minute walk to North Greenwich station and only one tube stop on the Jubilee Line to the financial district. Ferries from North Greenwich jetty will take you directly to fan-favourites like London Eye, perfect for a sunny day.
When it comes to comforts, the king-size bed, smart TV, walk-in rain shower, coffee machine and fancy French toiletries are the cherries on top.
Old-world maritime maps nod to the location at one of the world’s most-ancient ports and the view is best seen from the hotel’s Eighteen Sky Bar. Service is what you’d expect from the consistent Intercon brand. Always on point. Certainly, book if you’re catching a gig at the O2 but stay for the epic views.
Most rooms have great views of the city but the Terrace and Infinity suite views are spectacular. If you’re not keen to stay, the cocktail experience at Artesian serves quintessential London views from the floor-to-ceiling bay windows.
Truly the most glamorous way to spend an afternoon in London. You’ll get even better views from the elegant Roux at the Landaux restaurant next door. The treat-your-self menu is rich with French-inspired dishes like seared foie gras, rabbit and pig’s trotters on toast with pickled vegetables and plenty of oysters and scallops… but the venue itself is the star.
The 13-storey building means rooms show off the bustling city but the real Instagram-worthy shots are taken from Jin Bo Law Skybar – on the rooftop terrace. The rich interiors are a nod to Chinese influence in British history and the four-star rating means the modern property has all the creature comforts. Think 24-hour gym, two restaurants and plush rooms.
Located directly opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens means rooms look out over the lush palace green. Strolling across the road will land you directly in the leafy parklands. Watch ducks waddling into the Round Pond while music floats from the historic bandstand gazebo. The elegantly refurbished Grand Master Suite has the best views of the palace.
Another new suite at The Milestone is as delightful as its namesake. The Meghan Suite, named after Meghan Markle of course, exudes modern style and sophistication with an exquisite 18th century ebonized French bureau plat, Giacometti style chairs and original contemporary art. The Duchess of Sussex would be proud. The best part? The beyond massive monochrome bathroom with bronzed mirrored double doors. Lush.
Each room at the Milestone is individually designed with rich velvets, antiques and nick-nacks that’ll send you back in time but the showstopper is the afternoon tea. The best warm scones with thick cream and home-made jam in town.
One of the coolest boutique hotels in the city is nestled amongst one of the coolest areas of London. Standing above the cobbled streets and time-worn Georgian shopfronts is the carefully restored Batty Langleys and the Earl Of Bolingbroke suite has its own terrace looking out over Olympic Park.
The tapestries, wallpaper and artworks from Georgian times are a perfect complement to the huge sunny deck.
The nearest Underground Station is Liverpool Street, a six-minute walk away but these guys are so fancy, they can arrange a car to meet you at the airport.
You’re literally sleeping in the clouds AKA the tallest building in London or Western Europe for that matter.
Levels 34 to 52 at The Shard are reserved for Shangri-La rooms boasting a 360-degree outlook over the city. Fly down the lift to London Bridge tube station at the doorstep, making the location a solid choice for sight-seers.
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