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13 Coolest Hotels in London for a Stylish Stay in the Queen's Backyard

With these 13 coolest hotels in London, you're practically guaranteed a stylish visit worthy of a stay in the Queen's backyard.

Cool, stylish, design-focused hotels in London abound, so whether it’s old-school vintage glamour, contemporary high-rise stays or hipster-chic blocks, London offers it all. With rooftop pools and the highest cocktail bar in Western Europe, London’s eclectic mix of innovative and must-stay hotels are a great way to spend time in the capital.

Explore the classic streets of Chelsea or buzzing food markets in East London, witness the globally renowned fashion scene and high-octane nightlife–from morning ’til night the city is a hub of contemporary culture.

A century-old hotel in London with a rooftop pool

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The Ned may have been transformed into a luxurious hotel, but its days as The Midland Bank are proudly remembered. You’ll find opulent historical details gloriously intact, from the golden ‘MB’ Monogram on the Saloon’s coved ceiling to the elegant wrought-iron windows. Its 92 columns, crafted from African verdite, still sit in the former banking hall, while the oversized walnut cupboards that housed canes and top hats sit on the sixth floor, giving a glimpse into London’s bygone era. Even the imposing 25-tonne vault door, which these days protects a high-octane cocktail bar rather than £335 million of deposits, is perfectly preserved.

This hotel is where vintage glamour meets modern décor, and with a rooftop pool overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, it’s a singular addition to London’s roster of deluxe accommodation. Its 250 rooms have a dash of Roaring Twenties glamour, such as bespoke floral wallpaper and silk lampshades, while in the marble mosaic bathrooms you’ll find modern walk-in rainforest showers and Cowshed toiletries. With no less than 10 restaurants – all showcasing different themes – you could spend weeks here. Try afternoon tea in the parlor-esque Millie’s Lounge featuring traditional finger sandwiches, scones, and cakes; feast on Northern Italian cuisine like carpaccio, pizzettes, and pasta in Venetian-style Cecconi’s; and share charcuterie at Parisian-themed Café Sou.

The hotel’s spa is similarly conceptual. Book a Shellac manicure in the all-pink Cheeky nail bar; experience an old-school wet shave at speakeasy-influenced Ned’s Barbershop, or opt for a soothing ritual at the marble-clad hammam.

The Ned

Top rated
London, 6.1 miles to Airport London City
8.8 Excellent (281 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
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A luxurious hotel in London

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Cocoon yourself here in rooms with the feel of a luxury yacht – all wood paneled walls and oak floors. These lavish spaces feature bespoke furniture including George Smith chairs or sofas, artwork designed by Dutch visual artist and photographer Hendrik Kerstens, as well as curated art by names such as Tracey Emin. Once unpacked, you can easily pop out to nearby Soho for a coffee or a wander, and it’s just a short seven-minute walk from Oxford Circus tube station. However, the London EDITION has more intriguing spaces to explore inside.

Sample culinary delights from Michelin-starred UK chef Jason Atherton at Berners Tavern, where modern British fare is served under an intricately carved triple-height ceiling. Brunch is a winner here, having been lauded by one renowned magazine as ‘one of the best London breakfasts to try before you die’. Opt for distinctive dishes sourced from local ingredients, such as toast smothered in Colchester crab and classic pork pie with English piccalilli.

A tempting concept, the Punch Room specializes in 30 specialty concoctions (reservation required). Sit and sip on the signature drink, the gin-based EDITION, on teal velvet sofas next to its polished mahogany bar. The cool soundtrack consists of soul, blues, ragtime, and doo-wop, plus live performances. Feeling sociable? The Lobby Bar provides a similarly chic backdrop to unwind, you’ll find feathered sofas and snooker tables ideal for making connections with your fellow travelers.

The London Edition

Top rated
London, 8.1 miles to Airport London City
9.2 Excellent (799 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
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A cool hotel in one of London’s most iconic skyscrapers

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Shangri-La at The Shard is housed in perhaps London’s most recognizable skyscraper. It spans the fourth to 52nd floors of this pyramidic building, designed by the Italian architect and engineer Renzo Piano. The top-level features both the highest swimming pool and cocktail bar in Western Europe. From here, you’ll soak up atmospheric vistas of London’s lights glittering beneath your feet.

Make the most of this majestic location by opting for a suite with views across the Tower of London, one of London’s most iconic medieval landmarks built by William Conquerer in the early 1080s. Your suite itself, in keeping with Shangri-La’s opulent theme, is imbued with Eastern elegance. Luxurious materials, from silk to marble, are characteristic of the refined décor. Bathrooms feature toiletries from L’Occitane or Acqua Di Parma, while each space is climate-controlled automatically for comfort. Beds here contour to the body to encourage a good night’s sleep and are lined with 300 thread count Frette sheets.

Sample British cuisine with an Asian spin amid the Chinoiserie furnishings at TĪNG – meaning ‘living room’ – on floor 35. You’ll dine high in the sky surrounded by elegant screens that offer a sense of mystery. Can’t resist a sweet treat? Don’t miss afternoon tea in the lounge, with desserts such as Cherry Blossom Roulade epitomizing this multi-award-winning hotel’s fusion of East meets West.

Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London

Top rated
London, 5.7 miles to Airport London City
9.3 Excellent (3078 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.6 / 10
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A chic, cheerful, and cool hotel in London

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Vibrantly colored in paint-box brights, with its quirky furnishings including lamps engineered from hose pipes, Qbic is a fun hotel particularly suited to Millennial travelers. While the amenities here are relatively simple, it sets itself apart from other options in its price bracket by focusing on thoughtful features. Lighting, for instance, is controlled from a bed with a mattress crafted from recycled denim, organic lambswool, and coconut fiber to ensure it is both hypoallergenic and biodegradable.

An eco-friendly concept pervades the rest of Qbic Hotel, too. Note the solar panels on the roof; the organic toiletries in the bathrooms; and the chemical-free cleaning solutions used by staff to keep the place pristine. Furniture throughout is constructed from repurposed materials: the farmyard-animal-shaped storage solution erected from upcycled freight boxes is a case in point.

Food at Qbic is communal in essence, with plenty of sharing plates on the menu, ideal if you’re travelling with friends (or looking to make new ones over some dips). It’s also wholly sourced from butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers within a 50-mile radius of the hotel. Load up your plate with waffles from the buffet breakfast, followed by the strong small-batch house coffee, Pillow Talk, which is couriered in weekly by bicycle. Once ready for the day, borrow a bike yourself – they’re free from reception – to burn off those calories on a ride around the local area.

Hotel Qbic London City

Top rated
London, 5.1 miles to Airport London City
8.6 Excellent (1341 reviews)
Excellent Service 9 / 10
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Floating on the Thames

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The Thames has long been known as London’s life source–and experiencing the city from the water puts you right at its beating heart. Which is just where the Good Hotel comes in: a gargantuan floating structure that began life in Amsterdam before all its eight million kilos were transported to London over the course of several months.

While the concept of this accommodation is, indeed, cool, the décor lives up to its hype, too. “We found luxury in simplicity and originality,” explain Remko Verhaagen and Sikko Valk, the Dutch designers behind the project. The merger of natural and industrial materials here makes for an offbeat and innovative aesthetic. Inside the rooms, you’ll find sumptuous down pillows juxtaposed with blonde woods and Scandi style geo-print bedding – all come with dockside or river views.

The latter riverside location is worth splashing out on, but if you do plump for the dockside spot, you can still soak up panoramas of the water from the rooftop. Sip on a locally made beer here in the crisp city air, and school yourself on the hotel’s social justice background. Another notable feature of this structure is that it’s more than just a hip space – it also reinvests its profits to help charitable organizations and has a staffing scheme that assists the long-term unemployed in returning to work.

Good Hotel London

London, 1.3 miles to Airport London City
8.2 Very good (845 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.8 / 10
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A hip hotel hangout in London’s cool east

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Leman Locke is an apartment hotel with a boutique feel. Its designer reputation is seen in the Scandi-style décor, with soft-pink sofas contrasting against cool-grey throws inside white-walled rooms. From the fully equipped kitchens to the natural Kinsey & Apothecary toiletries (tailor-made for the company), much thought has been put into this trend-led Shoreditch accommodation.

Dubbing itself a ‘lifestyle hotel’, it’s no surprise that Leman Locke highlights the importance of wellbeing and health. Stretch out at the yoga club, join a group of runners for a 5km dash around London, or simply make use of the meditation and mindfulness sessions. Photography classes and artist residences are also organized–reward yourself with a flavorsome matcha-infused cocktail from the seasonally changing menu at on-site café-bar Hyde. Sip it on mid-century-modern furniture under a pastel-pink staircase that could very well have lept straight out of a magazine spread.

After a wander in nearby hipster hangout, Brick Lane, to rummage for retro clothing and perhaps snack on a salt-beef bagel, return to the hotel for a meal designed by Head Chef George Tannock. Under the tutelage of Heston Blumenthal, George learned the importance of experimentation – a technique he has carried over into Lemon Locke’s Treves restaurant. Expect dishes like sweet potato, tahini yogurt & pomegranate and red pesto arancini. Even breakfast has an achingly hip bent at Leman Locke: think healthy start-of-day energy boosters such as chia seeds and passion fruit bowls or highly Instagrammable treats like avocado spread on sourdough toast.

Leman Locke

Top rated
London, 5.2 miles to Airport London City
9.0 Excellent (2303 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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Central London design hotel with a vintage and local feel

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Set in the neighborhood of Pimlico, Artist Residence is a cozy 10-bedroom boutique hotel tucked away from the hustle and bustle, and that will make you feel like a local. Every room in the hotel is decorated around a specific theme, so no two rooms will ever be the same. I enjoyed discovering the details that were added to the vintage room and knowing that it would be a unique room made it all the more exciting. I stayed in a medium room and it had a mix of unique vintage and craft furniture pieces, a vintage metal locker served as a wardrobe, and an old school desk served as a working space. The appliances also followed the same vintage theme with a black dial phone and a stunning Smeg fridge.

I found that once you visit, you will want to experience each and every one of the rooms, so you may find yourself booking another stay before you have even left.

For great food and drink, you don’t need to go far; Artist Residence London is also home to The Cambridge Street Kitchen restaurant, where you can get everything from your morning coffee to dinner in a stylish setting. Don’t forget to book in advance though as it is well sought after.

Artist Residence London

Top rated
London, 8.4 miles to Airport London City
9.2 Excellent (246 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.2 / 10
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Peaceful oasis in London with penthouse jacuzzi

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If you want a stay to awaken all your senses in a luxury setting, this is the right place. The Mandrake is a peaceful oasis located in the middle of the hustle and bustle which is central London, just minutes away from Oxford Street. It is eclectic and intriguing, and every piece of furniture has been thoughtfully added to create a unique experience.

There are thirty rooms, as well as three suites and the penthouse. One that deserves a special mention is the penthouse; if you would like to redefine your bedroom goals and idea of a retreat, the penthouse boasts nothing less than an epic Veronese marble bed frame and a spa experience with a jacuzzi that you can enjoy whilst gazing at the stars.

As the name suggests, there is an all-encompassing botanical theme weaved throughout the hotel. This becomes clear once you visit the three bars available. One of the bars recreates an outdoor cabana surrounded with cascading jasmine and passionflower and features a glasshouse apothecary, whilst another serves botanical-based plant inspired cocktails. A true oasis in the middle of a sleepless city.

The Mandrake

Top rated
London, 8 miles to Airport London City
8.7 Excellent (103 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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A minimalist design hotel in London with in-room iPads

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CitizenM Bankside stands out because of the simplistic and easy experience they offer, mixed with impressive attention to detail. The rooms are smaller compared to the other hotels I mentioned so far, and the living areas are a contrast to the rooms minimalist design. It is definitely a ‘millennial’ hotel and that is what makes it stand out. The check in and check out process is very simple, almost self-service, and when in your room you can control everything without leaving the bed via an iPad. I enjoyed dimming the lights and even choosing a mood on the iPad that would control all settings in the room, including opening and closing the blinds. Definitely an easy and convenient stay.

The living areas have been carefully designed to please the interior obsessed, featuring iconic Vitra pieces and floor to ceiling bookcases, plus it offers a private garden to enjoy a morning coffee and a glass of wine.

CitizenM London Bankside hotel

Top rated
London, 6.4 miles to Airport London City
9.0 Excellent (5385 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Home to interior design events

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Dare I say this is the best hotel in London. Simply put, the Ham Yard is on another level. It is part of the Firmdale hotel group owned by Kit Kemp, award-winning interior designer, and her husband Tim; you can see and experience in the Ham Yard the best of British design in her very own witty style.

The hotel features several living areas, such as the library with a handpicked selection of books, a drawing room with rich fabric walls, and a leafy terrace.

It’s no wonder this hotel is home to major events in the interior design and blogging industries such as the Amara Interior Blog Awards which have taken place in the Ham Year over the last two years with renowned interior designers and stylists like Daniel Hopwood and Sophie Robinson attending.

I also have to mention the soholistic spa and the summertime yoga and brunch, which takes place on their roof terrace. Located in Soho, it is perfect for those who want to explore London by day and night.

Ham Yard Hotel

Top rated
London, 7.9 miles to Airport London City
9.4 Excellent (628 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.6 / 10
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52 individually styled rooms

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Another hotel from the Firmdale Hotel Group, each one of the 52 rooms in Charlotte Street Hotel has been individually designed. Kit and Tim Kemp have paid special attention to the colors and textures in each room and the headboards especially deserve to be admired, each one is custom made in its very grand design and upholstered with carefully curated patterned fabrics to become a work of art and the focal point in each room.

Aside from the amazing design, the Oscar Bar & Restaurant makes this hotel stand out from the crowd. The healthy options on the breakfast and afternoon tea menus are delicious, and the Bar & Restaurant are also very well frequented. Or if you are looking for a quieter place to read a book though and escape the buzz of the city, there are log burning French sandstone fireplaces in both the library and drawing room, with sumptuous decor and original art by period British artists such as Duncan Grant and Roger Fry.

For the film lovers, there is a screening room offering viewing experiences including a three-course meal and a champagne viewing.

Hotel Charlotte Street

Top rated
London, 8 miles to Airport London City
9.2 Excellent (457 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.6 / 10
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Perfect for foodies

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Quirky, cool, and unique luxury rooms. This is the best way to describe the Blakes Hotel. The best room is suite 505, the Corfu room featuring white on white layering of textures and a four-poster bed; it creates effortless romance and you’ll wake up feeling like you are in the middle of a Provencal hill.

And as you step outside, you couldn’t be in a more privileged location in the Chelsea neighborhood with easy access to Sloane Square and South Kensington.

Blakes London

London, 9.9 miles to Airport London City
8.1 Very good (464 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.7 / 10
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Edgy design in Shoreditch with a rooftop pool

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The Curtain Hotel perfectly epitomizes the quirky and edgy vibe of the Shoreditch neighborhood. The hotel décor features an industrial setting and Manhattan vibe, with its dark walls, exposed brick, and abundance of textures.

The Curtain Hotel has a real focus on health and wellbeing, offering morning yoga sessions, a 24-hour gym and healthy menu options across its restaurants. The rooftop restaurant, Lido, offers fresh food all day, whilst you can enjoy live music seven days a week at its South American influenced restaurant, Red Rooster.

The best part, however, has to be the Green Room, the hotel’s very own cocktail bar. A feast for the eyes and the palate, it’s hard to decide what is best, the décor or the menu. Think peacock tones within an industrial setting, there is a mixture of rough concrete and plush velvet, a green tiled bar popping against the pink walls, and an abundance of brass and greenery. As for the palate, try MaBelle, a floral-infused cocktail inspired by the rose garden in Victoria Park alongside the delicious, deep-fried truffle macaroni and cheese.

The Curtain

London, 5.7 miles to Airport London City
9.0 Excellent (370 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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Feature image courtesy of Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

This article originally appeared in trivago Magazine UK as the “The seven most stylish design hotels in London for an artistic stay in the city” and “Cool hotels in London for a stylish weekend in the capital