If your budget allows a stay in a 5 Star Hotel in London, you have over seventy hotels to choose from. Each will have been assessed for comfort, facilities, service and ambience, and will meet exacting standards. Unlike many countries, the UK has a harmonised hotel-rating scheme, so that the star ratings of the AA and the ratings of the four national tourist boards are all consistent with each other.
If you have decided to go five star, and are bewildered by the choices available, allow us to help with our pick of five of the best 5 star hotels in London.
The Goring Hotel
This is a family-owned, luxury hotel in the Belgravia district of London. The Goring, has a royal warrant, and is where Katherine Middleton spent the night before her wedding to Prince William in April 2011. The décor is traditionally grand, without being at all gloomy or overbearing – think Downton Abbey re-furbished for modern comfort, and you are not far off! The period dining room features crystal chandeliers and serves top quality British cuisine. The hotel is also famed for its marvellous afternoon tea, which you can enjoy on the terrace or in the lounge bar. All the rooms are individually designed, with en-suite bathroom, television and a safe. The hotel prides itself on being child-friendly.
The Goring Beeston Pl SW1W 0JW 0207 396 9000 www.thegoring.com
Also family-owned, The Arch is a modern hotel, housed in Victorian architecture. The Arch is within a few minutes’ walk of Hyde Park, Oxford Street and the Heathrow Express train service from Paddington. Large bedrooms and bathrooms are comfortable and equipped with iPod docks, coffee machines and minibars. There is a 24 hour gym for guests, and room service operates around the clock. Free wifi and complimentary soft drinks, and the friendly, professional staff make this a stylish and comfortable place to stay. Children are welcome. The hotel bistro features locally produced, organic foods, and there is also a champagne lounge. Afternoon tea is served in the library.
The Arch 50 Great Cumberland Place W1H 7FD 0207 724 4700 www.thearchlondon.com
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences
This is a suites only hotel, in a very grand Victorian/Edwardian building, just a few minutes’ walk from Buckingham Palace. The interior is a mix of modern, urban style and more traditional elements, blended to give a very contemporary opulence. The suites come with full kitchens, coffee machines, Wifi access, iPod docks, washer/dryers and even butler service. There is a bistro, top quality Indian cuisine, and afternoon teas that boast edible real gold as one of the ingredients. Also available are a fitness centre and spa. Children and pets are welcome.
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences 51 Buckingham Gate SW1E 6AF 0207 769 7766 www.taj51buckinghamgate.co.uk
The most modern building of our selection, the Bulgari is in the select Knightsbridge area, just around the corner from Harrods and a leisurely stroll away from the Victoria and Albert Museum. The rather spartan concrete and glass exterior opens into a chrome, leather, stone and glass interior, oozing modern minimal style and class. Bedrooms are perfectly styled for chic, modern comfort, and have flat screen TV, Wifi, iPod docks, coffee machines, and luxurious marble bathrooms with large, free-standing baths. Suites have kitchens and dining rooms, and some have fireplaces, separate living rooms and butler service. The hotel has an Italian restaurant, a bar and beautifully appointed lounge, 25 metre pool, fitness centre and luxury spa, 47 seat cinema and a cigar shop and sampling lounge.
Bulgari Hotel London 171 Knightsbridge SW7 1DW,
0207 151 1010 www.bulgarihotels.com
Opposite the side entrance to Buckingham Palace, and overlooking the Royal Mews and the Palace grounds, Hotel 41 is one of London’s most distinguished hotels. Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and Victoria station are all an easy stroll away. Original mahogany panelling and a clever monochrome colour scheme make this Edwardian gem of a hotel a very smart and peaceful hideaway. The hotel aims to make you feel as if you are in your own private club, and complimentary champagne upon arrival, a generous supply of complimentary snacks and a choice of bar, executive lounge or restaurant, and a packed lunch for when you leave all help to foster the illusion. As well as luxuriously furnished rooms with marble bathrooms, the hotel offers one and two bedroom apartments with terraces and kitchens. Pillow menus, tea and coffee making facilities, Wifi, smart TVs and iPod docks are standard. Pets and children are welcome, and the hotel boasts two members of staff to every guest. Children have their own check-in and pets even have their own concierge.
Hotel 41 41 Buckingham Palace Rd SW1W 0PS 0207 300 0041 www.41hotel.com