Lavish hotels are not only great places for you to gather some exclusive Instagram material, but they are also frequently located inside ornate buildings steeped in fascinating history. Guests are never more than a stone’s throw away from the action at these five London locations – beautiful design is matched by exceptional service to provide guests with the ultimate platform to experience the city, for business and pleasure.
The Ritz London
The Ritz London can rival any hotel in the world for iconic decadence. Located in the heart of the city, this hotel boasts a spa, fitness centre, casino, Michelin star-winning restaurant and a wide variety of suites. Renovations have advanced the facilities but stayed true to the neoclassical design, meaning the façade remains a perfect photo opportunity, especially at night. Walk through the revolving doors of the lobby and down the Long Gallery, lined with fresh, sweet-smelling flowers, for further content.
The greatest social media clout has to come from the hotel’s iconic Afternoon Tea. Attentive staff weight on your every move as you peruse a menu of eighteen different types of loose-leaf tea, before bringing over the tiered platter of treats featuring triangle-cut sandwiches, fresh scones with clotted cream and a wide range of pastries. It’s a highly satisfying experience from start to finish and will have your followers begging for more.
Address: 150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9BR
Prices: Begin at £445/night
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Perhaps at the top of the list of London’s five-star hotels, the Mandarin Oriental is one of the most elegant spots in the city. Before you check-in, take some photos of the red-brick Edwardian exterior from Hyde Park and you’ve got great content without even entering the building. The warm towel handed to you at reception is a microcosm of the Mandarin Oriental– astonishing hospitality blended with refinement and style. A major refurb took place after a fire in 2014, but work was completed in 2019 and the hotel looks picturesque. Fine leather fittings, marble bathrooms, a huge underground spa, and glass everywhere to reflect light.
Pose with an aperitif at the Mandarin Bar before heading to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, the celebrity chef’s two Michelin star restaurant. His reputation as a pioneer of multi-sensory cooking means that your food snaps are likely to amaze your followers. If your thirst for content has not yet been quenched, the Mandarin Oriental is just a short walk away from many of central London’s tourist locations.
Address: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Prices: Begin at £720/night
This iconic London location has been serving the rich and famous with its world-famous afternoon tea since the hotel was built in 1856. The likes of Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Kate Moss and Marlene Dietrich have all been welcomed through the glitzy revolving doors at Claridge’s. The chequered marble floors and intricate chandeliers are photos waiting to be taken, as is the Mayfair suite, the most luxurious suite in the hotel.
Superchef Daniel Humm recently parted ways with Claridge’s after his 100% plant-based menu was rejected for the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, with Claridge’s saying it respected Daniel Humm’s vision but it was “not the path we wish to follow.” Whatever your opinion on this may be, Claridge’s maintain the highest standards at their restaurant and decedent bar Le Fumoir – a dark and cosy 1930s Art Deco-style hideout stocked with beautiful glassware and punchy cocktails.
Address: Brook Street, London W1K 4HR
Prices: Begin at £660/night
Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard
While The Shard is a more recent addition to the London skyline compared to others on this list, it is right up there with the most Insta-worthy locations in the entire city. Look out across London from the infinity pool on the 52nd floor and you’ll quickly understand why. The innovative design of The Shard means that each room is unique, giving guests an exclusive own view of the city out of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Inspiration is taken from Asia and hints of the Orient can be found around the hotel, as is contemporary and classic art from a variety of acclaimed sources. Shangri-La has found the sweet spot between an urban environment and a Zen-like tranquillity – you could have been on a packed tube moments before, but on arrival at the hotel, you know your troubles are over. At night, head to TING for high-end pan-Asian cuisine, then cocktail bar Gong for a nightcap and a magnificent cityscape.
Address: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG
Prices: Begin at £850/night
The Langham, Marylebone
Most guests at The Langham will have at one point felt a little magisterial during their stay. The historic Victorian building located off shopping-hub Oxford Street has over 150 years of heritage and has been the choice of many famous names during visits to the capital. Mark Twain, Napoleon III, Oscar Wilde, Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Emperor Haile Selassie and Wallis Simpson have all graced The Langham with their presence at some point.
The wonderful exterior of The Langham makes an excellent photo, but more unique Instagram material can be found on the inside. A drink at Artesian – voted World’s Best Bar four years in a row – is a must, and a shot of one of their finely crafted cocktails is golden IG material. Food bloggers will be in their element at Wigmore, the hotel’s modern gastropub. And don’t forget about Palm Court and the dazzling Wedgewood Suite –beneficiaries of an £80million refurb in 2009.
Address: 1C Portland Pl, London W1B 1JA
Prices: Begin at £600/night