Oyster knows what travelers look for in their hotels. So if you’re planning a getaway and need a place to start, you’ve come to the right place. Looking for a little history? Check out the historic hotels in London and get inspired!
The Cadogan is an unpretentious boutique hotel with a prestigious Knightsbridge address. This 64-room hotel occupies a historic Edwardian townhouse on Sloane Street, in close proximity to local shopping. The property has a rich history, including the room where Oscar Wilde awaited his arrest in 1895 and another where King Edward VII met with his mistress, the British actress Lillie Langtry. The Cadogan creates guest profiles to take note of personal preferences, and classy rooms are full of character with antiques, dramatic curtains, and luxe bathrooms.
Dukes Hotel is a pricey, prestigious 90-room boutique delivering an updated take on classic English luxury. It's quietly opulent and features plenty of special boutique amenities, such as a cognac and cigar garden, and a Drawing Room where traditional afternoon tea is served. The most notable feature, however, is Dukes Bar, frequented by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, and the birthplace of the famous "Shaken, not stirred" line. (The bar is, naturally, famous for its martinis -- but note that there's a strict dress code.)
Before St. James's was a luxurious boutique hotel, it had a distinguished past as an exclusive Gentlemen's Club. Previously owned by Sirs Michael Caine and Sean Connery -- and frequented by Winston Churchill and Gregory Peck -- this striking building on a quiet cul-de-sac in prestigious Mayfair now houses lavish accommodations. A recent multi-million renovation brought in bespoke furnishings, and rooms offer high-tech perks such as free Wi-Fi and iPod docks. An outstanding feature here is the Michelin-star restaurant directed by executive chef William Drabble. The hotel is also filled with notable Cubist paintings and offers close proximity to shopping and galleries.
One of the more notable historical hotels in London, the Langham Hotel has been around since 1865 -- when it opened as the city's first purpose-built luxury hotel. and was the birthplace of England's afternoon tea tradition. The Palm Court is considered the birthplace of the afternoon tea tradition.
The Town Hall Hotel and Apartments is located in London's artsy East End. Striking design mixes Edwardian influences with 1930s art deco style and contemporary touches. This hotel first opened as a town hall in 1910 and many of the rooms, studios, and apartments have original period details. Vintage furniture and modern kitchens make these loft-style rooms both functional and inviting. Hotel amenities include a nice indoor pool, a fitness room, and a stylish Michelin-rated restaurant. While some guests might feel that the location is isolated from London's top attractions, the Town Hall Hotel offers great value for money in a hip neighborhood.
This 35-room combo of Edwardian townhouses is warm and intimate with a country home feel, and in a great location for exclusive West End shopping. With wonderful boutique perks such as the free English afternoon tea (guests at other hotels will have to pay at least a £15 premium to enjoy such a tradition), free pre-dinner champagne, and free hot chocolate before bed, it's hard to find much at the Draycott to complain about. Unless, of course, your priorities are a pool and fitness center, both of which the hotel lacks.
The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel, is a luxurious property overlooking Hyde Park in Knightsbridge. The current property dates to 1844, and operated as a hospital for over a century before being converted into a hotel in 1991. The 93 rooms have palatial bathrooms, big flat-screen TVs, and free butler service. Stately decor is inspired by the early 19th century, and free Wi-Fi and laptops are available in every room. Some rooms have great views of Hyde Park. Hotel highlights include fine dining at the Michelin-rated restaurant Apsleys, a ground floor piano bar, and traditional afternoon tea.
The Milestone is perhaps the most famous boutique hotel in London, and certainly lives up to its expectations, with exquisitely designed rooms and exceptional service. It also has a rich history -- there has been a bulding on this site since 1689, and the current hotel structure dates to the 1880s, when it was constructed by the founder of Leicester Square. (It underwent significant renovation after a 1986 fire).
The Millennium Bailey's Hotel is located in a calm, peaceful quarter of London. All 211 rooms offer period charm in an original Victorian building. West London's shopping and dining districts are close by, and with the Gloucester Road tube station across the street, all of London is easily accessible from this property. Rooms are traditional and individually decorated, and although the hotel has limited facilities, a fitness center is available for use at the sister hotel next door. Olives Restaurant and Bar provides on-site dining. While rooms aren't huge, the Millennium Bailey's is a good pick for value, location, and charm.
Brown's Hotel, located in prestigious Mayfair, is part of the luxurious Rocco Forte Collection. The hotel is made up of 11 historic Georgian townhouses and no two of the 117 rooms are the same. Spacious, elegant rooms have a soft, soothing color scheme along with stocked minibars, big flat-screen TVs, and upscale bathrooms (some have a separate soaking tub and walk-in glass shower). Hotel highlights include quality dining and drinking venues such as HIX at the Albemarle, the English Tea Room, and the Donovan Bar. With a spa and fitness center, Brown's has all the features guests would expect at this price point, but there's a pesky fee for Wi-Fi.
This exquisite luxury boutique hotel with just 28 rooms offers the elegance of a different time in England's history. Located in the upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood, Egerton House Hotel is a short walk from the famous Harrods Department store and renowned London museums. Rooms in this historic townhouse are individually decorated in rich fabrics, and have opulent bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, champagne on arrival, and candles at turndown. The common spaces are just as special, with a notable art collection -- including works by Picasso and Matisse -- and a gorgeous drawing room for afternoon tea.