News & Reviews Europe England What’s the best luxury hotel in London?

The Connaught – Sutherland Suite.

There are many things I define myself by.  Son, brother, husband-to-be, worlds most handsome man with a blog called The Good, The Bad and the Luxurious.  I also happen to have stayed in almost every luxury hotel in London. 

Two things I get asked the most: Psycho Bob repeatedly asking where’s his money, and which luxury hotel to stay in London.  So let me save you minutes of endless research.  In no particular order (ok, it’s alphabetical).  

I will update this page with links to the dedicated reviews as and when I write them.

45 Park Lane

The decor may make you think that Tony Montana was the interior designer, but fortunately the service was not managed by him.  With 45 rooms and only a bar and restaurant to count as facilities, they have to rely on superb F&B and excellent service.  Luckily they managed both.

Last Stay: 2017

Total Stays: 1

Baglioni

In a dark, dark town
in a dark, dark street.
In the dark, dark street
there was a dark, dark house.
In the dark, dark house
there were dark, dark stairs.
Down the dark, dark stairs
there was a dark, dark cellar.
And in the dark, dark cellar
I wish I lived.

For it would be better than The Baglioni.

Baglioni review

Last Stay: 2018

Total Stays: 1

Baglioni’s dark, dark hallway

Brown’s

No one visits a Rocco Forte to admire the quality interiors, but they do hope for some excellent service.  They tried, but not hard enough.  It is uncompetitive regarding the proposition when The Connaught is nearby, breathing down its neck.

When I hear of contracts ending in hospitality, everyone shakes hands, says nice things and moves on.  I once was everyone, but then I am reminded of Hix at Brown’s – a modern day monstrosity that fortunately is no longer subjecting its guests to 21st century torture.  Regrettably we had to endure it during our stay, and so when it was announced it was closing, I could finally take down the A4 banners I had spent many a Sunday putting together.  RIP “#FuckOffHix”

Last Stay: 2017

Total Stays: 1

Brown’s

Claridge’s

My only fond memory of staying here is I found myself with nothing to do, so decided to start watching Game of Thrones.  That was a life changing experience for me.  The hotel, less so.  It’s currently undergoing the largest renovation since Joan Rivers face in the 90s, so let’s hold out some hope.  Until then, it is too English even for my liking, and I say that with a tattoo of the Queen’s face over my own face.

Last Stay:  2015

Total Stays: 2

Corinthia

For those who love being seen.  In the spa.  With 500 other people.  You will not be seen by anyone of note though, as they are all miles away in Mayfair and Knightsbridge.  One of the larger properties, with 294 rooms, including 7 penthouses.  There’s the worlds first mini Harrords inside, so you can be perpetually ripped off either in room or whilst innocently walking the halls.

Last Stay: 2017

Total Stays: 2

Four Seasons Ten Trinity

If you venture across to The Corinthia and wish to be that far away from decency and humanity, then you may as well just go for it and end up at Ten Trinity.  Vastly improved since it opened, with a superb spa, great dining options and decent rooms / suites.  A 2 minute walk to the Tower of London, so you can start shouting “lock her up” if you’re not keen on any of the female staff.

Four Seasons Ten Trinity review

Last Stay: 2017

Total Stays: 2

Four Seasons Ten Trinity

Hotel Cafe Royal

We seem to be getting into the worst-of-the-worst locations in London.  Ever wished to stay in a luxury hotel in Times Square?  Well here’s the London equivalent.  Another great spa, but F&B, service and sense of quality is lacking.  They throw out deals like a fat man in a “girls girls girls” t-shirt in Vegas, so just rustle through that bargain bin and you may just find what you’re looking for.

Hotel Cafe Royal review

Last Stay: 2017

Total Stays: 2

Cafe Royal entrance

Mandarin Oriental

Even though I seem to be drawn to Mandarin Oriental’s, I have only considered one to be a great hotel – it was not London.  Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner having 2 stars is a stain not only on Michelin, but on common sense.  The recently renovated rooms gave a better impression of what was to come, but then nature decided to step in and force through another refurbishment by trying to burn down the property.

Mandarin Oriental London review

Last Stay: 2017

Total Stays: 2

Rosewood

Have you ever seen one of those useless acts on one of those awful talent shows and wondered how they even got there in the first place?  Then you know there’s no point going to The Rosewood.

Last Stay: 2018

Total Stays: 1

Shangri-La

The best views of any London property.  You do have to be so far from actual London though that you may as well just stay in Heathrow.  The rooms are good, with window to ceiling glass views across London, but that is the only thing I can compliment.

Last Stay: 2017

Total Stays: 2

The Beaumont 

By far the best service of any London property.  The dark rooms, lack of pool and infinite supply of caviar and Lamborghinis (note: to Beaumont management, entirely true) provided by The Connaught are all what stands in the way of making this my London home.  The more time I spend here, the more I begin to enjoy it.  Perhaps it’s the ever deteriorating rooms at The Connaught, but The Beaumont’s rooms are starting to grow on me.  Great location, F&B, service, amenities and generosity.

The Beaumont review

Last Stay: 2018

Total Stays: 10+

The Beaumont

The Berkeley

The hotel that spawned a million trips of my lifetime.  This used to be the hotel for me.  I would stay nowhere else. Then I discovered The Connaught.  Then I could afford to stay at The Connaught.  So that was the end of that.  They started a massive refurb a few years back, resulting in some schizophrenic design choices, where you will receive an entirely different room theme depending on what floor you stay on.  It looks like they hired and fired a designer every 6 months.  Previously the best hotel for F&B in London, with the excellent Marcus complemented by Koffmann’s.  Yet Pierre said au revoir, Marcus became hit and miss and The Lanesborough stole most of their good staff.  The rooftop swimming may be the the only remaining facility that separates it from the rest.  

The Berkeley review

Last Stay: 2016

Total Stays: 50+

The Berkeley

The Bulgaria

Competing for best spa in London, but definitely winning best swimming pool.  There are things to love here, such as the location, restaurant and free sweets in the lobby, whilst the sky-high prices and sheer stinginess removes the gloss.  The rooms are nothing to shout about either, unless you’re prepared to go up their penthouses.  I am unsure if an emotional attachment or dementia, but I’d still recommend it.  

Last Stay: 2017

Total Stays: 6

The Bulgari

The Connaught

What can I say that I have not already said?  Whilst it may not be as good as its glory days, I still look forward to every stay; to the warm greeting from the doorman; to the familiarity of the bars, restaurants, pool and the only Aman spa not within an Aman resort.  The perfect location of the hotel: hidden away from the busy streets, but steps away from the best restaurants and shops in London. A minimum of a suite is required, unless you are a contortionist. Last refurbed in 2007, one is long overdue now.

Anymore stays and I will need rehab, as I’m clearly addicted.

The Connaught review

Last Stay: 2018

Total Stays: 150+

The Connaught

The Dorchester

I stayed back before I could really afford to stay there.  I even knew back then it wasn’t worth my time.  If you cannot afford a trip to the Middle East but want to know what it’s like, you are in luck.

Last Stay: 2011

Total Stays: 1

The Goring

A luxury hotel, in a luxury location, with a luxury garden.  Not to be sniffed at.  The inevitable downside is that the rooms are sacrificed for this facility that is useful within England for about 6 days a year.  Some of the rooms are so small that you will just be grateful the architects somehow managed to fit a toilet in them.  As English as it comes, but in an unusually good way that leaves me little else to complain about.  Oh, except the rotten food.

The Goring review

Last Stay: 2016

Total Stays: 1

The Goring

The Halkin

Hahaha, only kidding.  When you’re at rock bottom, check in here and realise it could be worse.

The Halkin review

Last Stay: 2016

Total Stays: 1

The Lanesborough 

We started off on the wrong foot.  There may not even have been any feet, so unstable it was.  Yet then you stopped being a dick, told me you loved me and we set it all right.  Whilst I prefer Mayfair to Knightsbridge, the location opposite Hyde Park is a highly desirable.  But why bother going out when they have a spa as good as theirs?  F&B needs some serious improvement, but you’re walking distance from some restaurant gems.

Just to keep them in check, The Peninsula is building their new property right next door.

The Lanesborough review

Last Stay: 2018

Total Stays: ~10

The Lanesborough

The Langham

It’s cheap.  It’s right near Oxford Street, if you were ever desperate to know how a sardine feels.  And that’s it.

Last Stay: 2015

Total Stays: 3ish

The Ritz

Someone else paid for me to stay here, and I imagine they still wake up in a state of frequent disgust, just without knowing exactly why.

Last Stay:  2013

Total Stays: 1

The Savoy

Is it just me, or do most hotels that attempt Englishness actually make us look bad?  No wonder so many countries hate us.  Thanks, Savoy.  What once was good is now the home of the most hatred of creatures: bankers.  Their corporate accounts will push your measly stay to be as insignificant as a waitresses feelings at a charity dinner for the Presidents Club.

Last Stay:  2012

Total Stays: 1

Conclusion

London may have an overwhelming choice, but most of them are bad choices.  Stick to any of the following and let your dreams come true: The Connaught, The Beaumont, The Lanesborough, 45 Park Lane or The Bulgari.  If that fails, stay in Paris and visit London via private jet, build your own hotel or take advice from someone that isn’t a madman.

Choose life. And doing nothing with it at The Lanesborough.

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 27th Aug '18

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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