Courtesy of Design Hotels
Beatrice Aidin

Visitors to London are spoiled for choice when it comes to boutique hotels. The growing number of small hotels opening around the city is a sure sign that travelers to London are looking for something different. From Montague on the Gardens’ Georgian architecture in Bloomsbury to the neo-classical Portobello Hotel in Notting Hill, London’s small hotels are often hidden in plain site, just waiting for savvy travelers to check in. So, leave the anonymous corporate accommodations to the business traveler and make the most of Ham Yard, a hotel concealed in the midst of Soho behind the neon lights of Piccadilly. Or, with its hint of regal décor, perhaps Hotel 41 could be the place for you? World-renowned English service makes each of the following properties a must-visit—as does memorable décor, a smart blend of old and new, and top-to-bottom style. But hurry to make a reservation; these boutique hotels have a limited number of rooms for discerning travelers. 

The Portobello Hotel

On a quiet street in Notting Hill is The Portobello Hotel, a neo-classical property with an impressive roster of past guests that include Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, U2, Naomi Campbell, and the White Stripes. Rooms are outfitted with antique beds and Victorian claw-foot bathtubs, and if you’re visiting during the winter, we recommend booking the hotel’s charming apartment with working fireplace.

Montague on the Gardens

Located in front of the British Museum in Bloomsbury, Montague on the Gardens offers a taste of Georgian London with all the modern luxuries (complimentary Wi-Fi, al fresco dining, in-room floral arrangements). Comfy beds, evening turndown service, and a pillow menu ensure guests rest easy. The hotel even has a hidden garden for a moment of respite from the hubbub outside. 

Hotel 41

Luxury and a warm welcome greet guests to Hotel 41. Situated opposite Buckingham Palace’s Royal Mews, this family and pet-friendly hotel has the feel of a traditional London club, but its little touches, like aromatherapy pillows, complimentary snacks, and a selection of international newspapers are what keep guests coming back. 

Ham Yard Hotel

Tucked right behind Piccadilly Circus is the Ham Yard Hotel, the latest addition to the Firmdale Hotels stable. New in summer 2014, this Soho location is perfect for setting off around town to explore. But don’t rush off too soon. Explore the boutique’s cozy library bar (complete with over-stuffed armchairs and a working fireplace), Modern British restaurant, and airy sculpture garden for an idyllic night in.

No. 11 Cadogan Gardens

Located near Hyde Park, this 58-room family-run hotel consisting of four adjoining townhouses is outfitted in Louis XV-style furniture and sparkling chandeliers. During your stay, pretend to live in an old-fashioned world where tea is served at 4 p.m. by a butler, but enjoy contemporary luxuries like large bathrooms, plasma-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi.  Seeking discretion? Book the Garden Suite—it has a private entrance.

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