A historic and dynamic world city like London will always be romantic. It can’t help it. It’s been the setting for couples to fall in and out of love for centuries. And through it all, London hotels played a part in the drama. Think of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who fled to a suite at The Dorchester Hotel after their coup de foudre on the set of Cleopatra. So taken with Burton was Taylor that she carved their initials into the bath in their suite. You can still see the marking today. Or, take The Goring. It suited Kate Middleton and her family just fine, who stayed there on the eve of her nuptials to Prince William. There are many luxurious hotels in London, but these love nests are also some of London’s most beloved and talked about hotels. These special transporting hotels will put you in the mood for love, and leave you wanting more.
St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel
St. Pancras isn’t merely home to the Eurostar. The station’s stunning hotel was restored in 2011, and is one of the hottest places to stay in London. The renovated property is actually two structures: a new wing with sleek, modern rooms to appeal to the business traveler, and the old building whose accommodations are full of architectural drama and romance. Watch the 1946 British classic film Brief Encounter before your stay.
Claridge’s is British service at its best. In fact, Spencer Tracy said he’s rather go to this Art Deco property in Mayfair than to heaven when he died. In addition to the on-site Michelin-starred restaurant, the gorgeous Fumoir bar, neo-Art Deco suites designed by David Linley, the hotel also offers its guests a bit of royal romance. The property served as backdrop to one of the most infamous British courtships of the last century: Edward the VII and Mrs. Wallis Simpson—a relationship so passionate, it led to the King’s abdication.
For a taste of quintessential British hospitality, check into the family-run Goring hotel in the heart of exclusive Belgravia. Kate Middleton and her clan set up camp here during the royal wedding and you, too, can enjoy marble bathrooms, silk-lined walls, and garden views of the beautiful grounds that back up to Buckingham Palace.
The Rookery Hotel
With the feel of a private club, this Clerkenwell hotel has period charm (polished woods, fireplaces, patinaed portraits) and yet, is not one bit twee. Bathrooms feature 19th-century fixtures and antique elements, while the atmospheric bedrooms—some with beamed ceilings—feature handsome dark woods, muted tones, and luxury linens. And don’t forget to order breakfast in bed—the hotel’s delicious croissants are baked fresh every morning.
The Zetter Townhouse
Sister site to the nearby Zetter Hotel, this inviting Georgian property houses 13 quaint bedrooms. Huge wooden-framed beds dominate the guestrooms, and details such as massive Union Jack bed canopies, antique telephones, and curated selections of classic novels add a unique touch. I like the Townhouse apartment for its airiness, light, and luxurious amount of space.