the luxury hotels of London

The picture above was taken from the lobby of the Ritz London where I recently spent two nights en route to Prague and Budapest. During the course of several days, I made site inspections of 17 luxury hotels in London. While this is too much material to put into one blog article, I do want to highlight some top choices when it comes to London five star luxury hotels.

The Ritz London often offers the best values in a luxury hotel in London. A great central location on Picadilly, adjacent to Green Park, means an easy walk to Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, two popular tourist attractions. As a Virtuoso travel consultant, I can secure great amenities at the best available rate you can find at the Ritz — including a guaranteed upgrade at booking and a daily Full English Breakfast for two guests. I had mine by room service! The best rooms to book are on high floors overlooking Green Park — lots of natural light and beautiful views.

The Dorchester is a very impressive hotel located on the east side of Hyde Park, halfway between Marble Arch and Speakers Corner. This hotel has it all: an impressive marble lobby, spacious rooms decorated with beautiful English fabrics, and three celebrated restaurants including Alain Ducasse. Book an Executive Deluxe room (see picture above) or higher to enjoy the complimentary Virtuoso amenities - daily breakfast for two and one three-course set dinner in The Grill.

The Lanesborough is located at the southeast corner of Hyde Park, right by Marble Arch. The extensive use of dark mahagony, leather, silk wallpaper, and lovely fabrics creates a very traditional British feel. Lots of complimentary services (free internet, free in-room movies, free landline phone calls worldwide for Virtuso guests) make the Lanesborough a great value, and the Virtuoso rate (which gets you complimentary English breakfast for two) is always equal to the Best Available Rate.

The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park has the distinction of being directly on the park without a street between the hotel and the beautiful, open green space of Hyde Park. While the lead-in rooms face the hotel's courtyard or have a Knightsbridge view, the most desirable rooms and suites in the hotel have a perfect view directly into the park. With an impressive marble lobby and a great restaurant, Foliage, Virtuoso guests receive a complimentary daily continental breakfast and have the chance to experience a complimentary lunch for two from the Menu du Jour in Foliage.

The Berkeley is the perfect choice if you're looking for a great boutique hotel with a fresh, contemporary ambiance. Located in Knightsbridge, the hotel is right across the street from Hyde Park. Rooms are very attractive with one of three color schemes (olive, pale champagne, and aqua), and the rooftop indoor/outdoor pool makes the Berkeley a hotel to consider if swimming is part of your regular exercise. For a special treat, book the Chef's Table at the Berkeley's two-star Michelin restaurant. The Berkeley offers free internet for guests, and Virtuoso guests always receive complimentary English breakfast for two.

The Goring, located near Buckingham Palace, offers the ambiance of a London gentleman's club. There is a large comfortable lounge and bar just off the lobby. You will enjoy your complimentary Full English Breakfast (as a Virtuoso guest) in the attractive conservatory that overlooks the Goring's large garden - said to be the largest private garden in London (pictured above). Use your guaranteed Virtuoso upgrade to book a Garden Deluxe room overlooking the gorgeous garden. This is an attractively priced small hotel with an old British feel. Though the rooms and baths are smaller, the Goring is a great choice if you want to be in a beautifully maintained traditional London hotel.

Egerton House is the final hotel on the list of my highest recommendations in London. Like the Goring, this is also a good choice if you're looking for something with a traditional London feel. Located in a fashionable residential neighborhood in Knightsbridge, this 28-room hotel was fashioned from two side-by-side townhouses. While some of the rooms in this protected building are quite small, the rooms to book are #12 and #23. As a Virtuoso guest, you'll receive complimentary daily Full English breakfasts and enjoy a martini making lesson with the King of Martinis.

Want feedback or information on rates and exclusive amenities at these or any of the 15 Virtuoso hotels in London? Please drop me an email.

luxury hotels in London (search here on Google)

copyright (c) 2009 by David J. Ourisman. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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