There’s nowhere quite like London during the festive season — all towering Christmas trees and glittering baubles, candlelight, and roaring fires. It is also the most delightful time to visit some of the capital’s finest hotels, which pull out all the stops to get you in the holiday mood.
Claridge’s has been a timeless classic since it opened in Mayfair in the 1850s and is the London hotel most synonymous with Christmas. Its tree is always a grand affair with an even grander unveiling, making its lobby a must-visit in the run-up to December 25th. Drop in for the festive afternoon tea, sip cocktails in its beautiful, hidden bar, The Painter’s Room, or pop into the Christmas Shop for hampers and homeware. Plus, if you stay at Claridge’s over Christmas itself, there are always carols, storytelling for the kids, and stockings for all its lucky guests.
The Connaught, Mayfair
Sitting proudly on Carlos Place, The Connaught is another of London’s grand dame hotels and a fellow Mayfair stalwart. With its distinctly British sensibility, Hélène Darroze’s double Michelin-starred restaurant, and an Aman spa, this is luxury at its best. And at Christmas time, you can always count on the Connaught to be decorated with supreme elegance, with intricate garlands and wreaths adorning every corner, and a tree to remember. Inside, cozy up in the Coburg Bar by the fire, or, outside, the Connaught’s much loved Hütte will be back for the season, serving up crêpes.
The Twenty Two, Mayfair
Since opening last year, The Twenty Two has quickly established itself as one of the most stylish addresses in Mayfair — and London as a whole. Set in a characterful Edwardian manor on Grosvenor Square, its sumptuous and maximalist decor comes into its own at Christmas. We love its suites with four poster beds and elegant cabochon marble bathrooms, which are perfect for relaxing after a day’s Christmas shopping at nearby Burlington Arcade, before heading downstairs for cocktails and dinner.
Henry's Townhouse, Marylebone
The former home of Jane Austen’s brother Henry, this charming Georgian bolthole is rich in stories and character, and comes into its own come Christmas. Located on Upper Berkeley Street in the heart of Marylebone, its six boutique bedrooms are perfect for a get together with family or friends, while its intimate pantry and sitting room can host private dinners and drinks. This year, it will also host all sorts of festive activities from cocktail and wreath making to table dressing workshops. If you want to leave its cozy confines, you’re in striking distance of everything from Regent’s Park, the West End and London’s best shopping streets.
Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone
For a wonderfully eccentric experience, the Zetter Townhouse in Marylebone is hard to beat. Like staying with one’s charmingly wicked old aunt or uncle in their extravagant Georgian townhouse, the Zetter is handsome, riotously colorful, and packed with character. Stop in for afternoon tea or cocktails at Seymour’s Parlour, before making the most of your room — we love the Lear Loft, a spectacular penthouse apartment with its own roof terrace and alfresco bathtub.
Beaverbrook Townhouse, Chelsea
Set across two handsome Georgian townhouses on Sloane Street, overlooking Cadogan Gardens,Beaverbrook Townhouse e is even more magical at Christmas. With its lavish interiors and suites that nod to Lord Beaverbrook’s legendary tastes and the Roaring Twenties, it is a study in opulent coziness. The Fuji Grill will be serving up festive Japanese dishes and Christmas cocktails, while you can take over The Butterfly Room for a gathering. What’s more, its location makes it the perfect jumping-off point for festive activities in London such as ice skating at the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall.
The Goring, Belgravia
A family-owned gem in the heart of Belgravia, The Goring is always a winner for those wanting to experience old-school, British luxury. A favorite of the royals, staying at the Goring is like being transported back to an old-school style of splendor that is rare to find these days. There is a particularly good festive afternoon tea with classic sandwiches and scones infused with more Christmas spices.
Charlotte Street Hotel, Fitzrovia
North of Soho, nestled among Fitzrovia’s neighborhood bars and restaurants, you’ll find the Charlotte Street Hotel. Designer Kit Kemp’s signature bold use of color and pattern is evident in all its rooms and spaces, with its ‘Bloomsbury Group’ theme as a nod to the surrounding area. Stop in for afternoon tea or a cocktail in Oscar’s Bar, before bedding down in one of its whimsical bedrooms.
The Bull & Last, Hampstead
Last year, north London’s most loved pub reopened after an extensive facelift and with seven new guest rooms to roll upstairs to after long dinners, and even longer lunches. Britain’s pubs blossom in all seasons, but especially during the Christmas season — what’s better than a long walk on Hampstead Heath followed by hearty pub food in front of the fire? Not much. The Bull’s Christmas menu includes delights.
The Princess Royal, Notting Hill
A pub with rooms in W11, The Princess Royal is one of our new favorite spots in west London. Tastefully restored, it has vibrant entertaining spaces including a light-flooded conservatory, two splendid terraces, and grand private feasting rooms that come alive at Christmas. Upstairs, there are four boutique bedrooms, all named after princesses. Its seasonal menus are an ode to bountiful British produce, and are extra delicious at the most wonderful time of the year.
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