Staying in a buzzy neighborhood doesn’t mean you can’t take a breath; just search out one of these relaxing oases in the British capital
Billed as the world’s first “super boutique hotel,” The Londoner feels a bit like a vertical resort, with 350 rooms spread across 16 stories clad in 15,000 cobalt blue terra-cotta tiles. While Leicester Square right outside thrums with the energy of cinemas and West End theaters, the hotel interior offers an elegant retreat, featuring a subterranean spa and swimming pool, an izakaya-inspired rooftop bar, and a Champagne lounge. Among the eye-catching lobby decorations are floating sun and moon heads by illustrator Andrew Rae and M.C. Escheresque dioramas of staircases and archways, and the chic decor in the guest rooms includes pink velvet chaise longues.
From $450, thelondoner.com
There’s a go-go-go vibe to London’s financial district, known as The City, but that fades away the moment you walk through the doors of the Pan Pacific London, the first European outpost from the Singapore-based hotel group. Botanical influences abound, including headboards with oak, elder, elm, and maple motifs; bee-emblazoned pi l lows and in-room botany books; and potted plants drawn from both the Southeast Asian rainforest and the British woodlands. In addition to a 43-floor bronze tower, the hotel incorporates the 146-year-old Devonshire House, which houses shops, a patisserie, and the Silverleaf cocktail bar, where the innovative drinks utilize ingredients such as woodruff bitters, birch cordial, spruce tonic, and oak moss syrup.
From $365, panpacific.com
The opening of the design-forward One Hundred Shoreditch, on the site of the old Ace Hotel, affirms that this East London hipster enclave has fully shed its scruffiness for grown-up sophistication. The public spaces are awash in contemporary art, including minimalist wooden totems and oversize paper flowers from Antwerp-based Mio Gallery, while guest rooms feature decorative touches such as geometric tapestries and Gateway Arch–shaped vases. Downstairs, a monolithic boulder anchors sea food restaurant Goddard & Gibbs, which serves Maldon oysters, Dorset mussels, and Cornish crab. Have a nightcap at Seed Library, the basement cocktail den from superstar bartender Ryan “Mr. Lyan” Chetiyawardana.
From $340, onehundredshoreditch.com
London’s Stratford neighborhood got a total makeover for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and the area has been sprouting high-rises like weeds ever since. Among the newest is The Gantry London, a glass tower wrapped in slim vertical fins that call to mind railroad tracks—a nod to the site’s 150-year history as the Stratford Works locomotive factory. That theme carries subtly throughout the Curio Collection by Hilton property, in details such as the riveted-copper nightstands in the guest rooms. The decor in the public spaces, meanwhile, features artworks curated by North London’s Jealous Gallery. The bar, Coupe, is dedicated to all things fizzy, from English sparkling wines to seltzers, spritzers, and kombuchas.
From $243, thegantrylondon.com