Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s also defined by a string of photogenic London hotel suites –the four-postered, lavishly choreographed sort that would send Pretty Woman’s Vivienne Ward into a giggly stupor. The British capital remains a standard bearer for a gilded, global league of hotels, blending its beloved grande dames with the cutting edge newcomers, many of whom seize on a smooth, contemporary classicism that is beginning to solidify as distinctly ‘London’. Like any hotel, winning in the romance stakes is very much down to the room you fall on – London’s not known for its cookie cutter layout, and many suites are carved into wonky Georgian or Regency bones (some pocket-sized, others vast and airy). We’ve done the romance graft for you, rounding up the city’s most swoon-worthy suites, from eccentrically dressed odes to Victorian high society to hip boudoirs with pass-my-camera views over the city skyline. Here are the most romantic hotel suites in London.
The Royal Suite, The Goring, Belgravia
Unapologetically traditional and a firm favourite with the royals, it comes as little surprise that this Belgravia grande dame’s most alluring suite happens to be called The Royal Suite. Lavishly dressed in hand-woven Gainsborough silk walls, velvet sofas and thick, draped curtains, the suite’s regal character is emphasised with a life-size painting of Queen Victoria fixed into aircraft safety glass in the walk-in shower, framed inky correspondence dotting the walls and the well known fact that the now Duchess of Wales snatched a few hours of sleep here the night before tying the royal knot.
From £8,500 per night thegoring.com
King Henry VIII Suite, The Mitre, Hampton Court
With its Nicola Harding’s playful wicker-clad spaces with a Tiki edge, deliciously seasonal menu and a basically-in-London postcode, The Mitre is a handsome prospect. More handsome still is its Henry VIII Suite – a scalloped, velvety ode to the rambunctious Tudor King). Couples can cosy up in a poster bed enrobed in thick, blue curtains, play cards on the lacquered coffee table or sink into the standalone copper bath, with sweeping views over the Thames and Hampton Court.
Doubles from £150 per night mitrehamptoncourt.com
The Muse, The Lost Poet, Notting Hill
This city nest sits above Portobello’s gloriously dishevelled market, as well as Notting Hill’s endless labyrinth of chichi restaurants and sun-soaked brunch spots. As one of London’s coolest, artistic neighbourhoods, Notting Hill can deliver an escapist weekend for those living in faster-paced corners of the city (or those without trinket markets and superlative bakeries). The Lost Poet’s Muse room is the understated Notting Hill pied-á-terre of bachelor reverie, with a roof terrace peering over London’s skyline, an upstairs lounge area with a disguised television and a downstairs boudoir, dominated by an enormous light-framed bed. Views from the bathroom over the wild tangle of palms and plants engulfing the neighbourhood gardens below are almost as romantic as those on the other side, of the postcard-perfect coloured houses Hugh Grant saunters past in the Richard Curtis’ classic.
Rates for The Muse start from £500 per night thelostpoet.co.uk
The Connaught Mews, The Connaught, Mayfair
It’s pricey but romantic gestures within a London hotel context rarely come cheap. And if it’s a blow-the-budget occasion, why not book into The Connaught Mews – the contemporary classic’s very own private townhouse with a separate entrance on Adams Row. Expect three floors of sumptuous modernism, all choreographed around roaring fires, wood panelling and a grand piano. A secret corridor leads guests back into The Connaught HQ for rounds of cocktails at its fabled bar or an afternoon spent stewing in the Aman Spa. But all that Connaught magic can be enjoyed back in the mews house, where a butler is on hand at all hours and a chauffeur will be waiting outside to whisk you to the airport.
Rosewood London – Garden House Suite
Only Rosewood can pull off such a stylish subversion of hotel classicism, one that evokes Upper East Side apartments of the well-heeled cognoscenti. Rosewood London’s clever nod to heritage trimmings with textures, rich woods and lacquer is delivered through a contemporary prism, one that never once feels too Scandi or glacial. Of all its suites, Garden House is by far the most romantic. Sprawling out across a space larger than most London houses, its considered curation of artworks, restrained linen furniture and collectors items certainly creates a warm home-from-home feel – albeit a remarkably plush one. The real draw though of this butlered marvel is the private terrace, perched above London’s skyline for spring-tingling views at night and even romantic dinners organised by the hotel.
From £5,400 per night Rosewoodhotels.com
Shangri-La – Shangri-La Suite
For sky high sleek minimalism, it’s always been Shangri-La and if birds eye views are synonymous with romance, the hotel’s Shangri-La Suite is the room to wake up in. Spreading out across a vast section of a Tokyo-worthy ‘level 39’, here is a suite that rarely fails to elicit a gasp of delight, even from the hard-to-please luxury traveller. Couples can swan between the spacious sitting room, separate dining area and super-king Shangri-La bed, draped in meringue-crisp linen. The bathroom is a marvel in itself – a marble up-in-the-clouds refuge with a walk-in rain shower, hot whirlpool and those mirror-embedded televisions you dream of fitting into your own home. Couples will find a bottle of Champagne in an ice bucket and cocktail-making kit – crucial for watching the skyline move through various shades of pink and orange until the city switches on its twinkling night charm. Cabin fever is rarely suffered from this light-filled perch, though the spa’s wow-factor pool on floor 52 is worth edging into the lift in dressing gowns for.
From £8,075 per night shangri-la.com
The Corinthia – The Whitehall Penthouse
Where the stars drop their Fendi cases (and glam squads), and where vast, flower-strewn spaces are filled with natural light and the group’s hallmark fresh Maltese spirit, Corinthia London is a calm oasis at the centre of it all. Previously the Old Ministry of Defence, the palatial terracotta-hued building peers over the Thames and some of London’s landmarks, with Theatreland a romantic evening stroll away. Milky marbles, glass and creamy pillars may deck the lobby and downstairs bar, but some of the suites seize on a more classic-contemporary theme, such as the Whitehall Penthouse with its dark moody woods, burnt orange velvet sofas and ruby accents. If an old timer with exquisite taste and an affinity for contemporary art and a spot of high-tech had unlimited budget to deck out a sweeping London apartment, it would probably resemble the Whitehall Penthouse. With a personalised butler, access to a private wine collection, as well as a balcony delivering far-reaching views over some of London’s most treasured buildings (and a giant chess game), this suite is a hopeless romantic and one of the most privileged perches in the city.
From £7,000 per night Corinthia.com
Bulgari London – The Bulgari Suite VI
Tucked between Harrods and Hyde Park, Bulgari London speaks to those who fall somewhere between London’s hipster East and its flamboyantly silk-and-supper West End hotel scene. It’s as unapologetically shiny and glamorous as its jewellery, with metallic flourishes in most rooms and a dark, brooding atmosphere that feels sexy and unequivocally Italian. Couples can channel it best from the Bulgari Suite VI – wallowing in a black marble bathtub, gazing at leafy Hyde Park views from the enormous bed, or sampling glasses of red in front of the sitting room fire. A private steam room is the sort of set-up couples hope for, whilst the terrace offers a slice of la Dolce Vita when London switches on its sunny charm come springtime.
From £900 per night Bulgarihotels.com
The Mayfair Terrace Suite, Claridge’s, Mayfair
While this is a room category rather than a specific suite, ask the desk for the wow-factor Mayfair Terrace Suite and they’ll immediately know the one you’re referring to. The stylish pastel spin on Claridge’s Art Deco trademark evokes a softer, modern Marie Antoinette boudoir. Scalloped chairs and headboards feel both right-on and irreverent, whilst a marble bathroom, hand-painted screens and velvety pastel sofas dial up the opulence within a cool, contemporary prism. There are surely few things more romantic than a glass of Champagne on this suite’s sunny balcony, floating above Mayfair’s swishy streets (though the new four-floor palatial spa promises plenty of it too).
The Lanesborough – Junior Suites
Ah, the Lanesborough. London’s resplendent stalwart whose Regency good looks and gilded rooms have survived any modernist design notions. Antiques abound, without the dust, and silk curtains, sweeping ceilings and a profusion of chandeliers evoke the palatial, and at points the eccentric pile of a European prince. Rather than sweat for the top rung of suites, Regency-era romance permeates every corner of the Junior Suites, with their lacquered Chinese chests, French fancy carpets and canopied beds covered in ridiculously crisp linen. It’s unapologetically and somewhat fantastically traditional without the crust of some London grande dames. Continuing the palatial theme, the spa and health club is worth edging out of the suite for, particularly with Himalayan salt massages and Tata Harper facials on the menu.
From £1,200 per night oetkercollection.com/hotels
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