If it’s classic English charm you’re seeking during your London stay, look no further than Beaverbrook Town House—although you should also know that the hotel’s take on the traditional comes with a twist. An offshoot of the popular Beaverbrook hotel on a vast estate in Surrey, their London property features 14 suites named after iconic West End theaters (complete with vintage programs and posters for each on the walls), decadent interiors that blend classic English country style with more modish, maximalist touches, and a restaurant serving—surprise!—stellar sushi and a top-tier omakase menu, along with plenty of deliciously lethal cocktails. Located steps away from the shopping meccas of the King’s Road and Sloane Street, you can spend the day wandering the picture-postcard streets of Chelsea before retiring to your cozy bathtub. When it comes to finding a home away from home in London, what more could you ask for? —Liam Hess, living editor
One of the true grande dames of the city’s hotel scene, The Berkeley’s blend of old-school hospitality with a few contemporary twists—and an impressive ability to wear its illustrious history lightly—means it firmly occupies a place at the top of any list of five-star London stays. Step through the sleek glass and steel entryway designed by starchitect Richard Rogers, and head down one of its rabbit-warren corridors to find the elegantly-proportioned Blue Bar or the cozy snug area of the Berkeley Bar with its playful, hand-painted murals, or simply make a beeline for the bright, airy café to enjoy one of the city’s most popular (and deservedly so) afternoon teas. If you’re looking for a serious treat, however, book yourself in for one of the spectacular counter service tasting menus of wildly intricate pastries and cakes courtesy of the award-winning pâtissier Cédric Grolet. As far as the hotel’s 190 individually-designed accommodations go, with its minimalist, quietly luxurious design scheme, there isn’t a bad room in the house. Arguably the greatest star attraction, however? That would be the breathtaking rooftop pool, with its expansive views across Hyde Park and the Thames. Despite the popular perception of London as a land of drizzly skies and pea-soup fog, when the summer months roll around, the ability to take a cooling dip on a hot afternoon offers a little slice of paradise. —L.H.