Secret gardens and seductive suites: London's most romantic hotels to fall in love with

Telegraph Travel
Bingham Riverhouse's most prized feature is the lawn leading to the Thames’s towpath and peaceful river beyond - Barney James / Timeless Pictures

To stay in one of London's most romantic hotels is to be treated like royalty: the experience should be spoiling, with service that makes you feel as though you're the only one staying, flower-filled foyers that dazzle you the moment you step through the doors – held open by a white-gloved concierge who welcomes you in and takes your bags, and beautifully appointed bedrooms with sumptuous beds that entice you to cancel your plans and order room service all day.

Then there are the restaurants, some intimate with small menus that stay with you forever; others Michelin-starred, an event in itself. Cosseting spas, dimly lit bars, terraces with views over famous London landmarks and specially crafted excursions will undoubtedly complete the experience, but if all you want is to spend time with your partner, you have everything you need at the drop of a hat, the touch of a button, the flick of a switch. Because that's what sets these hotels apart, and makes your stay a truly romantic one. 

The Rookery Hotel, London

The Rookery

The City, London, England

8Telegraph expert rating

Walking through the The Rookery's deliciously dark and shadowy warren of rooms is like stepping back in time to 500 years ago, its raffish character accentuated with creaky floors, rickety door frames and Georgian period features (look closely and you'll see original wormed beams, stonework and even warped gates). Open fires, antiquated furnishings and carved-oak four-poster beds rub up against dark-wood walls, thick red-silk drapes and gold-leaf-gilded oil paintings. It is neither hip, flashy nor trendy, but as rich in personality as it is romantic in mystery. The Rook’s Nest is the one to splurge on, a penthouse suite spread out over two storeys. Read expert review From £155 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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The Henrietta Hotel, London

The Henrietta Hotel

Covent Garden, London, England

8Telegraph expert rating

This 18-bedroom boutique address, on one of Covent Garden’s most attractive streets, is owned and run by the Paris-based Experimental Group, with a cocktail bar, Hot shot London chef Ollie Dabbous’ restaurant and quirky interior design by Dorothée Meilichzon. The food is delicious – clean, clever and uncomplicated – with highlights that might include the sheeps’ milk curds with pistachio, beef tartare with nasturtium and rye, and wonderful freshly baked warm madeleines with Chantilly cream. Rooms are a mix of styles, mixing mirror with fabric, old-fashioned bathrooms with black and white tiles on the floors and plenty of retro touches. Read expert review From £240 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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The Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

Marylebone, London, England

8Telegraph expert rating

Modelled on Sir John Soane’s museum in London, the interiors are clubby and intimate, with dark walls and a decadent, clandestine atmosphere. Reception shares space with a blood-red cocktail lounge (also used as a breakfast room), Seymour’s Parlour, a collector’s paradise: glass-fronted display cabinets, antique clocks, old school photos, miniature bottles, pieces of architrave and architectural prints. Rooms are of the same, self-consciously eccentric style. Top pick for a splurge is Lear’s Loft (poet Edward Lear once lived at this address) with its open-air, roof-top bath. Read expert review From £251 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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The Franklin Hotel, Knightsbridge, London

The Franklin Hotel

Knightsbridge, London, England

8Telegraph expert rating

The 35-room hotel, designed by Anouska Hempel, is tucked away in exclusive Egerton Gardens. The sense of staying somewhere hidden and intimate is enhanced by the carefully crafted dark, moody, mirrored (walls, picture frames, even beds) and sexy-sophisticated interiors. There are outdoor terraces, a bar, library and hammam. All the rooms come with 400-threadcount Frette bedlinen, oak floors and elegant, wrought iron, four-poster beds, mirrored furniture lined with shagreen, Penhaligon’s products and thick, fluffy towels. Like the ground floor, they are dark, moody and sexy-sophisticated. Read expert review From £270 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Rosewood, London

Rosewood London

Holborn, London, England

9Telegraph expert rating

This flamboyant Belle Epoque Edwardian building has rare and lovely marble panels and pillars, Cuban mahogany and French walnut fittings. Rooms are spacious, with big comfy beds, two armchairs and a table and big marble bathrooms have lots of mirrored surfaces; possibly a double-ended sunken tub as well as a huge walk-in rain shower. The Sense spa is a soothing space; a warren of black slate with a relaxation room, sauna and steam facilities in changing rooms, plus treatment rooms. Be sure to visit the atmospheric Scarfes Bar for a pre- or postprandial cocktail, and if you're lucky, some live jazz. Read expert review From £379 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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The Berkeley, London

The Berkeley Hotel

Knightsbridge, London, England

8Telegraph expert rating

A modern-day classic. The seventh-floor spa is an English country garden high above the city. The most atmospheric room by far is The Blue Bar, designed by the late David Collins – the walls are painted in a mix made up from 50 shades of the colour, entitled ‘Lutyens Blue’, named after the original panelled walls designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Service is of the highest order. Top-hatted doorman wish you a good morning; turndown service happens like magic; the waiters in Koffman’s – at all hours of the day – remind you what good restaurant service should be. Facilities are excellent for a central London hotel. Read expert review From £480 per night Check availability Rates provided by

The best hotels in Knightsbridge

Blakes, London. England

Blakes Hotel

Kensington, London, England

6Telegraph expert rating

A rococo townhouse in the middle of Kensington that has held the title of London’s first boutique hotel since it opened in 1978. Anouska Hempel’s vibey décor still sets the standard for boutique hoteliering today, with glamorous and romantic bedrooms that realise dreams of far-off places. The Corfu Suite, which is evocative of Provence or even Greece, is popular with honeymooners: white linens, gossamer nets on the four-poster bed, mother of pearl furniture and trompe l’oeil walls. Read expert review From £245 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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The Bingham, London, United Kingdom

Bingham Riverhouse

Richmond, London, England

9Telegraph expert rating

On the banks of the River Thames, the Bingham is boutique and homely in every sense – even the staff feel like extended family. The property began life as two Georgian townhouses in the mid-18th century and was rented by Lady Ann Bingham (whose sister married the first Earl of Spencer) before aunt and niece Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper occupied it between 1899-1914, whence it became something of a literary hub. The pair, who were also passionate lovers, spent their days writing poetry and plays under the pseudonym Michael Field, alongside entertaining other verse-makers such as William Butler Yeats with gluttonous afternoon teas. Read expert review From £121 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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Claridge's, London, England


Mayfair, London, England

9Telegraph expert rating

This is a hotel with impeccable pedigree that has long been a favourite stop for aristocrats, statesmen, film stars and supermodels. All rooms are unique and come with comfort levels that encourage one to immediately hang up the “Do Not Disturb” sign. Claridge’s Bar attracts a buzzy crowd, while the snug Fumoir is a 1930s jewel-box bar with original Lalique glass panels. Davies and Brook overseen by chef Daniel Humm offers British cuisine with international influence – presented exquisitely. Read expert review From £660 per night Check availability Rates provided by

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