Ella Fitzgerald may have loved Paris in the springtime, but for us, it’s got to be London. The parks and garden squares are in full bloom while restaurants and bars open up their terraces for alfresco drinking and dining. The longer days also mean there’s more time to squeeze in sightseeing and shopping.
The perfect springtime escape calls for a luxury hotel, and we have five favorites.
The Arch London
Afternoon tea is an essential ingredient of any visit to the city, which is why Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Arch London has created a special Weekend Break package that includes the classic treat.
This boutique hotel, located within a converted townhouse just around the corner from the marble monument that inspired its name, serves a daily Champagne Afternoon Tea in both the Martini Library and the chic Salon de Champagne. It’s a wonderful pick-me-up following a morning of shopping for your new warm-weather wardrobe in nearby Marylebone and Mayfair.
COMO Metropolitan London
Nestled between sprawling Hyde Park to the west and the more petite — but no less charming — St James’s Park to the east, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star COMO Metropolitan London is the ideal choice for visitors eager to make the most of the city’s green spaces.
Being so close to nature is rejuvenating in itself, but the hotel’s Body, Mind and Spirit package takes that experience to the next level, offering sessions with alternative healers, stress management consultants, personal trainers and yoga teachers alongside a massage at the COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, plus bed-and-breakfast accommodations.
Each of the hotel’s 144 rooms and suites — many of which boast park views — are flooded with light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and bright, clean interior décor schemes, further enhancing the feeling of getting back to what really matters at this time of year.
Hotel Café Royal
Spring clean your look with the Royal Shopping Experience package at the Four-Star Hotel Café Royal. Over the course of a two-night stay in one of the hotel’s strikingly modern superior guest rooms, you’ll be treated to a private tour of iconic department store Liberty, which dates back to 1875. The luxurious retailer is best known for its fabric, of course, but it also sells gorgeous homewares as well as men’s and womenswear, making it the ideal first stop for those looking to reinvigorate their homes and wardrobes.
The hotel’s package also comes with a trip to luxury leather goods merchant Smythson of Bond Street, a wine tasting at Berry Bros & Rudd and the 23 Carat Gold Hammam treatment at the hotel’s spa, the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre. You’ll return from your break refreshed in more ways than one.
Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel
The British capital is packed with activities for families to enjoy during the season, from boating on the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park to Up at the O2, where you climb over the top of the huge Greenwich arena to take in a bird’s-eye view of London.
But just because you’re traveling with the kids doesn’t mean you need to settle for anything less than luxurious. The Family Suite package from Four-Star Brown’s, London’s oldest hotel, includes a complimentary interconnecting or adjacent room for two children, breakfast, gratis and discounted meals for the kiddos, plus all the usual little extras you’d expect from a suite stay in an establishment of this caliber.
COMO The Halkin, London
The Chelsea Flower Show is one of the biggest events on London’s spring calendar, but with tickets hard to come by so close to the celebration (May 23 to 27), many flower-loving visitors to the capital will need to get their fix elsewhere.
Fortunately, Belgravia in Bloom, a local festival created to coincide with Chelsea, is taking place from May 22 through 27. Businesses and residents are presenting floral displays on a theme of children’s books, and Four-Star COMO The Halkin is getting in on the fun with a special Paddington Bear family package celebrating the event (available through June 30).
Groups staying in two-bedroom suites or interconnecting rooms will find themselves in the cheery company of this London explorer, with Paddington scrapbooks and pens, elevenses featuring housemade marmalade cake, and warm cookies and milk for evening movie watching.
Also available (but not part of the package) is a flower-inspired afternoon tea that includes floral-themed desserts and cocktails by Sipsmith London gin.