It’s one of the biggest trends in the hotel industry — travelers are looking toward a more personalized and bespoke experience. Oftentimes, boutique properties can provide just that: a unique, yet still lavish, stay. In the past 10 years, London‘s boutique hotel sector has been booming, with dozens of new luxury boutiques opening since 2010. Here are five options that are particularly special.
It may have only opened in December 2012, but The Wellesley has already firmly established itself as one of the capital’s finest boutique hotels. Situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, this 1920s townhouse has just 36 rooms, yet each boasts exquisite Art Deco décor, cutting-edge technology (from in-room tablets to top-of-the-line TVs) and 24-hour butler service. Other impressive hotel features include the Oval Restaurant (serving exquisite Italian food), the stylish Jazz Lounge, the heated Cigar Terrace and the well-stocked Crystal Bar. There is also a Rolls-Royce to whisk guests around the city.
Opened in May 2013, this beautiful boutique property is in a five-story Georgian building in the heart of the city’s Chinatown. The upscale hotel, owned by Singapore hotelier Peng Loh, comprises 15 attractively outfitted rooms with an appealing mixture of custom-made minimalist furnishings and state-of-the-art technology. Although a relatively small space, the hotel also packs a culinary punch due to a rave-reviewed restaurant, run by acclaimed chef Tom Harris, and a classic cocktail bar.
This sleek Mayfair hotel has already received an impressive collection of accolades, including the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Rating, despite only opening two years ago. With its Art Deco style, fine Hyde Park views and divine dining options, it’s no wonder. The intimate hotel boasts just 45 rooms, each stocked with top-notch technology (iPads are loaded with hotel directories, restaurant menus and updated airline information). Don’t miss a delicious steak at CUT by Wolfgang Puck, which sits just off the two-story lobby.
While this Marylebone hotel is small, it is cozy. Owner and design director Kit Kemp gave each of the 38 rooms its own look, using bold patterned fabrics to add flair to the solid-colored-walled spaces. (For example, there’s a mod-like upholstered headboard in tan, white and red circles amid a tomato-red room.) Despite the compact accommodations, Dorset Square is family friendly; kids receive books, bathrobes and even their own toiletries, while parents have access to babysitting services.
Since it opened 18 months ago, this luxury hotel has billed itself as traditional-British-meets-bohemian-American. Certainly, each of the 85 rooms has a clearly local aesthetic (thanks to the work of interior designer and Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Tara Bernerd), while the restaurant (exposed brickwork and swift service) and bar (cocktails, jazz and Cuban cigars) have a classic American feel. Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Belgraves is a stunning property with the best location of all the new London boutiques.
Photos Courtesy of 45 Park Lane, One Leicester Street and Belgraves