The best, and most memorable, hotels are reflections of the neighborhoods and cities they inhabit. But in massive cities like London, it can be tough to find the perfect fit.
Here are four neighborhoods that make great home bases in one of the greatest cities in the world—and hotels to match:
Why Here: Just as Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, and even the former industrial wilds of Stratford have morphed into hip areas, Covent Garden—yes, home to the touristed theater district and blaring street performances, but also to a rich history—is an area to watch. The neighborhood grants equal access to the Thames and the heart of the city—a rarity in London—as well as more than 20 theaters, including the Royal Opera House, within a ten-minute’s walk, making it an ideal home base for visitors.
Why Here: This charming neighborhood is brimming with canal-side cafes and pubs and puts travelers minutes away from Central London (the closest Tube station is Warwick Avenue, one stop from Paddington). Plus, where else can you take a boat to the zoo?
Why Here: This is a quiet, upscale neighborhood in the heart of Central London, with easy access to some of the city’s best-loved cultural institutions (the Victoria & Albert and Natural History museums among them) as well as South Kensington’s idyllic shop-filled streets. Plus, you’re a short stroll from Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
Why Here: Because it’s home to Colin Firth, of course! That and the fact that it’s a leafy neighborhood full of boutique shops, bakeries, and sidewalk bistros. The closest Tube stop, Turnham Green, is just three stations away from Earls Court, providing easy access to all the Central London sights.
Tip: A word to the wise from Jerramy Fine: “Don’t miss the famous breakfast on the patio downstairs and ask for a passion fruit and chili martini in the evening.”