Where to stay in London: 10 places you can’t miss

By Lachlan Probyn,

Have you ever wondered where to stay in London, but didn’t know your Oxford Circus from your Hackney Central? With its pulsating energy and world-class attractions, finding the perfect place to sleep in London can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we’ve made your experience that little bit easier…

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Whether you’re hoping to brush shoulders with British royalty near Buckingham Palace, or you’d rather hang with the hipsters in Dalston, we’ve scouted some of the coolest spots to stay in London. And the best bit? Rather than struggling to find somewhere, you can save your time for a session of afternoon pints at the pub – jolly good!

The Hoxton – Shoreditch

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There’s no denying it, East London is where it’s at. Over the past 20 years, Shoreditch has witnessed mass gentrification, with the district now home to the city’s coolest flock of coffee-drinking, rave-dancing revellers. If you’d like to dip your toe in London’s enclave of cool, book a night at The Hoxton.

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Each of the 210 bedrooms is cleverly designed using a minimalist palette of black and white, with splashes of colour for that necessary touch of pizzazz. A bespoke, pressed-leather headboard and quality linen ensure a good night’s sleep, while a walk-in rainfall showerhead guarantees the ideal start to any morning.

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And the best bit? You don’t need to worry about looking refreshed for others at the breakfast buffet downstairs, as your morning tucker is delivered directly to your room in a bag! Think OJ, a granola pot, and fruit. If you’d rather sample the borough’s vibrant brunch scene instead, head to nearby The Breakfast Club and start your day with a hefty stack of pancakes with maple syrup. Plain yum!

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Z Victoria – Buckingham Palace

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Fancy brushing up against some British royalty beside Buckingham Palace? Take a selfie during the changing of the guards, salute Mrs. Queen E with a wave, then retreat to your über-stylish room at nearby Z Victoria. Located in the vibrant district of Victoria, just south of Buckingham Palace, this hotel boasts a location that’s truly fit for a Queen.

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Feel like royalty in your industrial-chic room, which is dressed in subtle charcoal, chocolate, and white tones. Recline on your bespoke and hand-crafted bed, and catch up on the local BBC news from your very own HD flat-screen TV. Before round two of sightseeing, be sure to freshen up in the glass ensuite shower room, which comes with dreamy complimentary toiletries. If you fancy getting your inner posh on, head down to the hotel restaurant, and make use of the free wine and cheese every evening from 5pm-8pm. Quite simply, a life of royalty at a fraction of the price!

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Qbic – London City

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Calling all history buffs! Does your idea of a trip to London involve going ‘oh so British’ by grabbing a selfie outside Tower Bridge and getting glamourous beside the Crown Jewels of England in the Tower of London? Not too far away, you can shack up at Qbic London – one of the city’s edgiest hotels.

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Rooms are bold in design, pairing timber furnishings with vibrant colours and patterns – think canary yellow feature walls alongside candy-striped carpets and cushions.  Lather yourself in chemical free, Stop The Water While Using Me bathroom amenities in your dreamy rain shower, then glam up in front of your steam-free mirror before your night on the town.

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The Qbic Bar + Kitchen offers meals throughout the day, offering modern takes on classic British dishes including scotch eggs and pressed pork belly with cider vinegar. Too tame? You’ll be pleased to know a robust drinks menu is also available, with ALL cocktails eight quid. For anyone recently separated, the ‘heartbroken spritz’ for him or for her is the perfect choice to remedy the soul for a night.

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Kip Hotel – Hackney

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Kip gives East London that extra dosage of cool! If you thought you couldn’t get any edgier than the likes of London Fields, think again. Kip Hotel has certainly upped the ‘too cool for school ante’ with its industrial chic aesthetic of clean lines and black and white tones. Housed in a warehouse-style building, accommodation is contemporary and minimalist, offering single, twin, and double options.

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If you’d rather cook up a storm at home, the studio rooms feature fully-equipped kitchens, meaning you can save your dough for an ‘oh so necessary’ cocktail at one of Hackney’s nearby bars. Our pick? The Bonneville Tavern of course! Just a short walk through the St John-at-Hackney Churchyard, The Bonneville has become a favourite watering hole for locals, serving a delicious mix of cocktails behind the rustic-style bar. For a touch of frivolity, go for the Shi Shi Bonne Bonne, which comes with lime juice, sugar, and prosecco. Très bon!

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CitizenM London Bankside – Southbank

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Situated a short 10-minute walk from Tate Modern, it only seems natural that CitizenM boasts a strong focus on contemporary art and modern design. The 192 luxurious rooms are appointed with state-of-the-art features, including an XL king-sized bed, wall-to-wall windows, and a dreamy rainfall shower to recharge in.

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To help get over the jetlag, CitizenM has created customised citizenAM and citizenPM shower gels and shampoo which have been created with the collaboration of those responsible for other high-end brands such as Comme des Garçons and Viktor & Rolf.

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As soon as you enter CitizenM, you’ll feel straight at home thanks to the lobby which is meant to simulate a lounge room. Appointed with the latest collection of Vitra furniture as well as several Mac computers, you won’t want to be leaving this haven any time soon!  If you’d rather ditch the screen for a piece of prose, peruse the extensive library, which is curated by the world’s best book shop, MENDO.

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The Wellington – Big Ben

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Ever thought about spending a night in a traditional British pub? At The Wellington you can do just that! This all-in-one pub and hotel blends two perfect elements for the ideal trip to London – a place to sip a typical pint, and a comfortable haven in which to crash. Just a stone’s throw away from London’s iconic Big Ben, the bell will likely be your very own alarm clock in the morning!

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If you thought staying in a typical pub couldn’t get any more British, think again! The Wellington offers rooms which are decorated in a cliché London aesthetic. Snuggle up on your ‘underground’ printed cushion, and appreciate stunning black and white photo feature walls of the London Eye and houses of parliament. For those wanting to be about as glam as Ms. Kate Moss, go for the luxury double, which comes with a flat-screen TV, private ensuite, and hairdryer. After a dreamy slumber, kick start your morning with the complimentary full English breakfast served in Fuller’s Kitchen downstairs.

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Generator London – Kings Cross

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If convenience is key, you can’t get much better than the Generator London. Wedged between Kings Cross and Euston, the hostel is housed in a former police station, but don’t despair, this place has well and truly evolved from its tame and orderly past. Dormitory-style accommodation is available, offering up to 12-person occupancy, but if you’d prefer to keep things intimate go for either the twin or double rooms.

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London arguably has one of the best club scenes in the world, but if you’d rather ‘take it easy’, the in-house bar heaves every night and features its very own dance floor to cut some moves on. Get a piece of typical London culture in the Red Routemaster Bus, positioned next to the bar, and mingle with fellow comrades for the night. For all those wizards out there, you’ll be pleased to know Generator London is just a hop, skip, and a fireplace ride away from King Cross’ platform 9¾. Here, you can also find daily bus services to Warner Bros.’ mystical Harry Potter World.

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SoHostel – Oxford Street

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Oxford Street is known for many things: Selfridges, John Lewis, Topshop, and so much more. For all those die-hard shoppers, this is THE street to get decked out in some true-blue Brit fashion. As tempting as a 50% off sale is, we all know every shopper needs their beauty sleep. Fortunately, you can get just that at SoHostel. Perfectly positioned in a backstreet of Soho, and just a shopping bag away from pulsating Oxford Street, SoHostel puts convenience at the heart of the guest experience.

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Offering ‘style on a budget’ accommodation, dorms come with lockers, bed linen, and shared toilet and shower facilities. If you’d rather spend your time mingling with fellow guests, head down to the colourful bar-lounge and feast on freshly cooked food from the menu. For all those glam queens looking for a night on the town, you’ll be pleased to know SoHostel also has its very own Pamper Room, fitted with Hollywood style mirrors and professional hair dryers.

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York & Albany – Camden

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For Amy Winehouse to have made Camden her borough of choice, it must be good. Brimming with an incomparable music scene, this is the hood for all those head-banging music aficionados. If you’ve scuffed your shoes on one too many dance floors for the night, and you’re looking for a serene and elegant place to unwind, York & Albany is your safest bet.

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The brainchild of internationally revered (and feared) Chef, Gordon Ramsay, York & Albany is a restaurant and hotel that evokes all the skill and attention to detail we would expect from the famous Brit. Offering a total of nine rooms and suites, you can expect a boutique experience from start to finish.

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Period antique furnishings and lavish fabrics add a warm touch to the rooms, while all the necessary mod cons guarantee a convenient stay. Gone are the days of cramming a mini hairdryer into your oversized suitcase as bathrooms offer ghd hair dryers and straighteners to ensure you’ll fit in with the fashionable Camden crowd! Now all that’s left to organise is which local gig to see and the night is complete!

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Henley House Hotel – Kensington

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Hyde Park is to London what Sydney Harbour is to Sydney, an iconic outdoor playground. If you fancy the idea of lapping up some London ‘sun’ for the afternoon, settle in beside locals on one of the rental deck chairs and partake in the quintessential picnic. Just a stone’s throw away from Hyde Park, you’ll find one of Kensington’s best kept secrets, Henley House Hotel.

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This quaint boutique hotel is housed in a traditional red-brick manor, and faces the picturesque Barkston Gardens. Be welcomed by a tessellated entrance, with stairs leading up under an archway, and into reception. Once settled, you can appreciate a room which is appointed with modern furnishings and period features.

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Create just the right mood with your travel companion thanks to LED and fibre optic lighting, then freshen up in your super luxe bathroom which comes with a rainfall showerhead and Gilchrist & Soames bathroom amenities. If you’re a fan of photography, you’ll appreciate the hotel’s selection of black and white photos which are produced by fledgling local and international artists.

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Are you a fan of big cities? Check out our Manhattan post to see what the Big Apple has to offer.