This art deco legend sits on the corner of Brook Street and Davies Street in Mayfair. It was once the London home of stars including Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, and has hosted so many guests of the royal family that it is sometimes referred to “an annexe of Buckingham Palace.”
Claridges is now famous for its giant Christmas tree, found in the hotel’s lobby from mid-November. The tree is created by a different famous designer every year and has come to symbolise the start of Christmas in London as much as Oxford Street’s Christmas lights.
Home to more than one urban legend, the Portobello Hotel is a Notting Hill stalwart. Kate Moss and Jonny Depp once took a joint champagne bath in one of just 24 rooms that make up this boutique hotel, and Tina Turner was so taken with it that she bought a house right next door. Alice Cooper is also rumoured to have kept his snake in the bath.
Now a household name, The Ritz was the first hotel in London to have bathrooms in every guest room. It has hosted royals and stars from Edward II to Charlie Chaplin, but is usually recognised for its legendary afternoon tea. It was also the setting for one of the most famous scenes in Richard Curtis’ Notting Hill. Actress Anna (Julia Roberts) invites bookseller William (Hugh Grant) to visit her at The Ritz while she carries out press interviews in a huge suite overlooking St James’ Park.
The Langham London
The exterior of The Langham hotel in Portland Place doubled as St Petersburg's Grand Hotel Europe in GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as James Bond. The GoldenEye team merely added a Russian flag to transport the Langham to St Petersburg, but had to use sets for interior shots.
The Cumberland Hotel
Jimi Hendrix used The Cumberland as a bolt-hole in the 1970’s and it’s even listed as his place of residence on his death certificate. The hotel created a Jimi Hendrix Suite on the 40th anniversary of his death in 2010. While this this isn’t the room that Hendrix actually stayed in, it does boast some psychedelic wallpaper and a reproduction of his white Flying V guitar.
The Savoy reopened at the end of 2010 after a £100 million restoration. But back in the hotel’s heyday, The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Humphrey Bogart were regular visitors. The hotel has a famous solution for the bad luck associated with a table of thirteen; a two-foot tall statue of a black cat, named Kaspar, makes up the fourteenth place. Winston Churchill became incredible fond of Kaspar, insisting that the statue join every meeting of his political supper club called The Other Club. Kaspar has been at each fortnightly meeting, which is always held at The Savoy, since 1927.
The Royal Horseguards
The Royal Horseguards hotel has featured in a number of famous films over the last 30 years. Its long dark corridors were turned into hospital corridors in David Lynch’s the Elephant Man, and Ralph Fiennes’ British diplomat Justin met with Bill Nighy’s crooked Foreign Office head following the death of his wife (Rachel Weisz) in The Constant Gardner in the hotel’s smoking room.
The Park Lane Hotel
The art deco Park Lane Hotel overlooks Green Park in Mayfair. It has been used in a number of well-known films. Director Neil Jordan used the hotel’s glitzy bar in his 1999 film adaptation of Graham Greene’s the End of the Affair, and his 1986 movie Mona Lisa. The silver bar also doubled as an ocean liner ballroom in 2008’s Brideshead Revisited.
With its impressive view of Hyde Park, the Lancaster is Charlie Croker’s second post-jail stop in the 1969 Italian Job, with the first, of course, being to his tailor. Played by Michael Caine in the cult classic, Croker is driven to the hotel by his girlfriend and offered the choice of a number of scantily clad women. He chooses “everything.” Later, in another Lancaster room, Croker seduces his way out of a sticky situation after a bereaved widow holds him at gunpoint, and agrees to take on the film’s titular heist.
St Pancras Renaissance London
After a £10 million project to restore its exterior in the 1990’s, the St Pancras Renaissance building’s famous staircase featured in the Spice Girls “Wannabe” video in 1996. The hotel’s main staircase has remained an iconic feature of the building since Queen Victoria opened the hotel as The Midland Grand in 1873.
Sitting on the eastern edge of Hyde Park, The Dorchester has been a haunt of famous writers, such as Cecil Day Lewis and Ernest Hemingway, since it opened in 1931. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton also spent their honeymoon in the hotel’s Oliver Messel suite in 1964. Prince Philip held his stag night at the hotel – an important event that The Dorchester has commemorated with a special plaque. Despite being modernised, the hotel still retains much of its 1930’s furnishings.
Brown’s was London’s first ever hotel, opening its doors in 1837. Celebrated Victorian writers Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, JM Barrie and Bram Stoker were all regular visitors. Rudyard Kipling penned the Jungle Book here, and Agatha Christie is later thought to have based Bertram's Hotel in At Bertram's Hotel on Brown’s. Now the hotel is famous for its award-winning afternoon tea.