Six spectacular hotels fit for royalty


By Jenny Southan

Journalist and founder of travel trend site Globetrender 

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May 2018

London is in no short supply of world-class hotels, many within easy reach of the capital’s most iconic royal institutions. From a palatial 19th century railway hotel to the site where the Queen reportedly once took dance lessons, we explore the hotels that guarantee a stay fit for royalty. 

Grosvenor Hotel 

The lowdown: Conveniently located by Victoria Station, the Grosvenor (part of Guoman Hotels) is just a ten-minute walk from Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence. Built in the 1860s as a great railway hotel, this four-star property has its main entrance on Buckingham Palace Road, and features regal interiors complete with white marble pillars and gold leaf decoration.

In the know… For ten weeks during the summer, as well as select dates in winter and spring, visitors can tour 19 Staterooms at Buckingham Palace, which are used for entertaining and ceremonial occasions. This season, to mark his 70th birthday, there will be a special collection of art curated by Prince Charles himself on show.

Book a stay at The Grosvenor

To celebrate the royal wedding, The Athenaeum is offering a Royal Afternoon Tea featuring the late Queen Mother’s favourite dish, eggs drumkilbo (hard boiled eggs with lobster and prawns). 

Conrad St James 

The lowdown: The Conrad is just a short distance from St James’s Park, which was, back in the 1500s, used as a hunting ground for deer by King Henry VIII. He also built a hunting lodge that is now St James’s Palace. The Conrad occupies what was, in the early 1900s, the Queen Anne’s Chambers, a former government building. Today, the hotel has 256 rooms with Nespresso machines and suites with marble bathrooms.

In the know… Conrad offers special one-hour, three-hour and five-hour tours and activities as part of its Stay Inspired programme. If you are pushed for time, opt for a stroll through the nearby Royal Park followed by a full English breakfast at the historic Wolseley grand cafe.

Find rooms at the Conrad St James

  • Check into the Conrad St James for a restorative stay, within easy reach of central London’s Royal Parks.

    Life of luxury

    Perched on the fringes of Buckingham Palace, the Conrad St James has 15 luxury suites each with access to the hotel’s sumptuous Executive Lounge. £287 pp

    Book a stay
  • Stay at this classic Edwardian hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge.

    At your service 

    Stop at Palette restaurant at The Rembrandt for a hearty, British roast with all the traditional trimmings. £209 pp

    Book a stay
  • Relax and unwind within The Ampersand’s beautifully decorated interiors.

    Victorian values 

    In a nod to the Victorian zeitgeist, rooms at the Ampersand are designed whimsically with references to astronomy, botany, music and ornithology.  £264 pp

    Book your stay

Sheraton Grand London Park Lane 

The lowdown: This palatial art deco five-star hotel on Piccadilly received a multimillion-pound renovation in 2016, ensuring its 303 guest rooms are fit for any modern-day king or queen. It’s been reported that Her Majesty herself used to come for dance lessons in the wood-panelled Tudor Rose room when she was living down the road at 145 Piccadilly, her childhood home.  

In the know…The Sheraton Grand has 43 Club rooms and suites that provide guests with access to a dedicated lounge serving free food and drink throughout the day including afternoon tea, canapés and cocktails in the evening.  

Plan your stay at the Sheraton Grand

The Athenaeum 

The lowdown: This luxury family-run hotel began its life in 1850 as the lavish home of MP Henry Hope – and when it opened to guests in the 1970s it proved a hit among visiting Hollywood celebrities, as well as local socialites and aristocracy. The property has 44 rooms facing Green Park (another of the capital’s Royal Parks) meaning any guest who checks in to one of these will enjoy a similar view those of the Queen herself at Buckingham Palace.  

In the know… To celebrate the royal wedding, the hotel is offering a Royal Afternoon Tea featuring the late Queen Mother’s favourite dish, eggs drumkilbo (hard boiled eggs with lobster and prawns).

Book a stay at The Athenaeum

  • Luxuriate in style at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane.

    Suite splendour 

    The hotel has played movie set for films including The Golden Compass, and The End of the Affair. £277 pp

    Book a stay

The Rembrandt 

The lowdown: The Rembrandt is a chic four-star hotel in wealthy Knightsbridge, just a 20-minute walk from Kensington Palace where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) live, as well as Meghan and Harry, who reside in Nottingham Cottage on the grounds. Try one of the hotel’s traditional roast lunches in honour of the younger royal couple who got engaged while (reportedly) cooking roast chicken at home.  

In the know… If you are visiting from overseas, one of the main benefits of staying at this hotel is the free use of a handy smartphone during your stay.

Plan your trip to The Rembrandt

The Ampersand Hotel

The lowdown: This beautiful Victorian property has 111 rooms inspired by botany, astronomy, geometry, ornithology and music, as nods to the nearby V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Royal Albert Hall, all in South Kensington. The world-famous concert hall was opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria – book a royal box for a taste of the high life.

In the know… Until June 19, real-life couples called Harry and Meghan can enter a competition to win a free stay at the Ampersand hotel.

Treat yourself to a stay at The Ampersand