“Romance is everything.” – American writer Gertrude Stein
When it comes to romantic cities in the world, London has a huge amount to offer and is perfect for a spontaneous romantic getaway. From romantic walks, hand-in-hand, along the embankment of the River Thames, catching the sunset and watching the iconic landmarks light-up; to eating at some of the best Michelin restaurants in the world and sipping cocktails in swanky bars. If you are looking to spend an enchanted evening or a weekend of wooing with your beloved, treating yourself to a luxury five star hotel can make the occasion extra special. You probably won’t even need to leave the building to be indulged to the maximum; these hotels know how to make your time with them special.
“Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.” – French novelist and playwright, Honore de Balzac
So if you are a hopeless romantic who believes love should be celebrated all year-round; look no further than our hand-picked selection of the best five star romantic London hotels. From popping the question somewhere spectacular, to enjoying a tempestuous tryst in clandestine surroundings; maybe you are celebrating a special anniversary? Whatever way Cupid’s arrow is planning to strike, make sure you let your hotel know your plans; they are the experts at aiding amour! Book in and watch the sparks fly:
Best for: new lovers and lovers of the new
Trendy, hip and stylish – there is no doubt about it; the ME London is a sexy hotel. Still relatively new to the London hotel scene, just like any budding relationship, it feels fresh, fun and exciting. While there are tried and tested ways for getting into the intimacy zone, the fact you can set the individual mood in the room has to a major passion plus point! By selecting the Sexy button on the control panel next to the bed, you can transform your bedroom into a rainbow selection of colours to your liking – perfect for the romantic side to shine. For the more daring guests, the hotel offers a “love me tender” kit in the minibar: complete with feathers, play handcuffs and sensual kits.
“We are a hotel that focusses on the psychographic; like-minded, fashionable, somewhat eccentric and mostly individual characteristics, found not only with our guests, but the team members serving them. And don’t forget Radio, our rooftop bar, overlooking all of London, right in front of the Thames. Playing on all the senses with mood lighting, the ME scent aroma throughout the hotel and mood music playing according to the vibe in the hotel, guests don’t just stay at the ME London, they have an experience beyond accommodation“. – Ray Goertz – Director of Rooms
When it comes to the art of popping the question, the ME London has had its fair share of techniques. They’ve had the (always slightly risky) “drop the ring in the champagne glass” proposals. The hotel has even arranged for a proposal mirror message to be written in the bathroom, which the lucky lady saw as she entered the room. They have spelt out the words “Will you marry me?” in red rose petals on the bed. Another suite was filled with over a hundred lit tea candles (possibly a bit nerve-wracking for the hotel to have so many “open fires” in the room – you want to see sparks fly but possibly not literally!)
This is where the ME Aura team come into their own! It’s all about the f-word; flowers. It seems that the bigger the bouquet the better, for their creative to get to grips with. The guests also love having rose petals strewn all over the room, mixed with the red or pink mood lighting, makes it the perfect ambience for a night of passion.
Getting there: 336-337 The Strand, London, WC2R 1HA
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross Station or Temple
Best for: secluded romantic breaks
Another hotel newcomer to the London dating scene, opening in 2010, is this wonderful Boutique hotel which blends the latest technology with glamorous and understated décor. The guest rooms are so beautiful that you would never want to leave; more than ideal for a special romantic break. The beds are worth a mention as they are truly a majestic fixture in every room. Each one is handmade and the bedding is duck down duvets and pillows, pure luxury. Fancy a sensual soak – well each of the baths has a flatscreen TV built into the wall so you can watch TV or listen to music in the bath. The rooms also have an iPod docking station and internet radio so you can get the mood music going, be it Barry White, a bit of Frank Sinatra or maybe your evening will only be going in One Direction (sorry!). The Arch also has a particularly romantic restaurant, Hunter 486, which is softly lit, has an intimate ambience and glamorous décor.
Getting there: 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD
Nearest Tube: Marble Arch
Best for: rooftop romance
Boasting stunning views across some of the most iconic landmarks, this boutique hotel offers the chance to really lift love up where it belongs! Discretely romantic, the hotel overlooks Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column. In fact when it comes to romance, Horatio Nelson knew a little bit about it! The passionate affair between war hero, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton, is one of the most famous in history and scandalised polite society in the late 18th / early 19th century. So if Britain’s most famous sailor has inspired you to take some romantic risks, this hotel could be the one for you.
So did I mention the view? Sunrise and sunsets are right up there on the cupid counter – so try and get a room overlooking the square. Contemporary yet still classic, the hotel boasts a reputation for wickedly good cocktails – maybe you can ask them to mix you up a love potion! The restaurant boasts an innovative menu just perfect for sharing. But if you want to go for a romantic stroll along the river or into Covent Garden; you are just five minutes away from doing both. It has even seen some reality romance bloom, with some of the “Made in Chelsea” cast visiting the amazing roof-top bar, Vista, in last year’s series.
When it comes to romance, it’s all about the room service. From champagne meal’s for two, to breakfast in bed and chocolate dipped strawberries, popcorn or ice-cream for a special midnight feast. With DVD players in every room, romantic movies are the order of the day – and I might be guessing, but with the location I expect the Merchant Ivory classic – “Room with a View” starring Helena Bonham-Carter, might be topping the lists!
Like most luxury hotel’s, the concierge really comes into their own on special occasions! They are constantly kept busy with last minute flower pick-up requests, chocolates and even collecting gifts from Selfridges on behalf of the guests. And guests are not above the big grand gesture all-year-round; with requests for the exclusive hire of Vista and the creation of bespoke cocktails by their head mixologist.
The hotel is popular for proposals, as well as the end product of said proposal – weddings! They are also a popular choice with celebrity couples. Just think you could be rubbing shoulders with the great and the good including: Beverley Knight and husband James O’Keefe, Peter Andre and fiancé Emily, Sol Campbell and wife Fiona Barrett and Brian McFadden and wife Vogue.
Limited edition “cupid cocktails” for Valentine’s Day created exclusively by head mixologist and bar manager Daniel Carvalho
- Hot Cherry Lips – Enjoy a mature combination of ginger, cherry and Zinfandel wine with a hint of spice…deliciously tempting.
- Lover’s Club – This cocktail is a timely twist on a classic Clover Club cocktail but with more passion. Lover’s Club mixes fresh raspberries and lemon juice on a Gin base with subtle basil undertones and foamy egg white finish.
“This year (2014) we are opening the doors to Vista our open air rooftop bar for the very first time exclusively for Valentines. Guests can enjoy an intimate date by moonlight complete with Champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries. Just perfect for romantics and those looking for something a bit different.” Kara Monteiro, Director of Operations, The Trafalgar Hotel
Getting there:2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London SW1A 2TS
Nearest Tube:Charing Cross
Best for: courting couples
This charming hotel in charming South Kensington is right in the middle of a cultural oasis; with the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A inspiring the spectacular interior design. Fortunately the hotel celebrates the Victorian values of discovery and wonder in creating a wonderful ambience and not the periods rather repressed attitude to relationships, so there will be no disapproving looks should you start canoodling. Boasting glorious oversized velvet bedheads and plenty of pillows, you can get lost in their beds which are perfect for a luxurious evening in!
Getting there:10 Harrington Road, London SW7 3ER
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Best for: seeing love bloom
With the famous athenaeum green wall, or vertical garden, snaking up the outside of this amazing hotel; this is the place to stay and see love grow organically. With beautiful park view rooms and an intimate restaurant, it has to be a top choice for couples, especially the eco-friendly ones! If you are splashing out they have stunning roof top views from the suite.
The hotel’s intimate Whisky Bar is the perfect place for canoodling with your loved one, with its quiet corners and discrete lighting, you can whisper sweet nothings in their ear to your hearts content. And with more than 300 whiskies, if they are a fan of the dram you might score extra brownie points! They even have special couples’ packages for the Spa so you can enjoy a leisurely steam and sauna together.
If you let the hotel know you are doing something special they can do a “romantic turndown”. So if you are dining in the restaurant or out and about for the day, they can do up the room for you. You can also pre-order some champagne and chocolate-coated strawberries should the desire arise.
“The athenaeum is the perfect choice for the chic and hopelessly romantic. Our interior design is stunning, our food wonderful, and our service is impeccable; it’s perfect for lovers in London.” – Lorraine Blake, Marketing Manager
Getting there: 116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BJ
Nearest Tube: Hyde Park Corner or Green Park
Best for: the super sophisticated
The Langham, London, opened in 1865 and is Europe’s original ‘Grand Hotel’; making it the perfect setting for a bit of old-fashioned courting. This hotel has everything to facilitate l’amour. From a signature pillow menu to the signature Langham “Blissful Bed”; the heart of any romantic hotel! These beds have been developed to offer the most comfortable, refreshing and indulgent sleep. With spectacular views across London on the top floors and with complimentary access to the spa with Jacuzzi, steam rooms and a swimming pool, it shouldn’t be too difficult to create a loving mood. If you really want to splash out- then the Infinity Suite, complete with the unbelievable infinity bath, only costs a cool £12k a night.
The hotel is a popular choice for those wanting to pop the question. They once had a proposal where the boyfriend put rose petals through the hotel leading his girl to the hotel’s Rose Garden, where he was there waiting on one knee. All together now – ahhhhhh.
The hotel concierge can cover all the romantic bases, from a dozen oysters to a dozen red roses; they even organised a hot air balloon flight over the capital for one romantic die-hard.
For Valentine’s Day 2014, a special cocktail called ‘Glad I said’ was created, which is mixed with the cognac, Martell L’Or ,which would typically retail at £450 for a 50ml serve!
The “Glad I said” cocktail
- Exquisite romantic cocktail blending quintessence of cognac, Martell L’Or, with rich aromas of frankincense, bergamot and mandarin.
- Blended with gold and served in with an aromatic cloud paired with a white chocolate kiss
Getting there: 1C Portland Place, Westminster, London W1B 1JA
Nearest Tube: Oxford Street
Best for: old-school glamour and amour
King size beds, huge windows and original Victorian fireplaces make these bedrooms definitely somewhere you want to spend time a lot of time with your partner in. Some of the rooms have stunning views overlooking the Eurostar terminal in the station – a truly unique view in London. Several of the Chambers rooms also have traditional roll top baths to enjoy a sensual soak in. The hotel also now offers a Bath Ritual experience, ideal for couples spending Valentines together in Chambers at the hotel. The concept comes from the original Midland Grand Hotel (which opened in 1873 on the site), which offered a Victorian bath menu. This gave guests private use of one of the building’s five bathrooms, when normally they would just use hip baths or take a basin wash. It was considered quite the advancement to have baths at all then so now working with beauty experts, Cinq Mondes, this ritual has been brought back from the past and modernised. After consulting the Chambers Butler; you can choose from the menu’s five “Journeys” to find which is best suited to you and your partner – then it is case of just lying back and relaxing – utter bliss.
The most popular requests at the St Pancras Renaissance are for: roses, afternoon tea, champagne and spa treatments. One treatment to go for on a romantic break is the couples’ massage, which they offer in the spa in a separate treatment rooms.
We know you have to work at a relationship, but in 2013 one man managed to capture the perfect work/life balance in his proposal! He hired a meeting room and got his girlfriend’s work colleagues to pretend she had a meeting at the hotel. She was surprised to arrive to a room of flowers and her boyfriend on one knee! (Am not sure if he went so far as to do the proposal on powerpoint!)
Getting there: Euston Road, London NW1 2QR
Nearest Tube: Kings Cross! or Euston is another close option.
Best for: riverside romance
This is THE hotel to enjoy your very own Waterloo sunset, as it is just a few minutes stroll down to the river. The building itself is beautiful, especially viewed from the other side of the Thames, it really lends itself well for a romantic setting. Or if the stroll doesn’t appeal – you can just gaze out the window and view the iconic London Eye. The hotel boasts Hypnos beds, quite possibly the most comfortable beds ever! Especially the king size ones, they just seem to engulf you! They also have two river view suites which have Jacuzzi’s in them, if you fancy a relaxing soak.
The free-standing marble staircase in One Whitehall Place has meant proposals are popular, with everyone wanting to have their special day there.
Getting there: 2 Whitehall Court, Westminster, London , SW1A 2EJ
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross or Embankment.
Best for: couple’s cocktails!
When we think of love, our minds often hark back to a more romantic age. Images of black and white movie stars flicker past evoking a time when it was a straight-forward case of boy meets girl, boy loses girl; boy gets girl in the end! This is why this iconic landmark hotel is a must for any dire-hard romantic. It just oozes glamour and style and with the Adelphi Suite and Good Godfrey’s bar restored back to their elegant 1920s art deco style – this is the place to sit and sip cocktails like a film icon, We loved the cool bar so much we included it in our guide to things to do in Covent Garden!
Getting there: Aldwych, London, WC2B 4DD
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden or Temple
Best for: those looking for l’amour
Last, but by no means least, is the tres luxurious, Sofitel London St James. The French have long had a reputation as a nation of lovers, so it would be rude not to include a Gallic-influenced hotel. This neo-classical hotel is the epitome of elegance and features in many top ten best hotel lists in London. If you want to impress your loved one with an evening of sheer opulence; this is going to be a pretty safe bet. But best of all; they have the incredible MyBed. This extravagant feather bed, with special sheets, a fluffy goose down duvet and more pillows than you thought possible, is comfort like you have never experienced it before. Combined with their soft bath-robes, probably your only worry is that it might be too easy to fall asleep in. Blend this with an award-winning spa and you have the perfect romantic recipe.
All-year-round the hotel can creates a heart, made up of rose petals, on the bno woed for wedding couples, honeymooners or on request! Those enjoying anniversaries and birthdays get three romantic roses in a vase and a cake in the room with a personalised message.
Getting there: 6 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AN
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross or Piccadilly Circus
So if you are planning a special night or just looking for a romantic option for an anniversary, birthday… or maybe… just because; hopefully our hand-picked five star London hotel selection has got your pulse racing. Also we want to know where your favourite romantic hotels in London and why they made you feel so special. Let us know where cupid’s bow struck by leaving a comment below.