London’s hotels have long been much more than a simple place to rest your head, housing some of the capital’s best restaurants, top chefs, and incredible cocktail bars. Still tempted to leave your digs? Hit the last button in the lift and you might just find views over the city, sky-high swimming pools and a teensy tiny garden; these are our favourite hotels with beautiful rooftops in London.
The Hoxton Southwark and Seabird
The Hoxton’s latest opening in Southwark has cemented its place in Londoner’s hearts. While the area is abuzz with freelancers and late-night party-goers, south of the river, things are more chilled. Olive greens and framed prints set the tone for bedrooms, while rooftop space Seabird nods to NYC. Potted plants sway next to exposed brick walls, as rattan chairs come paired with painted floorboards for a boho vibe. The real draw has to be the raw bar, which houses London’s longest oyster list.
Does Shoreditch have all the best hotels and rooftop bars? Boundary is helping to solidify the area’s slick reputation with its combination of bakery, restaurant, bar, rooms and deli just off Redchurch Street. If you’re planning a stay, the boutique hotel has 17 crisp white rooms, each with individual quirks, ranging from a New York cityscape in the bathroom to the OTT suite by David Tang (think Chintz wallpaper and velvet armchairs). Schedule time for the top floor restaurant; fondue is their speciality - need we say more?
Dorsett City Hotel and Jin Bo Law
A four-star hotel the heart of the City, this chic hotel is right on the doorstep of Shoreditch and other must-see attractions. While the rooms themselves have a stripped-back coolness, it's the restaurants and bars that are worth shouting about. Get your fill of elevated British cuisine at VQ, while Shikumen Luxe will have you delving into aromatic Chinese cooking. When it comes to drinks, head to Jin Bo Law. Sitting pretty on the 14th floor, this elevated bar will have you soaking up views while grooving to an eclectic lineup of live DJs.
The Montcalm Royal London House and Aviary
Nestled between financial and creative quarters of the capital in Finsbury Square, The Montcalm Royal London House offers a sense of calm with its mid-century rooms, decorated with splashes of colour and monochromatic bathrooms. If you're feeling thirsty, you've got two incredible bars to choose from. Firstly, there's Burdock, which has a relaxed setting and shuffleboard tables. Then there's the oh-so gorgeous Aviary, home to sky-high igloos in the winter and sunny alfresco opportunities in the warmer months.
Set on the Southbank stretch, Sea Containers is inspired by 1920s Transatlantic sea travel. Head straight up to rooftop bar 12th Knot for views across some of London’s most famous sites, including St Paul’s and the Gherkin. Inside, there's plush velvet sofas for slurping your way across the globe; The Orient Express gets our vote with a blend of Silent Pool Gin, Cocchi American, Cacao Blanc and Sekforde Rum Mixer. If you’ve indulged in one too many, rest your head in a cabin-like room, where you'll be met with grey shades, golden edged mirrors and splashes of pink.
Inspired by their City of London location, Vintry & Mercer is influenced by the area's trader past, with prints of navigation maps on walls nodding to merchants. It's also thoroughly modern, using 100% renewable energy and a combined heating and power system to help the plot's environmental output. Even if you're not parking your bones for the night, Mercer Roof Terrace is well worth a visit, with its indoor-outdoor vibe, views of the Shard, and British menu with plenty of steak and seafood.
Treehouse Hotel and Madera
Treehouse Hotel is a haven for big kids who still dream of cuddling up in a snug den. Part of the world-renowned SH Hotel Group, the London plot is all about cosy spaces made from repurposed materials; chalked blackboards with handwritten messages are dotted throughout, teddy bears sit among patterned cushions and wooden pallets strung with fairy lights dominate the lobby. The stunning view across the city also lends itself to the idea of a treehouse, take in the sights at Madera, a buzzy, LA-style restaurant serving up Mexican-inspired dishes and masses of margaritas.
The Trafalgar St James and The Rooftop
Part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, Trafalgar St James has all then grandeur you'd expect from a Central London luxury hotel. While the room names take inspiration from historical and royal figures, the interiors themselves have a contrastingly urban feel to them. Combining William Morris prints with pictures of Mick Jagger, each space features high-tech amenities. And if you're looking to go out for a bit? Travel up to The Rooftop for alfresco drinking and dining while watching over Trafalgar Square.
More a pub with rooms than a hotel, The Culpeper is four floors of absolute cuteness a stone’s throw from Spitalfields Market. Start at its toes, where hanging plants and wall-to-wall sash windows create a light and airy pub; next up, a restaurant specialising in seasonal set menus. Five simple and stripped back bedrooms fill the second floor, each with fireplaces and oak headboards. At its very top, the roof has been transformed into a garden, with a firepit for chilly nights and beds of spices and flowers.
ME London and Radio Rooftop
ME London is a modern hotel with plenty to brag about. Offering a sleek space for laying down your head after a busy day, this central spot features contemporary design throughout all of its rooms. So, expect to find state-of-art technology, massive windows and private balconies that allow you to soak up the capital's skyline. That's not all though as the 10th floor totes one of London's most popular sky-high haunts, Radio Rooftop which serves breakfast, lunch or dinner and drinks, as the city acts as a photogenic backdrop.
The Standard and The Rooftop
Recognisable by its 1974 brutalist architecture, The Standard’s first hotel outside America features an array of different spaces for any kind of budget. The most desirable? The Cosy Core rooms, where terraces come adorned with outdoor baths overlooking St Pancras station. Stretched across the 11th floor is The Rooftop, a brightly coloured suntrap serving punchy cocktails and wine on tap. There's even a menu of light bites and American-style hot dogs to enjoy when hunger pangs strike.
Ham Yard Hotel
Despite its Soho location, Ham Yard Hotel has got all the charm and grandeur of a country pile. More is more at this quintessentially British space, as huge patterned headboards frame double beds and green striped wallpaper decorate the suite. This sense of fun extends to the amenities, including London’s plushest bowling alley and an onsite theatre. Upstairs, the rooftop is usually only for hotel guests, homing two beehives and a herb garden; keep an eye out on their events though, as outdoor yoga, gin tastings and cocktail sessions are open to all.
Novotel London Canary Wharf and Bōkan
Add a little luxury to your urban escape as this place features its own gym, pool and sleek rooftop restaurant with a view of London's buzzing financial area. When it comes to the rooms, expect simple spaces with a cool and calming colour palette. Feeling peckish? Venture to Bōkan, a sprawling terrace, bar and restaurant. Not only can you feast on award-winning British grub, but there's a dedicated gin menu to dive into when topping up your tan from a relaxing daybed.
After more views? Check out our list of London's best rooftops right here.