Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in London

A grand metropolis and one of the world’s greatest cities, London is an eclectic mix of many different cultures and powerful music, art and design scenes. Sometimes gritty, but with many pockets of true originality, quirkiness and English eccentricity – the city doesn’t tend to disappoint its many visitors. As well as being huge London fans we’re also very proud to call the city home, so after many hours exploring the UK capital we have selected our collective favourite unique and trendy London hotels – in no particular order – that reflect the city’s taste for the original, the extraordinary and the impeccably designed…

Qbic Hotel London City – cool cuboids rule

If you’ve found your usual hotel stays to be a little on the dull side well sleeping in a ‘Cubi’ is the perfect antidote! The long awaited Qbic Hotel has arrived in London hot on the heels of the popular Amsterdam original and turns a budget stay into a seriously fun and funky London hotel experience. What’s a Cubi you may ask? Well the sleek and cute looking cuboid ergonomically designed sleeping station comes with a comfortable bed and a 32-inch flat screen TV handily attached. Rooms also feature a modern shower room, black-out curtains and handy sound-proofing to ensure an undisturbed night’s sleep. During our stay we found ourselves based in the very in-vogue areas of Brick Lane and Shoreditch where we could get amongst all the hip cafés, bars and restaurants. Oh and it’s also the greenest hotel in London so we also stayed here completely guilt free – could this place get any better..?

CitizenM Hotel – fun, funky and full of colour

A chain hotel like no other this, this hugely popular Dutch hotel group brings its own brand of affordable luxury to London…and what a brand it is! Combining trailblazing technology, an easy-going atmosphere and a quirky, colourful contemporary design you’ll never want to stay in a bland chain hotel again. We entered the front doors at CitizenM and checked ourselves in at modern terminals where affable staff were on hand if we happened to press the wrong buttons. Next we spotted a huge photograph of Andy Warhol, Penguin paperbacks, one or two skulls, some nudity and a pretty outdoor space. Eclectic indeed. In our bedroom we found ourselves immersed in slightly futuristic surroundings, slumped on the huge comfy bed, gazed at the city views from the floor to ceiling windows and then played around with our very own MoodPad – a touch-screen device which controls the room’s impressive array of electronics. Like us, you’ll probably never want to leave.

The Hoxton Hotel – urban country lodge

With a funky urban lodge style – think open fireplaces, classic leather furniture, exposed brickwork and the occasional faux moose head – the much loved Hoxton Hotel epitomises the trendy urban cool of Hoxton itself but with surprisingly competitive prices. The ethos is simple: the rooms are a base from which to work and play in this exciting part of the city and the hotel rooms are stylish, intentionally fuss-free and functional – but always with a canny and playful eye on design, our room for example had a Shoreditch-inspired bicycle emblazoned on the wall. When we woke we found a small brown paper bag filled with breakfast treats left outside the door and other lovely touches included plush linens, zingy toiletries and a rain shower in the bathroom. Oh and that’s not forgetting the complimentary Wi-Fi is and an hour’s worth of local phone calls, for London that’s not bad at all!

  • Prices from £120 a night – to get the best prices though book at least 8 weeks in advance.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Hoxton Hotel

Church Street Hotel – a slice of Havana heaven

Unusual hotels London

The new owners of this wonderful budget hotel transformed a run down bed and breakfast into unique London boutique hotel adorned with striking Mexican tiles, colourful painted furniture, Spanish-American religious art and more than a handful of sugar skills. The end result is something really quite special but amazingly it comes without the huge London designer price tag. The Church Street Hotel is located in an up-and-coming South London neighbourhood and as well as benefiting from the colourful and delightfully kitsch decor we also found ourselves being very warmly welcomed – the owner’s seem to really value their guests here. Other cute personal touches include a cigar box containing Green and Black’s chocolate chocolate, a complimentary jar of hot sauce and lovingly made organic breakfasts. A slice of Havana heaven in Camberwell!

The Andaz – sleek modern meets ornate historical

If you’re wondering where many an A-lister stays while they’re in town, then look no further than the seriously stylish Andaz, a place often cited as one of the world’s best hotels. Housed in historical red brick Victorian building in Liverpool Street (which shared the same architect as the Houses of Parliament) the Andaz combines sumptuous modern designs with ornate historical features and that’s not forgetting their city-wide reputation for impeccable and personal customer service. Enter through the doors and affable staff will greet you and check you in with an iPad while you’re offered everything your travelled stomach desires. Then head up to your contemporary minimalistic rooms to find a flat screen TV, an iPod dock, a deep eco-friendly bath and a healthy organic mini bar so you can gorge yourself to your heart’s content completely guilt-free. Oh and if you throw in seven excellent restaurants and bars and complimentary 24 hour access to the Andaz Health Club then it’s no wonder celebrities like Beyonce and Lil Kim are such huge fans!

  • Prices from £170 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Andaz

The Pavilion Rock & Roll Hotel – flamboyant kitsch

Quirky hotel in London

If you have an artistic bent of mind, then you are going to love the Pavilion Fashion Rock’n’Roll Hotel. There are 30 rooms in total and each one is individually themed in their funky, bold and kitsch signature style – you can choose from everything from the seventies inspired “Honky Tonk Afro Room” to the Hollywood star homage “Monochrome Marilyn”. The brother and sister owners are actually very well connected with the fashion world, and models and celebrities visit the place pretty frequently but amazingly the staff were still very friendly and down to earth. Although arguably the best thing about this funky hotel is that it has a fabulous central location for very reasonable prices…and of course that you might just bump into your favourite celebrity during your stay!

K West Hotel and Spa – fashionable urban retreat

This cool celebrity haunt of a hotel is located in up and coming Shepherd’s Bush, not too far from the popular shopping behemoth Westfields. The former BBC office turned luxurious 4-star hotel has a huge striking glass fronted exterior which you really wouldn’t be able to miss. Thanks to its close proximity to nearby music, film and TV studios, many an A-list celebrity has also passed through its doors and partied in the K West Hotel lounge bar. Once inside you’ll find yourself in a world of chic contemporary interiors, spacious rooms with lots of mod cons, fine dining and crowd-drawing DJ nights. Although I think it’s arguably the spa which makes this hotel really stand out – as well as all the usual facilities, it features a hydrotherapy pool and London’s first ‘Snow Paradise‘ a cabin reminiscent of a snow drift which is chilled to an immune boosting -15*C which was seriously freezing but yet still somehow managed to be a fun experience, weird! 

Twenty Nevern Square Hotel – exotic boutique

This immaculate and unique London boutique hotel flanks the tranquil gardens of Nevern Square in the highly fashionable area of Kensington/Earls Court. Housed in beautifully restored Victorian town house with hints of Far Eastern exoticism and lashings of a modern-colonial style, the well-travelled owner of Twenty Nevern Square Hotel has captured his fondness for all things far flung and neatly packaged it into this real gem of a hotel. It’s honestly about as far away from a sterile chain hotel as you can get with sleek marble bathrooms, elaborately carved four-posters, rich red drapes and dark wicker furniture (as well as all the usual mod cons). Patios and a bright airy conservatory also make the most of the peaceful, green surroundings.

Myhotel Bloomsbury – all very zen

Myhotel Bloombury is a hip boutique hotel which offers a sumptuous zen-like sanctuary so you can escape all the city hassles as soon as you enter the front door. Occupying a classic Georgian townhouse on a the corner of a fine Bloomsbury terrace you’ll ideally be placed for brainy London and fashionable Fitzrovia but only be a short distance from Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus and Covent Garden too if you fancy a bit of gratuitous shopping. Inside calming feng shui-designed rooms adorned with a mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings with touches of leather, suede and silk (as well as all the usual mod cons, including free WiFi) await you. Apartment style accommodation, an onsite treatment suite and even a bakery is also available on site. Cute touches indeed!

Artist Residence – sassy, individual & very creative

If you are artistically inclined, then like me you’ll be seriously charmed by the Artist Residence. Located in lovely Pimlico the whole trendy London hotel exudes an eclectic but homely luxury. The innovative owners have had their favourite urban, graphic and street artists decorate each of the ten rooms and the result is a very impressive collection of creative and colourful bedrooms. All are genuinely different from one another and are filled with rescued and repurposed furniture – think distressed-wood surfaces, hand-crafted beds and tea chests for bedside tables – and even the smallest rooms are adorned with original art. Heading down to the basement we found a New York speakeasy inspired cocktail bar serving up artistic drink delights such as Edvard Munch “The Scream” and Andy Warhol “Campbell’s Tomato Soup.” The Artist Residence is a place which breaks all rules, which in our book is just fabulous! 

  • Prices from £120 per night
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Artist Residence

M by Montcalm – modern techie heaven

A tech geek or just a fan of all things shiny, modern and eh.. gadgety? If so then M by Montclam which soars above London’s Tech City and the endless wonders of trendy Shoreditch is London’s newest – and already very popular – modern luxury hotel. Outside, the venue serves as a new architecturally praised landmark in London’s skyline and inside the interiors are not unlike something out of a 1970s science fiction movie – very retro modern, with lots of lashings of monochrome, free-hanging light installations and LED illuminated corridors. As well as good sized rooms, an indoor pool, spa and sauna and a 17th-floor restaurant, the hip London hotel prides itself on being ultra high-tech, so expect gadgetry galore. If you think all this would come at a huge cost, well the reasonable rooms rates might just leave you very surprised…

  • Prices from £118 per night
  • To book, check prices or availability for M by Montclam

Bailey’s Hotel – quintessential English elegance

Housed in a beautifully ornate 1876 Victorian townhouse, this immaculately presented London hotel really does manage to conjure up a quintessentially English, old-world charm. With a sweeping staircase, intricate stonework and stained glass windows, The Bailey’s Hotel prides itself on its chic but characterful design. Its location is suitably plush too and boasts a fashionable South Kensington address as well as easy access to Hyde Park, the Royal Albert Hall, and Kensington Palace. The onsite restaurant serves up fine Italian cuisine and the trendy bar offers both cocktails and afternoon teas. Think a place like this won’t be family friendly? Think again! Kids receive free teddy bears and ice cream on arrival – a very lovely touch indeed.

The Hoxton Holborn Hotel – cool urban oasis

Hot on the heels of the popular Shoreditch original is the Hoxton Holborn – a hotel which still offers the very same signature trendy industrial chic design but with a more central location. Of course space is always limited in the city centre, but the hotel makes very clever use of it and the rooms offer both an ingenious design and thoughtful touches. Think flip-lid desks, mini-fridges, 42” Samsung TVs, free international calls and their much loved ‘Breakfast Bag’ (consisting of fruit, yoghurt and juice) delivered to your door every morning. Also on site is a restaurant serving up Brooklyn-style food in an industrial-style conservatory, a bar serving all day espressos (and cocktails by night) and even a cheeky nail salon offering manicures and pedicures – all very London cool!

  • Prices from £130 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Hoxton Holborn

The Rookery – Georgian inspired masterpiece

Immediately as I stepped inside this quirky London boutique hotel I felt like I was transported into a time of hat-tipping gents and corseted ladies. The Rookery is housed in originally separate 18th-century houses in trendy Clerkenwell and was bought and transformed by antique dealers who were instrumental in saving Spitalfields. The decor is deliciously ornate featuring antique-furnished, wood-panelled bedrooms with either a 17th-century carved oak or a Victorian four poster bed. A conservatory with an open fire and an honesty bar and the cosy garden adds to the period glamour and endearingly all 33 rooms are named after former inhabitants, so you really do feel like a guest in the Georgian home of a distinguished gentleman – just wonderful!

  • Prices from £140 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Rookery Hotel

Megaro Hotel – family friendly boutique

Megaro Hotel London

I just loved this place. The fabulous The Megaro Hotel is both reasonably priced and perfectly located for Kings Cross Station and exploring central London. On the outside I was greeted with a colourful mural emblazoned across its Victorian exterior and on the inside the rooms were clean, modern and spacious – which is sadly pretty unusual for London. It has an exclusive boutique feel about the place even though they also offer family-friendly rooms and larger apartments for longer London stays. Expect rooms to feature rain showers, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and the apartments have additional kitchens. The onsite chic restaurant and cool vintage-style bar – which specialises in fabulous cocktails – is another great reason to opt for this hotel.

  • Prices from £130 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Megaro Hotel

Ampersand Hotel – playful and chic

The Ampersand Hotel is a new modern boutique London hotel housed in a historic building which enjoys a prestigious location in South Kensington. I fell in love with its gorgeous quirky chic decor and uniquely themed rooms which have all been charmingly inspired by local landmarks – birds for the Natural History Museum, planets for the Science Museum for example. Its colourfully eclectic, French-style drawing room is also truly stunning. Other highlights included a vintage-inspired Mediterranean restaurant/cocktail bar, a wine room, a 24-hour gym, and a meeting room equipped with a handy table-tennis table. A truly gorgeous place all round!

The Generator – trendy hostel/hotel hybrid

Are you a young or a young at heart traveller on a budget? If so this trendy, modern hostel/hotel hybrid is probably one of the best bargains in town. Centrally located just a 10-minute walk from London King’s Cross train, book your accommodation and then find yourself emerged in the sociable world of The Generator. Your world will seem colourful and hip with funky reclaimed furniture, exposed brick walls contrasted with industrial modern pipework and you’re bound to meet other like minded souls. On a really tight budget? Then opt for one of the shared dorm-style rooms (with shared bathroom) or alternatively reserve one of the en suite private rooms which are perfect for travellers itching for a little more privacy. WiFi is available throughout and the Generator also boasts an onsite hip bar/restaurant, a cool cafe and even its very own cinema.

  • Prices from £30 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Generator

Rough Luxe – designer shabby chic

This is a really unique London boutique hotel which only has nine rooms offering a very intimate stay. And that’s not all – when you are inside Rough Luxe you’ll notice that the walls are peeling, the floorboards are bare and the surfaces are unfinished. It’s really quite a different feel and you probably won’t know what to think. But then you enter the rooms and you’ll be surprised to see the sumptuous expensive bed linen, designer comforts and a very unusual design. I can promise you’ll find the whole experience very unconventional and very unforgettable…

  • Prices from £130 per night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Rough Luxe

Ace Hotel – cool basement style

Fancy a little guitar playing or DJing with your overnight hotel stay? Then look no further than the Ace Hotel, perfectly positioned in the capital’s most creative area, this is one of the hippest hotels in town. The ultra trendy chain originated in New York but it’s more than a match for the Shoreditch hipsters. As soon as you step inside this trendy London hotel you’ll find minimalist decor, a playful design – with obvious design influences ranging from British punk to the Modernism of Bauhaus – vintage furniture, original artwork, a flat screen TV – with Ace video on demand – and Revo radios complete with Ace curated radio stations – we loved this eagle-eyed attention to detail! As well as a well stocked mini bar and complimentary Wi-Fi, you’ll even find some rooms with turntables and a selection of vinyl and acoustic guitars, so you can make sweet music into the night…

The Zetter – romantic retro-modern

Located in the heart of London’s trendy creative neighbourhood Clerkenwell, this contemporary boutique hotel caters to a hip design-loving crowd. Once a Victorian warehouse, now The Zetter houses 59 guest rooms individually designed in a romantic but bold retro-modern style. Other unique details include a vending machine – which ejects everything from champagne to disposable cameras – on every floor and complimentary spring water taken from the hotel’s very own 1,500ft borehole (yes really). The Zetter has also been commended on its eco-friendly ethos and dedication to providing state of the art technology in every room, a gorgeous modern hotel with a heart – unusual indeed!

  • Prices from £130 per night
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Zetter Hotel

Stylotel – funky, futuristic budget

If you are looking for a lower priced central London hotel that doesnt look and feel cheap and run down, then Stylotel is a really great option. A modern futuristic design hotel with ultra stylish rooms this place is a zillion light years away from a traditional London budget hotel. Occupying a classic Victorian townhouse in leafy Paddington, all the rooms and suites feature wow-inducing aluminium wall coverings, ceiling to floor mirrors and illuminated glass furniture. The bathrooms, flat screen Tv’s and the kitchenettes make it a perfect place for longer stays without blowing your holiday budget. I also loved the mood-lit communal area which purposefully resembles an airport lounge – quirky indeed!

  • Prices from £90 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Stylotel

No 5 Maddox Street – prestigious Mayfair beauty

Large hotels aren’t for everyone and if you’re anything like me and cherish a bit of space and privacy then No. 5 Maddox St might just be your perfect London option. It’s an exclusive, all suite hotel located in a prestigious Mayfair location and in fact has more in common with an apartment – just with a handy onsite concierge ready to attend your every whim (well almost!). Inside feels like having your own central chic London pad complete with both space (with one to three bedrooms), modern amenities and gorgeous contemporary decor. In room spa treatments are also available

  • Prices from £250 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for No. 5 Maddox St

The Hide Hotel – budget boutique chic

The Hide Hotel is one of the lower to mid range priced hotels in London and is already very popular accommodation option in the capital. It has set itself apart from other London hotels in this bracket as it actually makes an effort with the decor – expect chic and stylish boutique furnishings but without the huge designer price tag. Even though the prices are reasonable, the hotel still offers very good sized rooms, free WiFi, flat-screen TV, mini fridges (with free soft drinks), complimentary continental breakfast and because it’s located in leafy NorthWest suburb of Hendon, there’s even free parking where available – which for London is almost unheard of!

  • Prices from £90 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Hide Hotel.

More cool, unique and quirky hotels in London

London on the cheap

  • Hotel 41 – One of the most extraordinary and beautifully designed hotels in London from £350pn
  • CitizenM Shoreditch – The trendy and popular hotel brand in a hip Shoreditch location from £98pn
  • Number Sixteen Hotel – Gorgeous eclectic boutique hotel in a South Kensington from £110pn
  • The Adria Boutique Hotel – Superb modern boutique hotel located in lovely South Kensington from £170pn
  • Fox Club – Trendy boutique hotel in prestigious Mayfair location from £180pn
  • The Nadler Soho – Upscale boutique hotel housed in the 17th-century mansion that inspired Charles Dickens from £160pn
  • Regents Park Residence – Stylish family friendly apartments in central location from £90pn
  • Hazlitt’s – Beautiful boutique hotel in Soho with a plethora of romantic period features from £150pn
  • The Langham Hotel – One of the oldest grandest hotels in London, has the five star wow factor from £250pn
  • The Sumner Hotel – This immaculate central boutique hotel was voted the best small hotel in London from £180pn
  • High Road House Scandinavian inspired modern boutique hotel from £130pn
  • The Chase Lodge Hotel – Quirky historical themed hotel located near Hampton Court from 80pn
  • 6 Portbello RoadElegant boutique hotel housed in 19th century townhouse near Portobello market from £140
  • The Drayton Court Hotel – Trendy boutique hotel housed in a dramatic gothic building from £85pn
  • Hotel Xanadu – Contemporary boutique hotel in leafy Ealing from £89pn
  • Templeton Place Hotel – Polished apartment hotel set in a Victorian townhouse £160pn
  • Milestone Hotel – Seriously opulent five star hotel overlooking Kensington Palace and Gardens from £290pn
  • Citadines Trafalgar Square – Stylish and modern apartment hotel in a fabulous central location from £160
  • London Edition HotelSumptuoussophisticated hotel located in Fitzrovia from £222pn
  • Rest Up London – A funky hostel in central London from £30pn

If you liked our Cool and Unusual Hotels in London we also have the Best Budget Hotels in London, Cool Hotels in Amsterdam and Unusual Hotels in Paris

Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.


Leave a Reply