Great hotels for a London staycation

View of a London hotel room looking across the bed out of the floor to ceiling windows.

The Adagio Brentford's design takes inspiration from its urban surroundings - Credit: Aparthotels Adagio

Is the capital calling you? Then try either of these hotels with differing offers to fit the style of London stay you are looking for 

Those of us who don’t live in London often find there is more than one reason we need to visit the Big Smoke. It could be business, it could be a stop-off en route to somewhere else, it could be for sightseeing. Or it could be just to indulge in a little luxury away from it all. Or a combination of two or more of these. 

Thay myriad of reasons to want to travel to London often presents issues when I comes to choice of hotels. Thankfully, following two recent trips to the capital for very different reasons, I think I may have discovered two hotels which very much fit the bill in terms of their differing approaches. 

Looking along a windowed hotel balcony in London.

The apartments offer plenty of space for your stay. - Credit: Aparthotels Adagio

Aparthotels Adagio London Brentford 

Want all the benefits of a come-and-go-as-you-please convenient hotel room in a number of locations, but at a fabulously reasonable price? Then Aparthotels pretty much tick those boxes. 

Adagio’s innovative Aparthotel concept is growing its presence across the UK with aparthotels in London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Edinburgh. 

They offer comfortable and spacious apartments in urban locations, with fully equipped kitchen and hotels services for extended stays based on attractive tiered pricing from a fourth night onwards. The network has 105 aparthotels and 11,600 apartments worldwide targeting 150 aparthotels and 15,000 apartments by 2023. 

We needed a stopover for our trip to see the Exeter Chiefs play in the Premiership Final at Twickenham (the result of which we will swiftly gloss over!) and so we checked into Adagio London Brentford. This is such a fabulous location for those of us travelling into London from the west – just off the M3 and offering underground secure parking as part of your booking. 

The hotel’s design takes inspiration from its urban surroundings with a modern and contemporary feel. The aparthotel’s public spaces have been created to be an open area where guests can meet, share and collaborate in a welcoming and comfortable setting. The design is based on customer desire and usage, bringing a modern and flexible style available at different times of the day. 

A wooden table with modern chairs in a hotel lobby.

The lobby and lounge area of the Aparthotel Brentford offered a welcoming space. - Credit: Aparthotels Adagio

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The 100 redesigned apartments all feature a fully equipped kitchen, spacious bedroom, living area with flat screen smart TV. Guests also have access to a bar, virtual concierge, fitness centre, laundry facilities, business services and onsite parking. 

Check-in was dealt with swiftly and efficiently and it wasn’t long before we were settling into our spacious room, brewing ourselves a cuppa in the kitchen space and contemplating the rest of our day, safe in the knowledge that we had such a fabulous base for our stay.  

Don’t run away with the idea either that reasonable pricing means cheap service and standards – this hotel holds its own when it comes to looking after you, with staff more than willing to accommodate your needs and requests, including recommending a great lunchtime spot nearby for us to eat. 

After a chastening afternoon at the rugby, we just felt the need to come back, kick off our shoes and eat pizza...which is exactly what we did without feeling cooped up in a tiny room. The apartment was a real home from home for us and as we checked out the next day following breakfast provided in our room and easily headed back west on the motorway, we looked back on a trip which was a success on every level – apart from on the pitch! 

Front of the Foyer of the London Sofitel St James hotel with a bus whizzing past.

The London Sofitel St James hotel is in a fabulous central location. - Credit: Sofitel

Sofitel St James  

Finding ourselves on a return trip to London within weeks – this time for a family dinner celebration and the need for a bit of retail therapy – we found ourselves checking into the splendour and luxury of the Sofitel hotel in St James

Wow, what a delight from the moment one approaches that magnificent stone edifice a moment's walk from Picadilly Circus. Step inside away from the hustle and bustle and all is quiet, calm glamour and luxury. 

This five-star hotel has recently had an innovative redesign from renowned French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. Rochon's update to his original 2002 design is a masterpiece inspired by the creative, dynamic feel of society and culture of 1960s London, through the blending of bold British design with contemporary French elegance.  

It certainly drips luxury and comfort and, having been wowed by the warmth of our check-in, our bedroom only served to enhance those feelings of being cosseted in luxury. A fabulously designed room, with a great view over the square outside, we could have stayed inside all day! 

A blue chequered carpeted room in the London Sofitel St James hotel.

The fabulously designed room was a luxurious place to stay. - Credit: Abacapress/Pavlos Efthimiou

But shopping and dining out loomed and the Sofitel St James is brilliantly located for both, being just moments away from all the major draws. We didn’t need to stray far from our luxurious billet to enjoy the best of the capital and it was always a joy to return to the welcoming embrace of such a very special hotel. 

In truth, on the dining front, if we hadn’t been invited elsewhere already, the hotel could have served us mighty well, thank you, with the in-house Wild Honey St James restaurant launched in spring 2019 by chef Anthony Demetre, whose original Wild Honey enjoyed 12 successful years in Mayfair. The impressive corner site sees Anthony’s distinctive modern European menus showcased in a striking dining room designed by interior specialist Jim Hamilton. And the menus looked simply divine. 

There has also been the recent opening of a new al fresco terrace in front of the Grade II listed building, overlooking the tranquil Waterloo Place. You can enjoy a Parisian café experience there, with Mediterranean dishes served alongside Aperitivo style drinks, every day from noon to 10pm. 

We contented ourselves with a drink in the St James Bar, adjacent to the restaurant, which has a great look and feel with dark blue velvet banquettes and warm lighting. What a great cocktail destination in the heart of St James.  

And if you want to add even more luxury and relaxation to your stay, the hotel’s spa offers treatments from 10am to 7pm every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  

They truly cater for everything and for that special touch it is well worth a stay for a trip to the capital which will, I am sure, linger long in the memory.  

Foyer of the London Sofitel St James hotel.

This five-star hotel has recently had an innovative redesign. - Credit: Sofitel