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November 14, 2023updated Nov 15, 2023

The Most Magical Hotels for Christmas in London

There's nowhere quite like the British capital to celebrate the festive season.

By Bea Isaacson

Whether it’s the English traditions that flood their way into the city’s streets and pubs alike, or the glamorous winter partying across the capital in the festivities lead up, London is the quintessential city experience for the festive season. The whole city comes alive with a vibrant Christmas buzz: Institutions including the restaurants, clubs, retailers and hotels of London are some of the world’s best for Christmas joy and spirit.

A European city, traditional yuletide markets can be found by Southbank, along the Thames; and by night, London struts its mega-city status across the stage with world-famous theatre and ballets performed nightly across the capital.

From ice skating to Christmas caroling, there’s no place better than London for this year’s Christmas vacation. And within it, the city’s wide variety of world-class hotels to further aid the festivities in the utmost of luxury dwellings. Combining the holiday spirit with limitless luxuries, here are the best hotel experiences for Christmas in London.

[See also: Elite Traveler Reveals Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide]

The Goring

The Goring hotel exterior in London
The Goring is a royal favorite / ©The Goring

Glitz and glamour of the utmost British sort peaks at The Goring, one of the capital’s most celebrated luxury hotels. Situated right across from Buckingham Palace – the hotel is a royal family favorite, the only one in the country to hold a Royal Warrant – The Goring is perfectly situated close to London landmarks for maximum city exploring.

Yet don’t stray too far from the hotel; The Goring has once again gone all out for the Christmas festivities, rendering it truly one of the best hotels in London for Christmas. A giant snow globe designed by British brand Jo Loves (of Jo Malone) is postcard perfect for a snap or two, whilst The Goring’s three-night Christmas experience package includes a champagne arrival and Michelin-starred feasting from Christmas Eve supper to Christmas Day lunch, all the way to Boxing Day lunch.

The Langham

The Langham hotel and Liberty London
The Langham has partnered with Liberty London / ©The Langham

The Langham is one of London’s finest hotels, and Liberty London is a centuries-old bastion of luxury British fashion. How wonderful, therefore, that these two giants are uniting for this year’s yuletide festivities in what will be a real celebration of London fashion and luxury.

Located just above the world’s favorite shopping district, Oxford Street, the palatial exterior of The Langham will be utterly decked in festive Liberty decorations inside. And that’s not all; there are copious offerings throughout November and December for its guests to celebrate Christmas in true British style, from a Caribbean-inspired Christmas hosted at The Good Front Room, to a festive afternoon tea run in partnership with Liberty.

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There are even two choices for the hotel’s guests on where they can elect to spend Christmas Day itself. The opulent Palm Court is offering an extravagant five-course lunch for those seeking gild and glamour, whereas The Wigmore, The Langham-owned pub on Regent Street, will be hosting a more casual – but by no means less decadent – family-style four-course lunch.

The Berkeley

berkeley christmas lights
The Berkeley Christmas lights / ©Justin De Souza

Every year, The Berkeley hotel – which sits right between Hyde Park and the bright lights of Knightsbridge – takes its signature brand of understated opulence and applies it to its Christmas décor. The result? The chicest light show in town. Launched with a grand switch on, the hotel’s front door transforms into an icy snowfall, with cascading lights (137,000 of them) suspended over the entrance steps. The effect is beautiful. Inside, there isn’t a string of tinsel in sight – instead, enormous bunches of baby’s breath surround silver-themed Christmas trees.

This Christmas, the hotel is launching a wonderful celebratory package that includes a two-night stay in one of its suites, a trip the local church for Midnight Mass, gifts for the whole family, a lavish Christmas lunch and, most excitingly, a horse-drawn carriage ride around Belgravia, complete with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

[See also: The 15 Best Luxury Hotels in London]


Shangri-La Christmas dinner
Christmas dinner at the Shangri-La / ©Shangri-La

Located atop the world-famous Shard building, the Shangri-La gorgeously entwines ultra-modern luxury hospitality with fabulous London style. Views of the city stretch out for miles, and the gastronomic and wellness offerings are spectacular. Quite honestly, there’s never a bad time to reside within the Shangri-La when in London.

This festive season, modernity and tradition unite for a wonderful Christmas experience right in the heart of the capital. Jo Loves has created a 14-ft Christmas tree, with a brand-run wreath making workshop open to guests and the public alike throughout the period; otherwise, the TING Lounge’s Festive Skyline Afternoon Tea invites guests to experience the world-famous afternoon tea ritual, overlooking awing vistas of London below.


Claridge's hotel Christmas
Claridge’s in Mayfair / ©Claridge’s

Whether impressing international royalty or safely harboring secret war negotiations – let alone the Hollywood icons that have descended upon its Mayfair front door across the decades – Claridge’s has long been one of the world’s most revered locations, where the utmost of luxury hospitality hosts some of the most legendary of stories.

Quelle surprise, then, that Claridge’s is one of the best hotels across London to celebrate the story of Christmas. Immersed in the winter wonderland aesthetic, the gorgeous red brick exterior (that has remained unchanged since 1897) is totally decked out in festive lights, whilst the Louis Vuitton-designed Christmas tree inside is unmissable viewing for anyone that enjoys the finer side of the festivities.

[See also: The 13 Best Restaurants in London]

One Aldwych

One Aldwych hotel Christmas installation
The One Aldwych Christmas installation / ©One Aldwych

Located right in the beating heart of London’s Covent Garden, luxury hotel One Aldwych has gone all out this festive season with its glorious transformation from a fabulous urban haunt into countryside winter wonderland.

Inspired by nature, the hotel’s resident florist Mark Siredzuk has introduced delightful, whimsical installations that reach from the floor to the ceiling, in what will be a sure delight for those of all ages.

The hotel’s Lobby Bar has also joined in with the fun; the bar has partnered with British brand Sapling Spirits for some Christmas cocktails that are best enjoyed in the warmth from London’s winter cold and darkness outside.

[See also: Inside One Aldwych: A Tranquil London Hideaway]

The Dorchester

The Dorchester hotel Promenade
The Dorchester Promenade / ©Dorchester Collection

One of the world’s most expensive hotels, the infinitely glamorous The Dorchester is everything we love about London; lashings of British and international history, glamorous London gild, and unapologetic English glamour. As one would expect, the glory of the hotel is only amplified during the festive season.

From Christmas caroling during afternoon tea, to a charity fundraising Christmas concert with classical pianist Chloe Flower – not to mention the festive Michelin-dining in the sublime tinsel and bauble decked out halls – The Dorchester offers one of the best Christmas experiences within a hotel not just within London, but across the globe.

[See also: The Dorchester Dazzles After Extensive Revamp]

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel exterior
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park / ©Mandarin Oriental

For those that know it, international luxury hotel group Mandarin Oriental does nothing by halves, which is how it has become one of the most glamorous and refined names among the jet-set scene. This approach to brilliant hospitality and infinite elegance extends to its Christmas offerings at the brand’s Hyde Park property, in which absolutely every detail for every guest has been meticulously thought of.

For example, festive treats, movie nights, and a Little Festive Ranger experience for children of the hotel, or a wreath-making class held by Britain’s leading florist. The Christmas Day dinner is two-Michelin-starred, a delightful gastronomic experience for international foodies. And the hotel extends its festive cheer beyond its guests, too, with a gospel choir and complimentary hot chocolate offered to passers-by of the resplendent hotel.

[See also: The Most Festive Hotels for Christmas in New York]

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