Pass the bunting! King Charles III’s coronation is fast approaching and London is gearing up for a lavish weekend of celebratory events. Whether you’re a royalist or republican, there’s no denying the Brits know how to throw a good party. Want to be a part of it? You’ve come to the right place.
Just eight months on from Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, the capital is set to host a three-day extravaganza, including processions, religious services and a star-studded concert at Windsor Castle.
Of course, London’s best hotels are going the extra mile to celebrate the coronation. And, with the big weekend around the corner, now is the time to decide where to stay.
For those visiting London this May, one thing is certain: you won’t be short of things to do. The coronation itself – codenamed ‘Operation Golden Orb’ – will take place on Saturday 6 May at Westminster Abbey. During the ceremony, the Archbishop of Canterbury will anoint King Charles with the holy oil before the monarch is crowned with the solid gold 17th-century St Edward’s Crown.
While the public can’t go to the coronation itself (the exclusive guest list is reserved for royals, politicians and celebs), after the ceremony there will be a procession along the Royal Route to Buckingham Palace. As you would expect there will be huge crowds so get there early if you want to secure a spot. In the evening, Brits will be doing what they do best and heading to the pub for a celebratory pint or two.
The festivities will continue on Sunday with an extravagant concert at Windsor Castle and street parties up and down the country as part of The Coronation Big Lunch. Finally, Monday 8 May is a special bank holiday and national day of volunteering, with the public encouraged to spend their time off helping out in the local community.
Here, we’ve curated a list of the very best hotels in London to celebrate the coronation. From personal tours of the Crown Jewels to royal-themed afternoon teas, these are our top picks.
London’s best coronation hotels
Hotel Café Royal
It seems fitting to kick off our list with the aptly named Hotel Café Royal. Located in the heart of London’s West End, less than a 20-minute walk from Buckingham Palace, it’s hard to think of a better place to stay during the coronation.
If you really want to push the boat out, consider booking the Crown Jewels experience which includes two nights in the opulent two-bedroom Royal Suite. During your stay, you’ll be taken to the Tower of London in a chauffeur-driven limousine for an after-hours personal tour of the grounds with one of the King’s Beefeaters (guards of the tower). Next, you’ll be treated to a champagne reception and private viewing of the Crown Jewels (including the solid gold St Edward’s Crown used during the coronation) and an array of precious gems.
The Crown Jewels Experience – The Tower at Night is available for guests staying in the Royal Suite and is priced at £12,995 per night. Available April 1 – October 1 2023.
Our list of the best hotels in London to celebrate the coronation would not be complete without mentioning The Goring. Situated in the capital’s exclusive Belgravia district less than a mile from Buckingham Palace, the historic hotel is a popular spot among the royals; Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, spent the night before her wedding here back in 2011.
It will come as little surprise, then, that The Goring is putting on several coronation-themed experiences to mark King Charles III’s ascension to the throne. Few things are more British than an afternoon tea, and the hotel has created an extra-special menu for the big day including coronation Cotswold chicken sandwiches, scones decorated with an outline of the King and crown-shaped baked treats.
Afternoon Tea with a glass of Bollinger Brut £75 per person. Available 24 April – 28 May 2023.
Next, we head to Claridge’s – one of Mayfair’s most glamorous hotels that counts Audrey Hepburn, Bing Crosby and Alfred Hitchcock among its notable guests. Dubbed “the annex of Buckingham Palace” thanks to its long-standing connections with the royals, you can’t go wrong staying here during the coronation weekend.
In the run-up to the festivities, Claridge’s archivist Kate Hudson has been hard at work searching the hotel’s historical archives to find some of its most memorable royal treasures to display in the Coronation Archive Windows on the ground floor. Highlights include pages from Queen Victoria’s diary and Claridge’s menus created for King George VI’s coronation in 1937.
Claridge’s Coronation Archive Windows will be open to view in the hotel’s lobby throughout May 2023.
Another luxurious Mayfair hotel going the extra mile to mark the coronation is The Beaumont. Located on a leafy square a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, the property recently underwent a dramatic revamp led by New York-based interior designer Thierry Despont.
With just 50 rooms and 22 elegant suites, it’s the perfect setting for those looking for somewhere a bit quieter to unwind after a day of festivities. Those booking the Coronation Package will be given a Union Jack flag and hat to take to the procession, as well as a map of the big day’s events. The hotel is also running a coronation-themed afternoon tea throughout May featuring an array of gemstone-hued sweet treats.
Situated within a pretty 18th-century townhouse less than a 10-minute walk from Buckingham Palace, this iconic hotel is another strong contender for those looking for a place to stay in London during the coronation weekend.
As part of the Dandy Coronation Package, guests will be treated to a welcome cocktail in the bar, a coronation-themed surprise, and a special souvenir to keep as a memento. The team is on-hand to put together a Townhouse picnic to take to any of the nearby parks; the hotel is a short walk from Hyde Park, Green Park and Kensington Gardens to name a few.
The Dandy Coronation Package starts at £390.40 per person.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Mandarin Oriental has also gone above and beyond to celebrate the big day. The Knightsbridge hotel’s ‘A Very Royal Occasion’ package kicks off with an indulgent caviar breakfast in your suite (you may even catch a glimpse of the Royal Horse guards passing), followed by a four-course coronation menu at the two-Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. You’ll also be treated to a bottle of Laphroaig Whisky (the King’s favorite tipple) and a hamper from Highgrove filled with organic goodies from his Majesty’s private estate.
11 Cadogan Gardens
It would be remiss of us to leave 11 Cadogan Gardens out of our list. Spanning four Victorian townhouses close to Sloane Square in the exclusive neighborhood of Kensington and Chelsea, this boutique hotel is an ideal destination from which to explore the area’s designer shops, gourmet restaurants and galleries.
To mark the coronation, the hotel has put together the Live Like a King Package which includes a chauffeured ride to Chelsea direct from the airport, a royal-themed in-room gift and afternoon tea for two.
Tucked away in a cul-de-sac in the heart of Mayfair lies DUKES. A favored spot with members of the British royal family, the luxurious hotel is marking the coronation with an opulent Royal Connoisseur experience. Guests will be treated to a wonderfully opulent breakfast of Exmoor salted caviar and champagne; a traditional cream tea served on fine china; and a royal four-course dinner crafted by head chef Nigel Mendham. Oh, and you’ll get to experience the hotel’s luxury turn-down service too.
A Royal Connoisseur Experience is bookable from the 15 March for stays between 1April and 20 December 2023 with rates starting at £2,345 for 2 nights in an Executive Room.
Four Seasons Park Lane
Last but by no means least in our roundup of the best hotels to stay at during the coronation is a truly unforgettable experience from Four Seasons. The Town and Country Package kicks off with a two-night stay at the luxury brand’s Park Lane outpost in the heart of London’s Mayfair, before guests are whisked away to the countryside for two nights at Four Seasons Hampshire. Here, guests will be treated to a royal-themed afternoon tea for two and an equestrian experience at the on-site stables.