Little compares to Christmas in London. As the cool winds of winter usher December in, the city has already eased into the festivities, with glittering displays lighting up its most iconic streets. London’s world-famous hotels can always be relied on to pull out all the stops when it comes to Christmas, too, with lavish trees, installations and decorations welcoming guests across the threshold.
From partnerships with lauded designers to opulent festive packages, each year is bigger and better when it comes to the holidays and 2022 is no exception. The theatrics of the grand Christmas tree unveilings mark the start of the festive period for many, with each hotel going above and beyond to put on the most lavish display — and create magical memories for their guests.
Whether you’re heading to the capital for a touch of gift shopping or looking for somewhere to stay on the big day, these are the best London hotels to visit at Christmas.
This year, Brown’s Hotel is welcoming local London jeweler David Morris as its festive partner, who has acted as the inspiration for its lavish gilded installation. A trail of glitter leads guests to the main event: a David Morris-decorated tree, complete with an exuberant display of silver, rose gold and gold baubles and gifts.
To mark the collaboration, Brown’s is also launching a festive package, which includes two nights accommodation, an in-room Christmas tree decorated by the hotel’s in-house florist, an exclusive masterclass in David Morris’s Mayfair boutique and a champagne afternoon tea. We can’t imagine a better way to see in the holiday season.
If one thing’s for certain, it’s that Claridge’s will go all out for Christmas. This year, the iconic address has enlisted Jimmy Choo to design its tree, with creative director Sandra Choi reimagining the beloved diamond motif via a series of reflective mirrors. The tree’s neon lights cast a celestial glow across the hotel’s grand entrance hall.
Aside from just being a marvel to look at, the sculptural Christmas tree is also interactive, with guests invited to step inside. A giant pink glittering bow sitting atop the avant-garde tree seals the deal.
Heralded as a home away from home for the Royal Family (just in case they didn’t have enough already), there are few hotels with the same level of prestige as The Goring. For Christmas 2022, the Belgravia hotel has partnered with fellow Royal Warrant holder, Garrard, to present two bejeweled trees.
Each tree is decorated with reincarnations of Garrard’s most iconic royal tiaras including The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, which the late queen famously wore in her stamp and currency portraits, and The Lover’s Knot Tiara (1913), which was regarded as Princess Diana’s signature head piece.
Designer Daniel w. Fletcher was tasked with creating The Londoner’s 2022 festive display and has applied his signature style to the hotel’s dramatic Christmas tree. In a satisfyingly cyclical decision (and impressively sustainable), the tree is constructed out of offcuts from Fletcher’s SS23 collection which first debuted in the hotel’s ballroom earlier this year.
The tree’s cream fabric branches have been painstakingly pleated by a team of five artisans, with the distinctly contemporary finish perfectly complementing The Londoner’s sophisticated interiors.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
The Grand Dame of Knightsbridge is ushering in the season of giving with the re-introduction of its Wishing Tree, to which guests can secretly submit their wishes. The Wishing Tree’s intricate decorations, which were created by local boutiques and schoolchildren, will be sold in aid of the Make-a-Wish foundation.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park will also be hosting singers from the nearby More House School for Christmas Carol sessions and will be opening a festive pop-up complete with hot chocolate, mince pies and mulled wine. Little ones are catered for too, with a specially designed afternoon tea and a magical Santa’s Grotto where they can have a photo with the big man himself.
Four Seasons Park Lane
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane has transformed into a winter wonderland, with a life-size snow globe taking over its grand lobby for Christmas. Designed in partnership with British artist, florist and sculptor Ruth Davis, the OTT installation also features a series of giant snow-covered Christmas trees dressed up with lavish red decorations.
The hotel will also be hosting a hot chocolate pop-up every Friday in the run-up to Christmas when it will serve up signature hot chocolate recipes from Four Seasons properties around the world. The Tipsy Snowman from Four Seasons Whistler, which ups the ante with a dash of Frangelico, promises to be a real winner.
Shangri-La The Shard
In a cosmic take on traditional holiday decorations, Shangri-La The Shard’s space-age Christmas tree is constructed out of geometric metal cubes and draped in glittering disco balls and crinkled foils. Elsewhere in the hotel, McQueens Flowers has worked its magic with elaborate floral displays, brimming with navy blue pampas, vivid neon lights and space-themed motifs.
The hotel has launched a series of festive offerings, including a themed Skyline Afternoon Tea, an exuberant Christmas Day feast and a wild New Year’s Eve party to see in 2023 in style.