London is one of the most visited cities in the world, and for good reason. Steeped in history and culture, around every corner there is something waiting to be discovered. The diversity that exists in the city is like nowhere else, making it the most international city in Europe, if not the world. All of this combines to reveal a perfect destination for families looking for an urban adventure. There are penty of activities for kids and adults, as well as things that the entire family will enjoy, but to really make the trip one to remember you need to choose the right hotel.
Here are 17 of the best family hotels in London that will help make your stay in the city that bit more enjoyable.
Browns Hotel, Mayfair
A very luxurious affair, both parents and children will greatly enjoy spending time at the Browns Hotel in Mayfair. Included in the rooms are a lot of kid-friendly items: teddy bears, rubber ducks for bath time, fun cartoon bed sheets, and more. Take a browse through the in-house picture books about an imaginary character that lives in the hotel, Albermarle the monkey. The character is paying homage to author of The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling, who wrote the novel inside the hotel. Under-10s in the restaurants eat for free, and the hotel often puts on seasonal family packages, so keep an eye out.
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, Victoria
This suite-only hotel is an opulent choice for a family holiday, but one that will be remembered for years to come. All the attention is in the detail at this establishment, where they provide kids with crayons and sketchbooks, hot chocolate with marshmallows at bedtime, and even kid-friendly amenities. The full kitchen in the suites also makes it a breeze to prepare food in the room, though the child’s menu in the restaurant is exceptional as well.
The Ritz, St James’s
Perhaps the most luxurious hotel in all of London, the Ritz’s exceptional service extends to every member of the family. The kids will love the free ice-cream, and the parents will love some time to themselves whilst the staff take care of the kids as part of The Kids @ The Ritz program, where they can play video game consoles, board games, rent out DVDs, books, and more.
The Berkeley, Knightsbridge
The big suites at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge provide enough room for all the family and, being a luxury hotel, offer all kinds of amenities for little grown-ups and babies alike. The rooftop pool is a favourite with the entire family, and the concierge is well versed in knowledge pertaining to family activities around the city.
Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington
The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington is a wondrous place to stay with children. Perched right on the edge of Hyde Park, the location couldn’t be better for letting the kids loose across the beautiful and safe space to burn some energy. There’s free breakfast, and the hotel even provides mini scooters for kids to zoom around on in the park. Views out over the park are amazing, and you can also see Kensington Palace from some of the rooms as well.
Ham Yard Hotel, Soho
This hotel in the West End is a colourful hotel whose interior alone could keep kids entertained for days. Luckily, that’s not all the hotel has on offer for children. The standard babysitting services and interconnecting rooms for families are here, as well as snacks and amenities for the little ones. But what makes this place really shine is the bowling alley in the basement – it’ll be hard to get the kids to leave.
The Ampersand Hotel, Kensington
A game room is the star of the show at this hotel, with all kinds of different toys, books, and board games, and even a full-size ping-pong table. The splendidly modern suites are the best option for families, as they come with a foldout couch and a small kitchenette for preparing snacks for the hungry. The location right near the museum mile is stellar as well. The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum are right around the corner, both of which could keep kids entertained for days on end, let alone the parents.
Premier Inn London, Waterloo
The Premier Inn in Waterloo is a good mid-range choice for a hotel near to the main tourist attractions. A 5-minute walk to the London Eye, you’re bound to go up on the famed Ferris wheel at least once during your stay. Family rooms are available, some with splendid views over towards the Big Ben on the other side of the Thames, and breakfast is free for kids under 16.
Park Plaza County Hall, Waterloo
With a winning location right next to the Sea Life Aquarium, London Dungeon, the London Eye and many other popular family sights in London, your days in the city will whisk by and be over before you know it. The hotel makes a wonderful retreat for some downtime as well, with modern facilities and staff that treat the little ones like royalty. There are events for kids held during the week, such as movie night or games night to give parents a breather as well.
Comfort Inn, Victoria
This relatively inexpensive hotel is all about location. Exceptionally close to Victoria Station, a bustling transport hub, the entire city is within easy grasp. But short walks away are some of London’s biggest tourist attractions as well, saving you money for transporting the whole family. Buckingham Palace, The Big Ben and Westminster Abbey are all under 20 minutes’ walk from the Inn.
Chessington Safari Hotel, Chessington
This option is great for those who are visiting London to experience the Chessington World of Adventures theme park. While it’s a little bit out of London (about an hour from Victoria Station), this helps to keep the prices down for the rooms that you’ll get to enjoy. Themed rooms make for an exciting adventure before the kids even get into the theme park, and they’ll also get to do that before the gates open to the public.
The Nadler, Victoria
Ideal as a budget option for families wishing to stay near to the West End, this comfortable hotel offers compact rooms with enough room for 2 adults and a child, and comes with a small kitchenette where you can knock up a bit of breakfast before heading out for the day. Otherwise, pay a visit to the bakery immediately next door.
Luna and Simone Hotel, Victoria
This hotel focuses solely on providing affordable, family-friendly rooms, and is family run as well. You’ll feel right at home with the staff, as if you’ve been welcomed into their home for the duration of your visit. The location is excellent (minutes away from Buckingham Palace and St James’s Park), and the rooms comfortable.
The Royal London Hotel, Hammersmith
An excellent choice when it comes to value for money, the Royal London Hotel in the charming Hammersmith neighbourhood is very family friendly. The inexpensive rooms, the simple but delicious breakfast, and friendly staff all make this a wonderful place for a family’s urban adventure.
The Best Hotels for Toddlers and Babies
Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments
This 5-star luxury hotel is perfectly located overlooking the leafy and pleasant Green Park, minutes away from Buckingham Palace and a short walk from the main shopping streets on Oxford. But what really makes this hotel stand out is its commitment to making sure the little ones enjoy their stay as much as you do – the kids concierge will even be in contact with you before you arrive to make sure that they have the favourite DVDs and treats ready for your arrival, and will always be on hand to help you plan and execute the perfect kid-friendly itinerary around London. The one-bedroom suites have their own entrances, include bunk beds, and always have cribs readily available.
Park Plaza County Hall, Waterloo
The perfect choice of hotel if you’ve got a few toddlers in tow, as children under 12 stay for free, eat breakfast for free, and will even get to enjoy a pizza-making class every Saturday and movie nights throughout the week. The usual board games and toys can be found in the hotel as well.
Beaufort House, Knightsbridge
Travelling with a baby can be stressful at the best of times, which is why a stay at the Beaufort House comes so highly recommended. The staff at this property go the extra mile – the kitchen will be stocked with fresh groceries upon arrival (think milk, juice, jam, bread, fruit), and housekeeping will turn over the rooms daily, which is a rare thing for apartment rentals. The apartments themselves are bright, spacious, and very airy, located in the bustling and luxurious area of Knightsbridge.
When to Go
London enjoys quite a mild climate, which means that generally any time of year is ideal for visiting. Spring is a lovely time of year, as the days are getting longer and the temperature usually sits comfortable between 11°-15°C. Summer time is the busiest period, and the main tourist sites are chock full of people, but the bonus is that the weather is usually incredibly pleasant and perfect for enjoying the city’s wide-open parks. Autumn blows in with it generally rainy weather, and the winter time of course means that the entire city is decked out with Christmas lights, brightening the darkening light. Always remember to book well in advance, as family rooms are in high demand.
Things to Do
This expansive and diverse city has activities on offer for kids of all ages, and some of them might even inspire the hidden kids inside the adult as well. The HMS Belfast is one such attraction, the only European cruiser to survive from World War II. Clambering up and down ladders and making your way throughout the ships decks is something the whole family will enjoy.
Another great family outing is to the Warner Brothers Studios in London, home to the sets where the Harry Potter films were shot. Visit the sets of the Great Hall from Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and more. It’s a fun day out for the whole family.
The Natural History Museum has a vast array of exhibitions that could take days to fully explore and appreciate, while the Science Museum never fails to entertain and educate both kids and adults. The British Museum has particularly good audio guides for children as well.
Legoland in Windsor doesn’t really need any introduction, and neither does the London Eye; both are attractions that the whole family will love.
By far the easiest way to get around London with kids is by taking the tube. Kids under the age of 10 ride for free, so swipe your oyster card and have them follow you in. If kids are between the ages of 10 and 15, you’ll need a special oyster card that can be bought at any of the manned ticket booths.
The beauty of getting an oyster card is that it not only covers the London underground, but also the Overground – buses around the city and river buses as well. The daily cap for getting around on any of these transportation methods in the city with an Oyster Card is £6.50.
Some family-friendly restaurants around the city:
- All Star Lanes: a bowling alley with easy dining
- Jamie’s Italian Family Restaurant: delicious and budget-friendly meals that kids love
- Rain Forest Café
- The Golden Chippy
- The Crepe Factory
Feeling inspired to take the family on a trip to London? Our team of London experts know all there is to know about the city, so check out our amazing range of London tours, or call our team. For even more ideas of what to do in the city, you can read about our recommended things to do with a toddler here.