05/20/2012 11:23 EDT | Updated 07/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Living Like Royalty in London's Best Hotels

Boutique travel experts Mr. & Mrs. Smith have scoured the globe to find the ideal romantic getaways from New York to New Zealand, and London to Langkawi. Their hand-picked collection at is made up of more than 900 of the world's coolest, sexiest and most stylish places stay.

Five Places to Live the London Dream

Between the street parties of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee and the athletic spectacle of the Olympics, London has a lot going on this summer. Looking for the best that Old Blighty has to offer? You don't need to bunk at Buckingham Palace to get an authentic British experience. The boutique hotel experts at Mr. & Mrs. Smith have picked out five one-of-a-kind spots to spend an authentically English evening in the capital.

Five of London's Finest


For: A dash of Downton Abbey

Those with a hankering for history should book into the olde-worlde rooms of Hazlitt's. Perched on a prime Soho plot, this three-house hotel was once the home of 18th-century essayist William Hazlitt. The rooms themselves are Victorian masterpieces, with claw-footed tubs, antique beds and cascading velvet drapes. The only thing missing is your personal valet. Where's Bates when you need him?

St. John Hotel

For: Great British gastronomy

There's a lot to love about London's dining scene. The city's in the throes of a culinary revolution with gastropubs à gogo and clever new takes on tea time. For the best of both, take a pared-down room at St. John, in the middle of Chinatown. Built around an outpost of pioneering chef Fergus Henderson's St. John restaurant, the post-supper rooms make for a perfect place to sleep off a meaty meal of nose-to-tail dishes. At tea, the bar serves a Little Bun Moment: warm pastries filled with anchovies, prunes or chocolate.

Blakes Hotel

For: The royal treatment

One of London's first boutique hotels, this Anouska Hempel-designed gem is practically a national landmark (not to mention a favourite of Lady Gaga and the Beckhams). The rooms are inspired by exotic travels to India, Russia and Turkey; each uniquely designed suite is decorated in thick tactile fabrics and ornate furniture. For the picture of opulence, choose the boldly crimson walls and sumptuous four-poster bed of the Cardinal Suite.

45 Park Lane

For: A garden party

There are few better Hyde Park views than from the rooms at the glossy new 45 Park Lane hotel. Set in moneyed Mayfair, this hotel takes its style seriously. The lobby art comes from Damien Hirst, and Wolfgang Puck chose the hotel to open his first European outpost of Cut. The rooms are just as memorable with art deco design and views over the treetops.

Town Hall Hotel

For: Prime Olympic access

This summer, all eyes will be on East London, home to the Olympics. Those looking for easy access to the games will flock to Town Hall, an Edwardian-era former council building that is now a series of open, minimalist loft-style rooms just a short walk from the stadia. There's plenty of reason not to leave the hotel, though: the basement holds one of the city's most beautiful pools, and the Michelin-starred restaurant, Viajante, is one of the hottest reservations in town.