The Most Intriguing Alternatives to Boutique Hotels in London

When it comes to finding a unique place to stay, does it get better than a boutique hotel? Well, actually, it just might...


boutique hotels alternative london

When it comes to experiencing the luxury of a stylish small hotel, London has some of the finest in the world. Lesser known, however, are some of our intriguing alternatives.

Few types of accommodations are as bold in their design or as confident in their vision as the boutique hotel. With only a limited number of rooms to worry about, more time and resources can be spent on perfecting a mood. 

So what kind of mood do you want to explore today?  Do you want to feel artsy and cool? Or cozy and chic? Maybe you’re looking to feel sexy and stylish. Or extra extravagant. 

Like a well-designed home, a boutique hotel will make you feel like you’re exactly where you belong.  

Boutique hotels are small hotel filled with more than just character. They carry a fully immersive storyline with plot twists and resolutions. They have a life to them. And luckily in London, there are many stories to choose from. 

Whatever your preference, however specific your needs, there is no doubt you’ll find a high-end hotel that fits your taste perfectly, but that's not all the capital has to offer. 

Without further ado, here are our top 4 boutique hotels in London, and their Plum alternatives.

The Boutique Hotel

Artist Residence London 

Where is it? Pimlico

Mood? Artsy and cool.

Tell me more…

There’s only one adjective that can sufficiently describe the Artist Residence, and that’s cool. Like James-Dean-smoking-a-cigarette cool. In fact, if James Dean were still alive, you’d probably find him cruising the lobby. 

This small hotel has a decidedly artistic bend because it was designed by artists. And not just any artists, but the authentic, starving variety. 

The story goes that, in exchange for room and board, hundreds of local, contemporary artists who wanted to stay at this high-end hotel contributed their work to the walls, floors and ceilings of the 10 bedrooms. 

It’s a feast for the eyes, but if you’re looking for real food and drink, the creative vibes continue at the accompanying Cambridge Street Kitchen and basement-level Clarendon Cocktail Cellar. 

More art and an always-changing seasonal menu will keep you inspired throughout the night.

The Plum Guide Alternative

Boutique Hotel Alternative London - The Shoreditch Treehouse

Boutique Hotel Alternative London - The Shoreditch Treehouse

If the Artist Residence is the high-end hotel where contemporary artists stay for a vacation, then The Shoreditch Treehouse is where they live all year round. 

At first glance, the design might feel too random to be enjoyably eclectic, but upon closer inspection, you’ll see that all the details are purposeful and thought out. From the desk with a view of bustling Shoreditch, to the projector screen for movie nights, this space also regularly plays host to cool events in the city. Oh, and in case we forgot to mention, there's also a concert sized grand piano for the musicians among us.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more unique space in Central London.

The Boutique Hotel

Kettner's Townhouse 

Where is it? Soho

Mood? Cozy and chic

Tell me more…

The only thing more Soho than this boutique hotel, with its 15 beautifully restored Georgian-style rooms, is the Kettner’s salacious past. 

Founded in 1867 by the chef to Napoleon lll, the Kettner Restaurant proved a hotspot for high society shenanigans. 

Notable clients included Sir Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Bing Crosby, and a rumoured rendezvous between King Edward VII and his mistress, the actress Lillie Langtry. 

The art and design continue the French nostalgia with original Grade II listed details, including floral plasterwork, mirrored walls, and rosewood furniture. Oh, and did we mention there’s a Champagne Bar? 

Move over Your Royal Highness, the next generation of Kettner mischief starts now.

The Plum Guide Alternative

If you're looking for something quintessentially British, then The Flamingo has all of the comfort (and much less of the bawdy details.)

It’s set in perennial tourist hot-spot, Notting Hill, and is ringed by neighbourhood restaurants and pubs. Portobello Road’s legendary antiques market is a short walk away, and an Underground station which can have you in Soho in ten minutes.

Each room of this high-end homestay strikes the perfect balance between cozy and chic, so no matter where you decide to lounge, you’ll always be sitting pretty in pink.

The Boutique Hotel

The Mandrake

Where is it? Fitzrovia.

Mood? Stylish and sexy.

Tell me more…

One of the up and coming hotels on the London scene is The Mandrake, and already its sulky vibes are stealing all the attention, and deservedly so. 

The West End space immediately transports you away from the brash London streets and into a secluded oasis. Within each of the 30 bedrooms are deep and rich interiors with appropriate artworks to enhance the fantasy. 

The real treasure of this boutique hotel however, lies in its hidden courtyard. The Mandrake plant is known to possess medicinal properties, and with a lovely splash of green in Fitzrovia, the hotel version is on track to healing guests with its calm and serene spaces.

London Boutique Hotel Alternative

The courtyard at The Mandrake is open to all guests, but at Boyne Mews, you get a lovely terrace filled with perfectly manicured plants all to yourself. 

It’s a treat not easily found in cramped London, so you’ll feel like you’re somewhere else entirely. It's ideal, whether you want to make the most of our increasingly warm summer weather by dining al fresco, or just enjoy a cup of coffee and your breakfast before hitting the town.

Open up the living room doors and enjoy a bottle of wine as the lines between indoor and outdoor space starts to blur.

London Boutique Hotel

The Rookery

Where is it? Clerkenwell.

Mood? Extra extravagant.

Tell me more…

There is nothing understated about the high-end hotel, The Rookery, and that’s exactly the point. 

Describing itself as period charm, you might find it a little more period drama. From open fires and antique furniture to four-poster beds and clawfoot tubs, every detail is unabashedly over the top. 

Appropriately located in old money Clerkenwell, the Rookery is close to many longstanding institutions including St Paul’s Cathedral and the Old Bailey. If you want to live an opulent dream, like a trendy, modern-day Dowager Maggie Smith, The Rookery has a room for you.  

London Boutique Hotel Alternative

Even the Rookery might say the Moreton Bazaar is too much. But is there really such a thing? 

The Moreton Bazaar would gasp and exclaim, “Absolutely not! How dare you even conjure the idea!” And then presumably faint on a chaise. 

The pastiche of styles and textures and colours shouldn’t work in theory, but in execution they work incredibly well. 

It’s extra in all the right ways, without feeling snobby. Like raising your pinky finger while sipping a pint.

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