Inside the Londoner, a Celeb-Approved ‘Super Boutique’ Hotel

The Londoner is a true five-star property, right smack in the middle of the West End.

glitzy lobby bar
The Londoner. Andrew Beasley Photography

There’s no getting around the fact that Leicester Square is one of the more hectic and touristy areas of London. It’s often filled with crowds of people eager for a day of sightseeing, or exploring the theaters for which the West End neighborhood is known. So while you might not immediately associate this particular locale as the go-to spot for a luxurious hotel, it turns out that there’s a hidden gem in Leicester Square.

The Londoner is a true five-star property, right smack in the middle of the West End. It’s immediately recognizable from the the building’s deep blue tile-clad exterior, which definitely stands out amidst the nearby M&M and Lego storefronts—and that’s a good thing. From the moment you walk into the lobby, however, you’re transported worlds away from the hubbub of activity right outside. The space is modern but not so sleek as to be cold, with sumptuous interiors replete with gold accents, swank velvet furnishings, marble tables and trendy light fixtures, as well as countless works of art adorning the walls.

The Londoner touts itself as the very first “super boutique hotel,” which might have you immediately wondering what, exactly that even means, and why this hotel is a standout. We’ve got you covered—here’s what to know about the Londoner.

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blue building in london
It’s a definite standout. Adrian Houston

What’s the background here? 

The Londoner opened its doors in September 2021, after a decade in the works. “When they decided to put a hotel here 10 years ago, people said it was crazy—that a luxury hotel in the area just would not work,” the Londoner’s hotel director, Charles Oak, told me on a recent visit to the property.

It’s the first hotel to be purpose-built in the West End in 30 years, and the Londoner was an immediate success—and not as a tourist trap. It turns out that the proximity to theaters and central locale was actually a good thing, as the pure convenience of the location has been a major draw for luxury-seeking travelers. The Londoner is an easy home base for visitors; it’s less than 10-minute walk to Soho or Convent Garden, and less than 20 minutes to Mayfair or Buckingham Palace. The hotel has also been a hit with an array of famous faces; everyone from Ryan Gosling and Patrick Dempsey to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ed Sheeran have checked into this property.

lobby of a hotel with large light fixture, chairs and tables
Step right inside. Andrew Beasley Photography

What, exactly, does “super boutique” mean? 

Now, about that whole “super boutique” aspect of this hotel, which, at 350 keys, isn’t exactly a petite property. While the phrase might sound like marketing jargon, it’s actually quite fitting. “It’s the service and style that is so boutique and personalized,” Oak explained, and while I was, admittedly, a bit skeptical of the word jumble at first, the Londoner soon won me over, from the custom details in each room and impeccable concierge to the members club-style lounges and exclusive services, including their partnership with peak British department store Fortnum & Mason.

hotel suite at the londoner with wood paneled walls, couch and chairs
A peek into a signature suite. Andrew Beasley Photography

What are the rooms like?

The Londoner is comprised of 350 rooms and suites, all designed with a loft-y aesthetic. The rooms are minimalist and contemporary, but still inviting—think wood-paneled walls and low-slung couches, with marble tables and plush velvet furniture. No detail is forgotten, with amenities like Dyson hairdryers, Steamery steamers (far preferable to a cumbersome iron) as well as exclusive Miller Harris toiletries.

These accommodations are all relatively large (especially for London), and while the classic King and Queen rooms are nice, the sprawling, truly spacious suites are what really shine here. On a recent stay at the hotel, I was booked in one of the Signature Suites, which had the feel of an extremely roomy one-bedroom apartment, configured with a large separate living space, kitchen and two distinct dining areas, with a hallway leading to the bedroom, plus two bathrooms and a plethora of closets. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide an impressive view of the surrounding cityscape, with chairs thoughtfully placed in front. I was a touch concerned about the action outside seeping into the suite, but was thoroughly impressed with how well these rooms were soundproofed; you could barely hear anything, which further contributed to the secluded and cozy atmosphere.

pool and spa in a hotel
The Retreat. Andrew Beasley Photography

How’s the spa? 

The hotel’s subterranean spa, The Retreat, is located a few levels below the lobby, and once you arrive, it’s an immediate escape from the commotion of Leicester Square. There are the usual classic massages and facials, as well as more specific and unique treatments, including body realignment and CBD-focused massages. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, head to the Refuel bar area, which offers healthy snacks and juices. There’s also a sauna and steam room, as well as a pool complete with several cabanas that can be reserved, if you feel like a day of lounging. It’s the perfect cure to any and all jet lag woes.

interior restaurant at the londoner with velvet chairs and tables
Whitcomb’s. Andrew Beasley Photography

What about the restaurants?

While you’ll surely want to explore all the culinary treats that London has to offer, there are also plenty of dining options within this hotel—in fact, there are no less than six bar and restaurant concepts at the Londoner.

Whitcomb’s is an inviting space off the lobby, with a French Mediterranean-inspired menu (the seafood is the star of the show here) and an impressive wine list. For an indulgent Japanese meal, head up to the 8 at Londoner, the rooftop izakaya bar—I’d be remiss not to highly recommend the lobster gyoza tacos.

Then there’s the lobby eatery, The Stage. It’s all about champagne, and also where you can book an indulgent afternoon tea—you are in London, after all. For a more casual, low-key pub food option, make your way to Joshua’s Tavern. Refuel is on the spa level, and then there are the guests-only options—but more on that in a minute.

cozy dark lit room with chairs and tables
The Residence. Andrew Beasley Photography

Finally, what exactly is The Residence?

One of the Londoner’s most unique features is The Residence, a collection of three spaces (the Y Bar, the Drawing Room and the Whiskey Room) that are accessible exclusively to hotel guests. It has a members club type of feel, and further fuels the concept of the “super boutique hotel,” lending the air of hanging out in a private home. Complimentary food and drinks are offered throughout the day, with the option to order à la carte off the menu, too. The lounge spaces are ideal as working or lazing areas, while easily transforming into a cozy bar atmosphere at night.

aerial view of london
Hello, London! The Londoner

Oh, and when’s the best time to go? 

There’s really no bad time to book a trip across the pond. London remains one of the most popular destinations for U.S. travelers, which is no surprise considering all the city offers visitors to explore, not to mention the relative ease with which jet-setters can reach the U.K.—that said, summer is probably the least popular time to visit. There’s always tons going on in the spring and fall, and while you’re near-guaranteed at least one bout of rain, that’s really part of the magic. And of course, the holidays are a wonderfully festive moment in London, though be prepared for more of a chill. Plenty of airlines have multiple direct flights to London; I took a  Virgin Atlantic flight when I visited the Londoner (it was my first time flying the airline, which happens to be a Delta partner), and their Upper Class truly exceeded my expectations. On my flight from New York to London, I was on the Airbus A350-1000, which not only features lie-flat seats, but a super spacious nook complete with a sliding door for total privacy—it’s quite the luxurious way to start off your trip.

Inside the Londoner, a Celeb-Approved ‘Super Boutique’ Hotel