There’s nothing better than taking some time out just the two of you, slipping away to a romantic hotel in London, spending the day exploring the city, and enjoying the evening with a swanky meal and cocktails. With that, we got in touch with DesignMyNight for their favourite romantic hangouts in the city.
From bars with stunning riverside views to hidden basements boasting candle lit tables for two, get ready to impress that date of yours with these incredible hotel stays and brilliant bars that are only a few minute’s stroll apart.
Romantic hotel in Kensington: Blakes Hotel
+ The Mermaid Cocktail and Oyster Bar
Billed as London’s first boutique hotel, Blakes Hotel has been setting standards sky-high since 1978. Each room is host to a daring theme, with striking decor throughout, and although the Parisian rooms for one are ideal for some alone time in the city – the corfu suite is what you need to book for the ultimate romantic hotel experience. Designer Anouska Hempel spared no expense when dreaming it up, with gossamer nets, pristine white fabrics, mother of pearl furnishings and a heaven-like king-sized four poster bed.View on trivago
With only a handful of people in the know about this place, The Mermaid Cocktail and Oyster Bar is something of a hidden gem. Located under the Wright Brothers’ South Kensington restaurant, descend the stairs and you’ll be met with an intimate, decadently-tiled drinking den that would trick you into thinking you’re underwater. Book one of their romantic candlelit booths and order the build your own oyster platter. If not for the testosterone… but for the unique flavour combinations.
Budget boutique in Shoreditch: Citizen M
+ Callooh Callay
CitizenM is a budget boutique hotel in Shoreditch with a whole lotta personality. Spiralling 10 floors, you can choose your room and whether you want a view or not. The rooms themselves might be on the smaller side, but they make up for that with funky interiors popping with colour. The selling point for this place however is the moodpad. It’s an iPad that controls everything in the room, from the TV (that shows free movies) to the colour of the lights. Romantic, eh? They also give you an optional 4pm check out to help postpone your return to reality.View on trivago
A regular name on the list of the World’s Best Bars, Callooh Callay is up there with the top cocktail joints in London. It’s got canary-coloured retro furniture, lots of vintage trinkets and it boasts an ever-changing cocktail menu. Split between the front bar and the back lounge – hidden behind an unassuming wardrobe – this joint’s also got its very own secret bar. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky poem, there are plenty of reasons to fall head over heels for this boozy beauty.
Romance in the City of London: The Ned
+ Duck and Waffle
The Ned was the most anticipated hotel opening of 2017 and for good reason. Nestled away in the Grade-I listed building that was once the Midland Bank, many original features remain; like African verdite columns, a tall shiny wall of silver safety deposit boxes and a 20-tonne vault door that leads to one of the nine restaurants hidden away in the building. As for the rooms? They ooze 1920s glamour with polished chandeliers, persian rugs and gigantic four poster beds. They have crash pads that start at £180 per night, but if you really want to say ‘I love you’, splurge out on the romantic heritage suite.View on trivago
Nestled on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, Duck and Waffle is one of the most romantic spots in the city. It has unrivalled views of London’s skyline thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, and a well-equipped bar knocking up creations developed by cocktail expert, Rich Woods. Unsurprisingly, this place gets booked up pretty quickly, but just like your date – it’s more than worth the wait.
Luxurious Romance in Canary Wharf: Canary Riverside Plaza
+ Capeesh Sky Bar
If you want to treat your loved one to a night of luxury, you should look into booking The Canary Riverside Plaza. It’s the highest-rated independent five-star hotel in the surrounding area, parading breathtaking views of both the city and the Thames. That’s not all though – they have an infinity pool that’s super romantic and it was featured in James Bond mega-hit Skyfall. The bedrooms boast plenty of space too, with bay windows welcoming in an abundance of natural light until sunset.View on trivago
If you’re looking for a place that ticks all the boxes for date night, say hello to Capeesh. Tucked away in Canary Wharf, it has a restaurant serving traditional Italian dishes – think piping-hot plates of pasta and hand-rolled pizza – and if you scoot a few floors higher, there’s Sky Bar. All about snazzy décor, hand-crafted cocktails and stunning views – consider your evening plans sorted.
The London EDITION: the ideal romantic hotel in Soho
There’s only one problem with getting a room at The London EDITION: you’ll never want to leave it. Cosy in all the right aspects with wood-paneling, hanging globe-shaped lights, oak floors and fur throws, each room bears a resemblance to a chic log cabin. If you want to make your hotel stay ultra romantic, opt for one of the suites. The loft suite having a drinks trolley with free gin, mixers and paired garnishes, and the penthouse offering you your own private wraparound terrace.View on trivago
There is always time to spoil that someone special in your life, and if you’re really looking to impress, you can’t go wrong with a table at Disrepute. It’s first and foremost a members’ club, but you can get a reservation by booking through DesignMyNight. Influenced by the swinging ‘60s with some subtle deco touches, the space is made up of velvet snugs, gilded mirrors and cordoned off spaces.
Romance in Clerkenwell: The Zetter Townhouse
+ Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings
Kangaroos wearing boxing gloves and cats in nightgowns? The Zetter Townhouse is one of the quirkiest boutique hotels around thanks to its bizarre taxidermy and junk-like treasure nodding to all things explicitly British. Book into one of their 13 impeccably decorated rooms for Valentine’s and you’ll earn a gazillion brownie points with your other half. Depending on what room you go for, you’ll be equipped with everything from hot water bottles in hand-knitted cosies and retro-radios-turned-iPod-docks to fluffy nightgowns and REN skincare.View on trivago
There’s no ifs or buts about it, Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings is one of London’s prettiest venues. They boast a cocktail bar, a cafe, a garden room and a hidden tongue-in-cheek party den, but you’ll be wanting a reservation for the greenhouse for the ultimate romantic experience. It’s home to flower covered armchairs and a tonne of foliage, where you can drink and dine to your heart’s content.
The perfect hotel for couples: Mondrian London
Mondrian Hotel is situated on the banks of the Thames and it pays homage to its maritime history with chain link anchor sculptures, ship models strewn across communal areas and a giant copper hull in the lobby (that took no less than 16,000 nails to create). Alongside its unique design concept, it has an underwater-inspired spa and its very own cinema. Bedrooms are just as impressive with raised beds, copper lamps and mirror-topped tables, but if you want to live in the lap of luxury, book the river view balcony suite. Without a doubt, this is a romantic hotel choice with a twist!View on trivago
Award-winning cocktails coupled with rolling riverside views? Dandelyan has the title of World’s Best Bar, making it a no-brainer for Valentine’s. Dazzling decor spills across the room with candy pink banquettes and gold finishes, but try and secure a seat beside the floor to ceiling windows. Not only will you have excellent sights of the Thames, but you’ll be away from the crowd, making it the perfect place for whispering sweet nothings.
Written by nightlife expert Leighanne Bent, from the DesignMyNight team.
For more info on the best bars in London and across the UK, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Twitter; @DesignMyNight.