School’s out: London’s best family-friendly hotels

By John Pilkington,

The summer holidays are finally here: the kids are free, the sun is (hopefully) shining and you can look forward to spending some time away as a family. And when it comes to a short break with the kids, few places offer as much to see and do as London: from the educational to the recreational, the capital has it all.

But a weekend in the big city with the little ones can be a daunting prospect. To make things easier, more and more hotels in London are going the extra mile to accommodate young families with exciting activities and dedicated staff.

Here, we’ve put together a list of the best family-friendly hotels in London, where you and your brood can enjoy a stress-free break.


A family hotel in London with a Director of Fun to make the most of family getaways

Rubens at the Palace

If you like treating your family like royalty, then The Rubens at the Palace is the place for you. Situated right next to Buckingham Palace, the hotel gives you the chance to be neighbours with The Queen!

But should you need help keeping your own Princes and Princesses entertained, the hotel’s very own Director of Fun is on hand to help. Having worked at the hotel for over 30 years, John Goncalves knows exactly how to make the most of a family getaway and can help with museum and theatre bookings or day trips.

For a truly regal feel, why not book one of the hotel’s Family Wings, consisting of interconnecting rooms and accommodating up to 11 people.

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A family-friendly hotel in London with free hot chocolate and biscuits at bedtime for kids

Flemings Mayfair

Reportedly one of the best kept secrets in Central London, Flemings Mayfair is a chic luxury hotel in the heart of the city. With beautifully decorated interiors and lavish furnishings, the hotel provides a comfortable stay for all guests, offering family rooms and 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for complete peace of mind.

Thanks to its close proximity to Hyde Park, Covent Garden and Buckingham Palace, the hotel makes a great base for families wanting to explore the city on foot.

Other perks include free breakfast, complimentary hot chocolate and biscuits at bedtime, as well as free dining for under-fives and half-price for children aged 5-12. The hotel concierge can also arrange summer picnics, bike rides and theatre tickets.

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A family hotel in London with an incredible games room

The Ampersand Hotel

A stylish boutique hotel, The Ampersand Hotel is a great choice for those who want to enjoy a relaxed break with the kids in style. Offering a range of rooms and suites, The Ampersand is inspired by iconic London museums found nearby, with each individually-designed room featuring motifs inspired by creativity and discovery.

But the real pièce de résistance here at The Ampersand is the incredible Games Room. Fitted out with table tennis, chess and other board games, as well as an extensive library, the space is perfect for whiling away an evening having some quality family fun.

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A family-friendly hotel in London with pizza-making classes for kids

Park Plaza County Hall London

Named the Best Family-Friendly Hotel at the HRS Hotel Excellence Awards in 2011, Park Plaza County Hall London treats children like VIPs. Youngsters can enjoy tailor-made luxuries such as the designated Kid’s Check-In, goody bags on arrival and even special activities, such as pizza making classes, movie nights and themed days.

The hotel also offers a range of family-friendly accommodation, including Studio Rooms which comfortably sleep two adults and two children and boast a kitchenette for relaxed family evenings in.

What’s more, the hotel is just a stone’s throw from most of London’s major attractions, including the London Eye, Big Ben and the Southbank Centre, making it the perfect location for exploring the sights of the city.

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A family hotel in London near Kidzania

Dorsett Shepherds Bush

Found in the bustling area of Shepherd’s Bush, Dorsett Shepherd’s Bush is a chic modern hotel offering guests a comfortable stay. Blending Chinese influence with British style, the hotel’s 317 rooms and suites feature luxurious cream and beige tones, as well as opulent marble bathroom suites.

The Dorsett can easily and happily cater for families with fold-out camp beds, but for some more privacy, why not opt for a suite with separate lounge and king-size bed?

Of course, don’t forget to visit KidZania during your stay! Just a stone’s throw from the hotel, Kidzania is London’s newest attraction for children, allowing them to play and work like real grown-ups! Read more here.

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A family-friendly hotel with complimentary children’s toiletries

Melia White House

Effortlessly blending the old and the new, Melia White House is a recently renovated hotel dating from the 1930s. While offering all the modern conveniences you would expect, the hotel still retains some period architectural features and maintains traditional charm in its elegant guestrooms.

And while youngsters might not quite appreciate the nuances of the décor, there is plenty for them to enjoy, including small gifts on arrival, complimentary children’s toiletries and bedtime cookies.

Families can be comfortably accommodated in the generously-sized Family Room, featuring king-size bed and sofa bed.

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A family hotel in London with a full-time kid’s concierge

The Athenaeum

For the ultimate in child-friendly hospitality, try The Athenaeum. Found in leafy Mayfair, the five-star Athenaeum specialises in ultimate comfort and luxurious design. But this hotel is not just for grown-ups: with a range of adjoining rooms, suites and spacious apartments, The Athenaeum happily caters to families both big and small.

The hotel also offers a full-time Kid’s Concierge to help you make the most of your stay in London. Before your arrival, the concierge will be in touch to arrange any particulars you need (including your children’s favourite DVDs) and throughout your stay, they will be on hand to help organise any day trips or special treats for the little ones.

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