f you’re used to a certain level of luxury, planning a holiday with children can be tricky business. Five-star hotels, with their white-gloved waiters, crisply-uniformed concierges and all-too-easily-destroyed bespoke fixtures and fittings, don’t often feel particularly accommodating of the mood swings, noise and need for constant entertainment common among those who haven’t yet reached their teenage years.
But don’t resign yourself to a decade of holidays in campsites and Centre Parcs just yet because many of London’s most famous luxury hotels are on a mission to become the hotel of choice for families staying in the city. From special child-centric packages to babysitting services and unique family-oriented surprises, if you’re looking to treat littles ones to a staycation in the capital they’ll never forget, here’s our guide to the best family-friendly luxury hotels in London.
Shangri-La at The Shard
A 50+ storey skyscraper might not seem like the obvious place to take children but, one glimpse of the incredible views from Shangri-La at The Shard, and your littles ones will be utterly transfixed. As well as organising special treats, such as treasure hunts and activity packs, the Shangri-La has also put together a special Shard Family Staycation package.
As well as a 50 per cent discount on a second room and à la carte meals for under 16s, the stay also includes a guaranteed room upgrade, breakfast, 20 per cent off at the hotel’s bars and restaurants, access to the Shangri La’s famed Sky Sauna and Skypool and valet parking. As a treat for parents, the hotel will even throw in a Neal’s Yard bath amenity and a private shopping experience at Harvey Nichols, complete with champagne and fast-track alterations.
From £550 per night
Thanks to its partnership with children’s party planning experts Sharky & George, Claridge’s is better prepared than most to cater to the whims of your dependants. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, Sharky & George can be called on to create a magical event, while the pair are also available for smaller experiences (or to provide some much needed downtime), with options including treasure trails and mystery tours through the hotel.
In addition, Claridge’s also offers a Happy Families package which entitles families to 50 per cent off a second bedroom for under 16s, daily breakfast for two adults and two children, a selection of movies available in-room, welcome champagne, smoothies and cookies, late checkout and complimentary Wi-Fi.
From £630 per night
The Landmark London
Located a stone’s throw from both London Zoo and the West End, The Landmark London is a popular choice for families looking to make the most of the capital’s top attractions. It helps, then, that it is also one of the few luxury hotels in the city to offer rooms large enough to accommodate both adults and children.
The hotel’s Family Fun package is the perfect way to experience the best the hotel has to offer. Featuring a one-night stay in a family room and breakfast in the Winter Garden restaurant, the package also includes Landmark teddy bears for each child and cookies on arrival, as well as a tent and headlamps to create a brilliant in-room camping set-up. Add a truly memorable experience to your stay by adding an optional treasure hunt through the hotel or surrounding Marylebone neighbourhood.
From £434 per night
The Connaught’s self-proclaimed mission is to make every moment of your stay effortless and, when that comes to travelling with little ones, the hotel’s children’s concierge is invaluable. The expert team is on hand to plan every aspect of your stay, from recommending (and booking) tickets to attractions and shows, arranging transport, and planning parties and events.
Children are also welcomed with special treats, an activity book and their own bathrobe and slippers, as well as a range of books, board games, games consoles and movies. Adults, meanwhile, can take advantage of childminding services and family-friendly swimming hours at the Aman Spa. Book the Happy Families package and you’ll also receive a half price second room, champagne on arrival, breakfast and late check out.
From £551.25 per night
Taking a personal approach to keeping children entertained, the Andaz London near Liverpool Street will prepare a range of experiences and amenities for both children and adults based on your family’s preferences and ages. This could mean anything from personally-sized robes and slippers to teddy bears, activity packs and even teepees perfectly sized for setting up in your room.
And the Andaz London’s family rooms are not to be dismissed. The hotel has a range of Deluxe king rooms which can be connected to its equally luxurious twin rooms, creating the perfect situation in which to keep children close while maintaining privacy and space for relaxation.
From £249 per night
Knightsbridge’s Berkeley hotel has gone all out to make sure, no matter how young or old your children, they’re made to feel special. Babies, for example, are greeted with a cuddly Berkeley bunny, goldfish-in-a-bag novelty soap, baby soap and lotion, and organic baby amenities. Older children will enjoy personalised welcome treats, special bathrobes and slippers, personalised bed linen, colouring-in and puzzle books, board games and a choice of games consoles.
As well as offering the same Happy Families package as sister hotels Claridge’s and The Connaught, further experiences for little ones include mini manicures and luxury picnics, while children of all ages can be taken care of by the hotel’s childminding service. And with so much to keep them entertained, we guaranteed they’ll hardly notice you’re gone.
From £472.50 per night
Families eagerly awaiting the return of London’s famous West End shows can make the most of the experience with the Conrad's Family Stay on London’s Broadway experience. Located within walking distance of most of the West End’s big theatres, book tickets to your favourite show and then check-in to the hotel where children will receive a VIP sticker and special wristband which allows them access to free milkshakes and ice cream from the Blue Boar pub.
In your room you’ll find a Broadway-themed gift, children’s costumes in the wardrobe, London-themed bedding, miniature robes and cuddly Conrad dog teddy bears. Complete the experience with the children’s Broadway Afternoon Tea, which can be customised around the show of your choice, and includes bitesize sandwiches, fresh scones, pastries and a choice of milkshake, hot chocolate, tea or soft drink.
From £311 per night
Ham Yard Hotel
With its colourful design, on-site bowling alley and rooftop garden, the Ham Yard Hotel is one of Soho’s best equipped hotels for young guests. For adults, practical services such as babysitting, cots, high chairs and 24-hour room service aim to make your stay seamless while children are treated like VIPs with special bathroom amenities, robes, milk and cookies at bedtime and a range of books and board games to keep them entertained.
The hotel also offers a curated Family Time package which, along with everything mentioned above, also includes 50 per cent off a second bedroom, 3pm late check out, daily breakfast and a one-hour bowling session. Children’s menus can also be found in most of the hotel’s eateries, offering crowd pleasing favourites that promise to make dinner time a breeze.
From £685 per night
Home to world-famous afternoon tea, a Michelin-starred restaurant and one of the capital’s most lauded bars, you might not think The Ritz an appropriate place for those who can still count their age on their hands. The Ritz, however, thinks otherwise and even goes so far as to proclaim itself ‘the most family-oriented of London’s luxury hotels’. In service of this it has created its kidz@theritz children’s programme which aims to help little ones experience the glamour and elegance of the hotel in an accessible way.
Every child receives a Very Important Kid membership card which entitles them to complimentary ice cream in The Palm Court or Ritz Restaurant, a welcome gift, special rates on afternoon tea and breakfast, children’s bathroom amenities, robes and slippers, and in-room games consoles. Children up to the age of 15 may also stay in their parents’ room on a complimentary basis while the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant offers a special children’s menu with dishes to please even the fussiest of young foodies.
From £700 per night