A City Safari With London’s Top Small Luxury Hotels

The capital is blessed with some fantastic places to stay and I was lucky to experience several of them in one day on a city safari around London’s top Small Luxury Hotels. Of course, wild animals were nowhere to be seen but we did spot some wonderful fine dining establishments and stylish hotel rooms.

Updated on 4 September 2017

Small Luxury Hotels represents only the very best properties, with an international portfolio of 520 hotels across 80 countries, so I was excited for the day ahead. We started at the elegant The Arch London hotel, conveniently located on a quiet side street close to Marble Arch. The friendly doorman ushered me in and I headed to the breakfast room where I enjoyed a Bucks Fizz and healthy breakfast, before taking a tour of the light and airy bedrooms.

Next we headed to Dukes Hotel for a walking tour of St James, one of my favourite London areas. Discreetly tucked away, Dukes is one of the top London 5 star hotels. I’ve been lucky to savour their picnic in the park, lunch at THIRTY SIX by Nigel Mendham and drinks in the Champagne Lounge before. It’s the perfect place to enjoy bubbly and canapes. There was a surprise activity awaiting us, a walking tour of St James. Our knowledgeable and friendly guide, Sandy from Hob Nob Tours, pointed out many interesting  sights like the historic stores of shoemaker John Lobb, wine merchants Berry Bros and Rudd and perfumer Floris.

The next stop on our tour of the top Small Luxury Hotels was The Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington who welcomed us for their Science themed afternoon tea. First we took a tour of the hotel, where I’d be staying later. It’s a very quirky place with seriously stylish decor and one of the best London boutique hotels.

The afternoon tea was great fun and I’d highly recommend it.

Inspired by The Science Museum nearby, it’s an imaginatively presented affair. My favourite part was the spectacular dry ice!

The penultimate stop on our tour was The Capital, a beautiful luxury London hotel where Paul and I had recently enjoyed the Michelin starred cuisine. This quintessentially British hotel is a few minutes away from Harrods. They had arranged a cocktail masterclass where Bar Manager Cesar de Silva taught us how to rustle up Cosmopolitans and other delights.

For dinner we feasted on Michelin starred tapas by William Drabble at the St James’s Hotel and Club. I’ve long been a fan of the cuisine at this luxurious hotel. Their afternoon tea is such a treat! Amongst the highlights of our dinner were Welsh rarebit as well as pork rilette.

My final destination was The Ampersand. After checking into my spacious room, I ran myself a relaxing bath with the Miller Harris toiletries provided. How could I resist it with this cute duck to keep me company?

It was very stylish and well equipped with toiletries galore, complimentary WiFi and a large flat screen TV. The only thing that I would add is a desk lamp as it was rather dark in the evening.

The next day I tucked into a tasty breakfast on the lower ground floor.

It moonlights as a bar in the evening and was buzzing with life when I peeked in the night before.

The adjacent  games and wine rooms would be perfect for a private event.

And I love the ground floor reception rooms, they definitely have the wow factor.

So much thought has clearly been put into this London luxury hotel that it’s one you’ll want to return to time and time again. It was a wonderful place to finish our city safari around London’s top small luxury hotels.

The Ampersand Hotel, 10 Harrington Rd, London SW7 3ER


  • What a wonderful experience – the best of various worlds! The science-themed afternoon tea featuring dry ice looks spectacular and the decor of your final destination is gorgeous 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • Yes we had such a wonderful time and it was great to see a real variety of hotels. The afternoon tea at The Ampersand was fab

  • Oh, to tour like you do. I would love to do that. 🙂
    These are really luxurious and wonderful places to explore. The food is so inviting! How do you stay fit? 😀

    • Well I’m struggling to stay fit! I’ve been doing a bit of running recently, that helps – have a great weekend

  • Paola

    Wow, thanks for sharing another amazing place to stay!!!
    Kisses, Paola.


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  • What a day! Love the look of the staircase at the Ampersand 🙂 x

  • What a great way to discover luxury hotels, a feast for the eyes and the mouth <3

  • Such a fun day, the science tea was a highlight

  • What a fabulous day! I love small luxury hotels…they are so much more personal than the bigger hotel groups. I love the decor of your bedroom especially the blue velvet of the headboard and the ground floor reception room certainly has the wow factor!

  • That staircase with the fairy lights is seriously magical! Such stunning decor and the bathtub looks super relaxing

    Rachel xx

  • Ellie Adams

    This is such a lovely post Suze, it was such a fun day wasn’t it!



  • Oh wow this hotel looks amazing! I am in love with the bed and the headboard!

    Ash | http://www.liakadatravel.com

  • My goodness these are all INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! That science afternoon tea looks fab!

  • Those hotels look very luxurious.
    The science afternoon tea looks amazing, they really paid attention to details with the presentation.

  • Looks like a seriously fun day :-). Love all the funky lights in the staircase of the Ampersand Hotel! The Capital looks like it would be our top pick, but all these small hotels look great – and it’s nice to know about them. We always enjoy the intimacy of small hotels…