South London is perhaps not the most obvious location for those looking for a boutique experience in the capital, but the quality of the area’s boutique hotels will almost certainly change your mind. Slightly removed from the usual tourist destinations, they offer the opportunity to spend time in a real London neighbourhood (and for slightly more wallet-friendly prices). That’s without scrimping on the usual unique luxury experience associated with a boutique stay – these places have charm in spades. And, if you can tear yourself away from the comfort of your hotel, you’ll find Central London is only a short tube or bus ride away.
Our favourite five boutique hotels in South London include:
South East London
- Church Street Hotel – 29-33 Camberwell Church Street, London, SE5 8TR
- Bermondsey Square Hotel – Bermondsey Square, London, SE1 3UN
- Tulse Hill Hotel – 150 Norwood Road, SE24 9AY
- The Tommyfield – 185 Kennington Lane, London, SE11 4EZ
South West London
Church Street Hotel in Camberwell
A case in point is the Church Street Hotel Camberwell. The moment you step in you’re – if not quite in another world – certainly another continent away from the busy south London streets. A Spanish American theme is the order of the day here, with hot colours, hand-painted Mexican tiles, ironwork beds and lovingly curated artefacts used to conjure up an unforgettable ambience. That’s balanced with 21st-century luxuries, such as the LED TVs, DVD players, L’Occitane toiletries, Green & Black chocolate found in each room.
Guests also get use of the 24-hour Havana bar, fully stocked with rums and spirits, or tea and coffee, whatever your poison of choice. And there’s plenty to delight foodies. The hotel’s Angel & Gypsies tapas restaurant offers a culinary adventure to match the decor, and serves a breakfast that takes in Huevos Rancheros and sourdough pancakes, rather than the standard fare. There’s also the happy bonus of the Communion cocktail bar in the basement. Step out from the hotel and you’ll find the buzzy eateries and shops of Camberwell, Brixton and Peckham close by and ready for exploration. With its proudly independent spirit and willingness to go the extra mile, Church Street Hotel is a real jewel in south London’s crown.
The Church Street Hotel in Camberwell
Bermondsey Square Hotel in Bermondsey
Offering four-star luxury in a fantastic location for exploring along the Thames and beyond is the Bermondsey Square Hotel. All of its rooms offer state of the art comfort with features such as 32-inch TVs and Grohe drench super showers. For an unforgettable stay, book yourself into one of the loft suits, designed to maximise your experience of London’s dynamic skyline. Each suite has an individual touch to discover, whether that’s a hammock or a hot tub.
It’s worth noting that this is a dry hotel – it may not be the place for you if a tipple or two at the hotel bar is an essential part of a trip. There are plenty of other services on offer – from a tailor, ready with tape measure to whip you up a classic English tailor suit, to a dancer-in-residence, who can ensure that you leave London with a few more steps in your repertoire.
Tulse Hill Hotel in Tulse Hill
One of several boutique offerings tied into pubs, the Tulse Hill Hotel reopened a couple of years ago. It’s a 19th-century public house which has been restored and which prides itself on its seasonal British food – and rightly so, as it was a Food and Traveller 2015 reader awards winner. While the downstairs bar space revels in its history, its nine bedrooms have been given a contemporary, design-led look. With both a single room and a family room available, there’s lots of flexibility, and it offers a relaxed base from which to explore south London… and beyond!
Tulse Hill Hotel
The Tommyfield in Kennington
The Tommyfield, Kennington is a bustling and modern pub. As well as tasty food – available at half price to guests – you’ll discover comedy and quiz nights. When you’ve had enough fun, simply head upstairs to one of their six rooms. Each is individually decorated, with touches such as Pop Art on the walls contrasting to wooden panels or exposed boards. The emphasis is on getting a quality night’s sleep: all beds are Super King or King-sized and rooms are fitted with blackout curtains or blinds – meaning you can be up bright and refreshed to discover the neighbourhood.
The Dog and Fox in Wimbledon
Situated in the well-heeled Wimbledon village, the Dog and Fox is a gastropub that prides itself on best Sunday Roast in the whole of south west London. If that’s not reason in itself to book a stay, its location – close to Wimbledon Common – gives you the opportunity to play local squire while knowing you are just a short journey away from central London. In keeping with its location, its decor offers a contemporary take on a countryside look, with plenty of tartan, faux fur and cosy touches. There’s plenty to explore without even leaving the building, from the main bar and dining area to the intimate space of the library.
There are 17 rooms in total, including three larger suites – the Hound suite even comes with its own turret! All rooms benefit from Hypnos beds with luxury linen, flatscreen TVs, mixed in with characterful furniture. A fifteen minutes walk from Wimbledon tennis club, you could says this offers the best night’s stay in the area, game, set and match!
Author: Frances Ambler