Hotels fit for Royalty: Where to spot a Royal in London

By Sue Wallace

Dine like royalty at The Ritz Restaurant.
Dine like royalty at The Ritz Restaurant.
Your best chance of rubbing shoulders with a royal: These London hotels know how to turn on the luxury treatment and offer experiences fit for a queen.

The Ritz London

Step through the doors of this beautiful hotel and chances are you will soon be humming the Irving Berlin hit, Puttin’ on The Ritz, even before you’ve unpacked.

Once described by Jackie Onassis as “paradise”, the hotel with its 111 rooms and 25 suites has wowed guests since César Ritz opened it in 1906.

Royal connections are many: the late Queen Mother regularly dined there and requested her favourite song, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

In 2002, it became the first and only hotel in the world to receive a Royal Warrant for Banqueting and Catering Services from the Prince of Wales. The royal family members are familiar faces at the hotel, which is situated near Buckingham Palace.

Highlights of our stay include the iconic afternoon tea in The Palm Court, where under glittering chandeliers you can sip Ritz Royal Blend Tea, one of 18 teas served by tea sommelier Giandomenico Scanu.

It’s so popular, there are five seatings daily with more than 1000 scones and 5000 finger sandwiches consumed.

Often likened to stepping into a glittering jewellery box, the chic Rivoli Bar with its leopard-skin chairs is perfect for the signature Ritz 110 cocktail, before dining at the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant.

With its towering marble columns and Louis XVI styling, it is one of the world’s most beautiful dining rooms.

Executive chef John Williams creates dishes with the best of seasonal British ingredients.

Later, we retire to our spacious suite with a sitting area and large bathroom and ponder who else has stayed here. A photo of actress Rita Hayworth draped in mink is on display – seems she, like so many others, fancied The Ritz, too.

Time to head to the airport? Step into the Ritz Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB, built by hand in England. No doubt the royals would approve.

Kate Middleton stayed in The Goring's Royal Suite the night before her wedding to Prince William.
Kate Middleton stayed in The Goring’s Royal Suite the night before her wedding to Prince William.

The Goring

Deep in the heart of Belgravia, London’s last family-owned luxury hotel is so close to Buckingham Palace you may hear the Queen’s two ‘dorgis’, Vulcan and Candy, bark.

The huge Royal Suite with its four rooms, complete with the finest handcrafted bespoke pieces and sumptuous decor, is fit for a princess.

The Duchess of Cambridge spent the night here before her wedding.

There’s also a quirky touch: the shower in the master bathroom features a life-size, glass-covered photo of Queen Victoria, who watches over you as you soap up.

In all, the hotel has 69 suites and rooms.

Otto Goring opened the hotel in 1910 and great-grandson Jeremy is the fourth generation at the helm of the luxury hotel. In 2013, the hotel received a Royal Warrant of appointment to HM The Queen for Hospitality Services.

The Gorings have a great sense of humour and can chuckle at themselves. Check out the lobby’s wallpaper depicting English parkland with escaped wild animals – there are caricatures of the owners.

There are exciting plans ahead with the opening of a new restaurant later this year. It will complement the Linley-designed, Michelin-starred dining room, where the late Queen Mother’s favourite dish, eggs drumkilbo, is on the menu.

The bar and lounge will also have a new look.

Our beautiful suite overlooks the manicured gardens, which are larger than Centre Court at Wimbledon. Instead of chocolates at turndown, a footman arrives bearing a silver tray with ingredients for a Cosmopolitan cocktail: a great way to end the day.

Fancy your newspaper ironed before reading it or a gourmet picnic in the park with a quartet? Practically everything is possible at this beautiful hotel.

The hotel’s mascot, The Goring Sheep – a fluffy stuffed sheep – makes a great parting gift.

The Venetian Suite at The Milestone.
The Venetian Suite at The Milestone.

The Milestone Hotel & Residences

Opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reside, stands the Milestone Hotel: an establishment rich in history and royal experiences.

Opened in the 1920s, the luxury boutique hotel takes its name from a 500-year-old, cast-iron milestone that stands outside and points to London’s Hyde Park corner.

The hotel features three tall townhouses with red-brick Victorian grandeur. All the 43 deluxe guest rooms, 13 luxury suites and six long-stay residences are different, adorned with fine fabrics, fresh flowers, antique furnishings and rare artworks.

In a tribute to the Duchess of Sussex, the elegant Meghan Suite features the work of master craftsmen, artisans and designers.

An exquisite 18th-century ebonised French bureau blends well with Giacometti style chairs, original contemporary art, handmade Savoir bed and the large, striking black-and-white marble bathroom.

When it comes to afternoon tea, mini-monarchs are well catered for.

The Prince & Princess ‘Spoonful Of Sugar’ afternoon tea at the Milestone features sandwiches, scones, pastries and a mocktail.

Executive chef Rob Creaser and his team serve fine cuisine with an accent on modern British dishes at Cheneston’s Restaurant.

Meanwhile, the Stables Bar serves great cocktails.

Guests can also relax in the sauna or heated plunge pool.

Expect right royal treatment at The Milestone with a ratio of two staff per guest.

Read more:
7 incredible castle stays so you can live like royalty
The world’s most romantic travel locations


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