There are many defining characteristics and iconic landmarks in London; one of the most important is part of the reason that London exists at all: the Romans settled on the northern banks of the River Thames and established Londinium in 43 AD in part because the waterway provided access to the continent for trade and commerce; the river has remained an important part of London’s economic success ever since.
Today, the river looks much different than it did when the Romans arrived – but it’s still an overlooked but beautiful part of London. What better way to appreciate the Thames’ importance than with a view of the river from your accommodation? There are some great hotels along the River Thames, ranging from budget to blow-out.
In this post, I’ve looked at all of the hotels along the Thames and come up with what I consider to be a mostly impartial list. I’ve stayed all over London and have opinions about many places I’ve stayed – but these hotels and their proximity to the river offer something quite special. No matter which one you choose, being so near the important Thames will be a highlight of your stay.
Ready to see my full list of the best hotels along the Thames? Below you’ll find a map, ranked list, and plenty of details to demonstrate why each accommodation is a great choice.
Featured photo courtesy of my friend Nida, who I lived with when I called London home!
The Best Hotels Along the River Thames
In choosing which hotels to include on this list, I was quite particular: I didn’t just look for hotels with a view of the Thames, as some hotels have great views which are in fact nowhere near the river itself. Instead, I looked only at those properties that are within the first block of development along the Thames; there are roads that parallel the river on both sides and I used these as my primary constraint. Additionally, I only looked at hotels along the River Thames between Tower Bridge in the east and Vauxhall Bridge in the west. This helped me constrain my list primarily to Central London, which is where most people stay anyway.
In the end, I came up with 13 hotels along the Thames, which you can see on the map:
I also put them in a ranked list, by comparing the average score they received on Google, and the number of reviews they received there too. I did a bit of fancy finagling (aka math, like my list of the best hostels in London) to come up with this final list. If you have any questions or your own opinions about the best hotels on this list, let me know in the comments.
|1||The Savoy Hotel||$$$$||5.15|
|3||Cheval Three Quays||$$$||4.94|
|5||Sea Containers London||$$||4.70|
|6||The Royal Horseguards Hotel||$$||4.57|
|7||Crowne Plaza London, Albert Embankment||$$||4.55|
|8||London Marriott Hotel County Hall||$$$||4.53|
|9||The Westin London City||$$$||4.46|
|10||Park Plaza London Riverbank||$$||4.44|
|11||Locke at Broken Wharf||$$||4.36|
|12||The Tower Hotel||$||4.33|
|13||Premier Inn London County Hall||$||4.32|
While it might seem like those hotels lower on the list are “worse,” that’s actually not true – it’s necessarily that case that any ranked list of places will always have some at the top of the list and some at the bottom. The reality is that you really can’t go wrong with any of the hotels along the Thames; instead, it’s a matter of choosing one that fits your travel style and budget. Read on to learn more about each one.
1. The Savoy Hotel
The Savoy Hotel is a big name within the hotel industry, both in London and worldwide. It was London’s first luxury hotel, and, like fine wine, it’s only gotten better with time. Everything oozes a sense of tradition here. The unmistakable stainless steel Savoy sign and Lalique fountain at the front, its exquisite blend of Edwardian and Art Deco, its infamous American Bar. It’s no surprise that it tops the list of best hotels along the Thames too, given the high standard it holds.
The Savoy sits on The Strand, the only street in Britain where traffic is on the right. It is a convenient location for art lovers, with West End theaters and National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Courtauld Institute of Art just across the river.
2. Corinthia London
The Corinthia doesn’t need introductions. The top luxury hotel has been pampering luxury fans for 137 years since its opening in 1885. Located in central London, Corinthia London spares no expense. It is all about finesse and grandeur. The hotel has opulent penthouses, some of the best dining in the country, and a four-floor spa.
The service is equally outstanding. From the moment you walk into the hotel, smiling faces greet you and lead you to your room. Should you decide to leave the hotel’s room (which I think would be hard), you won’t be short of attractions to explore as the elegant property is a stone’s throw from the city’s finest attractions.
3. Cheval Three Quays
An award-winning hotel, Cheval Three Quays epitomizes the London experience. It’s one of the most convenient hotels along the River Thames. It spans over nine floors, which comprise 159 apartments plus two stunning penthouse suites.
While not all apartments overlook the Thames, the ones that do offer sweeping views, feature floor-to-ceiling windows in each room and a terrace with chairs to enjoy a lovely sunrise or sunset, with London’s skyline as the backdrop. Don’t worry if you don’t get a view. These apartments come with everything you need to keep you entertained. They provide binoculars so you can spy on locals commuting from the comfort of your living room.
4. Native Bankside
Far from all the pomp and splendor, Native Bankside is a hotel that likes to lie low. The hotel sits on an unassuming, quiet street just off the banks of the Thames. Its interiors, however, are second to none. The rooms feature a modern look with concrete-grey wood paneling, exposed brick and glass, shag carpets, back-lighting, and contemporary art.
The location is phenomenal. Just head out the front door and walk a block to the right to reach the Thames with great pubs and eateries all around, or go left instead, and the Borough Market is just a few blocks away. Finally, the Native Bankside is incredibly affordable. You’d be hard-pressed to find better value for money in London.
5. Sea Containers London
Sea Containers was a breath of fresh air when it opened in 2014. Housed in a former maritime transport company building, the hotel somehow balanced industrial nautical themes with unparalleled luxury in such a way that it features an in-house Curzon cinema, the stunning Agua Spa, and award-winning bars.
The rooms are on the modern side with little kitsch details that add life to the space and come with all the comforts you’d expect of a top-end hotel. The location is fantastic and easy walking distance to all major London theaters.
Lyaness, the swanky bar overlooking the Thames, makes the hotel truly special. It is one of the best in London and the world, making it to the 50 Best List in 2020.
6. The Royal Horseguards Hotel
The Royal Horseguards hotel is one of the most centrally-located hotels Along the River Thames. The hotel is housed in a Grade I-listed building and features 282 rooms spread over eight floors. Its stunning location will save lots of trips on the Tube. London’s most iconic sights, including the London Eye, Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament, Covent Garden, and numerous galleries, are right at your doorstep. Despite being in a busy area, numerous green areas and parks (St James’s Park is just around the corner) surround the area, which helps mitigate the city’s bustle.
As for the rooms, they follow a more traditional style, and there’s a clear intention of retaining their historical vibe. However, there’s a pretty good selection of modern décor that animates the place.
7. Crowne Plaza London, Albert Embankment
Located between Vauxhall and Lambeth bridges, Crowne Plaza London is a relatively new addition to the exclusive club of hotels along the Thames. The property is modern and up to date yet still manages to retain the intimate feel of a boutique hotel. It features 142 rooms, a small lobby, and two restaurants.
Unlike other hotels on the list, the Crowne Plaza London is a bit more compact. However, all the impressive details give off a complete sense of grandness. Just look at the lobby and its stunning twisted blown glass chandelier.
Moreover, Crowne Plaza London features two restaurants, POTUS and Mezemiso – the latter is a must-try for travelers with a weakness for Middle-Eastern food. Finally, the hotel sits on the Southbank, so sweeping views of Big Ben is a pleasure you’ll indulge in daily.
8. London Marriott Hotel County Hall
There are many kinds of hotels. You have the ones you’d never return to, the ones you would come back to, and the ones you not only would come back to but also recommend to others. The London Marriott Hotel County Hall belongs to the last kind.
It is the absolute definition of the “London experience.” As one of the fanciest hotels along the River Thames, the Marriott combines a stunning location with top-notch facilities, luxurious rooms, and an above-and-beyond staff. You can’t beat its super-central London location, with views of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. Moreover, the Marriott houses the Gillray’s Steakhouse, a restaurant worth the trip all by itself.
9. The Westin London City
The Westin London City is one of the newest hotels along the River Thames. A member of the Marriott Chain, the hotel opened in 2021 and has already gathered a solid base of fans. The hotel enjoys a stunning riverside location– especially its wine bar, which also serves exquisite cocktails.
Visitors rave about the hotel’s amenities and its accommodating staff. You have a high-end restaurant, spa & wellness center, and a swimming pool—everything you need to unwind after a long day. A lovely staff member will welcome you with a bubbly glass of Prosseco and lead you to your room upon arrival.
10. Park Plaza London Riverbank
An ode to sophisticated design, the Park Plaza London Riverbank is a gem among the numerous hotels on the River Thames. The chic hotel features an unbeatable location and atmosphere, with 90 suites overlooking the Thames. Each room is brimming tiny details, like Elemis skin-care products and electrical controls to command digital appliances from the comfort of your bed.
The biggest asset of this hotel is the staff. They are insanely accommodating; you can tell their number one priority is ensuring you have a prime customer’s experience. Also, the breakfast here is exceptional, with a huge variety of choices. Regarding convenience, the hotel is within walking distance from Westminster Abbey and the Parliament, plus it has easy access to city bus stops and a tube station.
11. Locke at Broken Wharf
Not everyone comes to London for pleasure. Some are here to do business. If that’s your case, you won’t find a better place to stay than the Locke at Broken Wharf. The property has elevated the “aparthotel” experience to a whole new level. Featuring 113 studios, Locke welcomes visitors that stay up to three months. Naturally, the rooms feature a design and aesthetic that caters to the needs of these guests.
Muted colors, warm furniture, indoor greenery are the essentials of the hotel’s aesthetic. As for the location, the area is primarily offices, which ensures rooms are blissfully quiet at night. However, getting a late dinner or drinks around here can be challenging. Luckily, there’s a wonderful cafe/coffee shop in the hotel’s lobby area.
12. The Tower Hotel
London has hundreds of buildings you just can’t get tired of looking at, one being Tower Bridge. The Tower Hotel, as the name insinuates, has heart-stopping views of Tower Bridge. It also enjoys privileged views of St Katherine’s docks. So, it definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Besides astounding views, the hotel’s breakfast seems to keep visitors coming back every time they set foot in London. Each morning, the staff serves a mouthwatering complimentary English Breakfast buffet – with bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, hash browns, baked beans, and an impressive assortment of bread, cereal, juice, and coffee or tea.
As for the rooms, the hotel has an authentic British vibe, with “old-feel” rooms, pastel wallpapered walls, and vintage drapes. The location is excellent for catching the underground (tower hill station is a 5minute walk away), and plenty of restaurants are nearby.
13. Premier Inn London County Hall
The Premier Inn London County Hall is amazing from the word go. Everything is fantastic from the moment you book a room to your actual stay at the hotel.
First, the service is excellent. The staff goes out of their way to help you with your bags and orientate you in the area, and show you the hotel’s amenities. The true highlight of the hotel is the room’s size. London hotels tend to have compact rooms – unless you’re staying in an upscale hotel – yet that’s not the case with the Premier Inn London. Rooms here are generous and can comfortably sleep up to four people.
As for location, the hotel is on the doorstep of the London Eye, mid-way between Jubilee footbridge and Westminster bridge. If you ask me, the Premier Inn London is one of the best London Hotels on the Thames for budget-conscious travelers as the value for money is exceptional.
Now that you’ve seen them all, which one will you choose? Let me know any questions about these great hotels along the River Thames in the comments!