20 best river / water view hotels in London
How does waking up to a view of the River Thames in London sound?
The UK capital has plenty of excellent choices when it comes to choosing a hotel with a dreamy river/water view. While staying in a boutique Central London Airbnb is also an option, this post is all about hotels.
Ideal for couples looking for a romantic getaway, these river/water view hotels will start your trip off the right way.
Covering luxury, mid-range and budget accommodation, there’s sure to be something here that ticks all of your boxes.
1. Luxury — The Royal Horseguards
Stay at a London riverside location that’s between the River Thames and Trafalgar Square at The Royal Horseguards.
This 5-star hotel overlooking the London Eye, is also just a short walk from attractions like the National Gallery.
Parliament Square, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are also within 10-minutes walking distance.
Traditional with a modern flair — river view hotels London
Mixing history with modern décor, The Royal Horseguards has 282 rooms and suites featuring original Victorian features.
Room types range from garden-view rooms to the magnificent River View Royal Horseguards Suite.
Also, on site, is the One Twenty One Two Restaurant, which creates dishes using fresh and artisanal ingredients. Stop by after for a drink, or a small bite, at the traditional Equus Bar.
Did you know? There’s a secret herb garden at the terrace of The Royal Horseguards.
Come here for al-fresco dining, and some delicious herb-infused bespoke cocktails.
2. Shangri-La Shard
The Shangri-La name is synonymous around the world with luxury and a high standard, of well, everything!
Since opening in 2013, The Shard is one of the most popular attractions in London. And, within this incredible skyscraper is a branch of the Shangri-La Hotel.
Occupying levels 34 to 52, the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard offers luxury accommodation at the highest level.
Large rooms in London
Within its glass structure are 202 rooms and suites, and all with generous room space and floor-to-ceiling windows. The décor follows the oriental theme that runs throughout the hotel.
Both the Superior Shard Rooms and the Premier Shard Suites offer views of the River Thames, and beyond.
Bath times here are something else. The en-suite, marble bathrooms come with underfloor heating, separate bath tubs and also a glass-enclosed shower.
Guests can also enjoy Acqua di Parma toiletries, luxury bathrobes, and mirrors with integrated TV screens.
Drinks and dinner on site — river view hotels London
There are 3 dining and drinking venues at Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard. Its signature restaurant, TING, is located on level 35.
The hotel’s less than 1 minute from London Bridge Train and tube station. As well as the iconic bridge being close by, the fantastic Borough Market’s also within easy walking distance.
Did you know? The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard is also home to the highest champagne and cocktail bar in London.
Sip on a few cocktails, and enjoy the dizzying sights of the capital at GŎNG on level 52.
River view hotels London — The Savoy Suite bedroom ©The Savoy
3. The Savoy
Check into a hotel that’s in the heart of London’s Theatreland and one that also has river view rooms.
The Savoy is most famous for its 1930s Art Deco style; something that runs throughout the entire hotel.
There are 267 guest rooms and suites decorated in either Edwardian or Art Deco style.
Many of the rooms also come with views overlooking the River Thames. The surrounding area’s ideal for theater, as well as for shopping and general sightseeing in London.
Covent Garden is a few minutes away, while Waterloo Bridge and Somerset House are also close by.
River view hotels London — a luxury hotel in Theatreland
There are several room types to choose from at The Savoy.
From the range, however, my favorite has to be the Luxury King Room River View. As its name suggests, these rooms directly overlook the River Thames. This room also comes with a king-size bed and luxury toiletries from British brand, Penhaligon’s.
Inside The Savoy are some of the capital’s most well-known restaurants and bars.
They include iconic chef, Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill, and the Simpson’s-In-The-Strand. The American Bar and the Beaufort Bar are the perfect spots to try a classic cocktail, or something more unique.
Did you know? All vehicles entering and leaving The Savoy drive on the right.
It has been this way since the hotel opened in 1889, allowing easier access for approaching and leaving the hotel.
The Savoy Suite living room with river view ©The Savoy
“Ideal for couples looking for a romantic getaway, these river/water view hotels will start your trip off the right way.”
Map: 20 water view hotels in London
4. Corinthia London
To put it simply, I adore the Corinthia Hotel. It’s moments from Trafalgar Square and Whitehall — home to no.10 Downing Street.
There are 283 rooms, 51 of which are suites, and 7 are penthouses. To wake up to river views, and the London Eye, I suggest booking the River Suite. The suite comes with a living room and work area, bathtub with a built-in TV and a separate rain shower.
For a truly luxurious, and very British, experience, the River Suite also comes with a complimentary butler service.
Unwind at the luxury spa
The remarkable ESPA Life at Corinthia is a place that’s designed for ultimate relaxation. It uses products of the same name, and offers guests a wide range of spa and health treatments.
The spa team consists of traditional Chinese medicine acupuncturists, naturopaths, as well as physiotherapists and spa professionals.
While here, make a booking at one of the hotel’s restaurants — one from Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge. There’s also a choice of 3 bars, offering everything from bespoke cocktails to fine wines and champagne.
Did you know? The Corinthia also has an Actor’s Penthouse.
No acting credentials are required here, just a serious taste for sophisticated living.
The beautifully blue Corinthia London River Suite — River view hotels London ©Corinthia
5. London Marriott Hotel County Hall
You’ll already be familiar with the name Marriott, but you may not know this London branch overlooking the River Thames.
Wake up to instagrammable views of Big Ben, and its neighbor, the Houses of Parliament, at this 5-star hotel.
There are 206 rooms in total at the Marriott London County Hall. Elegant, spacious and with luxury features like marble bathrooms and high-quality beddings, you’re sure to have a relaxing stay.
River Thames View rooms are available as a suite, deluxe room and deluxe family room.
More inside — river view hotels London
Also, within the hotel grounds is a modern 6,000sqr ft gym, complete with fitness classes and personal trainers. There’s also a swimming pool along with a relaxing sauna and steam room.
Grab dinner with a spectacular view at its local restaurant, Gillrays Steakhouse & Bar. The menu has, among other things, succulent steaks as well traditional English cuisine.
The Marriott Hotel County Hall is about 6 minutes by foot from Westminster tube station and 10 minutes to Waterloo.
Did you know? Inside is a restaurant in the style of a 1920s library.
Named, The Library, diners can indulge in a traditional afternoon tea while in the surroundings of exquisite oak bookcases.
Enjoy your meals with a river view at The Library at the ©Marriott Hotel County Hall
6. Mid-range — Cheval Three Quays
Get the best of luxury apartment and hotel living at Cheval Three Quays.
Located next to my favorite London attraction, the Tower of London, the building also overlooks the River Thames.
Each of the 159 apartments are spacious, modern and come with everything you need for a comfortable stay.
These include an open-plan kitchen, living room, coffee machine, microwave and dishwasher. There’s also free Wi-Fi, and an on-site fitness center in the apartment complex.
The Luxury One-Bedroom Apartment River View includes a master bedroom, and plenty of storage space.
Best yet, are the uninterrupted views of views of the river and HMS Belfast from the comfort of your apartment.
Just like a hotel — river view hotels London
All the apartments are serviced, with a concierge, housekeeping and maintenance team on hand to take care of your needs.
The nearest tube station’s Tower Hill, which is 5 minutes away. The financial district, the City of London is also easily reachable by foot, or public transport.
Take advantage of Cheval Three Quays’ river location by jumping on board London’s boat service. Thames Clippers arrive and depart at the closest stop, Tower Pier.
Did you know? Cheval Three Quays can have groceries delivered to your apartment in 2 hours.
UK supermarket chain, Waitrose, delivers right to your door, meaning all you have to do is relax.
Take in the view of the River Thames from ©Cheval Three Quays Terrace
7. Sea Containers
Enjoy a prime riverside location that’s also within minutes walking distance of top cultural attractions in London.
Sea Containers London has 359 guest rooms, many of which have river views, and some which also come with terraces.
Each room has bespoke furniture and marble bathrooms complete with either rainfall shower or bath. Smell sweet after bath times with luxury toiletries from American brand Malin+Goetz.
Upgrade your accommodation to the Riverview Balcony Suite, featuring wall-to-wall windows and a fully furnished private balcony.
Also, here is the Sea Containers Restaurant and 12th Knot rooftop bar and terrace offering fantastic views over London. If time permits, book a treatment or two at the sublime agua Spa London.
The hotel with the movie theater — river view hotels London
One unique feature about Sea Containers London is its on-site Curzon cinema.
Relax with a new release or re-visit a classic matinée in the 56-seat theater. It’s open for guests from Friday evenings through to Sunday.
A stay at Sea Containers London means surrounding yourself in culture. The hotel’s a short 7-minute walk to the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Blackfriars train and tube station is 8 minutes from the hotel. Waterloo train and tube station is also nearby at just 12 minutes from the property.
Did you know? Sea Containers Hotel is also home to Lyaness, which was voted one of the world’s 50 best bars.
River view hotels London — outside the fabulous Sea Containers
8. The Tower Hotel
Looking for a London hotel that lets you wake up to views of Tower Bridge? The Tower Hotel lets you do just that, with a location between the River Thames and St Katherine’s Dock.
There are a whopping 801 guest rooms at The Tower Hotel.
Each room comes with fast, free Wi-Fi, complimentary toiletries and an en-suite bathroom. Upgrade your stay to one of the Tower Hotel suites, which have a kitchen, living room, Nespresso® coffee machine and access to the club lounge.
The Executive Double Tower Bridge View Room ticks off the bridge and the river view boxes.
Plenty on the menu — river view hotels London
Vicinity restaurant dishes up freshly prepared Asian fusion cuisine as well as pizzas and traditional favorites. Grab a drink, and a view of Tower Bridge and The Shard, from the Xi hotel bar.
Tower Hill tube station is close by, as is its namesake attraction, The Tower of London.
River transport, courtesy of the Thames Clippers, is also available, with St Katherine’s Pier just 2 minutes away. Avoid the traffic and see the capital via water instead.
9. Novotel London Excel
ExCeL London is an exhibition and gallery space that hosts international events throughout the year. Novotel London Excel is just 150 yards from the center and is ideal for travelers in town for an event.
Central London is about 30 minutes by tube, while Canary Wharf and London City Airport are also within easy reach. Custom House Station on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) is the closest public transportation.
DLR is another form of rail transportation that you can only find in this part of London.
As you’d expect from the Novotel brand, rooms are stylish, modern, and designed for work purposes. Inside is a large work area, a laptop safe, minibar and a contemporary bathroom.
A different perspective of London — river view hotels London
Enjoy dinner with views of the Royal Victoria Dock and London skyline at The Upper Deck Restaurant & Bar. They serve brasserie-style cuisine, with an outdoor terrace that’s popular come summer.
Unique and upcoming, the docklands area of London is an exciting part of the capital. Along with ExCeL London, there are also a handful of top waterside bars and restaurants to explore.
Did you know? As well as a sauna and fitness center, Novotel London Excel also has a traditional hammam.
River view hotels London — explore the Docklands area from Novotel London Excel
11. Sunborn Hotel
Why sleep in a luxury hotel when you can instead sleep in a luxury yacht?
Sunborn Hotel London is a floating super-yacht hotel located in the docklands area in south-east London.
Out of the 136 rooms on board, only 4 of them are suites.
A stay at one of Sunborn London’s Yacht Executive Suites is the ultimate luxury experience.
Enjoy the 45m² living space, the memorable views from the sundeck of the docks and the surrounding area. Interiors are elegant, with bespoke furnishings and a timber sundeck.
Some of the features included when booking a suite include:
- Early check-in and late check-out
- A private balcony or terrace with view of the dock or river; and
- Luxurious king-size bed and queen-size sofa bed.
There’s also a 24-hour front desk at the property as well as a ticket service and a tour desk.
Explore the area — river view hotels London
Sunborn London is less than a minute’s walk from ExCeL London exhibition center.
Grab a birds-eye view of the city from the high-flying Emirates cable car. The dock is 5 minutes from the hotel and takes you over the river directly to the O2 Arena.
Custom House DLR station is also nearby (5 minutes). From here, you can travel to nearby sights such as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Did you know? London City Airport is a speedy 7-minute drive away.
Enjoy a luxury floating experience on board the Sunborn London yacht
10. Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
Pick a London hotel location that’s not only right by the river but one that also faces Big Ben. Park Plaza Westminster Bridge has 1,019 rooms and suites at a choice London address.
The One Bedroom Suite-Big Ben View is 55m² with views overlooking the river and the iconic London clock.
It also comes with a large separate living room and dining table. The suite sleeps a maximum of 4 guests and is ideal for families with children.
For keep-fit enthusiasts, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is a good choice. As well as a 24-hour gym and 20-yard swimming pool on site, there’s also a sauna and steam room.
The intoxicating Mandara Spa offers guests a wide range of luxury treatments, including massages and facials.
All under one roof
Brasserie Joël is the hotel’s signature restaurant, bringing fine dining and French cuisine to your table. Traditional afternoon tea and all-day tapas takes places at the 1WB Lounge & Patisserie.
The hotel also has its very own sashimi bar. Ichi Sushi & Sashimi serves up deliciously fresh platters with views overlooking the river. Everything’s made to order by the team of sushi chefs; all you need to bring is your appetite.
Westminster and Waterloo tube stations are within easy reach of the hotel. Surrounding attractions include the London Eye, London South Bank and the London Aquarium.
Did you know? The hotel’s bar, Primo Bar, provides live evening entertainment every night.
Enjoy a street or river view at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel — River view hotels London
12. citizenM Tower of London Hotel
If convenience is your priority, citizenM Tower of London could be for you. The 4-star hotel is located directly above Tower Hill tube station.
With 370 luxury fitted rooms on site, it’s a good mid-range choice for a London hotel with river views.
Stylish, comfortable and individual, rooms come with wall-to-wall windows, extra-large king-size beds, and a refreshing rain shower. Views of the River Thames and the vicinity are free, as is the WiFi. Going hungry or thirsty isn’t an option here, as food and drink is available 24/7.
An in-room international plug system is also available in case you’ve left your adaptors at home.
A stay at citizenM Tower of London means getting the essentials your need for a relaxing stay.
River view hotels London — rooms and landmarks
With the nearest tube station directly above, the hotel’s namesake attraction, The Tower of London, is just 50 yards away. The beaming Tower Bridge is also a close 200 yards from the property.
Did you know? Each room comes with a flat-screen TV with cable, Apple TV/Miracast and free movies on-demand.
Guests also have access to an iPad, which controls the features of room.
Watch the sun set over Tower Bridge from citizenM Tower of London Hotel
13. Budget — DoubleTree by London Hilton – Docklands Riverside
A former 17th century wharf building is the setting of this next hotel.
DoubleTree by Hilton London – Docklands Riverside is situated in south-east London along the River Thames. The building was London’s last dry dock for shipbuilding.
Each of the 378 rooms are en suite and come with facilities like a flat-screen TV and complimentary WiFi. Most guest rooms come with a city or river view.
On site is the hotel’s Columbia Restaurant, which cooks dishes using seasonal produce.
The outdoor terrace overlooks the financial hub of Canary Wharf and the River Thames. It’s also great for barbecues come summer.
The surrounding area — river view hotels London
DoubleTree by London Hilton — Docklands Riverside is in the London borough of Southwark. It’s a great area for exploring the architecture, and of course, for taking strolls alongside the river.
The hotel’s only 15 minutes on foot from Canary Wharf tube station. River Thames fleet services are also nearby, while London City Airport is 30 minutes by car.
Did you know? The hotel offers a free ferry for guests from its own pier to Canary wharf.
Wake up to water views at DoubleTree Docklands Riverside © 2020 Hilton — River view hotels London
14. Good Hotel London
The clue’s in the name of the agenda behind this waterfront London hotel.
Good Hotel London is a non-profit floating property in the docklands area of the capital.
There are several room types available, but only one that gets you that calming view. The Water view room measures about 13sqm and comes with a double or twin bed, with views overlooking the water.
Additional features also include original artwork, fluffy down pillows, and complimentary high-speed WiFi.
Everything under one floating roof
Good Hotel London has several places on board where you can grab refreshments.
The Living Room serves up food made from locally sourced ingredients, while the on-site coffee corner delivers your caffeine fix.
Weather permitting, the hotel also has a rooftop terrace. It’s ideal for unwinding after a long day with a glass of wine, and if lucky, a colorful sunset too.
Good Hotel London is just 10 minutes away from ExCeL London and 1.8 miles (2.9km) from London City Airport.
Did you know? By staying at Good Hotel London, you’re helping the local community.
The hotel re-invests all their profits to train long-term unemployed local people in London. Further afield, they also help to educate underprivileged children in Guatemala.
Explore the Docklands area of the capital while staying at Good Hotel London — River view hotels London
15. Ibis London Excel Docklands
Another budget London hotel in the docklands area is Ibis London Excel Docklands.
Bright and modern rooms, each of the 278 bedrooms have all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Enjoy soft beds, power showers and tea and coffee making facilities.
The on-site restaurant, Fogg’s, serves a variety of international dishes, such as pizzas and gourmet burgers. Also at Fogg’s is a bar as well as a snack service.
An area to explore — river view hotels London
Ibis London Excel Docklands is less than 1 minute from ExCeL London and the Emirates cable car. Royal Victoria and Custom House DLR stations are also close by, with central London just 30 minutes away.
Did you know? There’s a new room type available at Ibis London Excel Docklands.
The Double SweetRoom by Ibis is contemporary, features premium materials and comes with a river or park view.
16. Aloft London Excel
The only hotel from which you can directly access the convention center, Aloft London Excel is a great affordable choice.
Also located in the docklands area, there are 252 guest rooms at this waterfront hotel. Independently-mindful guests can check in using the touch and go self-service system.
Room features include a signature bed, a 42-inch flat-screen TV and free WiFi. Suites come with their own separate living area.
River view hotels London — everyone is welcome
Its on-site restaurant, Docksider, is open for an English and continental-style breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop by the W XYZ Bar for a signature cocktail and some live music performances.
Shed off the calories after at the hotel’s gym and swimming pool.
Prince Regent DLR Station is just 100 yards from the property, allowing easy access to Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena.
Did you know? Dogs are welcome at Aloft London Excel.
Simply let the hotel know that your furry companion will be coming along, and they’ll provide the dog bed.
The WXYZ Bar at Aloft Excel London — River view hotels London
17. Crowne Plaza London Battersea — away from the center
If you prefer your riverside hotel away from the crowds, you should highly consider booking the Crowne Plaza London Battersea.
This area of south-west London is most known for the iconic Battersea Power Station and the wonderfully serene Battersea Park.
All of the 78 rooms at this 4-star hotel are modern, colorful and soundproof. Enjoy the river views from the spacious seating area, along with free WiFi and 24-hour room service.
SPA time — river view hotels London
Aside from the fantastic views, my favorite feature about the hotel has to be the adults only spa.
The hydropool will melt your stresses away, while the range of spa treatments will have you feeling like new.
Watch the sun set over the River Thames from the hotel’s rooftop terrace from the PAD Restaurant & Bar. Clapham Junction is the nearest tube and train station, providing easy access to central London and London Gatwick Airport.
Did you know? The Crowne Plaza London Battersea is outside the London congestion zone.
This means no charges to pay for driving into central London, and plenty of onsite parking.
Spend an hour or so in the hydropool at Crowne Plaza London Battersea — river view hotels London
18. Rafayel on the Left Bank
A 5-star riverside boutique hotel, Rafayel on the Left Bank is one of the world’s first eco-friendly luxury hotels.
Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious bathrooms and some even come with specially designed jet lag recovery lighting technology. You can also request a spa bath or partial river view when booking your room.
A green hotel — river view hotels London
The hotel’s aim is to provide 5-star quality, while using green technologies, and still minimizing its environmental impact.
Rafayel on the Left Bank works hard to reduce its carbon footprint in several ways. These include:
- using Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting
- adhering to Verband de Automobilinudstrie (VDA) standard efficiencies; and
- using rainwater harvesting.
Such initiatives help the hotel to reduce the carbon footprint of the average London hotel guest by 20%. Also on site is The Banyan on the Thames restaurant, a cocktail bar and a luxury spa.
The local and buzzing area of Clapham Junction is just 10 minutes away, as is the nearest train station.
Did you know? Rafayel on the Left Bank provides free shuttle transfers to Clapham Junction.
They can also take guests to nearby Sloane Square upon request or upon prior reservation.
Sip on a few cocktails with views of the river at Rafayel on the Left Bank
19. Intercontinental London — The 02
Be at the heart of the action and far from the crowds of central London. Intercontinental London – The O2 has 453 rooms in the Greenwich area of south-east London.
Nearby, is the O2 Arena, which you can access from the hotel via a covered walkway.
The Deluxe Club Rooms located on the higher floors are a must for securing panoramic views of the city.
Inside is a king-size bed, luxury down duvets, pillows and a 40-inch smart TV. Guests staying in these rooms can also access the spa and the Club InterContinental executive lounge.
River view hotels London — Greenwich living
Choose from one of 3 restaurants, such as Market Brasserie and 2 bars, including Eighteen Sky Bar. Situated on the 18th floor, take in views of the river with a delicious cocktail, and the city, at night.
North Greenwich tube station is 5 minutes from the hotel and the Emirates cable car is a 10-minute walk.
Did you know? The Arora Ballroom at Intercontinental London – The O2 is the largest pillar-free event space in the UK.
20. The Chelsea Harbour Hotel
You may have heard of the Chelsea English football club, but have you heard of the Chelsea Harbour?
Along with views of the River Thames, the 158-room Chelsea Harbour Hotel also offers guests views of the marina below.
The River View Suite is stylish, spacious, and comes with a large bathroom and marble bathtub.
Keep fit, or let off some steam, at The Blue Harbour Health Club and Spa. Inside, is a fitness center, 17m swimming pool and sauna and steam rooms. As well as spa treatments, they also provide wellness packages and day spa options.
Chelsea Riverside Brasserie is the hotel’s restaurant that overlooks the harbor. In the evening, enjoy a drink by candlelight beside its sparkling marina.
See a different, and upmarket, side of London at The Chelsea Harbour Hotel — river view hotels London
Welcome to Chelsea — river view hotels London
Chelsea is one of the most upmarket areas of London. Here, you can find the chic King’s Road, which has plenty of boutique shops to distract you with.
The Chelsea Harbour Hotel is just 5 minutes’ walk from here. Imperial Wharf station is the hotel’s closest public transport. It’s one of the newer London Overground stations, and is only 5 minutes from the hotel.
If arriving from Heathrow Airport, the journey takes about 45 minutes by car.
Which of these riverside / water view hotels would you most like to stay at? Would your other half enjoy any of these London locations? Let me know in the comments below.
Till next time, happy boutique travels x
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Welcome to my site! I'm Lisa, founder of Following the Rivera. I write primarily for a ‘flashpacker’ audience, a demographic (late 20s onward) that enjoys glamping over camping and staying at boutique/luxury boutique hotels. Flashpackers also like to indulge in the local food and wine, cultural activities, as well as a spot of wellness on their travels. Want to know more? Read on....