10 of the best family hotels in London for all budgets, near the top attractions
Which are the best family hotels for a London city break? We’ve picked 10 of the best child-friendly hotels in London from budget and mid-range options close to museums and attractions to riverside retreats
London is one huge playground for family fun – it’s got top museums, historic attractions, and acres of parks and green space. With a history dating back to Roman times, and its place as the UK’s capital cemented in 1066, London is a fascinating mix of ancient tales and modern innovation.
Families are spoiled for choice with must-visit museums including the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, British Museum and London Transport Museum. From dinosaurs and ancient beasts to astronauts and inventors, London’s museums have got it covered for children. There are iconic sights like Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament and London Zoo, as well as family-friendly shows including The Lion King, Matilda, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Playing host to the 2012 Olympic Games, the city added a new 560-acre public park to its 3,000 parks and green spaces, making it one of the greenest cities in Europe – perfect for exploring with children.
With some 270 nationalities calling London home, there’s a plethora of food and cultural heritage to explore too – even fussy eaters will find a tasty treat at the numerous food markets, cafés and restaurants.
Although the main sights of central London cover a total area of around 17 square miles, it’s easy and safe to get around on the public transport network as a family. Much of the underground and bus network is accessible, and London is brilliant for walking – take your time to see the sights with little explorers.
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After a busy day of sightseeing, retreating to a hotel that welcomes little ones is a must. So we've selected the best family-room hotels for kids, located in some of the best areas to stay in London with family.
Check out 15 of the best family days out in London, tried and tested by parents
Best family hotels in London at a glance
- Best for museums: The Resident Kensington, South Kensington, Expedia
- Best for large family groups: Doubletree by Hilton London Kensington, South Kensington, Booking.com
- Best hotel with a swimming pool: Park Plaza London Riverbank, Vauxhall, Expedia
- Best family hotel for sightseeing: Novotel London Waterloo, Waterloo, Expedia
- Best luxury family hotel in London: Haymarket Hotel, West End, Booking.com
- Best for families with babies/very young children: CitySpace Leicester Square, West End, Expedia
- Best budget child-friendly London hotel: Premier Inn London Greenwich, Greenwich, Premier Inn
- Best pet-friendly London hotel: Moxy London Stratford, Stratford/Olympic Park, Booking.com
- Best for wildlife lovers: Meliá White House, Regent’s Park, Expedia
- Best family resort: The Lensbury, Teddington, Expedia
When is the best time of year to visit?
London isn’t renowned for having the best weather but, in fact, the weather experts at the Met Office record at least 250 dry days each year. Summer temperatures can reach anywhere from 20°C up to the high 30s, with winter down to freezing. It’s worth packing wet weather gear for you and the kids whatever time of year you visit as rain can be unpredictable! The beauty of visiting London is the range of family attractions for any weather, from outdoor events and destinations to indoor museums, galleries and historic sites.
If it’s a festival feel you’re after, central London lights up with seasonal events during Christmas and New Year, while public spaces like Trafalgar Square host cultural holidays including Lunar New Year, Diwali, Eid, Vaisakhi and Chanukah.
What is the travel time to London?
London is a transport hub, with international flights coming in to land at Heathrow, Gatwick, and London City airports. Journey times from these airports into the centre of the city take between 25-45 minutes by public transport. London Stansted, Luton and Southend are further outside the capital, with regular trains into central London taking between half an hour and an hour. Travelling from within the UK, trains and coaches arrive into London’s stations including King’s Cross, St. Pancras, Euston, Paddington, Waterloo, Victoria, Liverpool Street, Charing Cross and London Bridge.
What’s the best way to get around London?
London’s public transport system is extensive, safe and relatively budget-friendly – especially if you’re travelling with children. You can use a contactless card across Transport for London’s tubes, buses, trams and overground trains (international fees may apply), or buy an Oyster card to load with credit for when you need it. The best part is that children under 5 travel free with a fare-paying adult across all services including the river bus, while under 11s travel free on buses and trams, the tube, DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line and some National Rail services. Children aged 5-15 get 50 per cent off the river bus fare.
Which are the biggest attractions in London?
There’s an overwhelming array of family-friendly attractions in London, so it’s worth plotting an itinerary based on area to squeeze the most out of a trip to the capital without little ones getting too exhausted.
No visit to London is complete without taking a look at Royal residences Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace. Surrounded by Royal Parks including Green Park, St James’s Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, it’s an ideal way to take stock of the city at the start or end of a visit. From Buckingham Palace, it’s less than a 25-minute walk to the River Thames to pick up a riverboat trip to see sights including the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament from the water – great for children learning about the history of the city at school.
Around the Southbank area, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium or Shrek’s Adventure are perfect kid-approved options for a wet day, or make the most of clear skies with a flight on the London Eye observation wheel for a bird’s eye view of the city’s landmarks. The Southbank Centre’s music and theatre auditoria and Tate Modern art gallery all have dedicated children’s events, for those who fancy a cultural fix.
It’s easy to spend at least a day exploring the free museums at South Kensington – which are ideal for all ages. The Science Museum has two brilliant indoor play areas for young children – the multi-sensory Pattern Pod for under 9s and interactive exploration zone The Garden for under 6s – plus it’s packed with loads of child-friendly exhibits across its 5 floors.
Next door, the Natural History Museum is guaranteed to wow dinosaur devotees, with 157 species on display including a moving, roaring T-Rex, while the V&A Museum’s focus on design is brought to life through free family activities and trails. The V&A’s sister museum, the Young V&A in Bethnal Green, is set to open in July featuring sensory playscapes, a finger skateboard park, construction zone, story-telling stage, and an open design studio for children and young people.
In the heart of the West End, the London Transport Museum is a must-see for any little fans of moving vehicles – check out the All Aboard playzone for dressing up fun among its fleet of mini trains, boats and even cable car. It’s a good spot to spend a few hours before taking in a musical show – The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre and Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre are both a few minutes’ walk away. You might want to take out a second mortgage for a visit to the huge Hamleys paradise – founded in 1760 and the world’s oldest toy shop – with its 7 floors of toys, games and crafts.
Animal lovers can get their wildlife fix at ZSL London Zoo in Regent’s Park while, heading eastwards, Stratford is home to the Discover Children’s Story Centre, with its outdoor story garden and 2 floors of interactive story spaces. Visit the nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to explore its pleasure gardens and play areas, splash fountain, or book a swim session at the former Olympic Aquatics Centre. Water confident over 8s can even tackle an inflatable obstacle course during school holidays and at weekends.
On the south west side of London are family-focused attractions including Hampton Court Palace, the former home of King Henry VIII, the London Wetland Centre, and Kew Gardens, with its huge children’s garden featuring water play, climbing zones and multi-sensory areas.
If there’s time to venture a bit farther afield, Chessington World of Adventures wildlife-focused theme park is just over an hour outside London by public transport or taxi, while Legoland Windsor (heaven for little Lego fans) is around an hour and a half.
Check out our guide to some of the best hotels for your family trip to London, with prices based on one night for a family of four during October half term…
Here are our 10 best family hotels in London
1. The Resident Kensington, Earl’s Court/South Kensington, Zone 1
– Best hotel for museums
Star rating 4-star | Deluxe room from £292 for 4 in October 2023 (room only) | Number of bedrooms 65 | Restaurants No | Swimming pool No| Heathrow Airport 12.2 miles | Early check-in and late check out when booking direct with hotel, mini kitchen in room
If it’s South Kensington’s amazing array of family-friendly museums and dining options you’re after, then The Resident Kensington gets a big tick. The Edwardian townhouse hotel is in a fantastic location around 15 minutes’ walk to the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A Museum.
Rated 9.4 on Booking.com by families for a stay with kids, plus ranked best value of family hotels in South Kensington on TripAdvisor, guests love the friendly staff, HD TV with Disney+, and mini kitchens. Describing the hotel as a little gem, one family reviewer writing on TripAdvisor explained: “The room and the kitchenette is perfect for a small family when you need to rustle up snacks and drinks for children, plus the small courtyard was an added bonus.”
Deluxe rooms have a king-size bed and two pull-out beds or a sofa bed, plus a mini kitchen including a fridge, kettle and microwave. “Our room was a great size for our family of 4 and the kitchenette was so handy,” explained one family reviewer on Booking.com.
When you’ve had your fill of all the dinosaurs and interactive science displays, the hotel is also within walking distance of Knightsbridge for shopping at Harrods (leave plenty of time for the huge toy department!), the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace. If the weather is good, little ones will love exploring the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, with its life-size pirate ship, teepees, beach play area and sensory trail.
Only a 4-minute walk to Earl’s Court Underground and 7 minutes to Gloucester Road Underground – both on a direct line to Heathrow airport – the hotel is in a good spot for families coming into London from outside the UK.
While there’s no onsite restaurant, the hotel can pre-stock the fridge in each room’s mini kitchen, and deliveries are welcomed.
Pros: Great location, mini kitchen, good size rooms
Cons: No on-site restaurant, pricey, no swimming pool
Book at: Resident Hotels, Expedia
2. Doubletree by Hilton London Kensington, South Kensington, Zone 1
– Best for large family groups
Star rating 4-star | Family room from £337 for 4 in October 2023 (room only) | Number of bedrooms 162 | Restaurants 1 | Swimming pool No| Heathrow Airport 12.4 miles | Book private garden domes in advance
Larger family groups wanting to stay together can stretch out in the Doubletree by Hilton London Kensington’s rooms with multiple double beds. Described as spacious and comfortable by families reviewing the hotel online, the rooms can sleep 4 in 2 double beds, or up to 6 in an additional sofa bed.
A 10-minute walk to the Natural History Museum and Science Museum, and immediately opposite family-friendly eateries like Pizza Express, there’s also a Waitrose supermarket on the doorstep for stocking up on snacks for a day out seeing the sights.
Families rate this hotel 9.1 on Booking.com, loving the warm Doubletree cookies on arrival and tasty food at breakfast in the on-site restaurant. One mum reviewing the hotel on TripAdvisor explained: “We travelled with a 4 and 1 year old. We stayed in a 2 double bed room that had more than enough space for us all plus a cot. “The kids had floor space to play. We used room service on our first night and I was very happy to see a kids’ menu that was more than just a pizza.”
A huge plus for the Doubletree London Kensington is its private landscaped garden, making life with children that little bit more pleasant. The garden also has 5 private domes so you can relax with afternoon tea while the little ones play – just be sure to book in advance.
The pancake-making machine at breakfast is a winner for many families staying at the hotel, with one dad sharing on TripAdvisor: “The highlight of our entire trip to London for my kids was the pancake machine at breakfast!” Another family visiting London on a 2-night sightseeing trip added: “We had dinner in the hotel on one evening and there was something tasty for all of us, even the fussy kids, although it was the buffet breakfast the next morning that they loved the most!”
The hotel is immediately opposite Gloucester Road station for the Piccadilly Line, so it’s really easy to access from Heathrow, and it’s walking distance to central London’s sights. For a budget-friendly tour of some of the capital’s top spots (minus the commentary!), hop on the number 74 bus right outside the hotel’s front door for a route taking in Harrods, Hyde Park, Marble Arch, and Sherlock Holmes’ stomping ground of Baker Street.
Pros: Good size rooms, great location, on-site restaurant, nice kids menu, private garden
Cons: Rooms can be warm, pricey, no swimming pool
Book at: Hilton, Booking.com or Expedia
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3. Park Plaza London Riverbank, Vauxhall, Zone 1
– Best hotel with a swimming pool
Star rating 4-star | Studio room from £254.25 for 4 in October 2023 (room only) | Number of bedrooms 645 | Restaurants 1 | Swimming pool Yes| Heathrow Airport 16.7 miles | Book for swimming pool slot
With its views over the River Thames, swimming pool and family-focused suites, the Park Plaza London Riverbank is a favourite with families visiting the capital. Highlighting the warm welcome, children’s goody bags and special activities at the hotel during school holiday times, online reviewers liked the location, spacious rooms and choice of food.
During school holidays there is a dedicated family check-in, which impressed families reviewing the hotel on TripAdvisor. “Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and they were brilliant with the children, lots of fun activities for them, the little colourful check in desk made our 6 year old’s day,” explained one. Another family, travelling during the Christmas break, added: “The kids really enjoyed their welcome packages with treats and arts and crafts, the hotel made a lot of effort in creating a Christmas atmosphere and decorations.”
It is a large hotel, with its 645 rooms spread over 17 floors – but that means there’s the facilities to match, with the swimming pool, a fitness centre and a Chino Latino restaurant, which has a dedicated children’s menu, described as delicious by family reviewers.
The location is fab for a London break, as it’s less than 20 minutes’ walk to the SEA LIFE Centre, London Eye and Southbank, as well as the Houses of Parliament on the opposite side of the river. It’s also only a 5-minute walk to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens for letting off steam! No wonder this hotel has a score of 8.8 on Booking.com for a stay with kids.
Rooms start from £254.25 for studio room with a king size bed and sofa bed for 2 children up to 12, or opt for the same room with a kitchenette and dining area from £291.75 (breakfast can be added for an extra cost). To really wow the little ones, the hotel also offers a room called the Ultimate Family Suite, which features chalk-board walls, beanbags, treat trolley, neon lights and games. The 2-bedroom suite can sleep up to 2 adults and 3 children in their own bunkbed and single bed, and can be booked by contacting the hotel directly.
Pros: Swimming pool, great riverside location, on-site restaurant, nice kids menu, goody bags for children, dedicated family check-in
Cons: Pool can get very busy, Ultimate Family Suite can only be booked by calling hotel
Book at: Radisson Hotels, Booking.com or Expedia
4. Novotel London Waterloo, Waterloo, Zone 1
– Best family hotel for sightseeing
Star rating 4-star | Family room from £207 for 4 in October 2023 (room only) | Number of bedrooms 187 | Restaurants 1 | Swimming pool No| Heathrow Airport 16.7 miles | Free breakfast for children
Family travellers love the location of this great value hotel by the River Thames, as it’s within easy walking distance of loads of London’s top sights. Perched on the south side of Lambeth Bridge, it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the South Bank, the London Eye and Westminster with the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Cathedral. Buckingham Palace can be reached in 25 minutes on foot, as well as Green Park and St James’s Park – make sure to keep an eye out for the resident pelicans living on its lake.
Families rated the hotel 8.8 on Booking.com, with one parent reviewer sharing his thoughts on the site explaining: “It’s a great hotel for our toddler! The small play room was exactly what we needed.” The play area in reception was a hit with many families, who loved the fun space for children from teeny tots up to 10-year-olds.
The clean and comfortable family rooms include a queen-size bed and sofa bed for up to 2 children, and those on the river side get views over Westminster, which was a highlight for families. “We got the room we wanted for my little boy with the view of Big Ben so he was very excited,” explained one family reviewing the hotel on Booking.com. “The hotel was close to everything and the room was lovely and clean.”
The hotel has specific family-friendly features like access to an Xbox console, baby equipment and a children’s menu in the restaurant. If children want to eat off the adult menu then it’s half price.
Breakfast is £21 per adult but kids eat free, which went down well with many families. “Breakfast offers good value for money, and we liked the typical English breakfast,” wrote one family on Booking.com. “Our kids are fussy eaters but, in this restaurant, we had no issue.”
Other family-friendly plus points include late check out until 5pm on Sundays – meaning you can make the most of a weekend away without stressing too much about timings.
Pros: Great location, children’s play area, affordable, late check out on Sundays, on-site restaurant, baby equipment available
Cons: Compact rooms, no swimming pool
Book at: Accor, Booking.com or Expedia
5. Haymarket Hotel, West End, Zone 1
– Best luxury family hotel in London
Star rating 5-star | Deluxe junior suite from £852 for 4 in October 2023 (room only) | Number of bedrooms 53 | Restaurants 1 | Swimming pool Yes| Heathrow Airport 17.5 miles | Babysitting by arrangement
In the heart of the West End, with the buzz of the capital’s theatres and gorgeous architecture at every turn, this upmarket boutique hotel has thought of everything for a luxurious family stay.
The spacious family rooms are all individually designed and range from those with space for an extra bed or cot, to 2-bedroom suites with 3 bathrooms. There’s mini bathrobes and children’s cutlery, books and board games, and even milk and cookies at bedtime. Babysitting can be arranged if you fancy taking in the capital’s delights without the little ones in tow.
Despite its location right by Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery, and a short walk to the South Bank, the 53-room hotel has managed to make space for an 18-metre underground pool, complete with an ever-changing colourful light installation. MFM Top Testers’ Club reviewer Jayne explains: “The Haymarket Hotel near Piccadilly was amazing! The underground pool was so cool and the kids were treated like Royalty.”
The luxurious atmosphere, location and child-friendly features mean the Haymarket Hotel scores a whopping 9.8 on Booking.com in its ranking by families travelling with children. One family sharing their thoughts on TripAdvisor loved the spacious, colourful room: “My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Haymarket with our 2 children (8 and 4). We were there for 3 nights and we stayed in the luxury junior suite. The room was so brightly decorated, my kids squealed for joy the first time they walked in (after a very long flight from Singapore!). It was spacious and comfortable. The bathroom was big and bright, and they even had cute little kits for the kids with soap, shampoo and lotion.”
If you do manage to get a little time away from the family during a stay, the on-site spa can come to your room and offers facials (Champagne and black truffle facial, anyone?), body wraps and massages including a 60-minute mum-to-be treatment.
A stone’s throw from Chinatown, it’s worth exploring the area’s amazing food options but, if you fancy eating in, there’s a restaurant open all day with children’s options including the yummy banana split with chocolate ice cream and caramel sauce.
Pros: Lots of child-friendly goodies, swimming pool, very luxurious, spacious rooms, on-site spa, babysitting services available, on-site restaurant
Cons: Expensive, very busy location
Book at: Firmdale Hotels, Booking.com
6. CitySpace Leicester Square, West End, Zone 1
– Best for a family with a baby/very young child
Star rating 3-star | Family duplex studio from £343 for 4 in October 2023 (room only) | Number of apartments 7 | Restaurants No | Swimming pool No| Heathrow Airport 17.8 miles | Cot on request
Sometimes you just need to know you’ve got a washing machine – especially when you’re on a trip away – and CitySpace Leicester Square’s cute aparthotel complex gives just that peace of mind.
It’s in the heart of the West End, tucked between Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square with loads of buggy-friendly routes to central London’s top spots. It’s a few minutes’ walk to the river, and parks including St James’s. Green Park and Hyde Park.
Families rate this place 9.9 for a stay with kids on Booking.com, loving the space, kitchen facilities and location. “The property is spacious and in an excellent place for exploring London with a family,” explained one parent on Booking.com.
Being an aparthotel means there’s more space and flexibility for families with babies or very young children as it’s got a kitchenette with washing machine/dryer (yay!), oven, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher. Perfect for those who need to make life easy when sorting bottles and baby food – or washing clothes after the inevitable poonami!
Rates start from £296 for a studio apartment with a double bed and cot (on request) or from £343 for a split-level family duplex studio with a double bed and sofa bed in a separate room, with access to a shared terrace – which is a bonus.
Families rave about the fantastic, central spot of City Space Leicester Square, with one Booking.com reviewer writing: “Location, location, location! Could not have asked for more. Beautifully laid out and with lots of personality. So easy to find and so close to not only Leicester Square tube but also Charing Cross. We loved the space of the apartment and having the kitchen facilities gave us so many more options for a homemade breakfast or to have a take away at ‘home’ after a long day on our feet in the city. Having tea bags, coffee, sugar and even washing up liquid was a lovely touch. The beds were super comfy and the smart tv was a big hit with our daughter.”
One downside is there’s no lift, so it could be tricky to navigate the stairs with a very heavy buggy.
Pros: Washing machine, great location, kitchen facilities, some essentials provided, spacious
Cons: No lift/elevator, pricey, no on-site restaurant, no swimming pool
Book at: CitySpace, Booking.com or Expedia
7. Premier Inn London Greenwich, Greenwich, Zone 2
– Best budget child-friendly London hotel
Star rating 3-star | Family room from £84 for 4 in October 2023 (room only) | Number of rooms 150 | Restaurants 1 | Swimming pool No| Heathrow Airport 20.5 miles | Children get free breakfast with a paying adult
Families visiting London but wanting to stretch the budget beyond the hotel absolutely love the Premier Inn London Greenwich for its fantastic value, great location and clean, comfy rooms.
In a loop of the River Thames south east of the main city centre, there’s plenty of family-friendly attractions in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Greenwich, and easy public transport access to London’s central tourist sights.
With prices from £84 for a family room with a double bed and sofa bed, this is a purse-friendly option with plenty of family perks. For example. free breakfast for up to 2 under-16s with each £10.50 unlimited adult full breakfast, which is described as delicious by online reviewers.
If you can move after enjoying the breakfast, the hotel is close to Greenwich’s highlights including the Cutty Sark and Old Royal Naval College – both around a 15-minute walk – and the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park, which takes around 23 minutes to walk. It’s also a 15-minute walk to Greenwich Pier for the river bus taking visitors along the Thames into Westminster, via the Tower of London, London Eye and Southbank – and even out to Battersea and Chelsea. Use contactless or an Oyster card to take the Uber-liveried passenger boat for a great value river trip. It’s around 40 mins by public transport to the Horniman Musuem and Crystal Palace Park with its historic dinosaur model display and farm.
TripAdvisor family reviewers praise the friendly and helpful staff, great location and excellent food. One family travelling with their baby explained: “We had breakfast on one day which was good value and should be done if you plan on having a big day around London like we were! Our room was huge and they prepared a cot for the little one for us in there (the mattress is a little thin but we prepared for this and brought our own) the baby slept perfectly. The staff were super friendly at all hours and they let us put our baby milk in their fridge as well so that we didn’t have to carry it around all day.”
Although the hotel isn’t close to a London Underground station, it’s just 200m to Deptford Bridge DLR with a direct link to the Jubilee line. It’s also a 7-minute walk to Greenwich Station, which has a DLR line and train services into central London.
Pros: Budget-friendly, on-site restaurant, cots available
Cons: Not on the London Underground (but train, tram, river bus and bus access), quite basic, no swimming pool
Book at: Premier Inn
8. Moxy London Stratford, Olympic Park, Zone 2
– Best pet-friendly London hotel
Star rating 3-star | Family sleeper room from £191 for 4 in October 2023 (room only) | Number of rooms 294 | Restaurants 1 | Swimming pool No| Heathrow Airport 21.5 miles | £15 pet fee per night – book in advance
Pet as much a part of the family as the children? The Moxy London Stratford could be the ideal spot for a break in the capital as the hotel is happy to welcome furry family members up to 35kg. Close to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, this is a fun-focused hotel with a sports theme (of course!) and communal areas with games like giant Jenga.
Families rated it 9.1 on Booking.com for a stay with kids, loving its quirky and fun vibe, friendly staff and well-sized family rooms. One family reviewing the hotel on TripAdvisor noted: “The family rooms were large and easily accommodated 2 adults and 2 children.” Another praised the service from staff when they arrived late at night with a baby: “Check in was fast, crew was brilliant. Room was spotless! On our arrival we asked for a cot (we arrived around 10pm) they set up that up for us very quickly.”
The Moxy Family Sleeper room with queen size bed and sofa bed costs from £191 for a night during October half term, but the hotel also offers a 50 per cent discount on families booking a second room.
It’s less than a 10-minute walk to the Discover Children’s Story Centre, and a 15-minute walk to the Arcelor Mittel Orbit sculpture created by Anish Kapoor, which houses the UK’s longest tunnel slide! This hotel is in a great spot for exploring the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which has loads of areas for family fun like the Tumbling Bay natural playground featuring rock pools, sand pits, tall treehouses, and wobbly bridges, as well as slides, swings and plenty of space to run about.
Up until the end of October, you can hire a swan pedalo from outside the Aquatic Centre (children from age 3), or splash about in the 195 individually-controlled jets that make up the Waterworks Fountains.
Being right next to Stratford station on the Jubilee line means it’s super easy to hop on a tube into central London, while the hotel is 100m to Westfield Stratford shopping centre with loads of dining options, from pizza and Mexican, to Asian-inspired dumplings and noodles.
Pros: Pet-friendly, affordable, on-site restaurant, lots of outdoor space close-by, spacious rooms
Cons: No tea/coffee-making facilities in room, no swimming pool, tube ride to main London attractions
Book at: Marriott, Booking.com or Hotels.com
9. Meliá White House, Regent’s Park, Zone 1
– Best for wildlife lovers
Star rating 4-star |Family room from £401 for 4 in October 2023 (B&B) | Number of rooms 581 | Restaurants 3 | Swimming pool No| Heathrow Airport 14.7 miles | 20 per cent discount on food and drinks when booking direct
For animal-loving families wanting to make the most of the capital’s wildlife-focused attractions, the Meliá White House is in the perfect spot. It’s right next to Regent’s Park and within a 20-minute walk of London Zoo. The London Wildlife Trust’s Camley Street Natural Park is a 25-minute walk with free family sessions including pond dipping, birdwatching and looking for amphibians.
Families rated it 8.8 for a stay with kids on Booking.com, loving the welcome from staff, family-friendly atmosphere and attention to special dietary needs. One mum, who stayed with her 6-year-old daughter for a birthday treat, explained in her TripAdvisor review: “The location was perfect for little legs – lots of tube stations very nearby and a bus stop right outside. All the staff we spoke to went out if their way to help us and make us feel special. Perfect night away – thank you to everybody who made my daughter feel like a princess for the night!” There are gifts for the kids on arrival and children’s and baby menus, with families describing the food as good with a wide selection.
Prices start at £401 for The Level Junior Suite with one king bed and one sofa bed and, if you want to eat dinner at the hotel, it does offer half board but that’s around another £110. It might be a bit pricier than some other 4-star hotels, but family reviewers note it is “well worth it” for the spacious, clean and comfortable rooms.
It’s close to Madame Tussauds waxworks museum, the British Museum and Platform 9 ¾ for Harry Potter fans. You can take the train from nearby Euston station to Watford Junction, where there’s a free shuttle to Warner Bros Studios for Harry Potter World. Plus, it’s within a 5-minute walk of Warren Street, Great Portland Street and Regent’s Park tube stations. “This is a great family hotel in a convenient location near 2 tube stations, and walking distance to Regent’s Park, Oxford Street shopping, Madame Tussaud’s and hop on/off bus,” added one TripAdvisor reviewer.
Pros: Good location, multiple restaurants, welcome treats for children, cots available, spacious rooms
Cons: Can be a bit noisy, expensive, no swimming pool
Book at: Meliá, Booking.com or Expedia
10. The Lensbury Resort, Teddington, Zone 6
– Best family resort
Star rating 4-star | Family room from £206 for 4 in October 2023 (room only) | Number of rooms 155 | Restaurants 1 | Swimming pool Yes | Heathrow Airport 7.3 miles | Free car parking
For a break in the capital but away from the hustle and bustle of central London, The Lensbury is a peaceful gem combining family fun, tranquil spaces and easy access to major attractions.
On the banks of the River Thames, The Lensbury is set in 25 acres of gardens and includes an indoor and outdoor children’s play area, swimming pool, spa, tennis courts and squash courts. Families rate it 9.0 for a stay with kids on Booking.com, loving the relaxing vibe, acres of green space and soft play area for little ones.
“We made good use of everything on our 2-night stay at The Lensbury,” explained one family reviewer. “We went swimming, which was lovely and warm, used the thermal suite, had dinner in the restaurant and the kids played in the Rock room (a soft play area and air hockey table).” There is free on-site car parking and, if you do bring a car, it’s a 15-minute drive to Kew Gardens, and a 10-minute drive to Hampton Court Palace.
There’s plenty nearby to do on foot, as the hotel is a few minutes’ walk to the charitable Landmark Arts Centre, with its half term activities for children, and regular yoga and storytelling sessions for preschoolers. It’s a half hour walk to historic Strawberry Hill House and the National Trust’s Ham House & Garden.
The closest station is Teddington (a 20-minute walk), with 6 trains an hour into London Waterloo, taking just over half an hour and giving access to the South Bank, Westminster and West End.
Reviewers love the spacious family rooms, which cost from £206 on a room-only basis with 2 double beds, or £229 with breakfast included. “We stayed at the Lensbury in a family room – 2 double beds and 1 cot,” explained one family reviewer on TripAdvisor. “It was a good size room and big clean bathroom. The pool is great – we enjoyed family swimming and lane swimming. There is a great outdoor playground for young children and a small soft play for the little ones. The grounds are all very well maintained.”
While there are plenty of eateries nearby, many family guests recommend eating in the hotel’s restaurant, which has an extensive children’s menu packed with classic options like bangers and mash, macaroni cheese, fish and chips and grilled chicken, plus yummy desserts.
Pros: Swimming pool, large gardens, car park, on-site restaurant, great kids menu, play area, good value
Cons: Distance from central London and attractions
Book at: The Lensbury, Booking.com or Expedia
How we tested
When evaluating our list of family friendly hotels in London, we considered facilities, comfort, appeal, price, accessibility, the best areas to stay in London with a family, star rating and value for money.
Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including independent reviews and feedback from real families who’ve visited the hotels, to ensure we’re bringing you honest recommendations.
Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10; instead, it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.
Magda Ibrahim is a freelance writer who has written for publications including The Times and Sunday Times, The Sun, and the London Evening Standard, as well for MadeForMums.
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