In London's luxury hotel business, once you've achieved the highest class of service, it's all about location, location, location. That is, you really should be within a 10-minute walk of Hyde Park Corner and less than a mile from Buckingham Palace. That's the clear lesson from this year's list of London's 10 Best Hotels, as determined by the Forbes Traveler 400 board of experts, who rated nearly 800 of the world's best hotels for their rooms, service, decor, cuisine, public areas, recreational options and-yes-location.
This year's list of London hotels varies greatly, from boutique hotels and even charming lodgings in converted stables to large modern edifices managed by multinational hospitality chains. They have two things in common: They feature some of the finest service in the world and they're convenient to the best of London's many cultural and historic sites.
Starting closest to Buckingham Palace and working generally northward toward Mayfair, we begin with The Goring, near the Royal Mews right behind the palace itself. A 71-room, family-owned property frequented by heads of state since its 1910 inception, The Goring's history is delightfully rich. The first hotel in the world to boast en suite bathrooms in every guestroom,