Planning a visit to the London Eye on your next visit to the capital? The wheel has been turning now since the millennium and shows no sign of losing its tourist sheen. It’s the thrill of the ride, sure, but also the riverside location on the South Bank with its world-class culture (Southbank Cente, National Theatre, BFI), buzzy restaurants and historic pubs. It’s brilliant for families, too, with big hitters like London Dungeon and the Aquarium on your doorstep. All of this makes it a fantastic place to make your base because stroll to the east and you'll reach Tate Modern, Borough Market and The Globe; hop across the river and you're in Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden.
If you’re looking to stay near this iconic landmark, here's our pick of the best hotels near the London Eye, ranging from a new ‘super’ boutique hotel with subterranean spa in Leicester Square to a hip Southwark hangout with rooftop seafood restaurant and, of course, options with that iconic river view.
Located on Leicester Square, this ‘super-boutique’ hotel is in the heart of the action, with many of the city’s key attractions within walking distance. The London Eye is a pleasant 15 minutes away – past the National Gallery, through Trafalgar Square and over the river Thames. With eight levels below ground, The Londoner is the capital’s first iceberg hotel – book into the subterranean spa to discover a blissful urban retreat from the world above. The hotel’s 350 rooms feature design delights such as hand-picked art, thin rich blue rectangular tiles, blush pink contemporary chaise longues and top-notch tech; while its buzzy bar and restaurant spaces make it one of the capital’s hottest properties.
• The best hotels in London
The hotel sits just to the south of the River Thames and is perfect if you’re planning a busy weekend of sightseeing – the London Eye is a 15-minute walk away via foodie hotspot Borough Market. The Hoxton’s South London outpost stays true to the brand’s ethos, offering a fun stay with a neighbourhood feel. While its proximity to cultural attractions means it's near the heart of the action, the hotel has a buzz all of its own – the overhaul vibe is relaxed and casual, with an upscale hipster aesthetic. Head to the rooftop to destination restaurant Seabird and watch the sun set over the city as you dine on Portuguese and Spanish seafood.
Just eight minutes on foot from the London Eye, on the other side of Waterloo station, Stow-Away is one of the quirkiest properties in the area. The apart hotel is made up of a series of repurposed shipping containers stacked on top of each other. Sleek studio rooms – which can be accessed by remote check-in – each occupy a single shipping container and so are naturally long and narrow. Inside the aesthetic is sleek and modern with a largely muted colour scheme: think blond wood and brown and grey hues. There’s also a buzzy wine bar meets restaurant. Other attractions including the Old Vic, Young Vic and Southbank Centre are all within a 15-minute walk.
This hotel on the southbank offers front-row seats to its next-door neighbour, the London Eye, as well as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, which sit on the other side of the Thames just over Westminster Bridge. The property’s main restaurant, Gillray’s Steakhouse and Bar, overlooks the iconic wheel – making for Instagrammable breakfast views. There’s also The Library for traditional afternoon teas, the M-Club Lounge and a fitness centre with a large indoor swimming pool. The sleek, contemporary rooms are similar in style, but vary in space and views – pay a little extra and you could see the London Eye from your window, for instance.
Located opposite the former seat of the London government, Park Plaza County Hall is well located for many of the city’s historical and cultural attractions. A short five-minute stroll towards the river will bring you to the London Eye, with the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the South Bank also close by. If you’d rather view the sights from the comfort of the hotel, you’re in luck as many rooms overlook the Thames and its iconic landmarks. For another viewpoint, request a room with a view over the Shard and the City of London. There are 398 rooms and suites to choose from; all stylish with cream and pale wood decor. The hotel's interior is eye-catching; the glass-fronted lift gives the best view of the distinctive 14-floor atrium as you rise up to your room.
The five-star Corinthia Hotel draws a lively crowd with its grand bars, fine restaurants and hard-to-beat vistas. Its position near the River Thames makes it one of the best hotels near the London Eye, particularly for its views of the attraction, especially when gazing from one of the expansive penthouse terraces. The luxurious hotel spoils guests with fabulous chandeliers, intriguing modern art, palatial public rooms, and a magnificent four-floor spa with a swimming pool. If you can drag yourself outside, it’s an easy, picturesque 10-minute walk over the Thames to the base of the iconic wheel. Other nearby attractions include Trafalgar Square, St James's Park, and the Houses of Parliament.
Located next to the historic Savoy Theatre, The Savoy is well placed for the shows of the West End, the shops of Covent Garden and the city's finest cultural institutions, including the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. A pleasant 15-minute walk along and over the river will take you to the London Eye – if you’re lucky, your room may even overlook the iconic wheel. The hotel is reassuringly traditional yet unstuffy. Its restaurants, among them the Gordon Ramsay-affiliated Savoy Grill and Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, maintain consistently high standards, and its 265 rooms and suites are comfortably spacious and instantly relaxing. Service is subtle, helpful and professional.
This wonderfully colourful boutique hotel sits in the heart of theatreland, just down from Piccadilly Circus and round the corner from Trafalgar Square. A short 15-20 minute walk through the famous square and over the Thames will take you to the foot of the London Eye and the attractions of the South Bank. Back in the north, this art-filled property, featuring interiors by Kit Kemp, plays with riotous colour-matching, prints and paintings. Guests will sleep in rooms imprinted with Kemp’s signature Firmdale features, and feast under the gaze of Matisse-like works in Brumus Bar & Restaurant, named after Kemp’s dog. To relax after a day of sightseeing, there’s also a mood-lit pool.
Citadines Trafalgar offers the privacy of an apartment combined with the convenience of a hotel in an enviable location. As its name suggests, the central Holborn property is a stone’s throw from Trafalgar Square, while the London Eye and other leading landmarks including the National Portrait Gallery, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Piccadilly Circus are all within a 10- to 15-minute walk. Inside the historic 1935 building, guests can discover spacious modern accommodation with fully equipped kitchenettes, and a stylish lobby lounge. Visitors who have energy left after sightseeing can benefit from access to a neighbouring gym.
• The best hotels in Waterloo
This river-facing hotel is ideally located for the London Eye – just a 10-minute walk over the Thames. While situated across the road from Embankment and Charing Cross stations, The Royal Horseguards is surprisingly peaceful, and the nearby St James’s Park is a leafy escape from the bustle of central London. Offering a wonderful mix of old and new, the storied Grade I-listed building is historic yet interiors feel modern. The One Twenty One Two restaurant and Equus Bar provide a wide selection of food and drinks, while afternoon tea can be taken in the lobby lounge or secluded outside terrace. Ask the knowledgeable staff to recount the property’s fascinating past.
Contributions by Fiona Duncan, Mark C. O’Flaherty, Lizzie Frainier, Jenny Hatton, Kaye Holland, Simon Horsford, Charlotte Johnstone, Aisling O'Leary & Rachel Cranshaw