Ontario

8 Best Hotels in Downtown London, Ontario

Spend a weekend in London, Ontario, exploring the best the city has to offer and staying in one of our favourite cozy London hotels.

There is no single overriding attraction drawing visitors to London, Ontario. Although London has long been known as “The Forest City”, it’s a pretty sure bet they don’t come here for the trees. Instead, visitors come because of the impressive panoply of attractions, events and institutions that the city has to offer, year-round.

London is home to one of the finest universities in the country, Western University, and some incredible health services, including the University Hospital. It’s a hotbed of sporting activities, arts, entertainment, festivals and food. There are unique “villages” in the heart of the city, like Richmond Row and Wortley Village, plus historic communities on the fringes, such as Arva and Byron.

And when visitors come here for a London Knights’ hockey game, a Western homecoming, or a concert at the Aeolian Hall, they find a terrific variety of highly-rated and cozy hotels available to them.

A Top London Hotel for Foodies

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Several local business leaders told me that, when they bring clients to town, they choose The Park Hotel, accurately described as “right in the heart of things.” The hotel is located only a couple of blocks north of Victoria Park, home to some of the city’s major festivals – including the venerable Home County Music and Art Festival, and the Pride London Festival.

The Park is only steps away from “Richmond Row” the section of Richmond Street that includes lots of shopping, and great restaurants. Try the Church Key, a good pub with great cuisine or the venerable Garlic’s of London–yes, featuring some unique ways of using garlic, like hot smoked garlic fettuccine. Nearby is David’s Bistro, offering a two and three-course, affordable set-menu accompanied by an exquisite wine collection. Or, for fine-dining try the Black Trumpet, where if you struggle to choose from the extensive menu, allow us to suggest opting for the scallops and the lamb.

The Park Hotel London

London, 1.3 km to London train station
8.2 Very good (2591 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
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The Park Hotel London

London
8.2 Very good (2591 reviews)

A Boutique Hotel in the Heart of the City

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The Hotel Metro, a modern boutique hotel, is one of several fine hotels in the very centre of downtown London. It comes highly recommended by London residents who have hosted family and friends at the Metro.

Foodies will want to enjoy at least one meal at the hotel’s own Blu Duby, with its fusion menu ranging from a great charcuterie board to Korean dumplings. Nearby is also the quirky and very popular Early Bird restaurant, which one diner has described as “high-end food at a low-end price.” And you are a three-minute walk from Hunter & Co, a very trendy restaurant with “small plates” for sharing. Alternatively you can head to the always entertaining Covent Garden Market, a perfect place to put together a tapas-style lunch by purchasing goodies from a variety of vendors.

Visitors staying at the Metro are close to everything downtown, including Budweiser Gardens; home to the highly successful London Knights Junior A hockey squad, host venue for the 2019 Juno Awards, and concert locale for shows this year by the likes of Colin James, Jerry Seinfeld, Alice In Chains, John Cleese, Cirque Du Soleil, and Michal Bublé. To name a few.

Only a few minutes north of the Metro is Harris Park, home to one of the more exuberant London Festivals, “Rock the Park”, which is, as advertised, a rockin’ music fest held in mid-July each year.

The Metro, like the other fine hotels in the heart of London, is less than 10 minutes away from one of the city’s most iconic features, Spring Bank Park. Home of Storybook Gardens, the park is now an interactive family attraction that has been drawing visitors since 1958.

Hotel Metro

Top rated
London, 0.4 km to London train station
8.9 Excellent (1518 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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Hotel Metro

Top rated
London
8.9 Excellent (1518 reviews)

A Top London Ontario Hotel on a Historic Site

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A few blocks east in downtown London is Delta’s London Armouries Hotel, a luxurious hotel fronted by an historic architectural masterpiece. For a lot of guests (including me) the astonishing Sunday brunch is the best thing about the place. Diners discover table after table of brunchable treats, a cornucopia that combines quantity with very high quality.

The Armouries is a great choice if you are attending a concert at the Aeolian Hall, a classic, historic music venue with terrific acoustics and an eclectic show bill. One fan has stated, “The Aeolian has constantly amazing world class performers for a smallish centre in a smallish city!”

Delta Hotels by Marriott London Armouries

Top rated
London, 0.4 km to London train station
8.6 Excellent (2114 reviews)
Excellent Service 9 / 10
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Delta Hotels by Marriott London Armouries

Top rated
London
8.6 Excellent (2114 reviews)

A Top London Hotel with a Spa

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Idlewyld Inn & Spa is a smaller, luxury hotel, with 21 guestrooms, plus an on-site spa and restaurant, all housed in a historic Victorian mansion, built in 1878. One recent guest simply said, “Idlewyld is awesome in every way,” which pretty much sums it up. Add to that the advantages of free parking and a complimentary continental breakfast, and you’ll definitely feel you are getting your money’s worth.

The place oozes elegance from the façade, to the common areas and the guest suites. Victorian touches abound: elaborate woodwork, tiled fireplaces, stained glass windows. The restaurant also offers al fresco dining on the patio when the weather is fine.

One of the nicest things about Idelwyld is its proximity to Wortley Village, a hidden gem in the heart of south London, with unique, independent restaurants and shops – a genteel, strollers’ paradise. This is also home to the Wortley Village Jazz & Blues Festival, in August – a unique pay-what-you-can music festival.

Idlewyld Inn & Spa

Top rated
London, 1.2 km to London train station
9.3 Excellent (806 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.1 / 10
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Idlewyld Inn & Spa

Top rated
London
9.3 Excellent (806 reviews)

A Country Estate in the Midst of London Ontario

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Windemere Manor is another boutique hotel, with 47 air-conditioned, en suite rooms. It was built in the Tudor style, in 1925, and offers expansive, beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens.

Windemere is close to Western University, making it a popular stop for anyone visiting the university, but there are other (and perhaps quirkier) attractions within an easy drive. Head north on Richmond to Arva (barely outside the city limits) to visit the historic Arva Flour Mill, cleverly advertising “best flour by a dam site”, with an intriguing shop.

For a fascinating day trip, continue north out of Arva to visit the Lucan Area Heritage and Donnelly Museum, where the grisly story of the life and death by massacre of the “’Black’ Donnellys” is told.

Or, for shopping enthusiasts, the sprawling Masonville Place with every store imaginable, is just six minutes away.

Windermere Manor

London, 4.7 km to London train station
8.0 Very good (898 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.8 / 10
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Windermere Manor

London
8.0 Very good (898 reviews)

A Top London Hotel with an Indoor Water Park

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The main thoroughfare into the city of London (which sadly has no ring road or other handy way to circumnavigate this city of 384,000 people) is Wellington Road. This link to the 401, at the extreme south end of the city, is bordered by dozens of chain restaurants, the enormous White Oaks Mall (185 stores and services), and a plethora of hotels and motels.

One of the best hotels in this area is the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, also a conference centre and home to a large indoor pool complete with slides and mock-rock formations – perfect for a rainy day with the kids. Spend hours slipping and sliding down the slide, before relaxing in the Jacuzzi.

There are fewer “attractions” in this end of the city, but if you are eager for access to Canada’s busiest highway, the 401, this is your place.

Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre

Top rated
London, 3.4 km to London train station
8.8 Excellent (1835 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
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Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre

Top rated
London
8.8 Excellent (1835 reviews)

Serviced Apartments in London Ontario, Great for a Longer Stay

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Key features at the Residence Inn by Marriott aparthotel in downtown London are the spacious suites, touted as double the size of average hotel rooms. The Residence is also in downtown London, only a few minutes from the Armouries and the Doubletree – the centre of this city has a lot of great options to offer.

The Residence Inn is about a four-minute drive from the Western Fair District, home of the historic Western Fair (held in September each year), plus many other annual exhibitions, year-round horse racing, The Market, and Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club.

The hotel is also close to one of London’s eclectic dining establishments – Unique Food Attitudes, offering scrumptious European (especially Polish) treats like pierogis, cabbage rolls, and apple pancakes.

Residence Inn London Downtown

Top rated
London, 0.6 km to London train station
8.7 Excellent (1152 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
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Residence Inn London Downtown

Top rated
London
8.7 Excellent (1152 reviews)