Above: The Lounge, The Cadogan, London - HELEN CATHCART

As with all large cities, your choice of hotel in London will depend greatly on the area in which you wish to stay. For example, do you want to be near Theatreland or the City financial district? Do you prefer the elegant streets of Mayfair or the grand garden squares of Belgravia? On my recent trip, I opted to stay in two contrasting hotels in Chelsea, an area known to foreign visitors for its luxury boutiques and fashionable restaurants, even though it also contains a significant proportion of London’s most enviable residential real estate. In addition, Chelsea enjoys a reputation as an arty district: the famous Chelsea Arts Club was founded in 1891 at the instigation of American painter James McNeill Whistler, while American portraitist John Singer Sargent lived and worked nearby. And even today, Chelsea hosts one of the world’s largest American expatriate communities, with nearly 7 percent of its residents, according to one estimate, being of transatlantic origin.

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Above: The Lounge, The Cadogan, London - HELEN CATHCART

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