29 London Airbnb Alternatives: Best of Plum Guide London

Last updated on October 13, 2021

Harmony - Best Plum Guide London

London is a proper treasure trove of incredible places to stay, from pretty little cottages in Notting Hill to sleek high-rise apartments in the city. Here we’ve curated our pick of the best London Airbnb alternatives.

You can find them all on Plum Guide London, which is kind of like the Rolls Royce of Airbnb ­– it handpicks the most stylish places to stay in London and has options for all budgets. And they have top class customer service too. We scoured the site to curate our pick of the best London apartments, houses and quirky places to stay.

We lived in London for over 13 years, so know it well, and have broken the list down into different areas.

Also see our London guides, including the most Instagrammable places in London, London’s best afternoon teas and how to spend 7 days in London with a toddler.

Best London Airbnb Alternatives – The Best of Plum Guide London

Central London – Airbnb Alternatives

Read Between the Lines, Hyde Park

Stay on the edge of Hyde Park in a home complete with its own library. The three-bedroom apartment, called Read Between the Lines, is in the heart of London’s high end central neighbourhoods, in walking distance of Bond Street, Mayfair and Marylebone.

What Plum Guide says: “If you’ve ever dreamed of having your very own library, this home will let you live out the fantasy in style. Curl up in an armchair beneath the magnificent arched window and get lost in a novel borrowed from these overflowing bookshelves – but don’t pick anything too long, because there’s plenty else to explore.

Whichever way you head, you’re sure to find a wealth of galleries, chic cafes and charming pubs at every turn.

Plum Guide listing: Read Between the Lines

Price: From £200 per night

Sleeps: 6 people (3 bedrooms)

Golden Folio, Bloomsbury

Live a modern version of the Bloomsbury set life in this beautifully put together two-bedroom apartment next to the British Library. There are some striking design elements, including a full-wall mural in the bedroom, paintings in antique frames, and a stylish wooden kitchen.

What Plum Guide says: “An architect designed and lived in this home. You can see touches of this in details like the kitchen cabinets made from repurposed wood from the floor of an old school and the cast copy of the Elgin Marbles in the living room.”

Plum Guide listing: Golden Folio

Price: From £234 per night

Sleeps: 6 people (2 bedrooms)

The Spotted Cheetah, The Strand

Right on The Strand, close to Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square, this two-bedroom high-end apartment, The Spotted Cheetah, has a fabulous open-plan living space with plenty of luxury touches, including marble worktops and imposing antique accessories. Do note there are 60 steps to get to the apartment and no lift.

What Plum Guide says: “This home is decorated to a exceptionally high standard and has top-notch technology integrated like a Sonos system throughout. Marble will be a word that stays with you after staying here as there is a lot of it! The home would suit a traveller wanting a luxurious pad to return to at the end of a long day exploring London’s delights.”

Plum Guide listing: The Spotted Cheetah

Price: From £805 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (2 bedrooms)

Peter the Grand, Westminster

Wow! Not many people get to stay in London and say they had a view of Big Ben (and lots of other London landmarks!). It also has a hip boutique hotel style with plush, professionally designed interiors. If you have the money to splurge, Peter the Grand is a very special stay.

What Plum Guide says: “It’s rare to get impressive views, interiors and location in one apartment. Peter the Grand surpasses in all these departments. Designed by an interior designer, it offers a thoughtful and modern style.”

Plum Guide listing: Peter the Grand

Price: From £920 per night

Sleeps: 9 people (5 bedrooms)

West London – Airbnb Alternatives

Colourful Connoisseur, Ladbroke Grove

This well priced two-bedroom design-led home in West London has one of my favourite interior styles – a white backdrop with plenty of colour and wooden accents. Colourful Connoisseur is in a residential area just over 10 minutes from the nearest tube (there are bus stops nearby).

What Plum Guide says: “Designed to an impeccable standard with a vibrant, colourful palette, this is a high-end, unique home in a leafy, West London locale. The bright velvet sofas in the communal area provide a vintage feel to the space and lovers of modernism will appreciate the impressive wall art dotted within the home. We loved the addition of the small outdoor area which adds a great sense of light to its adjoining rooms.”

Plum Guide listing: Colourful Connoisseur

Price: From £158 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (2 bedrooms)

Vinyasa, Notting Hill

Stay in one of Notting Hill’s grand buildings at this two-bedroom apartment with a bohemian style, complete with spaces dedicated to meditation and yoga. A great chance to stay in one of London’s most special neighbourhoods.

What Plum Guide says: “The double-height ceilings in the kitchen are a particular highlight, a lovely feature that really makes the home stand out. It’s also a fully-equipped space (spot the inviting herbal tea collection). While there isn’t a TV, it’s a home for relaxing, socialising and awakening your inner creative.”

Plum Guide listing: Vinyasa

Price: From £286 per night

Sleeps:  people ( bedrooms)

The Duck’s Nest, Chelsea

If you want to stay in Chelsea, you can’t get much better than this beautiful former family home spread over four floors. The muted pastel palette of Farrow and Ball style blues and greens creates a calm and stylish space. And there’s also a lovely roof terrace.

What Plum Guide says: “The house has a warm, luxurious atmosphere with jewel tones and marble accents running through it. The rooftop terrace is exceptional – it’s the perfect place to relax on a sunny day. The location, right in the heart of Chelsea, makes it ideal for families or anyone wanting to be based in this upmarket western area of London.”

Plum Guide listing: The Duck’s Nest

Price: From £328 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (2 bedrooms)

Central Style, Fulham

This home certainly has the wow factor, especially the outdoor area complete with a plunge pool and fire pit. Inside is similarly well done, with a stylish galley kitchen and a wood burning stove for getting cosy on cold nights. It’s well located in Fulham.

What Plum Guide says: “The interior design is a charming mix of modern and rustic elements, with unique items that the owners have collected on their travels dotted around the flat. Inside, a stylish galley kitchen leads onto a conservatory, which houses a bright dining space, as well as a Peloton bike, weights and kettlebells, perfect for those who want to keep fit during their trip.”

Plum Guide listing: Central Style

Price: From £286 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (1 bedroom)

Jimbaran, Chiswick

This family home, Jimbaran, in leafy Chiswick is a gorgeous example of contemporary family London living. The unique open-plan kitchen and living space with floor-to-ceiling patio windows is a fantastic room for hanging out in.

What Plum Guide says: “This is an impeccably stylish family home with surprises around every corner. From the exciting artwork and designer lighting, to the colourful patterns and sumptuous textures, each room is bursting with character.”

Plum Guide listing: Jimbaran

Price: From £410 per night

Sleeps: 7 people (4 bedrooms)

East London– Airbnb Alternatives

Watermelon Tonic, Clerkenwell

This is a great alternative to a London hotel room and a great budget option. Watermelon Tonic is small but nicely put together with striking wallpaper and bright furnishings. And the location in Clerkenwell is close to some of London’s most trendy and exciting restaurants.

What Plum Guide says: “The geometric wallpaper is a nice touch, offset by a deep green, Art Deco style bed frame. The solid oak Scandi desk and chair is also ideal if you are travelling to London for business. While there is a kitchenette, this home is best if you are looking to dine out – which we recommend, as there’s lots of great spots on your doorstep.”

Plum Guide listing: Watermelon Tonic

Price: From £76 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (1 bedroom)

The Easton Diamond, Clerkenwell

Not many vacation rentals in London can boast of a rooftop hot tub like this chic Clerkenwell home. It’s impeccably designed with a perfectly white backdrop and minimal bursts of colour. It’s close to Exmouth Market, one of my favourite spots in London.

What Plum Guide says: “You can enjoy an afternoon BBQs on its sunny lower terrace, with wireless speakers piping out favourite tunes, then retreat to plump sofas for nights around the TV. Upstairs, two big en-suites feature deep white walls and spa-like bathrooms – although bashful types may blush at the master bedroom’s glass-walled shower.”

Plum Guide listing: The Easton Diamond

Price: From £435 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (2 bedrooms)

Foodie’s Coach House, Clerkenwell

This fabulously unique home, close to Angel, has been designed and furnished with an expert eye, bringing together all sorts of curiosities into a stylish, vintage home. You could spend hours just exploring the interiors.

What Plum Guide says: “Featured in ‘The Sunday Times’ magazine, this child friendly, architect designed converted coach house has to be seen in person. If you’re into cooking, the kitchen will blow you away. It’s the ultimate foodie’s kitchen.”

Plum Guide listing: Foodie’s Coach House

Price: From £344 per night

Sleeps: 6 people ( 3 bedrooms)

Lights Camera Action, Hackney

A great place to stay in Hackney, Lights Camera Action isn’t far from Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations. Perfect for those wanting to experience day-to-day East London life in a cool loft apartment with plenty of character. I’m a big fan of the swing seat.

What Plum Guide says: “The East London location might not be for everyone but this super cool loft has heaps of character and a young couple will enjoy the hipster nightlife nearby. We love the industrial style of the decor that still manages to feel homey and the large wooden doors at the gate that nod to the building’s past as a stable block.”

Plum Guide listing: Lights Camera Action

Price: From £286 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (1 bedroom)

The King of Shoreditch

Stay in the heart of London’s hipster central at this quintessential Shoreditch apartment. There are lots of bold design touches, including bright accent walls and street-art style paintings. It’s at the end of popular Rivington Street, so you’re super close to all the bars, restaurants and nightlife of the area.

What Plum Guide says: “From its bold street-art murals and open-plan layout to the upcycled plant pots, Andy Warhol originals and temple-like main bedroom, this is East London in thrilling microcosm. Crucially, though, there’s also homeliness and luxury, plus heaps of digital distraction so guests will not only feel cool, but also rested and relaxed.”

Plum Guide listing: The King of Shoreditch

Price: From £401 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (2 bedrooms)

South East London – Airbnb Alternatives

The Camberwell Charm, Camberwell

I lived in Camberwell/Peckham for years and can vouch that this is a sweet place to stay if south-east is where you want to be. The apartment is about a 10-minute walk from Denmark Hill station, plus close to all the pubs and restaurants of both Camberwell and Peckham. You can rent this apartment alongside the top floor flat if you’d like a full house.

What Plum Guide says: “This charming and extremely welcoming home has been tastefully decorated with a consistent interior style that is unique and personal. Your hosts are very warm and friendly, who take hospitality standards to the next level.”

Plum Guide listing: The Camberwell Charm

Price: From £172 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (1 bedroom)

Perching Sparrow, Brixton

Perching Sparrow in Brixton is perfect for families, including two children’s bedrooms. It’s a lived-in home, so you’ll be sharing the house with the owners posessions, which helps create a homely feel. There’s a pretty big garden for a London house.

What Plum Guide says: “A real highlight of this house is its kitchen-dining area that’s flooded with natural light from the floor to ceiling windows. Filled with books, art prints and even a grand piano, the space oozes charm and character.”

Plum Guide listing: Perching Sparrow

Price: From £347 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (4 bedrooms)

Monochrome Magic, Brixton

This well designed home in Brixton has a lovely outdoor space, plus a big open-plan living area, filled with plants and Scandi-style furnishings. It’s a good price for a full house in Brixton.

What Plum Guide says: “The hosts’ creativity is evident throughout this super stylish property and the fantastic open plan living area taking up the entire ground floor is a great social space. Situated in bustling Brixton, you will be torn between staying in and enjoying this lovely home or exploring the vibrant local area.”

Plum Guide listing: Monochrome Magic

Price: From £163 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (1 bedroom)

South West London – Airbnb Alternatives

Assisi, Wandsworth

This is an amazing house for groups, sleeping up to 10 people. It’s not in the centre, but will suit you if you want the extra space or simply fancy being in leafy Wandsworth.

What Plum Guide says: “Assisi is a stylish, elegant and expansive family home. First impressions were great, as you walk through a pretty front garden. The clear standout feature is the extension at the rear of the home that opens onto the private garden.”

Plum Guide listing: Assisi

Price: From £1236 per night

Sleeps: 10 people (5 bedrooms)

The Painter’s Room, Wandsworth

Another beautiful option near Wandsworth Common is this lovely four-bedroom home in walking distance of the Northcote Road and Balham. It has fantastic style in every room, right down to the tipi bed in the kids’ room. Love everything about it.

What Plum Guide says: “The home itself is impeccably stylish, an effortless blend of luxury and comfort, and you can immediately sense your host’s great eye for design. We especially loved the extensive art collection, which adds a unique character and personality to every room. Also not forgetting the impressive amenities, such as a piano and a private garden.”

Plum Guide listing: The Painter’s Room

Price: From £389 per night

Sleeps: 7 people (4 bedrooms)

Mes Amies, Battersea

This three-bedroom home in Battersea, close to Clapham Junction has sumptuous, luxury feel with plenty of paintings plus a wall of books, complete with a library ladder.

What Plum Guide says: “This unique property in an exclusive residential area is ideal for a family looking for a soulful London base. This opulent style continues throughout the home with a mezzanine level housing the master suite and letting onto the picturesque terrace area. Those searching for a quirky yet cosy base have stumbled upon a winner.”

Plum Guide listing: Mes Amies

Price: From £384 per night

Sleeps: 7 people (3 bedrooms)

North East London – Airbnb Alternatives

A Little Peace, Finsbury Park

If you’re not looking for somewhere central, and fancy somewhere north of the river, Finsbury Park is a nice option with lots of pubs and an 110-acre park with a boating lake. It’s a nice break from the bustle of the centre. The studio apartment with a calm palette of greys, white and wooden accents. The tube station is nice and close.

What Plum Guide says: “This quaint, tranquil studio apartment provides the ultimate cosy escape. This space is ideal for a travelling couple opting for a short stay with the advantage of having an array of quirky restaurants, cafés and pubs close by. Lovers of nature will appreciate the beautiful trees outside the windows and the natural alarm clock of birdsong in the morning.”

Plum Guide listing: A Little Peace

Price: From £98 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (1 bedroom)

Catch a Falling Star, Stoke Newington

Stoke Newington, or Stokey as its commonly known, is a popular village-like area near to Islington and a beautiful place to stay in north-east London. You’ll never be short of cafes! This house is typical of the area, clearly owned by a creative Stokey family. I particularly love the vaulted glass extension with views onto the garden.

What Plum Guide says: “This is a truly lovely home, in a peaceful, family-friendly neighbourhood. Your host has successfully tackled inevitably grey London winters by building the beautiful ground floor extension which allows as much light and height into the living space as possible. While you will have to travel a little to reach central parts of the city, we think this is a perfect bolthole for a travelling family and the surrounding area has lots of great cafes and restaurants to explore.”

Plum Guide listing: Catch a Falling Star

Price: From £447 per night

Sleeps: 5 people (3 bedrooms)

North West London – Airbnb Alternatives

Harmony, Willesden Green

The huge open-plan kitchen-living space is the highlight in this gorgeous three-bedroom home. Absolutely love the glass extension and all the light it lets in. And the bright colour palette of greens and pinks against muted grey creates a sophisticated, boho style.

What Plum Guide says: “Colour, light and good vibes is what this eclectic, warm and welcoming family home is all about. Set in laid-back Willesden Green, it’s a quieter base just 30 mins by tube from the city centre and features a private courtyard and a quirky separate guesthouse.”

Plum Guide listing: Harmony

Price: From £232 per night

Sleeps: 5 people (3 bedrooms)

Natural Habitat, Queen’s Park

Queen’s Park is a popular family area in London, with lots of community spirit and a well-known Sunday Farmers Market. This four-bedroom family home is a great way to experience it. There’s a huge, well-equipped kitchen and high end design touches throughout.

What Plum Guide says: “It’s a family home with a capital F, unmistakably designed to make you feel at home as soon as you walk through the front door. It’s also a curious mix of new and old, with a blend of different styles and period features to form a unique, twenty-first-century space. We love that every communal space invites you to spend time with your loved ones.”

Plum Guide listing: Natural Habitat

Price: From £395 per night

Sleeps: 7 people (4 bedrooms)

Edis Street III, Primrose Hill

Wow, this is the kind of family home you normally only see in magazines, but here’s your chance to stay in it. In the heart of beautiful Primrose Hill, the gorgeously designed bespoke home is a sleek, minimal interior design dream – right down to the stylish little wendy house in the garden. Tip: Don’t drink red wine in there as every inch of the place is white!

What Plum Guide says: “This designer home is a gorgeous spot in an enviable location. Whilst it does show some minor wear and tear as it is a lived-in home, the great amenities and presence of children’s bedrooms means it would work perfectly for a travelling family looking to be in the quintessentially bourgeois area.”

Plum Guide listing: Edis Street III

Price: From £658 per night

Sleeps: 7 people (4 bedrooms)

Also see our guide to the best Airbnbs in the UK.

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More UK travel guides

We have loads of UK travel guides. And oodles of tips for London and Bristol – where we lived/live now. Here are some of the highlights…

UK road trips: Best UK road trips | Best Scotland road trips

UK destination guides: Bristol | Isle of Mull Frome | Liverpool | London | York

UK family travel guides: Birmingham with kids |Bristol with kidsCornwall with kids | London with toddlers Edinburgh with kids | Manchester with kids | Best UK family Christmas breaks | Travelling with a baby

And if you’re looking for somewhere special to stay in the UK, we have loads of UK Airbnb and hotel guides for destinations from the Lake District to Devon. See all our UK guides.

All photos courtesy of Plum Guide.

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