Visiting London for the Olympics is all about watching in awe as the world's top athletes compete -- and simultaneously zoning out the crowds, because you certainly won't be the only person hopping across the pond to cheer for your country. Over half a million spectators are expected at the games this summer, and you know what that means: There's bound to be a celebrity or two in the crowd. So if you don't mind having your eye wander off the events just a bit, you may have a star sighting.
How do you increase your chances of running into a celeb in the flesh? Follow the paparazzi or stay at a hotel frequented by the rich and infamous. We recommend the latter.
We've found four of the best London hotels for the best chance of gawking at your favorite stars. And even if you don't spot one on your visit, you can at least say you've stayed at a hotel with a celebrity's stamp of approval.
-- Jane Reynolds, Oyster.com
<strong>Previous Celebrity Guests:</strong> Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jim Carrey, Kanye West
The Lanesborough is a luxurious property overlooking Hyde Park in Knightsbridge. The 93 rooms have palatial bathrooms, big flat-screen TVs, and free butler service. Stately decor is inspired by the early 19th century, and free Wi-Fi and laptops are available in every room. Hotel highlights include fine dining at the Michelin-rated restaurant Apsleys, a ground floor piano bar, and traditional afternoon tea, but celebs really love this spot’s discretion: Stars are often put up in the Royal Suite, which has an undisclosed location within the hotel. Even very few Lanesborough employees know where to find it in order to ensure the utmost privacy. <strong><a href="http://www.oyster.com/london/hotels/the-lanesborough-a-st-regis-hotel/" target="_hplink">See more photos of The Lanesborough.</a></strong>
<strong>Previous Celebrity Guests:</strong> Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Penelope Cruz
A popular after-party spot, The Sanderson is an edgy hotel with original and extravagant design by Philippe Starck. Innovative rooms feature a mostly all-white color palette designed without interior walls. There is an emphasis here on texture, seen in the layers of sheer curtains that divide different areas of the room. Design touches include carpets with Voltaire’s handwriting and luxurious bathrooms, some with separate walk-in showers and freestanding soaking tubs. There are many hotel highlights beyond the rooms, including an all-white tranquil spa, a tasty Malaysian restaurant and a trendy cocktail bar. Celebs such as Cameron Diaz have been spotted partying late-night at this funky hotel. <a href="http://www.oyster.com/london/hotels/sanderson/" target="_hplink"><strong>See more photos of the Sanderson.</strong></a>
Previous Celebrity Guests: Angelina Jolie, Colin Farrell
Luxurious, stately, and composed, this 380-room hotel projects an air of exclusivity. For a certain quintessentially English air of prestige without the usual pretention, and a premier location for West End shopping, this is a good place to be. The ultra-luxurious Chuan Spa and salt sauna don’t hurt its high-end credentials either, but Angie probably loves this spot best because it is one of the most kid-friendly hotels in London. Not only does it welcome families and offer babysitting services, but it also features an indoor pool – a rare find in the city. <a href="http://www.oyster.com/london/hotels/langham-hotel-london/" target="_hplink"><strong> See more photos of the Langham.</strong></a>
Previous Celebrity Guests: Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, Lily Allen
This boutique hotel offers an excellent location on the southwest tip of Hyde Park overlooking Kensington Gardens. The individually decorated, luxe rooms all showcase classic Italian touches as well as dramatic contemporary design. Perks include free Wi-Fi and Illy espresso machines, as well as extra hotel features like the spa and fitness center. Plus, the hotel’s bar, Boutique 60, is a destination on its own. With a chill, lounge vibe, the bar is open till the wee hours of the morning and celebs such as Christina Aguilera and Will Smith have been spotted here. <a href="http://www.oyster.com/london/hotels/baglioni-hotel-london/" target="_hplink"> <strong>See more photos of the Baglioni Hotel London.</strong></a>
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