Hotel Review: St Martin’s Lane is playful luxury in the heart of London’s West End

In Covent Garden, just on the outskirts of the heart of theatre district (London’s West End), is one of the area’s finest hotels, St Martins Lane London. But this is luxury with a twist – with a green revolving door at the entry, and an eccentric design collection that await you in the hotel’s spacious lobby. The tip of that iceberg is a seated area where the stools are disguised as giant golden teeth. But don’t let that fool you. This is a hotel that takes your comfort very seriously.

Behind these golden teeth, at the back of the lobby, next to a tea counter, you’ll find a door where a hand acts as your door handle, leading you into the hotel’s stunning speakeasy, Blind Spot, which offers a spectacular assortment of cocktails and snacks.

Of the bespoke cocktail menu, they’ve been inspired by 25 destinations around the world, from Poland to China, Greece to France and India to Australia. I naturally had to try the Sydney, Australia cocktail, which came described as “chilli bang bang tea-infused grey goose vodka, passoã, apple juice, passion fruit”. So basically it was a spicy, tropical cocktail. And it was excellent. The nibbles that accompany the cocktails are meant to be as equally diverse – regionally speaking – with deep fried brie, koftas, tuna tartare, jerk chicken wings and more. You can see the full up-to-date menu HERE.

So, what about the room? Well, for starters, the studio room I enjoyed was massive, with a huge king bed, all dressed in white. Blue mood lighting came in above it, and there was an easy switch next to the right side of the bed that will take care of all lights in one go. 

Here’s a look at the room by day…

And then here’s the lights by night, which also accompany the television…

You’ll note that the design of the room isn’t quite as eccentric as the lobby would have made you expect. In fact, this room is elegant and modern in every sense of the word, with a wooden stool in the corner the only aspect of the room that you might say “stood out”.

The air con is easy to use and cools the room quickly, while the bed has two large pillows of differing firmness – the mattress itself proving quite firm, but very comfortable. And speaking of comfort, let’s take you to the bathroom, which you’d find in the hallway behind the bed, without a door.

Again, white is the colour of choice here, and the bathroom feels as modern as it does practical. The shower was high powered to the point it was like a massage, and between that, the comfy bathrobes that were provided, as well as the stunning bath and the amenities supplied by Ciel Spa in Beverly Hills, the whole experience was as much like a visit to a spa as it was to a hotel room. And that’s very much what the design from Tim Andreas of Banjo has tried to achieve. A sense of luxury nestled in the heart of Covent Garden – with the Studio’s massive windows making you feel a part of the city.

Elsewhere in the room is a massive interactive Syntopia HD IPTV, with over 80 channels and the ability to use apps like YouTube of the BBC iPlayer. You can also enjoy on demand “still in cinemas” movies for a fee, and there’s an attached media hub with USB, bluetooth, HDMI and LAN capabilities. There’s a Lavazza coffee machine and a kettle for tea, with Earl Gray and English Breakfast ready for your enjoyment. And a packed minifridge can be enjoyed, with items available for nominal fees.

Hotel guests who are in need of a gym have free access to the Gymbox adjacent to the hotel, in what used to be an underground cinema. And those who are in desperate need of wi-fi access will be happy to hear that it’s available free, and fast, throughout the whole hotel.

About the Surrounds

It was short walk to most of the theatres in the famous West End – I actually caught one of the parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child the night I was staying at the hotel. You’re also not far from Chinatown, Leicester Square and a wide array of London’s most famed attractions. Location wise, you really can’t get much better than this.

Final Verdict

Whether you’re staying for a night, or just visiting the on site Speakeasy, St Martins Lane London is worthy of your time. The design of the hotel is one of a kind, and the bar is one of the best I’ve been to in London. But at the end of the day, if a hotel isn’t going to give you a good night’s sleep, it’s not worth a damn. And in that respect, this hotel has gone above and beyond, making guests who are in the heart of one of the city’s busiest precincts feel like they could be on a spa getaway anywhere in the world. And have a damn good night’s sleep while they’re at it. And with just over 200 rooms, it’s big enough to give you everything you need, but also “boutique” enough to make you feel like you’ve got the whole place to yourself…

FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

St Martins Lane Hotel is located at 45 St Martin’s Ln, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4HX. Head HERE for more details about the hotel and to book yourself a night, with exclusive online discounts available now.

The author stayed as a guest of the hotel for one night.

This piece was originally published in July 2018. All information was correct at the time of printing, and some details about the bar’s menu have been updated for May 2019. All photos by the author except the photo of the foyer, which was provided by the hotel.

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Larry Heath

Founding Editor of the AU review. You can find him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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