We were looking for something different, a touch of excitement and the unexpected, for our weekend getaway in London. What was really on our mind was… the nightlife. So here we arrived on a sunny but chilly afternoon stepping into the cool atmosphere of St Martins Lane Hotel in London with the notion that anything could happen, you might even bump into your favourite celebrity or failing that, just enjoy the novelty design and pieces of art greeting you at every corner of the hotel.
Moving through the lobby we enjoyed an eclectic collection of furnitures and the most striking design features that were unexpectedly coming out of walls,chairs, table or even doors. The bar which is situated in the middle of the hotel is dark and sumptuous, allowing you to relax and enjoy its many cocktails or a delicious glass of champagne. In the newly renovated restaurant Asia de Cuba concept chef Luis Pous joins restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow to offer a dynamic Latin-Asian fusion menu in an inspiring space with a mix of Asian and Cuban food, light in texture, fragrant in taste and totally unique. This restaurant most definitely tops as one of our favourites in London.
The guest rooms are atmospheric as you can play with the lighting and transform them at a touch of button, into a space with an aura of night entertainment, a place of romance or an upbeat cocktail hour room. The decor is white and neutral and therefore the canvas is all yours to play with lights and the idea behind is probably to allow its guests to paint the town, if not red then in a colour of choice. We decide to just do that, choosing a rather milld aqua blue and electric purple palette which inspired us to explore the many bars and clubs that this city has to offer, returning to our room in the wee small hours. The morning after we were ready for all the unpredictable delights of daytime London, ending the day with an invigorating workout at Gymbox Covent Garden, London’s most unorthodox fitness experience.
Here we are, located in the bustling Theatre district in London’s Covent Garden and you may well agree with those who say that St Martins Lane is a dramatic and daring evolution on English luxury. This boutique hotel retains all the youthful, unexpected charm of a London hideaway, at the very heart of the art-loving, energetic West End. One might even be tempted to say that St Martins Lane is truly a hidden gem with a newly renovated lobby welcoming guests into a high-concept design with the sophistication of a modern museum and the joy of a carnival light show. The soaring and theatrical space, a reinterpretation of Philippe Starck’s original lobby, plays with colour, proportion, and movement in a way that took us by surprise and inspired us to for the duration of our stay.
If you choose to enjoy the many facets of the hotel before going out, guests can begin their journey in the Den, a modern gathering place and decompression zone. Situated just off the lobby, the Den is the perfect place to sip a cup of tea or play a game of backgammon. The décor is warm and sophisticated with a tongue-in-cheek British flair – the art on the walls is irreverent, animating the space with larger-than-life portraits and visual puns. This is a most agreeable space to enjoy a light snack with friends before embarking into the heart of London. At your fancy you might even want to embrace the journey with a striking new look from London’s finest hairdressers at the neighbouring Jones & Payne salon.
At the end of busy day we found a hidden entrance to Blind Spot, an innovative cocktail bar, behind the tea counter’s posh façade. Blind Spot is a golden cocktail sanctuary designed like a modern hunting lodge and inspired by the colours and aromas of exotic tea leaves. Here again light and colour continue to enhance the guest experience as in every corner of St Martins Lane - interactive light displays brighten each room, transforming them into spaces of youthful excitement and changing mosaics of colour.
After a playful weekend we were intrigued to know more about other destinations of originals, this family of individual hotels that reportedly shun the status quo, which the friendly staff at the reception were all too keen to elaborate on. We are still considering our choice, between Sanderson in London, Morgans and Royalton in New York, Clift in San Francisco, Shore Club in South Miami Beach, and 10 Karaköy in Istanbul. It is a hard choice indeed.