The lobby at St Martins Lane
The lowdown Part of the glamorous Morgan’s hotel group and set right in the heart of the West End, St Martins Lane is an utterly original urban resort designed by renowned French designer Philippe Starck. The designer successfully captured Covent Garden’s vibrant spirit with its illuminated entrance, celebrated Asia de Cuba restaurant, swanky Light Bar and funky furnishings. Enter through improbably tall, luminescent yellow-glass revolving doors - the tallest in London - and you will be transported into surreal but luxurious surroundings, where you can even set the mood in the room at the touch of a button. It comes as no surprise that the hotel has become firmly established as the place to stay for the fashion set and numerous celebrities including our June 2013 cover star Zoe Saldana.
The rooms Framing sweeping views of central London, the 204 all-white guestrooms, suites, lofts and penthouses at St Martins Lane have comfortable minimalism down to a T, with floor-to-ceiling windows, gadgetry secreted in sculptural cabinets and sleek limestone bathrooms with complimentary bathrobes and luxurious Agua by Malin+Goetz amenities. The rooms bear the unmistakable design persona of Philippe Starck, where “over-design” is scrupulously avoided and feature a one-of-a-kind interactive light installation, allowing you to change the lighting to any colour imaginable to reflect your mood. At night, from the outside, these differently lit rooms create a captivating mosaic of light. Eating and drinking The hotel’s restaurant Asia de Cuba is overseen by Jeffrey Chodorow, and combines a fusion of mouth-watering Latin and Asian served sharing style. The word from the enthusiastic waiters is that the Sex and the City ladies loved the restaurant’s infamous squid salad. The imaginative menu is almost matched in its surroundings by a dramatic series of soaring “art columns”. The Light Bar is also well worth a visit, offering classic and beautifully mixed cocktails and light snacks in a breathtaking space that takes the concept of atmospheric lighting to new heights. Celebrity guests gather to sip the now famous cocktails, such as Passion Fruit Martini, Strawberry Cheesecake and Pink Lychee Champagne in a series of cosy niches that are bathed in warmly vibrant shafts of coloured light. It’s also the place to be seen at the weekend when top DJs play the latest tunes.
What to do With its nightlife-friendly location and famous restaurants such as The Ivy and J Sheekey on its doorstep (book well in advance for a chance to lunch next to the likes of Kate Moss and George Clooney), and several theatres and Covent Garden's piazza nearby, this is the perfect location to enjoy the bright lights in the big city. If you fancy a little greenery and fresh air, Hyde Park is walking distance away. You can also take your frustrations out with a session at Gymbox, where all St Martins Lane guests have complimentary access and receive free gym kit laundering.
The details St Martins Lane, 45 St Martins Lane, London WC2N 4HX. Rates from £239 per room per night. To book, call 020 7900 5500 or visit stmartinslane.com
By Megan McCluskie