A five minute walk from Covent Garden; Leicester Square on one side and Holborn on the other lies the home of the simply exquisite Foster +Partners designed ME Hotel. Sitting on the former Gaiety theatre with Marconi House next door, this design lead hotel by Melia has been making waves ever since its launch in 2012.
Just a stones throw from the Savoy and Waldorf the ME has some serious competition, so TLE went to check the ME out and see if its neighbours have anything to worry about!
What To Expect
As you arrive in the hotel entrance you might be forgiven for thinking you were entering a nightclub, moody lighting, dark rich veined marble everywhere and stainless steel rods that guide you down past the bar towards the elevators. The staff have a coolness to them and mixed with lounge music playing in the background you really have to double take – is this a hotel I am in?
The hotel is built around a gigantic pyramidal hollow marble lined core with the 157 rooms and 16 suites running around each of the three sides of the pyramid, which slices its way through 10 stories up to the roof top bar on the top.
Check In and Welcome
Reception is on the first floor, which is the base of the pyramid, natural light flows down from the top of the pyramid into the reception area. It feels almost like being in a cocoon, you immediately feel relaxed when you enter the space – remember you are in the central London, these types of spaces are precious commodities.
You are offered a glass of champagne as you arrive, which is poured from a giant ice bucket structure in the left of the room, I love the hotel already!
Check in is quick and simple – and I was given an upgrade to a Vibe room on the 5th floor.
The rooms, like the rest of the building are designed by Foster + Partners so they are minimalistic, but certainly not sterile. Floor to ceiling windows complete with frosted glass shutters let light flood into the seating area and present the perfect view of the Strand.
A gigantic feather filled bed, covered with white Egyptian linen fills the centre of the room. Across from the bed a black lacquered wall mounted wardrobe with built-in TV and entertainment system and well stocked mini bar – and Nespresso machine… Ah my favourite gadget completes the feng shui.
I loved the layout of the bathroom, almost like a huge walk in wardrobe – slide the frosted doors back and you are presented with a twin sink and mirror covering the whole wall. To the left side of the sinks are twin rain showers and to the right the toilet.
The toiletries by Apivita are divine and I loved the lacquered box, which housed the mouth wash, body milk and cleansing milk.
Some little finishing touches to the room that I liked were;
The mood lighting… if you wanted to get frisky, have a party…. or whatever you get up to in a hotel room there is an atmospheric light setting for it, I chose pink. The safe is an oversized safe so you can store a laptop in it and there is even a charger point in the safe.
The room had a turning down service which came round in the evening, mats were placed either side of the bed, sparking water was placed on each bedside table and chocolates were left on the pillow.
Some of the sensible stuff I loved was;
Free WIFI and you don’t even need to login, just connect. Free local calls – great for overseas guests.
There are also enough plug points in the room to plug all your gadgets in at night and ones next to each side of the bed!
AND there are plenty or mirrors, the door out the room is all mirrored and there is a dressing/work table which is also mirrored.
The Rest of the Hotel
The hotel has a bar on the ground floor – Marconi Lounge, but where you really want to be is the Radio roof top bar on the 10 floor, which has commanding views out across London and great cocktails to boot!
The hotel has two restaurants, STK restaurant a Steak House by Crave Studios New York and Cucina Asellina their Italian restaurant, which is also where they serve breakfast. I didn’t eat in either restaurants so can’t comment on the them.
The hotel also has a small gym which I used that was very functional, with all the latest equipment, but not huge.
What Made It Special
The service was fantastic, I must thank assistant manager Lara for being such a good host to me.
The only negatives I could really comment on would be that the hotel does not offer any spa facilities. The small gym is fine but it would be good to have a pool, but they do have an in room spa menu if you do need a massage.
Rooms start at £252 per night and breakfast is £25 per person.
Would I Recommend it?
Absolutely, in fact I was just completely settled into my room when it was time to leave. It’s very central and luxurious, I would definitely go back.
Address: ME London, 336-337 The Strand, WC2.