St Martins Lane London Hotel
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TravelPod Member ReviewsSt Martins Lane London Hotel
I really enjoyed my stay there
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews St Martins Lane London Hotel
A Haven in the Heart of the City
Friends recommended this hotel for a six night stay in London at the beginning of June 2004. Frankly, after reading the reviews here I was a little gun-shy, but we loved it!
The location is fabulous, right in the heart of the theater district and steps away from Trafalgar Square. We had a standard double room, which was gorgeous in that minimalist, Schrager, or W-Hotel manner.
When I travel on business I tend to have no choice but to stay in traditional, mainstream hotel chains and have developed an abhorence for the whole, floral polyester bedspread, bad art and TV in a hideous armoire aesthetic.
Our Room at St. Martin's Lane had two double beds with lush white cotton duvets and pillows. The room had huge windows, a white cabinet with mini-bar, tv, cd, & dvd player. Close the cabinet door when you're playing CD's and watch a trippy light show in the cabinet window. And of course the lighting wheel next to the bed lets you change the mood of your room whenever you feel like it.
The bathroom was very large, and very attractive. We slept like lambs every night after long, tiring days of shopping and sight-seeing, and really felt like we were returning to our own personal haven when we got back to the hotel each night.
We had drinks, then dinner with friends the first night of our visit, and both were exceptional. The drinks were expensive in the bar, but absolutely delicious. I had the best Mai Tai I've ever had and my friends raved about the Mojitos. The bar was packed with a very hip, attractive crowd which made for good people watching.
The restaurant was also packed, and the food and service were top-notch. Everyone's favorite dish was the calimari salad, which had the most tender, thinly sliced, lightly fried calimari you can imagine.
A word on the overall service at the hotel: After reading reviews that mentioned the 'attitude' of the hotel staff, I went in with kind of low expections. Everyone we encountered, including the front desk staff, porters, concierges, room service staff were polite and efficient. We ordered room service breakfast most days and never waited more than 20 minutes for delivery. Requests for a bucket of ice or a pot of coffee consistently came in less than ten minutes.
The only two negative things I can say is that I agree with other reviewers that the hallways and elevators are oddly sauna-like, and an armchair would be a nice addition to the standard-double room.
If you're perfectly happy in the traditional hotel environment, don't waste your money here because it ain't cheap, and the appeal of the place will be lost on you.
But if you're someone to whom design, aesthetics, great service and great food are important, do it!
Way too hip for me....
My wife and I travelled to London in late March 2004. We're in our early 40's and live in a rather progressive area, but we were just not hip enough to appreciate this hotel. We has six nights booked and bailed out after two nights.
The hipness starts when you try and find it; no signs, no numbers on the building. We walked from the Leicster Square tube stop and passed it three times. The only way we could identify it was to walk in, step up to the desk and read a card with 10pt text... OK if a taxi drops you off, but a pain if you are dragging bags ftom the Tube after an all night flight.
The lobby is bathed in yellow light from the front windows. There are only various benches to sit on, along with a row of foot tall stools (at least I assumed they were stools) shaped like molars.
The hallways leading to the rooms (at least on floor 2) were stiffling, stuffy and the carpets looked like they had seen multiple floodings.
The room was tiny and as far as I could tell furnished with another foot high stool, a clear plasic chair and a tiny table. The mattress was terrible. The "big money" mood lighting is a series of colored lights in a ceiling alcove. Woo-Hoo... Ikea chic. Carpets showed the stains of dozens of room service meals, spilled while guests ate sitting on the edge of the bed...
The bathroom was acceptable (walk in shower, no tub) until we flushed the tiolet. When you touch the electronic controls, you unleash what can only be called an explosive *pop* guaranteed to wake up your parter in the middle of the night.
We used the resturant for breakfasts which were expensive but acceptable.
We cancelled out of the remainder of our stay and moved to a Sheraton across town.. not exciting, but no surprises either.
Trip Advisor really helped me with other hotels on this trip and I want to help others, that is the primary reason for this review. This hotel was on my Corporate approved list and I didn't use this site to check it out.
Interesting but too expensive
Liked the style and feel of it all, but the first room was nice except for the view of building works. Second room exactly the same, finally the third room - very nice and stylish. lovely bathroom, garden / patio area - no view though. Light bar nice to visit but no more than a couple of drinks at the price.
Not what we expected
This hotel is extemely over-rated and not at all what we expected. I have stayed in many 5 star hotels and the service is always second to none. Unfortunately, that was not to be at this hotel. Some staff were abrasive bordering on rude, the room sevice was late and cold, the wait at the bar was unacceptable for guests and the rooms are too small with dirty carpet. The only saving grace was the restauarant. The food was lovely and good value for money in relation to the rest of the experience. However, I doubt the restaurant will be able to save the hotel from this increasingly bad reputation.
I thought it was very interesting, but not a good place for the business traveler. They advertise a "state of the art" gym, but it is not one you would ever pay to attend. The Waldorf Meridien gym is much nicer. The room was also noisy at night. One night I heard water in the wall. The next night was strange mechanical sounds. I don't think I'll stay there again.
Far too expensive
We paid £195 per night bed and breakfast through lastminute.com. Lets get things into perspective the hotel is vastly over priced.First good points. The location of the hotel is great, shot walk to Covent Garden, theatre land and Trafalgar Square. We ate in the Asia de Cuba restaurant on the evening and had a very nice meal. All meals are put in the centre of the table so that everyone could share and there was a great atmosphere. There were 9 of us and the waiter advised that we order 5 starters and 5 main courses to share, there was plenty of food and we really enjoyed it, the cost of the meal wasnt too bad either just over £50 per head.Bad points The room was quite nice, but very, very small we got a standard double room which only comes with a shower, no bath very disappointing. Another guest from our party had to change rooms because of faulty air conditioning she was moved from a room with a bath to a standard double room as compensation for the move she was given a bottle of champagne. When she asked if she could have 9 glasses to share the champagne with the rest of our party she was charged £5 for the hire of the glasses. There was no lounge area in the hotel. After our meal we would have liked to have sat and had a coffee and a few more drinks however, other than staying at your dinner table the only other communal area of the hotel was the lobby or light bar The lobby has no where for a group of people and the light bar is a trendy bar with extremely loud music not suitable for the older members of our group, it is also extremely expensive.Advice The rooms are very small and nothing special, so stay at one of Londons many other grand hotels and got to St Martins Lane for a meal by not going up to a room you are missing nothing.
The Hip Factor is gone
Which means of course that there is now no reason to stay here whatsoever. The prices are outrageous, the rooms are ratty with nasty carpet and uncomfortable beds, and the advertised "mood lighting" is nothing more than a light above the bed that changes color. The decor is more or less cloned from the Mondrian, which is also pretty tired from what I understand. For some reason, they do not air condition the elevators or the hallways, which were stuffy and smelled bad. The hallway actually smelled like vomit and the carpet was badly stained. To give you an idea of what you will pay for this scintillating experience, a water from the mini bar is L4.00 ($7.00,) a drink in the bar is at least L7.50 ($12.00)and the average price of the entrees in the restaurant Asia De Cuba (the Tuscan Steak is closed and under construction) is about L25.00, or about $40.00. We ate at a pub around the corner for L15.00. There was nothing going on here - it was deserted the entire time - except for a few tarted up 40 something women and creepy businessmen in the bar. Certainly no beautiful people. Oh, and breakfast, if you should be unlucky enough to have to pay for it (it was included in our $400.00 per night rate for a queen bed room with shower only) was L20.00, which equates to over $30.00!! I think maybe a couple of years ago they may have had something here, but it has severely declined since.
Overrated, not recommended
Let's be clear about this: this is a 60s office block that has been converted into a supposedly hip hotel. This means minimal comfort, small rooms and very young, and consequently inexperienced, staff.
If you take this on board from the start, that's fine. But be prepared for levels of service and comfort not normally associated with a five star hotel.
The location is the saving grace. Otherwise, I would not recommend it, partiularly at the sort of prices they charge here. If you want to pay this kind of money, go to the Connaught, the Ritz, Claridges, or any of the many excellent hotels in London who know how to run a five star operation.
Location, location, location! Describes this hotel perfectly. I've stayed several times and I'm more impressed with each visit. If public transportation is something you like to avoid in London, this is the hotel to choose. You can literally walk to all the best shopping and theater in the city in short time. The staff is amazingly friendly, expecially for a "trendy hotel" and the rooms are more than comfortable. They can be a little on the small side but considering there is so much to do right outside the front door, you'll not spend much time in them anyway.
Great Hotel. It's expensive, but worth it. It's near all the West End theatres, Covent Garden shopping, so you want have to deal with the Tube and the horrible London traffic all the time. (I once made the mistake of staying in a hotel in Notting Hill and practically spent my whole vacation on the Tube or in taxis) It's better to pay more and be in the center of everything, especially if you haven't been to London before and aren't that familiar with the Tube. The rooms are almost all white, but you can adjust the color of the light. It has floor to ceiling windows with an amazing view. The Philippe Starke bathrooms are amazing. The staff is very helpful and you may see some famous people in the lobby.
TripAdvisor Reviews St Martins Lane London Hotel
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