St. Martin’s Lane Hotel
The former birth child of Ian Schrager, St. Martin’s Lane Hotel made quite a splash in London when it debuted back in 1999. Fashioned from a cool 1960s-style building with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, it remains today one of the best places in town for would-be voyeurs to soak in the late-night decadence London is so famous for.
Having helped open the hotel, and working as part of the front office staff in the years that followed, Set of Drifter Doug has had more than a simple schooling on what makes this hipster hotel tick. Designed by Schrager cohort Philippe Starck, the facade features a grand revolving door with translucent chartreuse glass that beckons visitors inside a large open lobby space completed with gnome tables and whimsical gold molar-shaped stools!
Upstairs, accommodations at the St. Martin’s Lane are certainly in line with those from other properties in Morgans Hotel Group’s portfolio. That means small rooms, albeit stylishly decorated. Expect crisp white duvet covers that look like as though they’ve been starched to crisp perfection, as well as Doug’s favorite accent - the TV cabinet with glass prism lens that becomes more a light feature than an idiot box once the TV is left on and the cabinet is closed. Very clever indeed. We recommend trying for a garden room if visiting during good weather. These units have their own tiny patio and help assuage cramped quarters if you have brought more luggage than you know what to do with.
Elsewhere on the property, St. Martin’s Lane showcases two restaurants and one main bar. The most famous F&B outlet is Jeffrey Chowdorows’ Asia de Cuba, which has been serving up delicious Pan-Asian and Cuban cuisine for many moons; it’s the first branch to land in the UK. Small and chic, the Light Bar is also certain to please anyone looking to hang out with other like-minded design enthusiasts. This is one of the few late-night drinking holes you’ll find in London, and stays open all the way until 3:00 AM on most nights. (Better bring earplugs.) Set of Drifter tip: Make sure to look out for the Light Bar’s illuminating video projections.
Perhaps the best part of St. Martin’s Lane, however, is its location. Only seconds from theatres and all that the West End has to offer, you will stumble past a number of great shops, restaurants and other attractions no matter which way from the lobby you head. Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden are only minutes away, so don’t bother paying for a taxi when you can walk quicker than the traffic you’ll inevitably get stuck in!
St. Martin’s Lane Hotel - 45 Saint Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4HX, (011) 44 20 7300 5500
We also recommend:
One Aldwych - 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ, (011) 44 20 7300 1000,