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St Martins Lane Hotel

4 out of 5 stars

A swish hotel with quirky interiors in the centre of Covent Garden.


Time Out says

Walking through the lime green doors to St Martin’s Lane feels a bit like entering a quirky modern art gallery. The decor isn’t for everyone, but it is unique. Everything smells really good too, with the hotel’s expensive-feeling signature lemongrass scent pumping through all the corridors. In the lobby, a row of giant gold teeth double up as stools. They’re lined up next to a trio of giant chess pieces and a seven-foot vase of flowers. Across the floor, a giant black and white photo of a ballerina leans against the wall. I’m sure when St Martin’s Lane opened in 1999, Philippe Starck’s ‘surrealist wonderland’ interiors made it the coolest hotel in town. Now, it all feels a bit random.  

In the rooms, thankfully the decor is more understated, with white walls, crisp white bedding and plush beige leopard-print carpets. My suite was bright with an incredible vista of the London Eye, and panoramic windows covering two walls of the room. The best thing about staying in any hotel is taking a bath, and this had a tub big enough for a swim. The luxurious bed was incredibly comfortable and soft – a midday check-out made it the perfect excuse for a cheeky hurkle-durkle – and colour-changing neon lights in an alcove above the headboard were a fun addition. It could have all done with a little spruce up though, with visible age showing in the bathroom tiles and fixtures. 


Slap bang in the middle of ‘theatreland’, the location of St Martin’s Lane couldn’t be better. It’s a five minute walk from the West End, Covent Garden and Soho, making this a perfect spot for a long weekend in the Big Smoke. And if you want to swerve the tourist spots, then you’re not far from some of Soho’s best pubs and restaurants. More on those below. 


Quo Vadis: A classic British restaurant that is the epitome of ‘Old Soho’. Come here to get merrily sloshed on wine while chomping down meaty pies and the famous smoked eel sandwich. 

National Portrait Gallery: After three years of closure, the NPG  is now back open for business and showing off its £41 million makeover. As well as gawping at paintings of famous people, you can check out its swanky new wing which includes a late night cocktail bar

Coach and Horses: One of the very best boozers in Soho, come to this institution that used to have London’s self-proclaimed ‘rudest landlord’ for a proper English pint. 

Time Out tip

The hand sticking out of the wall in the foyer isn’t just another one of Starck’s decorative quirks. Shake it, and you’ll go through the door into the Blind Spot, a grown-up speakeasy serving up delicious, inventive cocktails. I’d recommend the Lille, France. 



45 St Martin's Lane
Tube: Leicester Square tube or Charing Cross tube/rail
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