Zoe Walker checks into an airy and spacious room in the heart of London's theatre district


Right in the thick of it, in London's theatre district. I don't think I've ever stayed in a hotel in such a great, easy, central spot — especially in London. A brief walk from Leicester Square tube station.

Check-in experience: Seamless. The staff are all friendly and gorgeous, and clad in all black. There is no obvious signage outside; look out instead for the tall, luminescent yellow revolving doors, or the handsome doormen in elegant black coats.


Room: The airy and spacious room 407, a Deluxe room on the fourth floor with the hotel's signature minimalist-but-quirky vibe — white walls, white linens, white chair, white bin and pale leopard print carpet. No weird hotel room art here; instead, a small jade succulent plant in a terracotta pot was attached to the wall. The room's one flaw is the venetian curtains fixed between two glass panels, which frustratingly do not open — so the view outside on to the back of the London Coliseum theatre next door is slightly obscured.

Hotel bedroom and window designed by Philippe Starck, St Martins Lane Hotel, London.
Hotel bedroom and window designed by Philippe Starck, St Martins Lane Hotel, London.

The bed:

A very comfortable king bed with crisp, white linens. Behind is a gimmicky "light cove", with LED lighting in a range of colours — so you, or the turn-down service, can light the room to match your mood: pink, blue, yellow, red?

The bathroom: No bath but a strong rainfall shower, plenty of space for toiletries and great, flattering lighting.

Amenities: The main measure of a good hotel for me? The power of the hairdryer. This one is even better than mine at home, 10/10! The amenities by trendy brand Malin+Goetz also deserve a special mention. Other items available to purchase in the mini bar: an alarm clock, umbrella, T-shirt, scented candle and a hangover kit.

Facilities: No tea and coffee facilities in the room, unless you ask.

Exercise facilities: Hotel guests have free access to GymBox next door, which has the usual equipment as well as an extensive list of fun classes — from rave dance classes with glow sticks to "Bike and Beats".

What's in the neighbourhood? Theatres and restaurants galore. The famous J. Sheekey is around the corner, while West End icon The Ivy is an easy walk too. Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are a two-minute walk away; while shopping strip Long Acre is an easy walk up the road, with Marks and Spencer, H&M, Zara and a very good TK Maxx.


Food? The buzzy Asia de Cuba restaurant offers a Chino-Latino menu in an eclectic space, plus a special ceviche counter at the bar — they offer a special ceviche tasting, paired with signature rum cocktails. Across the lobby is The Den, offering afternoon tea and a dedicated gin and tonic menu. Room service includes dishes from Asia de Cuba, and a menu of smoothies and protein shakes.

Drink? The hotel's cocktail bar, Blind Spot, has a "hidden" entrance behind a tea counter in the hotel lobby — look for the golden hand door handle. The fit-out, dark lighting, leather seating and drinks list make it feel like it encourages hedonism. When I visited, there was a well-dressed group ordering rounds of shots and Instagrammable cocktails.

If you'd rather a tipple in your room, there is a little bottle of Perrier Jouet in the mini bar for £30, and mini bottles of Bacardi, Jack Daniels, Absolut Vodka and Gordon's Gin.

What's so good about this place? The location, and sophistication of the fit-out and amenities.

And the bad? More cool than cosy, some could find this hotel a little intimidating.


is at 45 St Martin's Lane, London, England. Phone: +44 20 7300 5500.