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“If you stay here you'd better be a Phillippe Starck fan” 3 of 5 stars
Review of St Martins Lane London Hotel

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St Martins Lane London Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   45 St Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4HX, England (Leicester Square / Shaftesbury Avenue)   |  
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Ranked #92 of 1,065 Hotels in London
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“If you stay here you'd better be a Phillippe Starck fan”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

This hotel made such an impression on me that I wrote a poem about it. Enjoy:

The other day I Googled Philippe Starck
and saw, to my surprise, not in a zoo,
but posing in some city park,
a being bodied much like me or you.

His arms were not unusually long or lean,
his forehead didn’t slope, he wore a shirt,
and though it’s hard, from snaps, to gauge hygiene
his skin and clothes seemed fairly free of dirt.

And in the smiling close-ups I could sense
the thing anticipated least of all;
the spark of real human intelligence.
So much, I thought, for the Neanderthal

I had envisaged, having lately stayed
in one of Starck’s ridiculous hotels.
The room they gave me there, I swear, was made,
By, and for, an illiterate. How else

explain the fact Herr Starck forsook
a shelf, or bedside table, or indeed
surface of any kind to rest a book?
To make it still more difficult to read,

the silly light switch dangling overhead
would stretch the sinews of the tallest man:
To activate it, lying in the bed,
you’d need the arm of an orang-utan.

And when you do get out of bed, beware:
That stylish floor-to-ceiling window-blind
won’t close. So lest you really want to share
with all of Covent Garden your behind

be sure to book a room without a view -
or you may find yourself becoming one.
The bathroom’s worse; when you have used the loo,
don’t try to wash your hands - it can’t be done.

The basin taps are two smooth knobs of chrome
which fingers slightly damp, or touched by soap,
can’t grip or turn. The shower’s the bloody same.
How do my fellow guests, I wondered, cope?

What mug but me would fork out this much cash -
(the cheapest room’s two hundred quid a night)
to stay in a hotel where you can’t wash,
or read, or work, or hide from public sight?

And yet the place was full - and fully booked
for days ahead, said the receptionist.
And when I whined about my room she looked
at me as if I might be mad or pissed.

It obviously doesn’t happen much.
As eaves-dropped bar and elevator chat
confirmed, this guest was sadly out of touch
with the consensus, which is, broadly, that

because they were designed by great Philippe
the fittings in my room are objets d’arts.
His beds are not for reading in (or sleep);
His sinks are not for washing, nor His bar

for leaning on, His shiny cupboard door
does not have knobs because it is not meant
for opening. So what then is it for?
The answer’s simple: it is ornament

and nothing more. And this might, I suppose,
explain the patronage of this hotel
by those well known for paying through the nose
for things which make no sense. A clientele

whose shoes cannot be walked in without pain,
whose trousers hang half-mast between their knees,
whose raincoats weren’t designed to keep out rain,
whose hairstyles simulate a steady breeze.

And as I watched them teeter to and fro
On scrawny legs with sunken eye and cheek
the penny dropped. But how was I to know
when booking, this was London Fashion Week?

I saw my bill, I caused a little scene,
then walked to Charing Cross and caught a bus.
Starck and his ilk, in jet and limousine,
are making monkeys out of all of us.

Room Tip: If you're going to need access to a printer and big computer, ask for a room on the same floor a...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
896andrewc, Manager at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Dear Simonedwardcollins

Thank you for your review – I loved it.

Whilst I am disappointed that you did not enjoy your St Martins Lane experience predominantly due to Philippe Starck design of the Hotel, I fully appreciate that our design is not always to everyone’s preference.

If you choose to stay at St Martins Lane in the future or are just visiting London for the day (and have time) I would love to share with you the design ethos of the Hotel.

Kind regards
Andrew
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1,413 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Leicester
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

The staff make this hotel very special, from the moment you arrive 'till you leave nothing is too much trouble. The doorman are great, a mine of information and so helpful,parking your car with a real smile. The light bar seems a little dated now but that's really the only quibble I've got with my stay.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nicole_messham, Guest Relations Manager at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Dear Tirom2,

Thank you for submitting your review. I am happy to see that the team made your hotel experience so delightful.
If you need any help with future reservations please contact me directly I would love to oversee your next booking you can reach me on nicole.messham@mhgc.com.We do hope you have the opportunity to visit us again soon.

Warm Regards,

Nicole
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Sligo
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

We encountered a very aggressive room-upgrade sales technique at check-in. The assistant was persistently misleading (possibly deliberately so) about whether upgrade rate quoted was for total stay or per night. At no point was it mentioned that the rate was exclusive of VAT - it is not standard anywhere to quote ex VAT price without making it clear that VAT is applicable and at what percentage!!! We declined the upgrade once the assistant finally made clear that the fee she was quoting was per night – not for the entire stay. (The assistant had come down from £150 to £125 and finally to £100 in her attempt to make us take this room). On gaining access to our “deluxe double” we found it to be much smaller than the same room type we had thoroughly enjoyed last July. It was ridiculously small and we felt that we had no choice but to avail of the upgrade, which we did.
On the second morning of our four night stay, we were asked to move to enable staff to set up for an event or large booking (stories differed) We agreed in order to facilitate the staff, who seemed nice and who stressed that this would be a much more comfortable space. The next room, although an apartment, was not as well appointed as our original upgraded room. In fact it felt rather soulless, functional and was grubby and cluttered with a much smaller bathroom. We let it go as we assumed that we would not be paying the upgrade fee for this new room as the move was at the behest of the hotel. The hotel then proceeded to send me 6 emails confirming and cancelling the new room at different rates. My head was spinning so I doubled checked with the desk. They said I should disregard the emails - it was a complementary upgrade.
However on check-out I was charged the upgrade fee for all four nights including the final two. The front desk assistant was polite however he felt it necessary to point out to me what the full cost of the apartment should have been. Not my problem the hotel asked me to move! He finally removed the upgrade fee for the final night. It should have been for the final two nights. We ended up feeling that we had a disjointed stay (3 moves in 4 days!) and had been somewhat fleeced. I usually stay at Firmdale Hotels, although after a positive experience in St Martins last Summer, I had decided to return. It won't happen again. I don’t recommend this hotel and won’t return.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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nicole_messham, Guest Relations Manager at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Dear jellybeens,

It's very disappointing that we let you down on this occasion and I am very sorry that the service was not more attentive or gracious as it should have been. I can assure you that all of your concerns have been thoroughly investigated by our Front Office Manager, Caroline Evans and she has written to you separately to address your concerns.

Warm regards,

Nicole
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London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

This is a really quirky urban hotel unlike any I have stayed at. I like the small touches that they do for their guest.

We got offered Champagne on arrival, Candy sticks also and a free room upgrade.

The service is warm and friendly which it should be. They surprised us in the room with petals on bed and free bottle of bubbly as I explained its for a surprise for my partner.

They really do go that extra mile for there guests. Our rooms was all in white with ambient lighting felt slight cold if you know what I mean but with the lighting it changes the mood, our view was of the Colosseum, nelsons column and of the millennium eye. Really really nice and unsual.

We didn't really stay so much in the room to fully enjoy its facilities though.

Would recommend this hotel over, service is great and staff are fabulous. Nicole made our trip.

WONDERFUL..

Room Tip: Rooms have lots of light in them, they are very clean, comfortable and spacious. Our room had wonder...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nicole_messham, Guest Relations Manager at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Dear G4R,

Thank you for your glowing review of your experience at St Martins Lane – I am delighted to hear that we achieved what we set out to achieve and that is to create an engaging dynamic experience for every single guest. I am thrilled when I am personally involved in creating a surprise for one’s partner it brings joy to my day.

Our mood lighting is fantastic and creates a wonderful romantic ambience in the room – perfect for special occasions. I appreciate your recommendations and I can’t wait to welcome you and your partner back to St Martins Lane please feel free to reach me on Nicole.messham@mhgc.com when your are planning to return.

Warm Regards,

Nicole
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London
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Sunday I woke to the faint sound of church bells, am I dreaming, no - I open the window to hear this beautiful sound -the' Oranges & Lemons' nursery rhyme in my head, priceless.
Overall though this hotel wasn't my cup of tea, which was just as well because if you want tea you have to do the dreaded room service, why oh why do some boutique hotels not give tea/coffee in the room.
The room itself was created by a reader of 'Wallpaper' magazine -stark white, flowerpot nailed to the wall, bulky chipboard TV/Minibar in the shape of crucifix, ridiculously large sink. Gloomy low lit corridors. So at a price range at the Seasons end of the market, for me there's better options.
But what do I know, the place was busy with quietly moneyed guests. The staff team were organised and there is a lively bar/disco. Its also undeniably a great location for a stay in London

Room Tip: Upper floors quieter & have more light
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
896andrewc, Manager at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Dear TheEvaluatorLondon

I am sorry to read that St Martins Lane was not your “cup of tea”.

St Martins Lane is part of Morgans Hotel Group which many years ago when our first Hotel opened ‘coined’ the term - Boutique Hotel. Since Morgans opening all of your Hotels have been individually designed to capture the story of the building and the city the Hotel is within. For St Martins Lane it is the floor to ceiling windows that bring the West End into the room hence the white walls and for the terracotta pot with planted begonias this celebrates some of the history of the nearby Covent Garden. Frenchman Philippe Starck was the designer that bought St Martins Lane to life and his ‘style’ is evident in some bespoke one off design pieces like our bathroom sinks (his take on a large traditional style English country farmhouse washbasin).

TheEvaluatorLondon, there is quite an interesting reason as to why our corridors have lighting at a low level directed at the floor plus the Cross-Shaped Armoire in the bedrooms. If you choose to stay at St Martins Lane again please contact me as I would love the opportunity of sharing the design story with you – it is in my opinion very clever and certainly far different from a ‘typical’ Hotel.

Kind regards
Andrew
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Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

I did not enjoy my stay in this hotel. The member of staff at check in was quite rude and dismissive. I was expecting a room with one double bed but was told there were two beds, but that was no problem, I could have a double bed, for another fifty pounds! I choose not too. The room itself looked smart, however one of the lights did not work, which made it quite dark. My main issue with the room, is that the soundproofing was terrible. I was woken several times in the night by people talking outside in the alleyway alongside the hotel. What was worse was that construction work was going on next door and people began drilling/riveting scaffolding at 6am. I complained about the noise, at first the staff did not believe me and said it was impossible that the work would start at 6am. I can read a watch, it was 6am. Then they said they would love to offer me some money off my bill, but they couldn't. Great. Why say that at all then? There was an offer to give me a higher up room next time. But overall I sensed they really didn't care about what I said or even believe it. Would not stay again, so many better Five star hotels in London.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nicole_messham, Guest Relations Manager at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Dear Tom,

I am disappointed to read that you were unhappy with your recent experience at St Martins Lane and I am so sorry that your stay with us was not as comfortable or relaxing as it should have been. I can only apologise that you were disturbed by noise whilst you were with us and I can assure you that our front office team did not intend to offend you when you told them about it.

We are all dedicated to doing our utmost to make sure our guests are happy and comfortable whilst they are with us so we are very sorry for letting you down on this occasion. I really would like the opportunity to restore your faith in us and ask that you contact me directly on nicole.messham@mhgc.com so that I can personally oversee your next stay.

Warm Regards,

Nicole
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

Excellent hotel, hotel was spotlessly clean, with a fantastic location, so central to everything. As other reviewers commented the beds were extremely comfortable with top quality linen and when we asked for our room to swapped for a room with a bath we were upgraded and request was dealt with quickly. I am unable to comment on the food as we thought breakfast at £25.00 was a little expensive so we eat next door at the Cote Brassiere which was £22.00 for both of us and very good. Only downside of hotel is no external signage so not easy to locate and corridors slightly to dark, also you could hear the next door bedroom using bathroom !!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nicole_messham, Guest Relations Manager at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Katy, we are so delighted that you had an amazing experience at St Martins Lane. Our stand alone bathtubs are super luxurious and allow for optimum relaxation.
We very much hope you have the opportunity to return to us in future as we would love to welcome you back. Please contact me at nicole.messham@mhgc.com when you would like to make a reservation and I will ensure you have everything you need during your next visit. We really look forward to seeing you again.

Warm Regards,

Nicole
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Additional Information about St Martins Lane London Hotel

Address: 45 St Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4HX, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Leicester Square / Shaftesbury Avenue
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#55 Family Hotel in London
#63 Romantic Hotel in London
#70 Business Hotel in London
#76 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — St Martins Lane London Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 204
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From its dazzling location at the hub of Covent Garden, West End theatres and Trafalgar Square, St Martins Lane is a dramatic and daring reinvention of the urban resort. Smart, witty and sophisticated, the hotel is filled with energy, vitality and magic. Unique features include the acclaimed Asia de Cuba restaurant, wildly popular Light Bar, and interactive light displays in every Guest Room that encourage guests to personalize their own individual space, and help to turn the hotel into a beautiful and ever changing mosaic of color. St. Martins Lane Hotel offers seasonal packages and special offers including weekend, holiday, and breakfast packages. These offers are exclusive to the site and are available for a wide variety of room types and sizes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St Martins Lane London Hotel London
Hotel St Martins Lane
St Martins Lane London Hotel England

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