336-337 The Strand, London WC2R 1HA
From the respected Spanish hotel group, Melia, the 157-room Me London has only been open since early 2013, but has already firmly established as one of the city’s top design/luxury hotels.
Me London’s basement event space has become the go-to venue in town for catwalk shows, product launches and celebrity-filled art openings. And that’s just the basement! The spacious rooftop terrace/bar, Radio, has stunning views over the Thames and London City, and is constantly thronged with London’s beautiful people (and the occasional hotel guest).
Fortunately, the hotel is not only about its public spaces, for the rooms here are excellent. Think subdued luxury, with slate gray carpets, silver-accented tapestries and gorgeous beds of soft white linens. TVs and Nespresso machines are hidden behind black glass in many rooms. And you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep in these vault-like rooms, which have excellent sound-proofing to the outside hustle and bustle.
This is the first hotel project from acclaimed design house Foster + Partners, and it’s clear they wanted to make an impression. Not aiming to be typical, the designers placed the check-in desk at the base of a stunning 33m-tall marble pyramid that peaks at a triangle of natural light. It’s really worth a visit on its own!
Some of the technology in the hotel can be a little ahead of the average guest (including your writer), so when the bellman offers to give you a room orientation (including for the high-tech room control panel), by all means accept!
Me London’s ground floor restaurants, purposely or not, have a bit of a Yin and Yang feel: STK, the steakhouse, is dark and sleek, while the Cucina Asellina is bright, open and airy. Both are popular with local Londoners, so it’s a good idea to book ahead with the concierge.
Staying at the hotel is no guarantee you’ll even get to visit Radio, as it’s often rented out for private events or has reached its occupancy limit. But for a taste of the rooftop scene, look no further than the hotel’s ground floor lounge, the Marconi bar, with its edgy design elements, leather-clad sofas and fancy people sipping fancy drinks.
This is a young hotel and it still has some growing pains, but overall you’ll have very eager and energetic staff looking after you. For a slightly less Euro and more toned-down version of Me London, check out One Aldwych next door (it’s also on The List!).
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