In a city like London, location is everything.
ME London may not have the brand recognition of its snazzy neighbours on The Strand like The Savoy and The Corinthia, but when it comes to location, location, location – it’s hard to beat.
A stone’s throw from Covent Garden, London’s theatreland, and Temple tube station, ME London is a modern marvel renowned for its skyline views that stretch from St. Paul’s Cathedral to The Shard. Owned and operated by Meliá Hotels International, ME by Meliá hotels can be found in exotic locales traversing the globe from Brazil to Vietnam. Middle Eastern travellers will likely be familiar with the Zaha Hadid-designed property, ME Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
While ME London’s facade is more understated than Dame Zaha Hadid’s Opus, it’s no less impressive. Sitting on the triangular site and former home of the Gaiety Theatre, ME London has been built next to the former BBC headquarters, where the first radio broadcast was made in 1922. Entering off the busy Strand, the sleekness of the ME brand is exemplified in the first-floor check-in, where guests are met with a monolithic atrium of dancing projections. It’s as if we’ve stepped into a futuristic interpretation of the King’s Hall inside the Pyramids of Giza.
Home to 157 guest rooms and 15 luxurious suites, ME London offers discreet luxury in the heart of London. Accessed via dark and alluring corridors, the communal spaces feel more nightclub than restful night’s sleep, resulting in an unexpected surprise when the rooms are revealed. Designed by Foster + Partners, each room is minimalist in design, resulting in a clean aesthetic anchored around clutter-free living and the latest mod cons. Our Superior ME City View room on the hotel’s third floor features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Novello Theatre and bustling Covent Garden.
The living area is ideal for catching up on emails or a quick cup of morning coffee and a plush king-size bed. Perfectly pressed white linens reflect the neutral tones, where the only thing disrupting the bright whiteness is a large flatscreen television and sculpted glasswork that adds a statement feature to the otherwise blank canvas. Modern bathrooms feature a separate WC, double vanity and a large rainfall shower. The room combines style, functionality and character wrapped up in a marvellously modern aesthetic. For the ultimate in London living, book the Duplex Penthouse. Furnished with a glass dome, it provides 360-degree views of the London skyline.
ME London has three distinct dining destinations ranging from celebrity chef-fronted concepts to nightlife-driven revelry. Radio Rooftop on the tenth floor offers day-to-night dining backed by panoramic views across the Thames from Big Ben to The London Eye. When we left London, it was the place for sunset sips, and the venue is still thrumming with life a decade later. During breakfast, as the mist rolls off the river, diners can enjoy a buffet of bresaola, burrata and some of the flakiest croissants you’ll ever devour. Come afternoon, breakfast classics are replaced with croquettes, chorizo sausage rolls, and short rib sliders. Reservations are a must as the Insta-worthy venue gets busy.
On the ground floor, diners can enjoy Italian favourites at Luciano by Gino D’Acampo. Serving lunch, dinner and drinks, the menu designed by celebrity chef Gino features classic Italian dishes such as Carpaccio with Venetian dressing, Linguine with Lobster, Veal Milanese and Tiramisú.
Middle Eastern travellers will be familiar with STK, a modern twist on the American steakhouse located in Doha and Dubai. Here, fine dining combines with a high-energy atmosphere to create a sociable steakhouse experience where the vibe is high and the drinks are flowing. The menu features Oysters, Wagyu Tacos and Crispy Calamari, while the meats range from sirloins to tomahawks.
The pet-friendly hotel also has a 24-hour gym, a private car park and event spaces. These include the Marconi Lounge on the ground floor, named after Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the radio. The stylish and sophisticated setting offers a relaxed lounge and lively cocktail bar.
Originally opened to coincide with the London 2012 Summer Olympics, it is difficult to believe that ME London is over a decade old. The discreet design, clean lines, and brilliant white colour palette show few signs of age. A decade in London is like a lifetime, but this property has stood the test of time.
GO: Visit www.melia.com for reservations and more information.