Hotel to Heart: St. Martin’s Lane in London


Submerge yourself in the surreal hotel St Martin’s Lane in London. I visited this hip and sophisticated hotel last week with my friends. We were invited on a special design tour: the Ethos Tour, by the enthusiastic and fabulous Nico Pagani, Marketing Manager at this design gem in the heart of the theatre area of London. If you’re not staying at this hotel, I do beckon you to visit it in the evening when the surreal feel is strengthened by the play of yellow and green lighting.

The St. Martin’s Lane Hotel is a world in itself, with an interior design inspired by Alice in Wonderland. There is no sign on the hotel’s yellow glass facade to keep it exclusive and to arouse your curiosity. You enter the hotel through the tallest revolving door of London to step in a surrealistic space where a bright yellow light summons you to continue. Designer Philippe Starck mixed and matched different design influences to come to this theatrical space: from modern fluorescent elements, to classic chairs, and Portugese limestone floors. The complete design is a play on proportions and dimensions, to make you feel small, like Alice in Wonderland.

St Martins Lane entrance

An oversized flower vase in the lobby, blown up images in the Light Bar, and gnomes refer to the magical wonderland. Life-size chess pieces adorn the lobby. Dramatic columns are a backdrop to majestic chairs. Golden tooth-shaped seats offer a place to relax and watch the hip and trendy come in for a drink at the lively Lightbar. The golden teeth are a practical joke by designer Starck who believes British have bad teeth. And if you feel like gift shopping, you can do so at the shopping wall where your purchase comes out the vending machine like a soda can. The gifts are from one of my favourite shops in Shoreditch Luna & Curious. (read my blogpost about it here) [continue reading after photos]

St Martins Lane flower

St Martins Lane chair St Martins Lane

IMG_0552ed St Martins Lane gnomes St Martins red chair

St Martins Lane teeth

photo courtesy of St Martins Lane

The Light Bar – photo courtesy of St Martins Lane

The bedrooms are minimalist with an all-white interior. Each room has a custom-designed lighting system allowing guests to set the mood with light in any color of the spectrum, using the white decor as a blank canvas.

St Martins Lane bedroom

Mood lighting

Part of St. Martin’s Lane hotel, is the extreme popular restaurant Asia de Cuba. In this living-room looking restaurant we were to taste how two opposite cultures meet in cuisine, while enjoying an über cool Philippe Starck interior. I will review Asia de Cuba in a separate blog post, so stay tuned…

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