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“Seriously lacking for a five star hotel”

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St Martins Lane London Hotel
Ranked #74 of 1,069 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey, England
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Seriously lacking for a five star hotel”
Reviewed 25 March 2012

Having stayed at numerous top class hotels, I found this to be seriously lacking.

The location couldn't be better for a night in the west end for shows, etc, and the decor is very funky and great fun - however the service was very very mixed, and frankly offensive at points.

On arrival I was made to wait for a good twenty minutes to check in - there were only 2 people ahead of me but the staff were painfully slow.

Having been out in the evening we returned and wanted some drinks in the bar. Initially we were given a ridiculously small table for 4 of us, and offered pathetic little stools to sit on, but then were moved once a better table became available. Admittedly the bar was busy, so this couldn't really be avoided but it was done without an apology and we all knew the celebrities sat in the corner wouldn't have been treated the same way!

Having called ahead twice to inform the hotel that I am gluten intolerant and so they would need to let their kitchen know for breakfast, I was frankly amazed at what happened atbreakfast. Having explained on arrival to the waiter that I was gluten intolerant I asked for some gluten free toast, and was then sent back by the chef apparently to ask if I can eat butter. Gluten intolerancy might not be common, but I would expect a chef in a five star hotel to know it is in wheat and not in dairy products. Having explained to the waiter what gluten is and that eating it can make me ill, I was then informed that there was no alternative to be provided to the normal breakfast menu (all of which was gluten-containing). Upon asking to speak to a more senior member of staff I received an apology and some gluten free french toast eventually, but was left feeling slightly concerned as to whether it was indeed gluten free or not!

It wasn't only myself that had problems at breakfast - my Dad's eggs benedict had to be sent back as it was cold, and his girlfriend gave up trying to request cheese in her omelette after the waiter misheard it as toast for a third time...

After breakfast my family left and I remained in the room a little longer. After approximately an hour, as I was getting out of the shower, housekeeping let themselves into the room without so much as a knock. Having heard my shriek they left again, but I then received a rather abrupt phonecall from reception demanding that I identify myself - they had apparently thought the room had been vacated (despite the fact that i still had both room keys in the room) and were basically accusing me of some form of squatting.

When I left the hotel I did receive an apology for the interruptions to my morning and the accusatory phone call, and I was assured that the kitchen staff would be spoken to regarding their knowledge of common food allergies/intolerances, but I was still left feeling that the hotel takes its 5 star status for granted now, and has rather stopped putting in much effort unless you are currently in Heat magazine.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank littlerach23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper S, Director of Rooms at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, 11 April 2012
It is always disappointing if we fail to meet our guests’ expectations and please accept our sincere apologies again that we let you down on this occasion. We understand that our guests have different dietary and allergy considerations, and we will be reviewing the gluten free options available to ensure a wider choice. On departure, we believed that everyone had departed as the account was settled, however it is not acceptable for any member of staff to ignore the correct procedures for entering a guest room and this has been addressed with the housekeeping team. We did contact you on departure to sincerely apologise for the service failures you encountered and we hope you will consider returning to the hotel, at that time please contact me direct so that I may personally oversee your stay.
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2012

I joined my wife in London, September 2010, on the tail end of her business trip and she was already booked at St Martin's Lane through her company.

The location itself was wonderful, very close to everything including the Square, Theatres, Shops, excellent restaurants; just had a very good feeling about the area when I was there. I had no idea that the building itself was a hotel when I first approached it, although I had a heads up about its location. I was pretty wowed when I entered. The hotels front desk staff were very courteous and professional. The decor is really amazing, the elevator ride is quite the trip (in a stylish good way). The room was very clean, the bed was absolutley comfortable and I really liked the bathroom arrangement.

I extremely was happy with my stay at St Martin's Lane. Thank you to all the staff, you do your jobs very well!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Darksider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper S, Director of Rooms at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, 11 April 2012
Thank you so much for the first class comments following your first stay with us! We really appreciate the great feedback on service in particular, it’s lovely to know that every member of staff you encountered displayed our core values so fully to create a memorable experience for you. We look forward to welcoming you back for a second stay and more first class enjoyment, let us know when you are next in London.
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New York
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2012

I love the West End. The Salisbury for a pint, Covent Garden up the street, Leicester Square a short walk away, the National Gallery at your fingertips. Theater, two opera houses, plenty of restaurants and a Starbucks across the street. I can't think of a better location. The staff is friendly albeit a bit too informal. The rooms are tiny but who is hanging out in their room in one of the best cities in the world? I love the bar and the bar menu here. I travel alone for business so the enormous portions in Asia de Cuba don't work for me. There are so many new hotels in London but I just csn't give up this place.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the back garden.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BuckeyeChef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper S, Director of Rooms at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, 11 April 2012
We love being so central for all that is wonderful about London – museums, shopping, pubs, the West End – and so pleased that these are some of the elements that bring you back to stay with us. We do look to create an informal home-away-from-home experience for all our guests, however that should not impact on a professional, attentive service at all times. We have just introduced a new menu in Asia De Cuba and would be pleased to discuss your preferences when you next stay with us. We look forward to continuing to welcome you back and please let us know when you are next staying.
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Somerset, England
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2012

St Martin's Lane is cool, no doubting that. Once the taxi had dropped us off, we couldn't see any name at all on the exterior of the hotel so we just headed through a revolving door and hoped for the best. This hotel does things differently to most others. Reception doesn't loook like most hotel receptions you have seen. There is a seating area but it looks more like an art installation, I certainly never saw anyone using it ot sit in and I wouldn't have felt at all comofrtable trying to lounge and read my Sunday paper in it! Yes there are staff but as you're not sure at this point that you have actually arrived in the hotel and they have no name bades or hotel uniforms you remain a little unsure. However, the staff are very friendly and polite. They'll ask you all about why you are visiting and try and strike up a conversation about what you will be doing to enjoy yourself - which is all perfectly nice. They won't tell you how to get to the lift (the hotel really doesn't like signage so you need to ask how to find the lifts), they won't ask you if you want a newspaper in the morning (we went across the street next morning and bought one) and they won't ask you if you want a wake up call (there's an nice little alarm clock in your room). They certainly don't tell you that there are no numbers on the bedroom doors and it will take ages to work out that the room numbers are actually in the carpet on the floor by your bedroom door (its the signage thing again). Anyway, after a challenging start, we thought our studio bedroom was excellent. It had lots of hidden storage areas with all the things you might have forgotten and might want to purchase. The bathroom was very roomy, beautifully laid out and the complimentary products excellent. The shower was the most powerful I have come across in a hotel. There was an HD TV with DVDs available from reception, including a full range of adult titles listed in full in the information booklet. The bed was super comfy, the whole room spotless. Our studio room had floor to celing windows on two sides so the light in the room was great. I had requested a quiet room on a high floor and got a room on the thirs floor on a noisy corner of the hotel. I'm not sure if our requets weren't possible for our type of room, but the street noise certainly kept me awake, but that is normal for London. The thing that most surpriused me was that the hotel is only five floors high. A floor to ceiling vista is stunning if you are on a high floor looking out across the sights of London. In fact our fabulous windows saw us looking across in to offices and other people's flats so it wasn't quite what we had hoped for. The location is perfect, close to trafalgar square and covent garden. We had a hurried dinner in Asia de Cuba as we had to get to the theatre so we didn't get to fully appreciate the food. The service was impeccable, we thought the food we had was ok but not remarkable however, with more time we might have appreciated it more. Breakfast was very good indeed with the same high quality of service. We didn't use the bar, it was so dark in there and I like to see who I'm with. I had hoped to use Gymbox next door but I didn;t have time on the day of arrival and as we were only staying one night the place didn't open until 10am Sunday morning so my plan for an early Sunday gym session was not to be, which really disappointed me. So, all in all, service is good, the place is a very contemporary experince and special feeling, but in all honesty I would book somewhere next time where I just feel more comfortable for my five stars.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank feedbackmatters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper S, Director of Rooms at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, 23 March 2012
We are very appreciative of your kind comments on location, guestroom
comfort and cleanliness, and staff friendliness in particular. We always
look to welcome our guests as if into our own home so we prefer a more
informal style in relation to name usage rather than name badges, however
that does not excuse any less than attentive or gracious service in
relation to highlighting hotel facilities and outlets, enquiring about
newspaper preference, etc., and detailed reviews such as yours let us know
where we let ourselves down. We are also sorry for any disappointment with
GymBox opening times, we do have a small exercise room on the first floor
for resident guests and sincere apologies if this was not made known to you.
We are introducing a new in-room entertainment system in the next few
months, including video on demand and more choice of channels. We do hope
you will consider staying with us again, we would be delighted to welcome
you back and please let us know when you have made a future reservation so
that we may demonstrate our commitment to professional and attentive
service.
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Moscow, Russia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Simply best hotel in the world in a great location in the heart of London, with spectacular service, friendly and professional staff, and relaxed and cool atmosphere.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julia743
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper S, Director of Rooms at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, 23 March 2012
Dear Julia, it is wonderful to know that we are simply the best, thank you
so much for your lovely comments and we can’t wait to welcome you back when
you’re next in London – please do let us know when you are returning to
stay.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

It has quite a rep, for being high end, a bit snooty, over-priced party hotel with small rooms etc.
But I have stayed here a couple of times, for a longer period of time, and every time it was a thoroughly enjoyable stay.
The decor is very modern, so either you like this, or you don't.
The cheaper rooms are of course smaller, but travelling a lot, I have stayed in much worse places, and a lot smaller.
The location is very central.
Yes, the lobby is busy, and on the weekends it packs up, and yes some people come to see and want to be seen, (as some celebs also seem to favour this hotel) but the staff remain friendly, helpful, and the service is good.
Just ask for a room on one of the higher floors and you should be OK.
They have a great complementory membership offer with the Gym Box next door, and unlike many small, not very well equipped hotel gyms, this is the proper deal!
The restaurant serves great breakfast, lunch and dinner too, although personally I like to go out for dinner when in London.

Room Tip: Get a room of one of the higher floors, if you are worried about any noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MMsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper S, Director of Room at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, 9 March 2012
We’re so pleased that you have enjoyed some long stay visits with us and we are delighted that you enjoy the complimentary access to GymBox (we also offer complimentary gym kit laundry for our guests so they can make the most of the gym experience during their stay). It’s always our aim to create a ‘home away from home’ experience for all our guests, offering a fun, friendly yet professional and attentive service and we are really pleased to note that you particularly enjoyed this element. We hope you’ll be back for another stay and please let us know when you are next staying with us (our website offers packages and promotions throughout the year).
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London
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

We have stayed in St Martins Lane 5 times in the last 18 months and apart from 1 occasion have never had any problems. The rooms are great very modern, we like having a bath so you have to go up in the rooms to get one but we have stayed in 5 different rooms and can't really complain about any of them....Penthouse definitely the best!!

We've had room service which was really nice, which most hotels fail to get room service right it's normally cold and not great here very nice. We've eaten in the restaurant, service was great, they have a very casual attitude so it doesn't feel forced it has a nice atmosphere, the guy who served us was very good explained that 2 starters and 1 main would be enough for a table of 2 as they were big portions he was correct. Food was really nice and would recommend it.

We always go to the Light Bar and would highly recommend it but also booking in advance as they get very busy. The service I find is always good you never really wait around to have your order taken...Toffee Champagne and Strawberry Cheesecake shots are delicious!! It had a great atmosphere but if you are after a quiet night this isn't necessarily going to work for you.

This isn't an overly expensive hotel has a great location if you want to explore London.

We had an issue with service on a visit from a staff member at the front desk however when we checked out this was taken seriously, I was sent an email apologising and also asking that the next time we booked to contact them directly and they would oversee the stay and make sure everything was great. We stayed last month and this was very true they were very good and was an amazing stay.

I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Donna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper S, Director of Rooms at St Martins Lane London Hotel, responded to this review, 9 March 2012
Thank you Donna for such a detailed review and it’s lovely that you have highlighted so many elements of the hotel that you enjoy. We, too, are delighted that you have become a regular guest, your support of the hotel is very much appreciated and please be assured that we take any service failure very seriously. The Light Bar is a residents bar so hotel guests always have priority access, however if a table is particularly required on a Friday or Saturday night, we do recommend booking in the event the hotel is at high occupancy. We very much look forward to continuing to welcome you back to St Martins Lane and, as we have separately advised, please do let us know when you are next staying with us.
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Additional Information about St Martins Lane London Hotel

Property: St Martins Lane London Hotel
Address: 45 St. Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4HX, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Covent Garden
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Family Hotel in London
#58 Business Hotel in London
#62 Romantic Hotel in London
#70 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — St Martins Lane London Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 204
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the bustling Theatre district in London’s Covent Garden, St Martins Lane is a dramatic and daring evolution on English luxury. This boutique hotel retains all the youthful, unexpected charm of a London hideaway, at the very heart of the art-loving, energetic West End. St Martins Lane is truly a hidden gem – a newly renovated lobby welcomes guests into high-concept design with the sophistication of a modern museum and the joy of a carnival light show. The soaring and theatrical space, a reinterpretation of Philippe Starck’s original lobby, plays with colour, proportion, and movement in a way that energises every guest and inspires active self-expression for the duration of the stay. Guests can begin their journey in the Den, a modern gathering place and decompression zone. Situated just off the lobby, the Den is the perfect place to enjoy Afternoon Tea, play a game of backgammon or sip on a Gin & Tonic. The decor is warm and sophisticated with a tongue-in-cheek British flair – even the art on the walls is irreverent, animating the space with larger-than-life portraits and visual puns. Embrace the journey with a striking new look from London’s finest hairdressers at the neighbouring Jones & Payne salon. Luxurious treatments and innovative vision make this salon a place of new beginnings and creative expression. At night, guests will find a hidden entrance to Blind Spot, an innovative cocktail bar, behind the tea counter’s posh facade. Blind Spot is a golden cocktail sanctuary designed like a modern hunting lodge and inspired by the colours and aromas of exotic tea leaves. Light and colour continue to enhance the guest experience in every corner of St Martins Lane - interactive light displays brighten each room, transforming them into spaces of youthful excitement and changing mosaics of colour. Special garden rooms offer private patios and floor-to-ceiling windows that invite the vibrancy of the city into every room. At the newly renovated Asia de Cuba, concept chef Luis Pous joins restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow to offer a dynamic Latin-Asian fusion menu in an inspiring space. Guests can explore all the unpredictable delights of London and end the day with an invigorating workout at Gymbox Covent Garden, London’s most unorthodox fitness experience. ... more   less 
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