If 007 were looking for a sultry lair where he could hole up with one of his sexy Bond babes, he could hardly hope for a more sensuous escape than ME London. Domino would certainly appreciate the black-and-white colour scheme of the 157-room hotel, tucked into the elbow-shaped intersection where Aldwych meets the Strand.
From the moment you enter the Marconi Lounge lobby, with it’s bed-sized curvilinear sofas, hula-hoop-style lighting fixtures and forest of floor-to-ceiling chrome poles, you feel as though you’re stepping onto one of the super-spy’s futuristic movie sets.
The bar at the end of the room beckons, but hold off for one moment on that martini. If you’re just checking in, a staff member will be at your side in a moment to discreetly escort you to a pyramid-shaped reception atrium, where pale marble walls slope inwards as they ascend towards a dazzling skylight overhead.
When someone suddenly appears at your elbow at the check-in desk, you almost expect to turn to find Blofeld, stroking his Persian cat. But no…it’s a hostess offering you a glass of bubbly.
If you happen to be here at 8 PM, don’t be alarmed to find lasers dancing across the walls. They’re for your entertainment–not for a Goldfinger-style assassination attempt.
Of course, you’re probably anxious to see your room…so let’s go.
Stepping out of the elevator, you enter a twilight corridor, where subtle lighting plays off the dark black marble of the central pyramid’s external wall.
Inside your room, you’re enveloped by a white cocoon overlooking London’s buzziest streets. But thanks to triple-glazed windows, the sounds of the city can not infiltrate your quantum of solace. (I’ve got a million bad Bond puns, people, so brace yourselves).
Neon lights, which can be adjusted to a rainbow of hues to suit your mood, frame one wall.
There’s a flat-screen TV and a mini-bar packed with plenty of extras, from a hangover kit to something, well, more unexpectedly erotic. (Suffice it to say, if you forgot to pack your feather tickler, your needs will be provided for).
Of course, for Bond, the world is not enough, so you’d undoubtedly find him (probably in a tux, caressing a cocktail shaker) in the hotel’s signature Suite ME. Covering two stories, it features not only a dining room, but a spectacular lounge overlooking some of London’s most iconic landmarks, including the glass spire of the Shard, Big Ben and the London Eye.
Even if you don’t have 007’s seemingly limitless funds, you can still enjoy a view to kill for at the rooftop RADIO bar. In addition to an extensive tapas-style menu of British classics, they serve some of this city’s most beautiful cocktails.
Just save room for dinner. For a casual bite, check out airy Cucina Asellina, offering up Italian fare.
But don’t leave London without booking a table at the hotel’s STK restaurant, with its sophisticated bar, intimate lighting, and cozy booths that are curvier than Honey Ryder in a bikini.
It goes without saying that they serve a mighty fine steak, but really, you can’t say no to parmesan truffle fries and shrimp rice krispies, right? After all, you only live twice.
Yeah. You knew that was coming.
ME London, 336-337 The Strand. www.melia.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/london/me-london/index.html