In a nutshell: Around the corner from London’s Drury Lane, Hotel Amano in Covent Garden offers a pre-theatre sophistication with an encore of late-night decadence. Its location is hard to beat if you’re a culture vulture, with the West End and all the entertainment, shopping, drinking and dining it has to offer right on your doorstep.
Hotel Amano Covent Garden is tucked right behind the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which means you’re also a stone’s throw from some of London’s cultural and historical heavyweights. Take a stroll along Embankment before ducking into Somerset House or the Courtauld to admire the latest art exhibitions. From there you can check out the Strand on your way to Trafalgar Square, taking your pick of any number of afternoon teas at the Ritz, the Savoy, the Langham or the Dorchester. Work up an appetite before an evening of dinner and the theatre with a walk around Hyde Park, perhaps stopping to admire Buckingham Palace on your way back.
Despite being smack bang in the heart of London’s flashy, bustling West End, the Amano’s facade is surprisingly dignified. Without the guests walking in and out with their luggage, you could confuse the interior with the entrance of some ultra-exclusive spa. Impressive, yes, but it also feels as though designers Woods Bagot missed a trick, particularly given the hotel’s restaurant, Penelope, is based around the vibrant Israeli-Spanish heritage of Amano co-founder Ariel Schiff. Instead, rooms are business-like and modern, all grey walls and grey felt headboards, with dark wood accents and gold fixtures, along with unremarkable prints of moody women on the walls. For an extra injection of glitz, in the Goldy rooms you’re also treated to a freestanding gold bathtub; bath salts and oils are provided (though some bubble bath wouldn’t go amiss). The rooftop terrace and restaurant are more of the same – classy and elegant, yes, but somewhat lacking in character and originality.
Service is mixed. While the reception desk is warm, helpful and efficient, the rooftop staff take some time to attend to a drink spillage, after not one but two requests for napkins. Yet the restaurant team are a delight, with maître d’ Paolo a warm and effusive personality who makes the experience of dining at Penelope feel like you’re visiting a friend’s…