St Martins Lane
Opened in 1999, the five-star St Martins Lane hotel in London is slightly older – and less exclusive – in feel than its sister hotel Sanderson, but remains equally stylish. Its towering yellow-glass revolving doors succinctly illustrates that staying here is a statement. Giant chess pieces, gilt chairs and molar-teeth stools (all by St Martins Lane designer, Philippe Starck) are scattered across a soaring, dramatic lobby, while recessed niches are painted a welcoming deep yellow. Flashes of mood-altering colour are a recurring theme at St Martins Lane – each of the 204 bedrooms has an interactive light installation, allowing guests to bathe the space in a spectrum of colours at the flick of a switch. While not afraid of bold gestures, Starck has been careful not to over-design: there are pristine white beds, Lucite chairs and onyx desktops with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking busy Covent Garden. If that induces agoraphobia, there’s plenty to stay in for – including excellent champagne cocktails at the Martini advert-esque Light Bar, Asian/Cuban fusion food at its restaurant Asia de Cuba, and celeb-spotting as they spill out of the basement outpost of Amy Sacco’s illustrious New York nightclub, Bungalow 8.