We can all agree, I think, that the worst thing about staying in a luxury hotel is the moment you have to leave.
Not only do you have to leave, but you usually have to leave at 11am, no matter what you got up to the night before, how little sleep you’ve had and how much time you’ve had to actually appreciate your surroundings.
The spectre of morning check-out looms over you as you dive into the minibar at 3am. It robs you of a lie-in, means you wake to an alarm and you end your stay in a most unedifying way, slinging clothes and toiletries into a bag to make the deadline.
And no one wants that.
So, it was with great excitement that we received word of ME London’s Stay In Bed With Me offer.
For the price of one night, you get 48 hours (well, 2 minutes short of 48 hours) in a ME London suite – that’s two nights’ sleep and two full lie-ins.
No morning check out, no rush.
So, for instance, if the night you are booking is Saturday, you get to check in at midnight on the Friday (it’s more accurately 00:01hrs Saturday), which effectively gives you Friday night for free. You get a Saturday morning lie-in, the entire day to do as you please, another full night and lie-in, then check out is midnight Sunday.
That means you can go out on Friday, end your night at the hotel, stay all the following day, come back to your hotel, have yet another night out and stay in bed all day the next day.
Of course, since you’re in the centre of the world’s most exciting city (we are biased, yes), you could go out and see the sights. Visit the Tate Modern – the Modigliani exhibition is a must-see and Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy opens on 8 March.
The Tate Britain has a brilliant Impressionists in London exhibition, showing many of Monet’s luminous Thames series.
Roka Aldwych is two minutes away and is a must-visit for a Sunday brunch with bottomless white or red wine or prosecco.
Or – and this is getting closer to what we’d recommend as an itinerary – you could just stay in bed from midnight on Friday through to midnight on Sunday and order room service (the sliders come highly recommended as bed snacks).
It also means you get to actually appreciate the hotel and the room instead of using it merely as a base.
Me Hotel’s suites have been given added frisson with lip-themed neon art by contemporary artist Sara Pope, best known for these seductive lip pictures, and which find a natural home in the Stay In Bed suites where their flashing pinks and reds create a boudoir atmosphere.
Elsewhere, more of her work is hung on the walls of the hotel, where it is showing until 29 April.
If you aren’t familiar with ME, it opened in 2013 on the site of the old Gaiety Theatre on an unusual triangular plot at the end of a sweeping, elegant 1920s crescent.
The hotel is designed inside and out by Foster & Partners – the first time the architectural firm has taken on a flagship hotel in its entirety both inside and out, and the result is a harmonious fusion of the interior and exterior that gives this boutique hotel a very sleek, coherent aesthetic.
This temple to modernity elegantly fuses interior and exterior design to create an atmospheric synergy.
The hotel is designed to have a natural hierarchy of privacy, with public spaces at ground level, climbing to guest check-in on floor 1 and rising up to the private terraces and rooftop bar.
It is the elegance of this design that makes checking in to Me London an unforgettable experience. Set in a marble pyramid with glass top that looks out on to the stars, the reception is like no other.
Its private first floor location keeps it free of the usual comings and goings of a hotel reception, making it incredibly peaceful. The low-lit space is silent but for ambient music playing to the rhythm of swirling images projected on to the white marble walls.
Long, white sofas in amorphous shapes line the room and a bar serving ice cold prosecco to welcome guests completes the scene. It’s at once very serene and feels more like you are checking into the future than a hotel.
The peaceful ambience of the restaurant and low-lit upper corridors forms quite the contrast to the vibrant steak restaurant on the ground floor, STK. If, like me, you relish a lively meal over white tablecloths and silent waiters, you will love it.
One of London’s most dynamic restaurants, cocktails and exceptionally good steak are the speciality.
Whether you choose grain fed, British grass fed or American Wagyu, you will not be disappointed with the quality of the meat.
Cocktails are exemplary – both classic and with a twist. For a personal recommendation, go for the espresso martini but switch up the vodka for the Guatemalan rum Zacapa. It makes the familiar espresso martini warmer, smoother on the palette, with toasted, nutty notes and a slightly sweet finish.
Otherwise, waiting staff (as with every single staff member of this hotel) are very well informed and friendly, so do ask on the day what they recommend, both for food and drink.
Our waiter took one look at us and prescribed the perfect cocktails, which is quite the gift.
You will very likely need to book a table, and don’t be perturbed if the place looks quiet at 8.30pm – it fills up as the evening moves on and by 11pm, with DJ in full swing, the atmosphere can only be described as high octane.
As an aside, there is no bad table in this cleverly designed restaurant – again, testament to Foster & Partners. Round, booth-style tables and an organically curved room make this possibly the city’s most sociable place to dine.
For post-dinner drinks, guests can go up to the 10th floor Radio Rooftop Bar on the hotel’s roof terrace.
It is friendly, buzzing and has a DJ til 2am, at which point you will almost certainly go back to your room and be irresistibly lured in by the half-size bottles of Jack Daniels and champagne in the mini bar.
The view from the Radio Rooftop Bar can genuinely be described as epic, even for a Londoner who thinks they have seen it from all angles.
After all, once you’ve flown in along the meandering EastEnders view, seen it from up the Shard and from the heights of SUSHISAMBA or Duck and Waffle, you might think you have seen it all.
This panorama though, is unique, giving a real sense of the curcature of the river. Starting way out east, it overlooks the City, Tower Bridge, the Shard, London Bridge, St Paul’s, Tate Modern, Somerset House, London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Battersea Power Station.
It’s mesmerising and you’d genuinely struggle to tear yourself away… if you didn’t know all about that suite that was waiting for you downstairs, that is.
To book call reservations on 020 7395 3400, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the ME Hotel website at melia.com.
4 MORE SEXY LONDON HOTELS
MAY FAIR HOTEL
There are not enough superlatives to describe the opulent allure of the rooms at this characterful, seductive, elegant but fun hotel.
The bar is wonderful, the reception is beautiful, the rooms are gorgeous. If you can tear your eyes away from each other, do not forget to Instagram the textiles. Your followers will thank you #hotelporn.
NOBU HOTEL SHOREDITCH
Needs no introduction as a brand, of course, but this latest London Nobu venture is brand new and perfect for a sultry night away. Dimly lit corridors set the scene, opening on to opulent, sophisticated suites and richly designed bathrooms. Plus there’s that world class restaurant onsite you might have heard of…
This rock n roll Soho hotel has sexy written all over it, from the deep red walls to the art adorning the place and the hot tub on the roof. You will come expecting to explore the nightlife. You will leave having explored only each other – and maybe the contents of the mini bar.
Not the most obvious choice, until you discover this hotel offers has a day stay option. Oo-er missus, etc etc. You can check in at 10am and check out at 4pm the same day.