FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

ME London

Nov 18, 2013
2013 / December 2013

Arrival/Check-In: I arrived at the hotel after a not-too-long early-morning taxi ride from Paddington Station. The hotel is on the site of the Gaiety Theatre, where shows were at one time as famous as the Ziegfeld Follies in New York, and next to Marconi House, the former headquarters of the BBC and the site of the first BBC radio broadcast in 1922. This is where the hotel’s Radio Bar gets its name. The entrance is at the very point where the Strand meets the Aldwych. It is a pleasant surprise as you enter the somewhat austere building to find a Eurosleek edgy interior of black marble and gleaming stainless steel. The reception desk is one level up in what has to be one of the most interesting one-of-a-kind spaces anywhere. It is shaped like the inside of a hollow obelisk that soars nine stories to the top of the building, where a skylight gives you a view of blue sky or clouds. It’s this reception area that sets the tone of your stay, meaning you can expect the unexpected.

Guest Quarters: I was in room 510, an Aura Suite, which had a decent-sized sitting room and bedroom and a very generous bathroom, which could be accessed from the bedroom or through a separate door off the entrance hall, so the water closet could also act as a powder room if you have visitors. The living room had a large, wall-mounted flat-screen smart TV; a large sofa; and a good-sized easy chair as well as a desk chair and a desk/work station with desktop outlets. The bedroom included a king-sized bed, an easy chair and a wall-mounted smart TV.

The bathroom had a large shower with two showerheads, a separate vanity and double sinks, and a deep Jacuzzi bathtub. The toiletries were by Apivita, a Greek organic brand which was new to me.

The room came with an iPad for ordering services and such. I didn’t use it, but I can see its usefulness. My only issue was the über-high-tech lighting and mood lighting that seemed to have a mind of its own and — truth be told — I never quite mastered it. But that was such a minor annoyance compared to my overall satisfaction with my stay.

Services/Amenities: The hotel has several excellent venues for entertaining or just having a relaxing drink. The most spectacular of these, and one that draws people from the nearby theater district and London financial district, is the Radio Rooftop Bar with a wraparound terrace which affords fantastic views of London, from St. Paul’s to the far reaches of the West End.

Cucina Asellina is a hot new Italian restaurant with a separate outside entrance as well as one from the hotel. My London-based colleague and I had dinner there one night, so I can say in all honesty it is well worth a visit. For less formal dining, there is STK, a high-energy informal eatery inside the hotel where you can get a full meal or a hamburger and after 10 p.m. listen to the resident DJ. It was very busy during my stay, so it appears to be a hit with guests as well as Londoners. And when you want to meet a friend for a drink and a chat, there is always the ground-floor Marconi Lounge just off the entrance. This also was very busy with guests and locals.

The Experience: ME London is only a few blocks from The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral, and not far from London’s financial district, so it is an ideal place to stay for business, culture and shopping. When I stayed, there was a high level of energy and buzz about the place which was generated by the restaurants and the rooftop bar, as well as by the very stylish interior and the attractive and outgoing staff who were always alert to guest requests. I will recommend ME London to my friends and look forward to staying there again.

GT CHECKLIST

  • Doorman/Valet
  • Less than 10 minutes for check-in
  • Separate tub and shower
  • Large vanity
  • High-quality towels
  • Powerful, unattached hair dryer
  • High-quality bed linens
  • Large, flat-screen television
  • Large desk with convenient outlets
  • Complimentary in-room WiFi
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Stocked minibar
  • Ample lighting
  • In-room coffeemaker
  • Iron and ironing board
  • On-site restaurant and bar
  • 24-hour room service
  • State-of-the-art fitness center

ME London

336-337 The Strand
London
WC2R 1HA, United Kingdom
tel 44 207 395 3400
melia.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jul 2, 2020

Best Western Opens New Boutique Hotel Concept

Best Western Hotels & Resorts opened its third Aiden by Best Western. The Aiden brand is designed to give travelers boutique, modern, stylish and locally inspired stay experiences. The new property is situated in Warm Springs, Georgia, adjacent to the Warm Springs Hotel and Event Center.

Adventure of a Lifetime with Volvo

Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.

Embark on a Fall Foliage Road Trip Through New York, Vermont and More

THE BEGINNING OF AUTUMN in America offers a time to savor the last precious moments of summer against the countryside’s mosaic of reds, yellows, oranges and purples. Before long, the chill of winter will enter the air and the trees will grow barren. This is not news to most of us. Indeed, leaf peeping has become ubiquitous. Most states have 24-hour toll-free hotlines to keep you informed of nature’s progress ... and then there’s the traffic. It seems the entire population of New York City and Boston climbs behind the wheels of cars on congested New England roadways. Thus we’ve tried to avoid the mainstream routes so you can truly appreciate the kaleidoscopic splendor. After all, a fall foliage road trip provides more than a mere drive. It also incorporates picking apples, tasting cider and hot doughnuts and leaving your vehicle behind to take a much-needed scenic walk to a lonely waterfall, where autumn’s colors reflect off the water.

eFlyer Reviews
Jul 1, 2020

The Farm & Fisherman Tavern & Market Review

My husband and I enjoyed an impromptu Saturday dinner at The Farm & Fisherman Tavern & Market. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the restaurant specializes in seasonal farm-to-table dining. There is a second location in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

Athens: A city that charms its guests and stirs their emotions

The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.

eFlyer News
Jul 1, 2020

Lithuania Rolls Out Pink Carpet for Travelers

Travelers arriving at Vilnius International Airport in Lithuania will find themselves walking along a trail of pink spots on the floor — dubbed “cold pink” by the country as it matches the distinct color of the country’s national šaltibarščiai soup. The trail ends at a 10-foot replica of the famed dish.

June 2020
Jul 1, 2020

2020 Leisure Lifestyle Award Winners

THERE’S NO DOUBT 2020 HAS BEEN AN UNPRECEDENTED year for the travel industry. As borders begin to reopen and destinations, hotels and airlines around the world prepare to welcome travelers once again, we’re celebrating travel and looking to the future as we congratulate the winners of our eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards. This annual survey honors the best in the world of leisure and lifestyle travel, awarding goods, services, destinations, hotels, airlines and cruises.

Earn and Redeem with oneworld

oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.

Daily
Jul 1, 2020

Black-Owned Hotels to Book for Your Next Trip

While planning your #ComeBacktoTravel vacation, consider straying from chain hotels and book one of these or other Black-owned hotels in the country.