The ME Hotel is the epitomy of trendiness and rather than just providing a place for tourists to lay their heads, this hotel is ramping up its offering with a large choice of restaurants and bars that have all made headlines themselves. Yes, this is a hotel with appeal for Londoners, too.
Marconi Lounge is a great example of decadence meeting comfort – not usually two things that go hand-in-hand. Similar to the in-house restaurant STK, this is a place with intricate design features. Metal bars curve gently around some of the seating areas and help to break the open-plan space up. Overhead metallic circles overlap for intricate ceiling features, building up a geometric design aesthetic. The seating is an ultra-stylish and incredibly comfortable mix of white and brown leather sofas and armchairs sat low around small coffee tables.
This all could have veered into the realm of tackiness; however, the colour scheme helps to keep things muted. Whites, creams, beiges and browns mix together to make the space look like something out of a high-end interior design magazine. Nicely done.
Marconi Bar makes the unusual transition from day to night venue, with opening times that run from 7am to as late as 3am at the weekend. Obviously if you are a hotel guest and you rock up in the morning you won’t be subjected to loud thumping music. Instead this place makes the move from café/lounge space in the day to upbeat cocktail bar in the evening. It’s a smart move that maximises the potential to rake in the cash. It also makes this a good spot for a client lunch during the day.
In the evening, especially at the weekend, Marconi Bar has a club-like vibe, albeit one without dancing on the tables. The music mixes up funky house and dance tunes to get your foot tapping and it makes a great pre-club venue or somewhere to have a few drinks if you aren’t up for a full-on club night. Expect to see plenty in the way of beautiful people and those dressed to impress.
This lounge is well managed in its transition from daytime café to evening bar and night time club and they tailor their offering depending on what time you visit. During the day, freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade smoothies and tea and coffee dominate the menu, although you can have a cheeky ‘Irish’ coffee if you can’t wait until a more respectable time to indulge in a tipple.
Come the evening, the cocktail menu comes out in full force. It’s not cheap, with the £10 a drink barrier broken through, but they do offer a good range of options. The menu has a large number of signature cocktails with a focus on twisting the classics, but the bar staff are only too happy for you to order off-menu if nothing but a martini will do. And yes, they do mix a mean cocktail. The Old Fashioned showcases the skills of the bar staff as they carefully balance a potent mix of bourbon, Angostura bitters, water, sugar and orange zest. It is strong enough to blow your head off and is a tricky drink to pitch right – but pitch it right they do. Just be careful when ordering off-menu that you check the price of the spirits used. Some of the bourbons are very expensive and you may end up forking out £20+ for one cocktail. Ouch.
The Last Word
Marconi Lounge Bar is a great accomplishment for the ME Hotel. It offers hotel guests a fancy place to grab a morning coffee, local office workers somewhere to impress clients and stressed singletons a sure-fire spot to impress on a date. Just get ready to bust out the credit card on your visit.