The ME London - Life After Lockdown
The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially changed our lives for the past months. During the lockdown, we all drastically missed our freedom – and even more so, the freedom to travel. But easing around the globe is slowly beginning with the prospect of resuming, reasonable normality once again. The pandemic has affected the entire world, and every country has taken different measures to combat the effects of the pandemic. Furthermore, every country and region has adopted its own specific ways to best deal with improvement strategies after the pandemic outbreak. With many deciding not to leave the UK in the coming months and taking breaks closer to home we decided to search for Londons best option to a staycation.
Why the ME London?
With London boasting so many accommodation options and trying to pick the best suited, we thought picking from the thousands would be a real challenge, however it was surprisingly easy. What did we need? Luxury, a great location, great facilities, something unique, a restaurant, bar and of course the wow factor! The ME London had it all, from the exclusive and sought after Radio rooftop bar with striking views across the River Thames and London's enviable skyline to a tech geek's idea of heaven in the stylish and futuristic rooms. The ME is nestled in the heart of the bustling West End of London on the Strand intersection with Aldwych, opposite Somerset House. The shops of Covent Garden and theatres of Drury Lane lie on one side; the river to the other and surrounded by theatres, boutiques, bars and restaurants. The outside area is a perfect pick up point for taxis and Uber pick ups too - as well as the hotel offering a valet parking option.
"The ME London had it all"
The highlights of ME London are discreetly hidden from public view, but as soon as you enter through the glass entrance doors - things get interesting. The entrance is now on the Ground floor, this is due to the new covid regulations, having not seen the normal entrance of the first floor Atrium at this point I can honestly say that the new entrance option was still just as stunning, with architecture and design to lose your attention for hours. The hotel now has an easy to use online option via a downloadable app so you can check in, order items and experiences including the restaurant and bar with ease. If you do choose to check in as normal then the friendly staff will direct you and get you safely and quickly through the process with a smile, the service here really is so personal and warm - a real 5 star VIP experience. After receiving a complimentary room upgrade to their 'Vibe' room and meeting the hotel manager, I made my way through the hotel. The corridors are clad in black marble and have a certain Ministry of Magic air to them, with scattered warm touches of candle baskets and strong features grabbing your attention as you move through the hotel.
"The room really went above and beyond my expectations"
The room really went above and beyond my expectations, with some extremely thoughtful touches including champagne on ice, a chill out arrival playlist and lovely hand written messages on the mirrors about travel and welcoming me to the hotel. As well as being significantly spacious the room was futuristic and soothing with modern twists that I absolutely loved. The room has a built in bluetooth system so you can connect to your own music through the in room surround sound system, even better is that the room is soundproof so you don't have to worry about disturbing the guests either side of you. The temperature and lighting is all accessed through an easy to use digital-display panel on the wall next to the bed, where you can pick colourful mood themes for the room and do everything from the touch of a button from your bed.
The extravagant double rain shower in the vanity area as well as the double sinks and Apivita toiletries and vanity set - really made you feel like you were being pampered at a 5 star resort. The wardrobe area also had slippers and robes and of course the shelving was stacked with fresh fluffy towels and shower mat.
The room also featured a desk with mirror for working or getting ready for the evening, as well as a stunning city view from a table and chairs by the triangular window at the end of the room. The mini bar was stocked with a huge variety of drinks, alcohol, snacks and goodies at affordable prices as well as a Nespresso machine, pods and kettle for morning tea or coffees. It is also possible to pre order breakfast, if you booked this option, to be delivered to the room the following morning instead of having to get up and dine in the public restaurant area - I thought this was a fantastic touch for those that really want to relax and unwind with as little disruption as possible.
"To be completely honest, apart from seeing people in face masks, the arrival and procedures in the hotel are so well organised and discreet you completely forget that we are in the middle of a pandemic"
How are the hotel dealing with current restrictions?
To be completely honest, apart from seeing people in face masks, the arrival and procedures in the hotel are so well organised and discreet you completely forget that we are in the middle of a pandemic. The staff are professional and sleek: dressed in black, almost to blending into the surroundings, appearing intuitively when you need them to direct you to the correct areas and ensuring masks are being worn and prompting you to the hand sanitation areas. Temperature checks are also in place and were quick and discreet whilst waiting to check in, everyone was very relaxed and the atmosphere was actually very comforting. You can also easily download the Melia app and access and pre book everything via this as well as online check in - definitely something other hotels should consider for customer satisfaction and ease. With the on-site facilities being so easily accessible and guests at the hotel taking priority for bookings it was an easy system to master and even if you didn't want to journey upstairs there is a large in room menu for room service or the option of accessible shops in the area should you want to relax in your room. The gym area also has restrictions in place and is not over crowded, the lack of a pool and spa area makes no difference at this hotel with so much to keep you occupied and so many things to do and visit safely in the area.
"Overall this trip was by far beyond what I was expecting"
Overall this trip was by far beyond what I was expecting and truly would recommend this hotel for anyone wanting the perfect break away in London with the reassurance that all restrictions are in place but doesn't feel like your trip is hugely affected by the new regulations. Now the question is, which Melia hotel shall we visit next?!
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