"Smooth lines, modernist interiors and exquisite cocktails; it's the W Lounge..."Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
You tend to expect hotel bars to be ostentatious and a little brash but nothing quite prepares you for the smooth lines, lighting and luxury at the W Hotel Lounge. Saying that, it still can’t escape the fact that it’s in the centre of Leicester Square, the tourists and street hawkers lending it a little chalk to its cheese.
The hotel’s lobby is patrolled by achingly friendly door staff, who send you up to the bar via the lifts that wait in the lobby. Once you reach the first floor bar it’s a matter of picking where to pull up. First there’s the library area – that has surprisingly few books given its name – a corridor area decorated with tasteful plates/mirrors (who knows what they are but they look good) that line a dividing partition. Alternatively, head for the plush intimacy of a quiet corner with views out onto Leicester Square below. A vast sofa that runs around the perimeter of the bar dominates separate small tables and stools. This is a sofa to end all sofas; a sofa that utilizes oversized drinks trays as tables so you can, quite literally, climb on.
Order from the bar or at the table – we take the lazy option of table service – and get onto the business of exploring the W Lounge’s enviable cocktail list. First we opt for the W Fashioned, a twist on the classic that comes with rum infused with fruit, chocolate bitters served over ice and garnished with its very own Union Flag wrapped chocolate. Next we head off menu for a classic Negroni. For such a simple cocktail that calls for very specific ingredients, the W Lounge still manages to add a little something. Is it the drink or the environment? Either way, the bar passes on both presentation and taste. At £12.80 a drink, the cocktails here aren’t cheap. But the modernist décor, complete with extravagant lighting and an in-house DJ are all part of the value.
Appealing to a mixed crowd of high rollers (we watch one suited gentleman offer drinks to every lady who arrives at the bar), hotel guests and those looking for a luxury date night, it is a comfortable place. The fact that there is a club in the venue also attracts a young crowd towards the end of the week, a group who match the contemporary style of the hotel, even if many of them would likely balk at the cocktail prices.
T.A.O reviewed The W Hotel Bar on Fri 20 Sep 2013