Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Hotel AMANO Covent Garden

27 Jul 2023 by Mark Caswell
The exterior of the AMANO Covent Garden (image from https://www.amanogroup.de/en/hotels/amano-covent-garden/)

Background

The AMANO Group opened its first property in Berlin in 2009, and currently owns 11 hotels and four conference centres, with another five projects under development in locations including Leipzig, Hamburg and Munich.

The Covent Garden property opened in May 2022, and is the group’s first hotel outside Germany.

Where is it?

On the corner of Russell Street and Drury Lane, about five minutes’ walk from Covent Garden station on the Piccadilly line, and slightly further to Holborn station on the Central and Piccadilly lines.

What’s it like?

The 141-room hotel is housed within a 1980s former office building known as Drury House. The location is bang in the middle of Theatreland, with the property being next to the Fortune Theatre and opposite the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. It’s also just in front of Drury Lane Gardens, a pocket park with seating, children’s playground and a basketball court.

The hotel’s lobby is a chic, statement space with dark wood flooring, designer furniture, and a wave of transparent tube lighting – from here there is a door leading to Penelope’s restaurant, which also has its own separate entrance on Russell Street.

Floors are accessed by a digital display in front of the lifts – you input where you want to go and it tells you which lift to get in. I made the mistake a couple of times of instead pressing the normal call button – the lift arrived, but then there are no buttons inside to tell it where to go, so I had to sheepishly exit and try again.

Reception at the AMANO Covent Garden (image from https://www.amanogroup.de/en/hotels/amano-covent-garden/)

Rooms

Room categories range from Cosy (living up to its name at just 13 sqm), through to Comfy (15 sqm), Comfy with Balcony (17 sqm), Roomy (20 sqm), Roomy Plus (25 sqm) and finally Goldy – four rooms offering the group’s freestanding gold bathtub.

I was staying in room 120 – a first floor Roomy Plus room overlooking the basketball court of Drury Lane Gardens. Decor is stylish, with art deco touches in the large headboard, the open cupboard and the bathroom fittings.

The feel is masculine, almost stark, with dark wood flooring, grey walls and a predominantly black-and-white print by John Braken – although the brass colour on the edges of the headboard help to lift the mood, as do a bank of floor-to-ceiling mirrors in the hallway.

Facilities include a king-size bed, a desk with lamp and a Nespresso coffee machine, a coffee table with two chairs, a large walk-in shower with monsoon and normal shower heads, a safe, hairdryer, and a tablet which can be used to make phone calls or browse the hotel’s restaurant menus.

Wifi is free, and other amenities include complimentary cans of CanO water. In the bathroom there are larges bottles of Daluma hand and body washes – they smell great, although I thought it was a bit odd that the main handwash was of the exfoliating type. I’m all for exfoliating my skin, but I’m not sure I want to do so every time I wash my hands.

A Roomy room at the AMANO Covent Garden (image supplied by AKA Comms)

Food and drink

The two public spaces are located on the ground floor and the rooftop, and both are deserving of the phrase “destination venue”. Signature restaurant Penelope’s is a warm, comfortable space, serving Spanish-Israeli fusion dishes for dinner, and on Saturday nights hosts Isramani, described as “The ultimate dinner experience in London, Covent Garden combining inventive food and cocktails with hands-in-the-air, dancing-on-the-table vibes”.

We walked past on our way back to the hotel at around 11pm on the Saturday  and it was busy, with plenty of guests indeed dancing (whether on tables or not I can’t confirm).

We visited for breakfast (daily between 7am and 11am) and thought it was excellent. There was a wide range of buffet dishes (£20), from salmon and scrambled eggs through to cereals, pastries, doughnuts, yoghurts, cheeses, cold meats and grilled vegetables – gluten free and vegan options were also available.

There were also several a la carte options including smashed avocado, poached egg and beetroot borani; and buttermilk pancakes with figs, orange cream and almonds. These are priced individually (or as a £7.50 supplement when ordering the continental option) but we didn’t feel the need to indulge further.

The rooftop bar at the AMANO Covent Garden (image supplied by AKA Comms)

On the seventh floor of the hotel is the year-round AMANO Rooftop Bar – an indoor-outdoor space with great skyline views of London – I stood and looked out for several minutes picking out landmarks including the London Eye, Battersea Power Station and the City of London.

We sat outside on what was a warm Sunday afternoon, and tried several tasty tapas-style dishes including an Israeli mezze (£12), croquetas de jamon (£7) and a salmon, passionfruit tigermilk and avocado tiradito (£13).

When we visited in mid July the bar was also hosting a Whispering Angel pop-up (running until the end of August). If you haven’t heard of this rosé wine by now then you haven’t been out much – it seems to be everywhere this year, including in the branding for the new bar at BA’s Heathrow T5B lounge.

Again the bar was busy when we visited, and it’s clear AMANO has put a lot of thought and effort into these public spaces.

Meetings

The basement of the hotel houses an area that is currently only used for events, which to honest seems such a shame as it’s another lovely space, with a large centrepiece bar and a private members’ club feel. There is also a private dining area attached to Penelope’s which can accommodate up to 20 guests.

The basement bar at the AMANO Covent Garden (image from https://www.amanogroup.de/en/hotels/amano-covent-garden/)

Leisure

There is no fitness centre at the hotel – not an issue for me as I prefer to get out for a run when I’m staying in London, but unusual for an upmarket hotel and this maybe an issue for some.

Verdict

Rooms are stylish and well equipped, but the public spaces are undoubtedly the highlight of this property – in particular the rooftop bar which is well worth a visit whether you are staying at the hotel or not.

FACT BOX

  • Best for The excellent location in the heart of the London’s West End
  • Don’t miss The great skyline views of London from the rooftop bar
  • Price Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in September start from £330 for a Cosy room, and £413 for a Roomy Plus room
  • Contact Hotel AMANO Covent Garden, Drury House, 34-43 Russell St, London WC2B 5HA; +44 203 739 8900; amanogroup.de
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