Some hotels are so legendary that their reputation precedes both themselves and their room count. However, the COMO Metropolitan London hotel is somewhat of a modern legend; a bijou, non-descript building on the famous Park Lane, on the cusp of Hyde Park.
The hotel hides many a famous face behind its revolving doors. For decades, rock stars, film stars and global elite have checked into this location, way before the COMO Group even took over, to hide out from the paparazzi and mingle with fellow A-listers in the adjoining and affectionally named Met Bar.
COMO Metropolitan London is a boutique hotel that is so perfectly situated whatever the reason for your stay. Right in the heart of the British capital, you’re within walking distance to almost all the major attractions where you can experience firsthand the constant evolution of this mesmerizing city. Stroll through the park as the sun shines and find yourself meandering through the glittering fine jewellery halls of Harrods department store; the designer boutiques of Bond Street and the high-street shops of Oxford Street are both mere minutes’ walk. You can even whizz off in a taxi to explore the vintage delights of Portobello Road in notorious Notting Hill before venturing into the square mile itself for a lesson in history, with its beautiful architecture and prominent landmarks.
The best thing about this hotel however is that it doesn’t just offer an unbeatable location but once inside, you don’t even need to leave should you so wish. The COMO Shambhala Urban Escape is a sanctuary of relaxation where you can enjoy specially curated treatments and the dining options inside the hotel itself are among the very best in the entirety of London.
From the Maldives to London, COMO Hotels and Resorts have each been individually design to offer the very height of luxury travel experiences with a focus being placed on personalized service in elegant surroundings and this is no different.
For anyone that have ever visited another COMO hotel property you’ll know that its style is very much one of sophisticated cool. COMO does not believe if opulent ‘fuss’; think sleek, clean lines and splashes of colour set against a modern and muted colour palette. It’s understated elegance at its very best. The hotel is instantly welcoming, the lobby is petite and filled with natural light. Possible media types adorn the funky furnishings hidden in a cleverly positioned alcove and everyone seems furiously busy punching into their blackberry’s; the COMO Metropolitan hotel is no longer a place reserved just for the posers; everything about it is as discreet as possible.
There are 144 rooms and suites at the hotel as well as 19 long-stay serviced apartments. Ranging from a Deluxe City Room that boasts views out across Mayfair from its large windows to the astonishing luxury of the huge COMO Suite which at 1184sq ft. is among the biggest in the city. Each one of these spaces has been designed with the discerning traveler in mind; the style in understated and clean – light woods contrast against sun-soaked whites set off by signature check and vibrant yellow furnishings. There is no clutter, no unnecessary gimmicks, COMO manages to perfectly encapsulates a contemporary approach to hotel living.
Staying in the signature ‘Metropolitan Suite’ we were treated like Rockstar royalty from the moment our room key unlocked our new home for the weekend. With a sharp intake of breath, we were greeted by simply some of the most stunning views of London that we’d ever experienced (and we’re native Londoners), the early afternoon sunshine bounced off a sea of green tree tops, framed only by the rooftops of the beautiful buildings of yesteryear. Upon closer inspection, big red buses zoomed alongside the vast expanse of busy Park Lane and well-healed pedestrians dotted the pavements like fashionable ants making their way through this magnificent city. There’s a large balcony to get a closer look, although you’ll need to sign a security waiver first to be trusted with the key.
The suite itself is huge, made more obvious by a distinct lack of clutter. Designed to be the perfect confluence between luxury apartment living (you’d happily live here) and five-star hotel service. There’s a comfortable looking beige sofa sitting under both the floor to ceiling window and Fret cut-panel bespoke artwork, something of a feature of the hotel. There’s a dining table for four which is ideal for hosting intimate dinners or even for small meetings should you be staying on business. Discreet hospitality units discreetly hide away mini bars and Nespresso machines and there’s a large bar decked out with all you would need for a quiet / not so quiet night in. How very rock star.
Through separate mirrored double doors, you’ll find the bedroom, again a room bathed in light. A bespoke king-size bed takes pride of place in the middle of the room, adorned with 400-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Plush velvet cushions sit on top and the bed is flagged by bronze mirrored bedside tables. At the end of the bed hangs a Loewe interactive 60” HD TV and a very apt media hub that allows connectivity to the acoustic TV speakers using Bluetooth.
At first glance you’d never realize that the COMO Metropolitan was quite so high-tech. If the hotel was alive, you’d almost hear it chuckling at the sentiment. Staying on the subject of connectivity, the new generation Wi-Fi is something that clearly the guests of the hotel deem imperative, for it is noticeably of a better standard than other similar 5* star hotels in London and beyond, making both work and play that little bit easier. The bathroom is perhaps the only slight disappointment, noticeably small in contrast to the expanse of the space of the rest of the suite. Nonetheless, its sparkling clean and laden with COMO Shambhala toiletries that are best enjoyed under the power of the rainfall shower.
On the subject of COMO Shambhala, this is not just an addition to the hotel’s services but very much integrated into the core of what COMO Hotels and Resorts are all about. COMO aim to bring their expertise for nurturing mind-body wellness in combination with exacting service, unrivalled locations and world-class cuisine. COMO Shambhala advocates proactive holistic wellness, combining modern science with ancient healing practices.
The focus here is no different; it’s on the best possible therapies for the body whilst the minimalist interior of the Urban Escape ensures a clean-lined, peaceful sanctuary for those looking to escape the pressures and bustle of the city life below. The spa features six treatment rooms, two of which are doubles to indulge in some couple’s therapy. The gym is open 24 hours and you can even buy the COMO Shambhala products in the spa’s boutiques. As you would expect in a city as busy at London, massage therapy is a focal treatment on the menu. Different modalities of massage are available at the Urban Escape with highlights including Shiatsu and Thai massage – the latter being a must try for anyone nursing a stress related condition.
From the haven of the spa to the electric atmosphere of the dining facilities, COMO Metropolitan transcends into a landmark address come sun set. The restaurants best immerse you in London’s infectious energy, whether it is the music in the iconic Met Bar or the precision of Nobu’s Japanese-Peruvian menu, you’ll sure to have an unforgettable experience. Since it opened back in the mid-90s, The Met Bar has remained among the best bars in Central London, a place to see and be seen. Calling you in through its bold façade, you can also sneak in undisturbed through the hotel itself.
With an innovative cocktail menu alongside lunch and dinner menus, the emphasis here is really on the best of British. A space as sleek as the rest of the hotel, golden highlights reflect the natural light that floods through the glass wall in the daytime and come nightfall the mood changes dramatically with the glass magically etched, obscuring the vision from the outside in. What happens in the Met Bar stays in the Met bar. Open until 2am at the weekends, the evening menu ranges from snacks to more substantial classics accompanied by lively chatter and truly great music.
Flanking the other side of the hotel sits Nobu. Needing no introduction, this hotspot boasts one of the most creative kitchens in the capital and is still the most sought after restaurant to host either business meetings or for a romantic tete-a-tete. Among Park Lane restaurants, Nobu is an essential experience for any serious food lover. The distinctive, award-winning cuisine sees diners flock to Nobu day after day. Indulge in specialties such as black cod with miso, sashimi salad with Matsuhisa soy sauce dressing and the squid ‘pasta’ with light garlic sauce. It’s London dining at its very best.
Of course, you don’t have to only indulge in fine-dining and eclectic nightlife whilst staying at COMO Metropolitan, you can also enjoy a light bite in the glass-roofed white room or even in the beautiful lobby itself.
In addition to the normal menus, including in-room dining COMO Shambhala Cuisine reigns supreme here, as it does through each COMO Hotel and resort worldwide. Curated for health lovers, this COMO Shambhala Cuisine is not so much about calorie counting but instead is a seamless blend of fresh ingredients to maximize personal performance. Local and organic ingredients rich in living enzymes, vitamins and minerals comprise these delicious dishes.
COMO Metropolitan is a hotel that has many layers. Its surface may be as refined as its possible to be but its depth of sense of place and dedication to exceptional service and wellbeing is something that no other hotel and indeed, hotel group currently masters. It would be easy to look at COMO Metropolitan as simply a convenient base for which to explore London’s vibrant west end but you’d be doing it a huge injustice for its so much more than just a hotel, it’s a lifestyle.