REVIEW: AMANO Covent Garden- cocktails, fusion-dining and views for days
Nestled in the prime real estate Covent Garden area, the first AMANO hotel outside of Berlin has all the chic and cool of its German counterparts.
Just as you’d expect, the room designs are slick and minimalist, without any unnecessary clutter or twee decor. A monochrome colour palette is complemented by subtle gold accents and mirrored surfaces, adding a clean and stylish aesthetic. I stayed in a ‘Comfy’ room which is furnished with a roomy king-sized bed, coffee and tea station, and a spacious rainfall shower.
For a real treat for incentive delegates, the ‘Goldy’ room comes with more floor space and its own freestanding golden bathtub, positioned next to a window, for soaking while people-watching. The ‘Comfy with Balcony’ does what it says on the tin, giving the opportunity of morning coffee with a view of the bustle below.
Food and drink
First I head to the rooftop bar to have a pre-dinner tipple with views over London’s unbeatable skyline. St Paul’s, the London Eye and many other iconic landmarks can be spied from this vantage point, while sipping on signature drinks. The cocktail menu is especially impressive serving up blends called ‘Dream’, ‘Intuition’ and ‘Addiction’, among other ethereal names. I tried 'Attraction', a mix of Ojo De Dios Mezcal, Cointreau, Kumquat bitter Blood orange juice, lime juice, and honey.
Next is a visit to the new girl on the block, Penelope’s on the ground floor, for a sumptuous dinner. The evening entertainment is in full swing by 7.30pm, with a mixture of DJs and live musicians, including a saxophonist who wanders the multi-level floor serenading individual tables. The vibe is electric, with city high-rollers celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and simply the fact that it’s Friday. The drinks are flowing and a constant stream of sparklers illuminate the faces of the other guests.
To start, I try the tuna ceviche, roasted aubergine and calamari which are prepared to perfection, taking inspiration from Spanish flavours. For the main course, I’m served the chicken shawarma with ancient grain mujadara and the spiced cod with hawaij, couscous and mussel escabeche, infused with all the rich depth of Middle Eastern cuisine.
This is paired with premium quality white wine and finished off with delectable espresso martinis plus a baklava cheesecake that is to die for, even for those with not much of a sweet tooth.
The hotel's rooftop bar, Penelope's restaurant, and the basement bar, can all be privately hired with details available on request.
There are also a number of unique and interesting event spaces in close proximity. There’s the cutting-edge HERE at Outernet, Tottenham Court Road, which has space for 1,250 standing. Or The Little Scarlett Door in Soho, a houseparty-themed cocktail bar with a shower and laundry room perfect for snapping some new Instagram pics.
There’s also The Bloomsbury Ballroom in Holborn, ideal for a gala dinner, with space for 280 delegates. And the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden offers quirky dining for 150, surrounded by vintage modes of the instantly recognisable red London buses.
Covent Garden is known as one of the most vibrant London hang-outs, with some of the capital’s best bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues calling this home.
Browse the designer shops and stalls filled with knick knacks on the cobbled main square, or check out one of the many street performers from jugglers to living statues. The Royal Opera house and numerous theatres are within walking distance to catch a show featuring top talent from around the globe.
Grab street food at Seven Dials market; take a dip at Oasis, a heated outdoor pool that is one of the area’s best-kept secrets; or visit London Fashion Week which is due to take place in February 2024.
AMANO Covent Garden is an ideal bolthole for both access to all the top-tier incentive activities London offers, as well as easily accessible city meetings and events spaces. It’s location in the heart of zone one, also means it’s a great place for delegates to rest their heads before a meeting or conference in any other part of the city.