Having heard great things about the Malmaison hotel chain we were really excited about our first Mal experience at the Malmaison London. Conveniently situated just a few minutes walk from both the Barbican and Farringdon tube stations, the Mal offers a welcomed retreat from the hustle and bustle of central London. Its Charterhouse Square setting overlooks a small fenced park and really sets the scene for what is to come inside.
From the moment you enter the hotel the dimly lit interior and stylish decor oozes the contemporary chic that has become synonymous with the Malmaison brand. The Veuve Clicquot Champagne bar is the first thing that greets you and reflects the vibe of indulgence and relaxation. The check-in staff were very helpful and friendly, going out of their way to ensure we had all of the information we needed and gave us helpful tips on nearby attractions and transport links.
The hotel has 97 rooms in total and our double room on the fifth floor did not disappoint. The decor and furnishings mirrored the contemporary finish of the reception and communal areas but with more calming tones. As we walked into the room the CD player was playing chillout tracks from the latest Malmaison CD which was a nice touch and well worth a listen. The room was a good size, nothing spectacular but no less than you would expect in a London hotel, and was well equipped with a plasma TV, mini bar, WIFI connection, safe and tea/coffee making facilities. The bathroom was a slight disappointment due to its small size but the fantastic range of complimentary products and steaming hot power shower more than made up for the lack of space.
After freshening up we made our way down to the Brasserie for a late lunch. Based in the basement of the hotel, the stylish dining area offers the perfect setting for a business lunch and `the butchers block` offers private dining space for a more intimate dining experience. The menu had a great selection and was available alongside a smaller `Homegrown and Local` menu, boasting locally sourced ingredients for a reasonable £14.50 for 2 courses. We chose the baked crab to start followed by the 35 day rump steak served with matchstick fries. All were extremely well presented and the steak particularly was delicious and generously portioned. To finish we had the Malmaison vanilla créme brulee which completed the meal perfectly.
That evening we slept peacefully in the huge, comfortable bed and our room was air-conditioned to a pleasant temperature, a relief given that it was a surprisingly warm September evening. As our room overlooked the leafy park outside it was extremely quiet, even on a Friday night, which helped to ensure a good nights sleep. In the morning we woke up later than usual (a real treat) thanks to the blackout curtains, had a quick flick of the complimentary paper delivered to our doorstep and went to the restaurant in search of breakfast. If your room doesn`t include breakfast it`s worth considering it as an addition. With a fantastic selection of both continental and cooked dishes on offer it is guaranteed to keep you going all day, although be prepared to wait a while for a table during busy times.
We had a very enjoyable stay at the Malmaison and found our room to be the perfect retreat after a busy afternoon of shopping. Its convenient location makes it a great setting for either business or leisure purposes and there are plenty of bars and restaurants within walking distance if you want to venture out for the evening. There is a great `Midnight Munchies` room service menu including late night classics such as cheese on toast – perfect if you have a late night hunger pang following a night out in the capital. If modern, contemporary design isn`t your thing then maybe the Mal won`t be to your taste, but if it`s city chic you are looking for the Malmaison London is well worth a visit. We can`t wait to try another Mal hotel soon!
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