Hotel AMANO just oozes glamour from the lobby to the rooftop bar. Located in Covent Garden, the hotel is in the heart of the capital’s glistening West End, making it an ideal spot to grab a pre-theatre dinner, or channel your inner Tina Turner (whose musical plays on the same street) and treat yourself to a whole night’s stay. Spoiler alert, before you even read my review: you’ll wanna do both at Hotel AMANO.
If this is the first you’ve heard of Hotel AMANO Covent Garden, let me get you up to speed. The boutique hotel opened its doors in 2022, as the first international hotel from the leading German hotelier The AMANO Group. Vivid colour, bold statement pieces and a hedonistic spirit runs through this building, creating a lavish yet playful feel. I checked out the hotel rooms, Middle Eastern-meets-Mediterranean restaurant, and rooftop bar, and here’s what I thought.
The hotel itself
From the moment you enter through the flora-framed double doors, you are welcomed into a vibrant world. The lobby is bedecked in vibey lighting, smells gorgeous, and the staff are so welcoming. I may be easily amused, but I really loved the high-tech lift. Here, you press your keycard against a computerised stand, select the floor you want to visit, and then it tells you which lift to get into – and the lifts are buttonless. They just know where to go. Very cool.
The hotel rooms are decked out in a modern style, with neutral colours. All rooms make for a sumptuous night’s stay, but if you really want to treat yourself, book yourself into the Goldy room. This lavish upgrade boasts a gorgeous golden bathtub, alongside the walk-in shower, and has views over the theatres on Drury Lane. Head’s up though, the windows are not tinted… I learnt that the hard way.
The Hotel AMANO restaurant review
Penelope’s is so chic, yet playfully so. Lit with low purple lighting, the booths are separated by graceful, flowing dividers, there is a smattering of disco balls, and even a bathtub (like that in my room) filled with balloons. I was advised that a DJ spins live tunes on the weekend, and the friendly, attentive staff welcome a whole hands-in-the-air, dancing-on-the-table kind of vibe. Upbeat, Arabian nights-style club music played; it was my kinda place.
The food brings together the cuisine of Israel and Spain, and the restaurant is led by Executive Chef Fez Ozalglan who uses her Turkish-Cypriot heritage to create a sublime menu. I tried a few starters and mains, and not only is the presentation on point, but I can testify that the meat is cooked very well. I dined on tender ox cheek, large juicy prawns, a hearty serving of pork belly, and flavoursome shawarma. Much like the marrying of influences in the overall menu, each of the dishes were about bringing together flavours too. Separately, individual components were nice, but together, the flavours truly sang.
Come dessert, I indulged in the Tarta de Chocolate, served with miso caramel, sesame soil and leche ice cream. On its own, it was super rich – which I personally loved – but the staff recommended pairing with a Lala Land cocktail. The basil flavours of this gin-based cocktail transformed the dessert into something totally new.
This leads me on nicely to my next point: the drinks menu at Penelope’s is exceptional. Mixed by bartenders in sharp white suit jackets, the drinks are totally bespoke to the restaurant. While the wine list looked impressive, I made a beeline for the succinct-but-perfectly-executed cocktail menu. My favourite drink was the Psichee (a mix of tequila, mezcal, agave and squid ink) – it tasted like a deep, earthy margarita – but Obsession (served with caramel popcorn!) and Tshoka Lahaim (Zacapa 23 rum, cherry and Disaronno) were close seconds. Contrary to the staff’s recommendation, I felt the Amor de Penelope (Bacardi coconut, Aperol and berries) went best with the Tarta de Chocolate dessert, serving chocolate orange vibes.
The rooftop bar
With a full stomach, I ventured up to the seventh floor for cocktails, cool aesthetics and views over London at the hotel’s rooftop bar. I was pleasantly surprised to see a whole new set of cocktails available; not just the same as in the restaurant downstairs. I tried Confusion (mezcal, Cointreau, salted caramel and marshmallow foam) and Prophecy (Plantation Isle of Fiji rum, ginger, agave, sherry vinegar); beware they are strong. However, this means you’re getting more bang for your buck, and I was pleased that, despite their potency, flavours still came through.
The rooftop’s views are sublime: you can see the London Eye, The Shard, and everything in between. The views were so good, in fact, that I opted to sit outside to soak them up despite it being a chilly February night. There were heaters and blankets though – phew. The vibes of the bar are consistent with that of the hotel and restaurant; the sounds of a cool playlist filled the night air.
To round up this review: I would thoroughly recommend a stay at Hotel AMANO, or at the very least, a visit to their restaurant (their rooftop bar is reserved for guests only). The staff throughout the hotel are all about service with a smile, and although the prices are to be expected for a stay and/or meal in central London, it’ll be one of the places to be come summer.