W Hotel Lounge Bar - Cocktail Queen Review
The W Hotel, 10 Wardour Street, Leicester Square, London W1D 6QF
The Americans have landed, and boy have they! Only if you walk around Leicester Square with your eyes closed can you miss the huge glass white cube that has been erected on the corner. And when the sun goes down it lights up to become a futuristic lightbox with a 7 foot lit-up W at the entrance. I told my friend, 'honestly, you cannot miss it; the lights, the W, the suited, ear-pieced bouncers...' She missed it. I went on in, the bouncers were lovely and they were gorgeous as well!
Welcome to the W Hotel
It's so shiny in there - the floors, walls, everything is so squeaky clean and new. I was in search of the Lounge Bar..On the 1st floor is the W Hotel Lounge Bar (out of the lift, head in a 2 o'clock direction passed the reception pods - you'll see the ruby bar). I had my hand shaken by the floor manager, who was also gorgeous, he then oddly asked me when I was planning on coming in for a drink, umm well, umm now? My coat was whisked to the cloakroom and a menu was placed in front of me while I waited for my friend to negotiate the complicated Piccadilly streets. We ordered a Debonair (£12.50) and a Lady Chatterley's Lover (£11) from our waiter, whose calling in life was definitely not waiting tables - the bar floor seemed to be his very own red carpet. Our drinks, both long (by name and by the nature of their delayed arrival) were good. Not amazing. Both were Vodka based, one red in colour (Lady C's Lover) with a couple of raspberries on it but not enough of a fruity flavour to it and the other with peaches and mint leaves. The peaches to be honest might as well not have been there as all I could taste was mint. Then came the tricky part...leaving. We asked for the bill, placed our cards in the bill folder and waited...and waited. Only when we got up to go and pay at the bar did a Manager notice us and quietly apologise for the wait.
The Lounge Bar
In summary the W Hotel Lounge Bar is cool - yes and looks good - yes. The drinks are interesting, but not hugely well executed. But the service; I'm finding it difficult to put into words. This isn't a teething problem, this is letting a few waiters concentrate too much on looking the part and not enough on playing the part. If the service is supposed to be part of 'The Show' then it has to be good and waiting over 10 minutes for a drink when the bar isn't full, having to go to the bar to pay, adding 15% service AND the opportunity for gratuity is not 5 star excellence that you should expect in this stunning new hotel.
If they decide to choose brains over beauty with their floor staff I might well be back..The W Hotel Lounge Bar certainly has potential to be a stunning hotel bar, bang in the heart of London but it's not quite there yet...