Each of the suites at Middle Eight are unique
Middle Eight shares its name with the term given to an interlude or bridge that injects a change of tempo into a song
- Beautiful interior design
- Uniquely designed suites
- Underground speakeasy-style bar
- Friendly staff
- Delicious all-day dining options
- Five-star location
Middle Eight Review
Love of music is the thread which runs throughout Covent Garden’s Middle Eight, serving as the inspiration behind everything from the hotel’s name to the afternoon tea offering.
Located on Great Queen Street, Middle Eight shares its name with the term given to an interlude or bridge that injects a change of tempo into a song. And according to owner, Shiva Hotels, the property hopes to serve as a structural representation of this very notion – breathing new life and a modern edge into an area steeped in history. Sitting on the site of the former Kingsway Hall, whose acoustics became a famed recording venue for classical and film music, the hotel pays homage to its former resident. Of course, all of this is done with luxury in mind.
Step through the sliding doors into the double-height lobby, which manages to maintain classic elegance with a modern edge. With a heavy focus on natural elements, oak and neutral hues are prominent, though glints of gold and copper add warmth to the space. Metallic sycamore leaves hang above the bar area, glinting in the sunlight, while the reclaimed oak reception desk is backed by artwork rising upwards towards the ceiling – a physical representation of a “middle eight”.
Friendly staff are there to greet you and offer a beverage while you check in. And unlike other hotels, this doesn’t mean standing about at the reception desk. Instead, the process is far cosier, with staff completing the process on an iPad from the comfort of the plush seating area.
Credit card-like keys crafted from walnut are another gesture of the hotel’s effort to use sustainably sourced materials where possible. Guest rooms can be reached via the gold-fronted lifts, with resident rooms only accessible to those who hold a room key.
Middle Eight is home to 186 rooms, as well as 12 suites
Each of the 186 rooms and 12 suites is inspired by nature, using natural materials and soft, tonal colour palettes throughout. There are five room types to choose from, ranging from Cosy Pad to Executive Style, as well as accessible and adjoining rooms.
For our stay, we checked into one of the hotel’s suites – each one named after a revered artist or musician. ‘Changes’, named after the song by British legend David Bowie, is more than your average hotel suite. Instead, the space is comprised of four main living areas; the kitchen, lounge, bedroom and bathroom.
Stylish shelves are kitted out with smoked glass vases, wooden tabletop games and a selection of books, of course, with some subtle nods to Ziggy Stardust among them.
The adjoining kitchen and lounge is a sophisticated space which is perfect for those enjoying longer stays in the capital or hoping to do some hosting during their visit. Eye-catching greenery adds an earthy element, with a “living wall” art feature and plants hanging from the ceiling. A skylight above the dark wood breakfast bar floods the kitchen space with light.
Interestingly, this is the only part of the room which benefits from natural light, which can make the space feel a little like an underground bunker.
The lounge is a minimalist nook for relaxing in front of the TV or curling up on an Italian leather armchair with a book of your choice from the shelf.
The vast bathroom area might just be the biggest draw of the room, an elegant mixture of sleek white marble and glistening gold fixtures
The second half of the suite is dedicated to the bathroom and bedroom, a space which can be opened up via double doors, or closed off for privacy. A roll-top tub is undoubtedly the most eye-catching feature, perfect for slipping into and pampering yourself with some of the complimentary anatomē toiletries.
The vast bathroom area might just be the biggest draw of the room, an elegant mixture of sleek white marble and glistening gold fixtures. A double sink means plenty of space for couples, while a separate vanity area provides somewhere to gussy up before a night on the tiles.
In the bedroom, a huge four-poster bed takes up the majority of the space, guaranteeing a restful night of sleep. Opposite, a 42″ flat-screen television is mounted on the wall. However, the neutral bedroom lacks some of the character which brings other parts of the suite to life, and a window or skylight would be a welcome addition.
But every suite at Middle Eight is different, and while the bedroom in Changes has no windows, others feature sliding doors which open up to a private indoor courtyard “garden” with glass ceiling windows.
Middle Eight’s Changes suite has its own kitchen area, complete with “living wall” artwork
Dining and Drinking
How does Middle Eight compare to other London hotels?
From morning to night, dining is a sophisticated affair. Sycamore Vino Cucina is the hotel’s main restaurant, sitting beneath a canopy of copper leaves.
At its centre is the bar, serving up a selection of Italian wines, beers and delicious hand-crafted cocktails.
The all-day menu is similarly Italian-inspired, though there is also a quintessentially British afternoon tea option on weekends with a musical twist.
Each cake pays homage to the hotel’s affinity with music, from the Blood Orange Opera, a citrus Pannacotta with blood orange jelly, to the Treble Clef Treat, a delicate Pistachio macaron filled with smooth buttercream.
There is a selection of sandwiches, including smoked salmon and Coronation chicken, and scones served too. The afternoon tea can also be catered to a vegetarian diet though sandwiches, which are limited to a vegetable and hummus medley, would benefit from some additional options.
The afternoon tea comes with a musical twist, inspired by the hotel’s history
For dinner, take a seat by the open-plan kitchen and watch the chefs work their magic. Dishes are beautifully crafted and friendly staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have. The pumpkin tortelloni, with ricotta, amaretti, and sage butter, is a must-try.
Breakfast is also served in the restaurant. There’s a granola, yoghurt, fruit and pastry station to help yourself to, as well as a selection of cooked breakfast options made to order. Eggs are cooked to perfection and the granola provides a perfectly sweet start to the day.
One of Middle Eight’s finest assets, however, is tucked away in the underbelly of the hotel. This hidden gem takes the form of a New York City-style speakeasy and pays tribute to Kingsway Hall. On weekends, saxophonist Leo Green brings his explosive jazz performance to the stage, accompanied by a band of singers and musicians certain to get everyone on their feet.
QT is the hotel’s New York style speakeasy tucked away in the basement
- Free wi-fi
- Accessible rooms
- Laundry service
- Room service
Situated on Great Queen Street, which connects Covent Garden to Holborn, Middle Eight is perfectly located for those looking to enjoy all of the entertainment the capital has to offer.
Just eight minutes away and you’re in the heart of the all-singing, all-dancing West End, and there are countless bars, restaurants and shops in the area. It’s easy to get around London from the hotel, with Holborn tube station two minutes walk away and Covent Garden just eight minutes away.
The lobby is a warm space, using natural elements and golden tones
Value For Money
Rates start from £285 per double room including breakfast. Find rooms and book direct on the Middle Eight website. Or, compare deals and prices for a stay at Middle Eight with Booking.com or Hotels.com.
66 Great Queen Street
Telephone: 020 7309 9300
London isn’t short of luxury hotels, so new accommodations have to work extra hard to stand out against some of their long-standing neighbours.
Middle Eight manages to do so with ease thanks to its opulent, natural design elements and consistent references to its musical past.
The hotel isn’t cheap – two glasses of wine cost £36 during a Saturday night performance in QT – but it’s not shocking given the quality of the hotel and its prime location in the beating heart of London.
Staff are amiable and on hand to help with every need, without being overbearing. Meanwhile, small touches, such as the perfumed scent of the lobby or the offer of a drink upon arrival, help to elevate the experience.
If you’re looking for a similar luxury stay, The Guardsman is another London hotel from Shiva Hotels located in Buckingham Gate. Read our full review of The Guardsman here.