For many, Nobu needs no introduction; named after its empire-building chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, the restaurant and hotel chain is renowned for its iconic Japanese-Peruvian fusion menu and pared-back aesthetics.
Occupying the corner of one of Marylebone’s elitist spots, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square spills out onto an expansive terrace, one more reminiscent of New York than London.
Occupying the corner of one of Marylebone’s elitist spots, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square spills out onto an expansive terrace, one more reminiscent of New York than London. As you enter the reception, your eye is drawn to an enormous silver spiral sculpture by artist Ivan Black, suspended from the ultra-high ceiling. The reception staff are as glamorous as the surroundings, in sleek Japanese-style dresses for a chic welcome. On first impressions there is a thrilling mash up of Japanese zen and cosmopolitan cool.
After checking in, we were greeted by the guest VIP liaison, who directed us to our room, a sprawling suite on the 5th floor. The hotel is Japanese minimalism in its purest form – clean lines, muted woods, and natural fabrics to instantly put you at ease after a long day at work.
The hotel is a masterclass in Far East-inspired simplicity, beautifully designed to create a relaxing space away from the hustle and bustle of the London streets. Our 5th floor suite comprised a lounge, sprawling bedroom, and two balconies for exceptional views.
The two bathrooms were brimming with bio-friendly Grown Alchemist beauty products — so fragrant the scent permeated throughout the suite. A Japanese tea set decorates the bedside table, whilst the minibar boasts fresh fruit and authentic Japanese tipples. Lighting is kept purposely low to induce a sense of calm.
At Nobu you benefit from knowing you are about to eat in one of London’s most sought-after restaurants. Before dinner, head to the sleek bar, hidden behind two large doors. The mood is glamorous, reminiscent of a disco, as clientele sip on elegant cocktails, and enjoy small plates at the bar.
After an aperitif, head to Nobu restaurant on the first floor. The opening of Nobu Hotel London Portman Square has seen the legendary Berkeley Street operation move to Marylebone, continuing to serve its famous sushi rolls in droves, just with more space. Almost 200 diners can be peppered throughout the dimly-lit main restaurant, plus a lucky few in the private dining room, and eight at the sleek sushi counter where you can watch the chefs in action.
We had the classic omakase tasting menu which features some of Nobu’s most iconic dishes: from sashimi boards to Chilean sea bass, wasabi lime miso to sizzling slices of wagyu beef, rounded off with a sinfully good chocolate soufflé and green tea ice cream. The staff effortlessly kept the courses arriving with elegance and professionalism. The breakfast offering is as transporting: from a coconut and chia seed yoghurt to smashed avocado with poached eggs on toast with miso.
All that fine dining will work up an appetite; thankfully the hotel has a wellness centre where you can book a Pilates class within Nobu’s innovative, light-filled Reformer Pilates studio. The classes fuse the principles of classical Pilates with a new and dynamic technique for the ultimate sculpted physique.
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