Hotel Review: The Landmark London, Marylebone in London
An impressive, grand building in Marylebone, The Landmark London offers an array of possibilities under one glass roof. I popped along one February evening to see quite how much I could fit in in under 24 hours (and I am talking about food too).
The five-star hotel is luxury, it’s grand, and if there were a word for grander than grand, it would apply. You basically don’t need to leave the hotel (unless you want to see London, of course) – there’s a spa, basement pool, bar, brasserie, restaurants, hair salon and one of the grandest entrances to a hotel I have seen. I could have quite happily been holed up here for a few days (weeks) and would have had a great time.
Opened in 1899, much of the 300 room hotel refers to the Victorian era with classic styling and even some stunning original marble gracing the walls of one of the reception rooms. The main entrance is beautiful, with an arched ceiling, wood panelled walls and wide staircase leading to the hotel’s stunning centrepiece – The Winter Garden restaurant. Set under an eight storey high glass roof atrium, the eatery has trees and plants in abundance, transporting you from central London to a Mediterranean escape in a split second.
Due to the sheer comfort of the suite (and lack of time being in London and all – the art galleries and shops were calling me!) we missed out on a visit to the spa. Tucked away in the basement, there’s a 15-metre chlorine-free pool, aromatherapy experience showers, a hot tub, sanarium, gymnasium and three treatment rooms, where you can enjoy a variety of face and body treatments using Germaine de Capuccini products. There are also hair and beauty rest rooms, because, why should you have to leave the hotel looking anything less than fantastic?! Also a place set up for business meetings, corporate events, private dining, weddings and other special occasions, The Landmark London has you covered.
FOOD AND DRINK
Food wise there a lot going on from a breakfast so diverse I had to keep going back, to a bottomless brunch to fine dining, afternoons teas and casual dining in between. During my stay I paid a visit to twotwentytwo restaurant and bar for a relaxed evening of hearty food and luscious wines in the brasserie.
It was an upbeat Saturday night with a friendly atmosphere and my guest, Nick, and I enjoyed a drink at the wood bar before being seated on a low table for dinner. Our low, wide armchairs were comfy and promoted relaxed dining – we had to keep up the witty chatter for fear of falling asleep in them! Oak wood panelled walls surrounded the room, which was broken up by a tall standing/high seated area in the middle. It had a classic British bar feel with low lighting and a decorative ceiling and we could easily have spent plenty of time here relaxing with drinks, ordering steaks and putting the world to rights.
Speaking of which, we did both order steaks, and before we tucked into them enjoyed some crisp olive bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Smooth chicken liver parfait with a fruity fig chutney and chunky toast slices was my choice of starter, while Nick opted for his favourite smoked salmon, which came with bread and horseradish. Steak-wise I went for a medium-well piece of fillet with chunky chips, while Nick chose the Wagyu and fries, with both of us sharing Bernaise sauce and a side of sautéed spinach. Mine was a little over but lovely nonetheless and I sipped on a delicious Rioja, as recommended by our waitress. Both rather full we ended our meal with a selection of macarons and a chat with some fellow diners. Other items on the menu included burgers, salads, sandwiches, pasta and fish dishes and some wines to match.
Before and after dinner, Nick headed to The Mirror Bar – a small room decorated in a Victorian style with low tables surrounded by soft grey armchairs and an abundance of decorative framed mirrors. From Champagne to cocktails to Cognac there is a lot to choose from.
The Winter Garden serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner – when we checked in afternoon teas were being served and a harpist was providing some smooth tones for the event – pretty magical. It’s a truly beautiful setting – over breakfast I almost forgot where I was. A continental and hot selection welcomed us in the morning as well as an omelette and crepe bar. From the incredibly varied selection I eagerly (and piggishly) got my hands on a Cumberland sausage, beans, a mini Egg Florentine, a buttermilk pancake and cinnamon toast. As if this wasn’t enough (it wasn’t) I headed to the continental buffet for a mini pitta, olive oil, a slice of crusty bread, smoked cheese, Brie and a Pain au Chocolat. I’d like to point out here that these were all very small portions so that you can enjoy a varied selection. I felt that I had racked up quite a few culinary air miles on my breakfast journey and there was so much more I could have tried.
If we could have managed it, the Sunday Champagne brunch at The Gazebo (also under the atrium roof) would have been high on the list. For £90 expect unlimited champers and food including pastries, charcuterie, salads, seafood, beef and desserts, with live music providing your soundtrack for the event.
We were fortunate to stay in The Landmark Suite (one of 51 luxury suites) and I can honestly say it was one of the finest suites I have stayed in. With a square footage quite comfortably bigger than my house, it held an entrance hall, bedroom, bathroom, lounge with dining area, a small kitchen and a second loo. One of those places where you walk in and secretly question if it’s all yours, the suite lived up to potential being a comfortable, beautifully designed and well functioning place to stay – I just wish I had about a month there!
The suite was a corner one and four large windows looked out onto the world in the lounge alone. French doors led through from the spacious hallway and the walls either had dark wood panels resting upon them or were a neutral pale colour to match the curtains.
A dark wood desk, white fireplace and a deep wood dining table with four high-backed soft blue armchairs made up some of the features of the room, while I was drawn like a magnet to the seating area. Four sumptuous velvet fabric armchairs in a deep purple sat alongside a comfortable beige sofa and I enjoyed a few hours here with a magazine and Saturday afternoon film (Turner and Hooch – I can never resist it!)
There was a small white kitchen with a fridge, mini bar, microwave, sink, Nespresso machine and tea and coffee atop black marble worktops. I enjoyed a few cups of tea and an espresso out of the crisp, white Royal Dalton china that was supplied.
The large bedroom was decorated in soft fabrics and earthy tones. The wall at the head of the bed was panelled with a metallic brown fabric and a large headboard with a cream and brown leaf pattern offered a feature piece for the room. The king size bed was firm – a little too firm for me – but was huge and had a large, comfy striped ottoman at the foot. A large TV, two brown velvet armchairs and dark wood furniture were scattered throughout, while spotlights and lamps provided a soft glow, which could be controlled in three sections. Two tall windows let the light in, while pale brown/beige thick curtains kept it out, when necessary, and the walls held soft beige textured wallpaper – it was a haven.
Leading off from this was a white marble bathroom with a separate walk in shower, double sink with a black marble surround, bath and the toilet, which was kept behind a closed door. The wardrobe was in here and contained some lovely softy robes and slippers. Plenty of Molton Brown toiletries were to hand and there was a large mirror in front of the sinks (not the shower or toilet, thankfully.)
The hotel has, this year, started offering a ‘Duvet Day, Movie Night’ package, which includes afternoon tea and Champagne in your room, a make up tutorial by a celebrity make up artist, a goody bag, a selection of films to choose from and bed and breakfast from £699 for 3 people per night. I felt so comfortable in the hotel and especially in my suite that I could have easily staged a sit in with friends.
GETTING THERE – Great Western Railway, first class
First class is more like someone’s lounge than public transport. The geometric carpeted floor in brown and blue is on trend and matches the blue curtains; the wide soft leather seats recline and make for a comfortable place to rest and there is always someone coming round to make sure you have enough snacks and drinks at regular intervals (weekdays only – weekends you have to walk next door to the buffet car but you still get the freebies).
Choose from complimentary water, tea, coffee, crisps, shortbread, peanuts, fruit cake and more and if you fancy a wine or a sandwich, you may have to pay but you still don’t have to move from your seat. During selected weekday trains you can also enjoy the silver service restaurant, Pullman Dining, which serves traditional West Country dishes.
Don’t be put off by the connotations that can go with train travel at times – smelly toilets, loud fellow passengers, delays and rubbish, expensive food – it is quite the opposite here. With a lounge at Paddington station, priority booking for Pullman Dining and table service, GWR first class is well worth the upgrade.
Not being a native Londoner, the capital has always been, and will always be, an exciting place for me to visit, whether I’m visiting The National Gallery for the fifteenth time, discovering a new type of cuisine on a street I’ve never visited or shopping at (what feels like) the 80 storey H&M at Oxford Circus, I’ll always be happy to go. The Landmark is right next to Marylebone underground and the National Rail station and two stops away from Paddington, making it extremely accessible. Nearby you have attractions such as Madame Tussauds, Regent’s Park, ZSL London Zoo and Baker Street itself.
IN A NUTSHELL
Sumptuous suites that emulate the most comfortable of homes, dining options to transport and tantalise you and a spa to lose a few hours in – The Landmark London was a home from home for me.
Address: 222 Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 6JQ / 020 7631 8000