Landmark London has 11 function rooms of unrivalled Victorian grandeurImmediately alongside Marylebone Station was a great location for a hotel when the Grand Central was built in 1898. It was also a natural choice for conversion into offices when British Rail later needed a prestigious HQ. But now it is once again an ideal site for the 5-star deluxe Landmark London Hotel, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
This 300-room property, in the heart of London but easily accessible without having to go through the centre of the city, has a very special feature that makes it unforgettable. What originally was an outdoor courtyard allowing guests to be driven into the hotel on horse and carriage, is now the Winter Garden, a splendid glass-roofed atrium. And the hotel makes the most of it.
Completely sheltered but with an abundance of light, the atrium boasts tall palm trees and other luxurious foliage. It is the location of the main dining area and at the same time it houses nooks and crannies and even a mezzanine gazebo for private chats over coffee or receptions or break-outs for refreshments.
The rooms are all Superior, Deluxe or Executive and exude quality throughout. But they are not over the top. The current owner, a Thai businessman who also owns the Royal Lancaster in London and The Landmark in Bangkok, obviously likes to give value for money. He had the number of rooms at The Landmark London cut from 700 to 300 so that each could measure from 35sqm to 55sqm. The beds are either Queen- or King-size and the bathrooms very sensibly laid out and equipped.
They have a large bath and walk-in showers and, to my relief, the controls are straightforward. Too often I find that it takes a scientific brain to figure out the knobs and levers, but at the Landmark there is one traditional-style tap to set the temperature required and another to regulate the flow of the water – and the words ‘Hot’ and ‘Cold’ are big and bold with arrows to match. This is, surely, a basic requirement for mature guests who might wear glasses outside the shower.
There are a total of 51 suites, of which eight are Landmark Suites, two on each floor, which are truly spacious and well appointed. They are fitted with CCTV, allowing guests to see on the TV screen who is at the door. The hotel’s Presidential Suite is top-of-the-range and admirably suits the kind of guest who finds £4000 a night a bargain.
The Winter Garden is one of the most relaxing and colourful places to eat or even take afternoon tea that London has to offer. The Landmark also has the TwoTwentyTwo Restaurant & Bar in the hotel’s basement which is informal, if less relaxing. Here privacy is assured because of the ambient noise of music, conversation and good spirits.
A tiny fly in the ointment - and not only in the opinion of ITCM - has been the hotel’s practice of levying an extra charge on many of its optional services. These have included use of the spa and the 15-metre pool, tea-making facilities for the rooms, Wi-Fi in the Winter Garden and guestrooms. However, moves are afoot, I understand, to abolish these charges, some of which have already disappeared.
For event organisers, The Landmark London has a remarkable choice of function rooms. They are all high-ceilinged elegant spaces with abundant natural lighting. An inspection of the 11 facilities, including the Grand Ballroom (600 theatre style), the Ballroom (300 theatre style), the Drawing Room (220), the adjacent Champagne Room, the Empire Room (220) is a walk through the glories of Victorian prosperity and grandeur. There is a size and configuration to suit every requirement.