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The Cumberland is a 1000-room success


ITCM experiences a London hotel that can please everyone all of the time

The Cumberland is a hotel for all seasons. It’s a star playing many different parts. It commands a prominent position in a prime London location. Marble Arch. It is on Oxford Street, everyone’s favourite shopping area. It is opposite the entrance to Hyde Park. It has extensive meetings facilities. ‘It does therefore’, says Tim Cordon, General Manager since September 2010, ‘draw guests from every sector for all kinds of reasons.’

That is very fortunate, because Tim has 1019 guestrooms to fill every night. ‘We are amongst the top three largest hotels in London’, he confirms. ‘We have to appeal to many different markets.’

London is the major destination within the UK and the Guoman Cumberland is well placed geographically for incentives of every kind, either for individual awards or corporate groups. They can make the most of the nearby shopping, the capital’s cultural attractions and its theatres.

It cannot be classified as a conference hotel, but its facilities can readily accommodate residential meetings for over 350, for meeting, eating and sleeping.

The largest space, the Ocean Room, proclaims modern design, with a ceiling of a dramatic wave form that assists the acoustics. It has the most up-to-date equipment, including ‘light walls’ that can be used to create different effects and moods through changing colours.

‘About 15% of revenue comes from events’, says Tim – and for a hotel of that size that is a substantial sum. It has the ability to give delegates the impression they are very important, as all 26 of its meeting spaces are on one floor and the delegates can network easily. Access is by separate entrance or by large lifts direct from the lobby. At the same time, delegates are out of sight of the guests who are not there for events.

The remarkable mix of clientele is evident everywhere. People are dressed for many different pursuits, being particularly casual or very smart and this gives a buzz to the whole property.

The unashamedly contemporary style of The Cumberland is apparent as soon as you walk into the lobby, with its subdued coloured lighting not only in the ceiling but also on the pillars and in large sections of the floor. This style is continued throughout the property, but the aim is not just t please the eye. The guestrooms are well insulated and air-conditioned, so each is an oasis of quiet comfort alongside the busy London hub of Marble Arch. They also have large beds, large tv screens and large personal safes.

The hotel’s f&b outlets are deigned for all tastes and most pockets. Fine dining is provided by one of the two Gary Rhodes outlets, Rhodes W1 Restaurant. In addition there are Rhodes W1 Brasserie, The Market and three bars providing different ambiances and refreshments.

The Cumberland is one of the exclusive Guoman brand properties. They are all 4-star de luxe but differ greatly one from another. A welcome and surprising feature of The Cumberland is that in spite of its desirable location and its high reputation its prices are comparatively low. Buffet breakfast, for example, served in The Market, where it would be difficult to think of a breakfast dish that wasn’t available from one of its five open kitchens, was priced at under £12 for hotel guests.

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