London is home to some of the world’s most stunning hotels and one of my favourites is the Landmark London. This grande dame of the hotel scene has seen quite a few comings and goings since first opening as the Great Central Hotel in 1899. Today, it’s a member of Leading Hotels of the World and as popular as ever.
First Impressions of The Landmark London
Conveniently located next to Marylebone station, it has an imposing entrance.
Step into the hotel and you’re transported into a world of fresh floral displays, smiling reception staff and the incredible Winter Garden. It was created between 1902 and 1910, and has enthralled visitors ever since. I’ve been here before for a birthday afternoon tea and this was the perfect venue.
Accommodation at The Landmark London
After a quick and easy check in, we made our way up to the Great Central Suite on the top floor. One of the most spacious suites that we’ve stayed in, it had a large hallway with cupboards, bedroom, lounge, bathroom and separate guest WC. In some ways it felt like staying in someone’s luxurious apartment. The homely vibe was enhanced by funky lamps, vintage suitcases and a Nespresso coffee machine. It would be handy for business travellers as well as leisure guests, since there was a full size work desk.
Our suite was equipped with all mod cons including a flat-screen TV in both the lounge and the bedroom, iHome music systems, air-conditioning, Sky TV together with complimentary WiFi. Included in the price of the suite is complimentary full English breakfast, drinks from the drink trolley, a mini bar with snacks, a newspaper, access to the spa and health club, shoe shine and use of the business centre. The views from the lounge were fantastic!
The decor is quite traditional but there are some funky accents like this retro-style phone that I loved. I have an original Bakelite phone at home.
The bedroom was cosy and the bed was so comfortable, we had a perfect, uninterrupted night’s sleep.
The marble bathroom is actually a series of interconnecting rooms, starting with the double washbasin and bath, then to the Monsoon shower and on to WC. There were Molton Brown toiletries and fluffy bathrobes and slippers as well as kimono style robes.
Extra Touches at The Landmark London
Have you seen a cuter welcome touch than this chocolate train? The Landmark London started off as a grand hotel for upmarket train travellers on the Great Central Railway and this is a great homage to its heritage.
We were also impressed by the fresh fruit and there was even port in a crystal decanter on a drinks trolly.
Yet perhaps the most impressive touch was the flowers, because they were personalized! Before our stay, the hotel concierge had been in touch to ask me a few questions, including what my favourite flowers were. Lo and behold, a beautiful bunch of peonies! Tearing ourselves away from our suite, we headed down to dinner…
Dining at The Landmark London
The twotwentytwo Restaurant (no capitals) is the more casual cousin to the Winter Garden. The decor is stunning, with wood-panelled walls, comfy leather armchairs, flattering low-light and my favourite feature – an open fire!
The staff were really attentive. Our waitress overheard me saying that I could do with glasses for the menu and brought me some nifty illuminating ones! We started our meal in style with a yellow fin tuna tartare for me…so fresh and nicely seasoned with chilli and lime.
And for Paul, one of his favourite dishes – prawn cocktail, with succulent baby prawns, crisp lettuce and a Marie Rose sauce.
Our mains were superb – Paul chose the Prime ribeye steak with chunky chips and a flavourful béarnaise sauce. This Scottish beef had been aged for 28 days. I had a little try of it and the meat was so juicy and tender. It’s one of the best steaks that we’ve had in London.
My healthy fish pan-fried sea bass was served with an unusual risotto of Cornish crab, chilli and coriander. I really liked this combination and would definitely choose it again.
Paul raved about his lovely Summer Berry Eton Mess with meringue and Chantilly cream…As I di once I’d stolen a spoonful ;-).
My dark chocolate tart with a milk chocolate ganache and passion fruit sorbet was a triumph. The quality of the chocolate was fantastic and the passion fruit balanced its richness very well.
This is one restaurant that I’ll definitely return to, and it’s just as popular with locals as hotel guests. We finished with some complimentary petits-fours – I left the jellies to Paul and polished off most of the chocolates 😉
Breakfast at The Landmark London
The hotel is known for its breakfast and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The array of buffet dishes is impressive. There are baked goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, smoked fish, and cereals as well as a variety of hot breakfast items. I ordered healthy crushed avocado with poached eggs on toasted sourdough and Paul enjoyed the full English, with maple-cured back bacon and Cumberland sausages.
Facilities at The Landmark London
The Landmark London Spa and Health club boasts a 15 metre chlorine free swimming pool, quite unusual for central London. It is due to be redecorated at the end of August although it already has steam rooms, a sanarium, which is less intense than a sauna, monsoon showers and a sizeable gym with the latest equipment.
Paul made good use of the running machine, sauna and steam room whilst I enjoyed a spa treatment. The spa offers some top-notch treatments including the Black Diamond facial that I was lucky to experience.
They have partnered with renowned Spanish brand Germaine de Capuccini to offer a range of face and body treatments. My therapist was a charming lady who asked me about my skin concerns before starting. The 50 minute Diamond Noir (Black Diamond) facial is results driven, and aims to increase luminosity and combat ageing.
She removed my makeup, then opened my pores by placing hot towels on my face. Afterwards, she exfoliated with a menthol scrub which had a pleasant tingling effect. Next came the exciting part, she applied the diamond mask, containing extracts of diamond, iron and zinc, massaging my face with gentle yet effective movements. Unlike some masks, it didn’t dry on my skin so there was no sensation of tightness. She removed it about 15 minutes later with hot cloths, applied a serum and left me to relax whilst it soaked into my skin. My skin was transformed – visibly smoother and brighter, whilst redness and pores were both considerably less noticeable. Over the next few days, the effect got even better with silky soft skin and a subtle radiance. It was a great way to finish a wonderful staycation. This historic hotel has an indefinable character of its own, timeless yet contemporary. I’ll be back!
Have you visited the Landmark? What would you do on a staycation?
The Landmark London, 222 Marylebone Road, London NW1 6JQ