This elegant redstone facing Marylebone station takes you back to an era when luxury travel was romantic, leisurely and almost certainly steam-powered. It’s London’s last grand Victorian hotel (it opened in 1899, just two years before Queen Vic passed away). You can see that in its excellent bone structure: especially the soaring atrium in the centre of the building, where visitors and Londoners nibble afternoon tea or breakfast underneath green potted palmtrees and a glass roof eight storeys above.
Cucumber sandwiches at the Winter Garden are really special but The Landmark London’s less famous restaurant, TwoTwentyTwo, is pretty solid too. Service and food are excellent and unfussy, and prices are unexpectedly reasonable for a five-star joint. Grand hotels often understand comfort in a way that directional bars or restaurants don’t, and The Landmark London’s cocktail bar is outstanding: snug and sexy, with twisted classics that could give a lot of hip younger venues a real run for their money.
As well as nostalgic grandeur, it’s the attention to detail which makes this place worth the sizeable bill. It’s also brilliant for families. Family rooms accommodate four, and there are lots of thoughtful extras: child-sized bathrobes, all those toilet-training and bedtime necessities which you either forget to pack or hate carrying around with you, and – cutest of all – a readymade stripy play tent. The discreet spa and pool are soothing places to escape your nearest and dearest.
The location is also excellent. It’s central for tourists (Lord’s Cricket Ground, Wigmore Hall and Madame Tussauds are all nearby). Plus, Marylebone itself is much more villagey and beguiling than most posh central London neighbourhoods (it helps that people still actually live there). As an area, it should be congratulated on its discernment: there are boutiquey high-end fashion stores, incredible cheese shop La Fromagerie (where you can also eat lunch) and a branch of literary temple Daunt Books, all clustered round Marylebone High Street.
You won’t find bleeding-edge tech, avant-garde design or anything very surprising at The Landmark London. The decor sits sympathetically in its somewhat traffic-battered building. Beds are wide and comfortable and rooms are quiet and elegant, with marble and 50 shades of beige furnishing. But it’s all so much more relaxing than in-yer-face contemporaneity. The Landmark London acts its age gracefully, and it’s all the better for it.