The Landmark London
Although a little out of the way, The Landmark London is one of London’s hidden gems by way of luxury hotels, and if you haven’t heard of it there’s a few key reasons why now is the time to educate yourself.
The building ages back to 1899, when it was built during the golden age of steam, and now resides as one of the grand dame hotels in London. It’s your classic case of feeling as though you have stepped into a time warp as you enter the grand lobby and feel the history express itself around you. While there were a few hiccups to hinder my stay, if I can come away with one prominent thought from my stay it’s that The Winter Garden is one of London’s best kept secrets to be discovered during the colder months in London.
As a firm believer of first expressions being ever-lasting, I was a little disappointed to not be greeted at the front entrance of the hotel by a bellman or indeed any staff, until I stood cluelessly in the lobby searching for reception. Once it was discovered that I was standing idly in the lobby with two massive pieces of luggage, the helpful staff were quick to assist me with check-in and take care of my bags. When I returned back to the hotel later in the idea, I was delightfully welcomed to an impressive room upgrade to the Marylebone Suite (more on that later).
The hotel is impressively large – but perhaps this has served as a downfall for staff who are slightly overwhelmed themselves either by the size of the hotel or workload – one cannot be sure. Whenever asking for directions, I was given a series of confusing ‘turn left, left again, take your second right…’ and so on – not ideal or particularly helpful. When my room key wouldn’t open my door, I was forced to trek back to reception (some couple hundred metres) as the staff on the North side of the hotel (where my room was located) insisted they were unable to help. While these are minor grievances, they immediately impinged on my impressions of this five star property as I could see it had the potential to rival other grand dames in London, but was lacking in practicality and competence in the service sector. Again, these are small mishaps, but not to be expected of a five star property of this class.
However much of the experience was also positive – and at least of one of the concierge staff were willing to give their time to assist with directions and information about the surrounding area. The afternoon was also pleasantly accompanied by a pianist in the background, and the winter garden was certainly the part of the hotel that won me over.
My upgrade to the Marylebone Suite was warmly welcomed, especially given the quiet location of the suite on the North side of the hotel. The suite was impressively spacious, being the largest of all hotel rooms and suites I have ever experienced in London. The technology in the room was however a little outdated and took some time to get the television working. While there were no international plugs, an adapter was promptly brought to my room by housekeeping. For the most enjoyable experience, I would recommend upgrading to a suite such as the Marylebone and request to be on the North side of the property – it’s far away from reception and the Marks and Spencer is accessed from this end of the hotel in just a few steps outside of the hotel.
BOOK THE LANDMARK LONDON IF…
If you’re looking for a spacious room, grand interiors, and an incredible winter escape (in The Winter Garden) – The Landmark London is for you. You will however have to be prepared to sacrifice practicality and put up with a few slight hiccups along the way which may hinder your experience.