Suite Dreams: hunker down at one of Marylebone's luxury five-star hotels
A vase stands on the table of my room bulging with ruby red roses (my favourite flowers), miniature vodkas sit in the mini bar (my preferred tipple) and, come morning, newspapers (the titles I usually read) are hanging from the door handle in a branded canvas bag. Granted, The Landmark London had asked for these finer details before my arrival, but they were executed with such charm and surprise that I feel like I’m being serenaded by an exuberant potential suitor.
The towering red brick building of The Landmark London stands near the south-west corner of Regent’s Park and is a stone’s throw from Marylebone station
The size of the Great Central Suite is the most impressive part. Several times larger than my London flat (unsurprisingly), I feel like running from one end to the other just because I can. The bedroom is filled with a grand king-size bed and understated décor. Being on the top floor, the light streams in the through the windows and into the living area. I pop my head up to the glass and gaze at the impressive panorama of the city below.
The towering red brick building of The Landmark London stands near the south-west corner of Regent’s Park and is a stone’s throw from Marylebone station.
The staff greet me warmly on arrival and are beyond willing to ease my pains over every whim, wish or concern. The hotel is well aware of its prime position and is happy to accommodate requests for any outings or business meetings – even the umbrella by the door of my suite has well wishes written in a poem wrapped around the handle. These small but important touches ensure the five-star establishment lives up to its reputation.
Relaxing in my room, I can’t help but take a bite of the delightful pralines that have been laid out for my welcome on a charming trunk styled as a table. Any future real-life suitor who fails to offer me chocolate on a platter, won’t stand a chance.
As much I would love to stand swooning over the space, I head downstairs for dinner at The Winter Garden. A lofty eight-storey glass roof towers over the pristine tables and regal palm trees (I pinch them to make sure they are real), and I take a seat, ushered by the friendly waiters, to enjoy an evening of modern European cuisine.
My starter of citrus-marinated Scottish salmon falls off the fork in tender flakes and soon I am inhaling the comforting aroma of the herb potato gnocchi stuffed with king oyster mushrooms and baby spinach. Of course, it is the pudding that wins my heart – rich chocolate ganache served with refreshing passion fruit sorbet. I’m thrilled that I’ll be back to sample the breakfast menu in the morning. The other dining option, TwoTwentyTwo Restaurant & Bar, is also worth a visit, if not just to muse over the rich oak panelling, sculpted ceilings and chandeliers – perfect for a romantic meal for two.
The Grand Central Suite at £2,000 a night is a pinch on the pennies but worth every bit if you’re feeling indulgent
The hotel’s sumptuous Renaissance design harks back to its rich heritage – it opened as The Great Central Hotel in 1899, and is one of the last remaining great Victorian railway hotels. Way ahead of the game, it was originally meant to be the hub of a new Channel Tunnel railway link, but more than a hundred years later it lost out to St Pancras.
I can’t muster the strength for any more refreshments and instead enjoy a soak in the Italian marble tub with Molton Brown bubble bath. I wrap up afterwards in the obligatory soft white bathrobe and slippers, padding softly back to my bed ready to rest in a cocoon of crisp sheets.
The Great Central Suite at £2,000 a night is a pinch on the pennies but worth every bit if you’re feeling indulgent. For those looking to save some cash, superior rooms start from £264 a night.
The spa – complete with steam room, Jacuzzi and swimming pool – has to wait until morning. I’m too full with the content tiredness of a person who has eaten and drunk their way through the day. If The Landmark London was to offer its hand in marriage, I would certainly say yes.