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A Luxury Family 1-Night Stay at the Landmark Hotel, London

the winter garden at the landmark hotel in london

As someone who frequently does the exhausting commute to London to earn enough money to pay a crippling mortgage, words cannot describe how unenthusiastic I was when Mrs B cheerfully announced we should have a family trip to London one day.

However, lest you think I am some sort of miserable middle-aged brute, my exhaustion was swiftly cured by the news that Mrs B thought that we should probably stay “somewhere nice” and that “somewhere nice” turned out to be the exemplary 5-star luxury hotel that was the London Landmark Hotel in Marylebone

stairs leading up to the first floor of the winter garden at the landmark hotel london

The plan was simple, we would set off to London Town on Mothering Sunday so Mrs B could have a lovely Mother’s Day dinner, she and Daughter B could go and watch the much-publicised Six! at the Vaudeville Theatre and we could all rest overnight in the Landmark Hotel before a family trip to London Zoo

After a packed weekend train ride up to London (Southern Trains always seem somewhat surprised that people want to travel by train), we arrived early in the afternoon at the hotel. My first impressions were good.

The Landmark Hotel

a large room with high ceilings, a large chandelier and vintage paintings hanging on the wall

An immaculately dressed doorman greeted us through some impressive historical-looking double doors and waved us inside. Because this was our first time here, I asked for directions to Reception, however, because I am also a man, I instantly forgot his very simple instructions and led the family on a merry dance around the ground floor before eventually finding the embarrassingly simply signposted Reception area.  

I know what you’re thinking at this point. Jesus Christ Jim, how can you get lost entering a hotel? Hotels are all the same, you go in through the door and the reception is pretty much as you go in, right?

Well, yes, sort of, but it is at this point in my blog that I reveal that the Landmark Hotel is formerly a railway hotel (specifically, the former railway hotel of the short-lived Great Central Railway) and has two entrances.

The back one faces directly onto the entrance of Marylebone Railway Station, so well-heeled passengers can go from train to hotel, and the much more imposing front entrance faces out onto Marylebone Road which houses Reception.

a large room with high ceilings, a large chandelier and vintage paintings hanging on the wall
What greets you through the “train” entrance

Because we came by train, we came in the train entrance. Lest this put you off in any way, shape or form, don’t worry, you are much more competent than me and more likely to actually listen to hotel staff, so you will end up in the right place.

There are not many advantages to only being able to half listen to people. Mrs B will testify that her daily routine of having to explain things to me several times a day is quite wearying. However, in this case, our unexpected diversion allowed us to have a first look at the absolutely stunning atrium area in the centre of the hotel. And what a space it is.

the winter garden at the landmark hotel with people enjoying afternoon tea and a huge atrium above the space
The Winter Garden at the Landmark Hotel

The original footprint of the hotel was in a cube shape, with six stories of rooms surrounding a central courtyard, topped with a glazed roof to give a stunning space in the centre where guests can relax and enjoy the hotel’s ambience.

In the centre, immaculately dressed staff hover around and when we arrived, afternoon tea at the Landmark Hotel was in full flow, as trays of sandwiches and cakes and flutes of champagne were delivered to well-dressed guests. In the centre of the atrium area, a pianist was filling the space with beautifully relaxing tunes and the whole area gave off an aura of serene enjoyment.  

Rooms at the Landmark Hotel  

a hotel room with 2 double beds and a desk area

We made our way to the check-in area where a seamless process of signing and swiping cards was completed in record quick time before getting the keys to our room. As our family is now of an age where bundling everyone into one bed simply isn’t an option, we opted for the Executive Family Room that came with an average of 52 sqm/560sqft of space.

With two large-sized double beds, a comfortable sofa, armchairs and a coffee table, plus a beautifully designed Italian white marble bathroom, it was the perfect base for a London stay, with a bonus view of the Marylebone Road from our double aspect room.

a hotel room with two double beds and a large lamp on a bedside table

Of course, if you are an admirer of hotel interior design but have children, you’ll soon learn that the only time you have to appreciate the room when it is actually serene and calm is the three seconds before your children enter the space.

The first thing both children did was abandon their shoes and coats everywhere and with a cheerful shout of “wheee!”, launch themselves on the beds to test their usefulness as trampolines.

Oh well; it was nice while it lasted. Other types of rooms are, of course, available, ranging from standard doubles through to some terrifyingly expensive-looking suites.

For my money, the incredibly large TV in our room came on a useful adjustable arm so no matter if you were lounging on the sofas or lounging in the twin double beds, you could adjust the screen for optimum viewing angle. For her money, Mrs B appreciated the high-end coffee machine in the room, which unlike most, was relatively simple to use.

a little office area in a hotel room

No sooner had we settled in, there was a ring on the doorbell and an immaculate porter dropped off our embarrassingly low-end bags, followed by a second ring at the door where a member of the hospitality team brought us some complimentary chocolates to thank us for staying with them.

These lasted approximately four point six seconds before they were devoured by the children and sensing that the children had too much energy, it was probably time to check out the hotel’s spa and swimming pool area.

Landmark Hotel London Spa

wood panelling around a carpeted staircase with marble walls
The staircase down to the Landmark Hotel London spa

I get that if you want to pay for a 5-star hotel in London, you do expect a little bit of peace and quiet so you can relax a little bit. I further get that children are not conducive to peace nor quiet, so the management at the Landmark Hotel has sensibly compromised on this and allowed children into the spa area at specific times – between 9 – 11 am and 3 – 5 pm, children are most welcome to splash about. Any other time should be the oasis of calm you require.

The Landmark Hotel London spa area is down in the basement of the hotel and is reassuringly nice.

Entry is by hotel keycard and the staff at the spa reception are incredibly polite and helpful, quickly finding things you may have forgotten like flip flops (forgotten), towels (left in the room) and robes (my Spiderman bathrobe doesn’t fit in with the ambience of the hotel), although to be fair, all those items are freely available.

a swimming pool in a spa area
Image: The Landmark Hotel

No sooner had we got changed, the children demolished a pile of complimentary fruit in one of the (previously) calm areas to relax in and The Boy was particularly taken with the fruit-infused water and promptly drank two pints of it.

Having successfully wrestled two children into swimwear, we made our way to the pool area. To our delight, the pool was surprisingly warmer than our local cash-strapped council-run swimming pool.

It’s also worth noting that the pool here is chlorine-free as well and it’s been noted by Harpers Bazaar as one of the Top Six Chlorine-free pools in London. Useful if you’re worried about the effects on your new hairdo and we spent a pleasant hour splashing about and practising our swimming in the surroundings.

Unfortunately, neither the jacuzzi area nor the sauna are available to guests under sixteen for eminently sensible health and safety reasons so Mrs B, with sadness in her eyes, took herself away for some solo sauna action and came back looking suspiciously happy with this.

the front of the landmark hotel in london

With the children duly cleaned for another week day, we headed out into London and thanks to the Landmark Hotel’s great location, we were only a short hop from Marylebone, Baker Street and Edgeware Road Tube stations.

This means the rest of London is extremely accessible and getting to and from major sites, like our planned trip to London Zoo, and our evening plans for dinner at the Savoy Grill, was an absolute breeze.

Getting back to our rooms, we gratefully collapsed into our extremely comfortable beds (all the beds come with some very comfortable Italian linen) for an undisturbed night’s sleep. 

Breakfast at the Landmark Hotel 

breakfast being served in the large atrium of the landmark hotel

The next morning was the ultimate test of any hotel – the quality of the breakfast. Now, I am a fundamentally unserious person normally.

I try and find the light-hearted and humour in any situation but like any true Englishman, I take breakfast very, very seriously. Sausages must be right. Juice must be refreshing, coffee must be as strong as a single parent and the crispiness of bacon is an absolute deal breaker.

I can happily report to you, dear reader, that the Landmark Hotel serves one of the finest breakfasts I have enjoyed in my two scores and five years on Planet Earth.

breakfast at the winter garden with croissants, and pain au chocolate
Breakfast at the Landmark Hotel

The hot options are, at a minimum, three types of egg, one of which was a miniature eggs benedict style option, excellent quality sausages, beautifully cooked bacon, hash browns (I assume a nod to the large American clientele the hotel seems to enjoy) as well as mushrooms and fresh tomatoes.

There are cereal and fruit options galore everywhere, the pastry selection is excellent and there’s a nod to the continent with some delicious-looking cheese and meat options also dotted around.

I won’t lie to you; I became quite giddy with choice at one point and while I always try my best to review every aspect of breakfast in a hotel, the third time around even I was feeling at my limits.

a continental breakfast at the winter garden in the landmark hotel

This is just one of the many sacrifices us hotel reviewers have to put up with, I suppose. If that wasn’t enough, the always efficient and friendly staff enquired if there was anything else we needed. Eggs done a different way? More coffee?  Could they rub your tummy as it was so full?

Alright, so I made that last one up, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that was an option – I certainly felt like I could have done with it. After a final cup of tea, it was reluctantly time to pack our bags and return to normality and it was with no small measure of regret that we checked out from the opulent reception area to return to the more prosaic normal life outside of the hotel doors.

a boy showing a grand piano in a hotel restaurant
My Son delighted at the self-playing Piano

Afternoon Tea at the Landmark Hotel

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stay for more food, so were unable to check out afternoon tea at the Landmark Hotel. However, if it is anything like breakfast, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to have afternoon tea in London. And the reviews would agree!

Image: Landmark Hotel

Guests can indulge in a variety of delicacies including delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with rich Cornish clotted cream, and a selection of exquisitely crafted cakes and pastries created by the hotel’s pastry chefs, Mauro and Daniel, celebrated winners of Bake Off: The Professionals 2023.

The hotel hosts afternoon tea from Monday to Friday from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm, with the last seating at 4:30 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, also with the last seating at 4:30 pm. The price for the afternoon tea starts at £70 per person, with options to include a glass of Taittinger Brut Réserve NV or Taittinger Prestige Rosé NV for an additional cost.

The Landmark Hotel is excellent in every respect. The staff were wonderful and, in common with the very best hotels, truly made you feel like a welcome guest. The rooms are well appointed and unlike other ex-railway hotels, they have done a great job in converting older rooms into modern and welcoming spaces for the modern traveller while retaining that rich sense of history and heritage.

If you do need a place to stay in London for a day or two and feel like splashing a little bit of cash, you could do an awful lot worse than spending your time at the Landmark.

looking out the window onto the streets of a wet Marylebone, London

If only my normal weekly commute to London involved more hotels like this, I would happily spend more time travelling with Southern Rail. With the cost of mortgages these days, it’s probably only a matter of time before living in hotels becomes the cheaper option.    

Rooms at the Landmark Hotel start at £421 per night for two (members club rates) and the Landmark Hotel’s official website can be found here. TripAdvisor Reviews can be read here.

A Family Stay at the Landmark Hotel, Marylebone

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