Thursday, December 15, 2011

Luxury in London

Tired of small European rooms?  If you are in London, you simply must try a night at Landmark London

If you had taken a train into London in 1899, you would have undoubtedly booked a hotel room at Landmark London, which celebrated its grand opening that year.  Rail was a glorious way to travel then and the hotel was just as grand. Now, a century later, it has been restored and continues to be a destination in itself on London’s north side.

Set between Regent’s Park and Hyde Park, Landmark London is a feast for the eyes of those who love gothic architecture. With its stained glass windows, impressive stone walls and tastefully appointed interiors, you can imagine yourself as that king returning to his castle, even if only for the duration of your stay.

I stayed at Landmark London only one night, breaking up a trip from Africa back to the United States. Checking in late one afternoon, I was immediately sorry I was going to only be there one day. From the front desk staff to all the other employees encountered that afternoon, they couldn’t have been more accommodating or friendly.

 I asked many of them for shopping, dining and sightseeing recommendations and without exception, they each gave thoughtful, detailed answers. Where often you’ll receive a terse, quick recommendation, each one explained why they liked the place they were recommending as well as took the time to make sure I understood where I needed to go. Those additional 30 seconds of interaction with their guests made a huge difference.

Checking into my room, I was taken aback with the size and layout of the place. Used to small European rooms, this was nothing like I expected. In addition to a sumptuously comfortable king-sized bed, there was a full sized sofa, chair and coffee table as well as a wonderfully practical full-sized desk.  The palette of beiges and cream tones was accented with an African print on the pillows.  Gleaming marble throughout the large bath completed the luxury experience.

Grand hotels can be grand but awkward if they don’t accommodate the technology needs of today’s travelers. That’s not a problem here. Plenty of outlets, hi-speed internet and a large flat-panel TV were ready for whatever your media or communication needs.

My room (#461) looked out onto the eight-story atrium where I could watch diners in the Winter Garden restaurant below. The following morning I couldn’t resist trying the breakfast there. It was a fantastic selection of buffet fare as well as cooked to order eggs, sausages, etc. I will guarantee that no one leaves here hungry. Food was piping hot and perfectly presented. This is a place for casual paced dining though. Don’t plan to hurry in, eat and leave. You’ll enjoy your time here.

The Landmark London is a member of Great Hotels of the World Luxury Collection. Single rooms start from £179.00. For more information or to book, check out their website or call 020 7380 3658.

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