Short break - The Marylebone
- Credit: Archant
Central London can be as exhausting as it is exciting, but The Marylebone hotel seems the perfect antidote on a weekend away in London.
Ducking into The Marylebone hotel after a walk down Oxford Street I felt decidedly frazzled by the bustle of central London after battling against a sea of tourists who always seem to be going in the opposite direction than I need to. But I can honestly say that stepping through the doors of this exceedingly grand hotel was like stepping into an oasis of calm, with fruit infused water on tap and genial staff welcoming me in.
The Marylebone is a luxury hotel tucked away in the streets of Marylebone Village. Full of glamour when you walk into its marble floors, it's clearly been designed with elegance in mind, with Art Deco-inspired bars, deep reds and wooden furniture, and even a cosy fire to sit by with a book. You would never guess that it was bounded by Oxford Street, Regent's Park, Baker Street and Fitzrovia, all within 10 minutes of the door.
The feeling of calm increased when my guest and I checked into our room for the night. We stayed in one of the queen studio suites, which was the perfect combination of luxury, with a marble bathroom and an outrageously comfortable bed, and practicality thanks to the desk and reliable WiFi making it equally ideal for a stay away on business. I must admit we spent longer that expected sitting back and enjoying some relaxation with a TV big enough to rival the local Everyman cinema, browsing through the complimentary magazines and enjoying the fruit plate laid out for our arrival. It was definitely hard to bring ourselves to leave our room and go explore.
But you'd be a fool not to make the most of the wonderful location. Stuck right in the middle of Marylebone Village, you've got the famous Daunt Books for your next travel read, French boutiques full of gorgeous designs and a quaint pub called the Golden Eagle all on your doorstep. It's the perfect base for those wanting to experience what the bright lights of the city have to offer, while also seeing a part of London hidden away from all the noise of the centre.
Don't be too distracted by what the area has to offer as there's also plenty to explore in the hotel itself. We ate dinner at the 108 Brasserie, which on a Friday night was bustling with atmosphere. To start I had the melt-in-your-mouth seared tuna with compressed watermelon and wasabi - which I could not recommend enough - while my guest had some hearty sweet potato soup that came with some delicious Irish soda bread. I went for a well-executed classic fish and chips for mains, but you'd be hard pushed to beat the Rib Eye steak my guest enjoyed, grilled in the restaurant's own Josper Grill to retain all of its flavour. If you're feeling indulgent (and you're on holiday, so you definitely should be), the hotel even distils its own gin in an on-site copper still, which you'll pass on your way through to the restaurant.
Breakfast is included in a number of the rooms with a continental buffet laid out at the neighbouring 108 Pantry, as well as an a la carte menu. So in the morning we went for Eggs Royale and blueberry pancakes, as well as some freshly squeezed juices to counteract any fuzziness from the gin from the night before.
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But the ultimate antidote to the indulgence was a trip to the adjoining gym, swimming pool, sauna and steam room, which is an extremely rare find in a London hotel. Guests can access these amenities through the interconnecting Third Space gym, which was so delightful to have during our short one night stay - I managed to visit twice. There's also a spa if you want to treat yourself to treatments by Elemis, Murad, Jessica, Xen Tan and Lycon.
The Marylebone itself is part of the Irish-owned Doyle Collection of hotels across the world. But instead of detracting from the individuality of the hotel, this instead gives it a real sense of character in a realm of London hotels known for their blandness. We especially enjoyed the touches of its heritage you'll glimpse through inclusions like Barry's tea in the morning and the delightful Guinness bread offered at dinner.
It really seems that The Marylebone has thought of everything to make your stay as relaxing and enjoyable as possible, which was admittedly an unexpected bonus for such a central location. And while a trip down to London can usually be a bit overwhelming, the hotel sets itself up as such a perfect reprieve to the busy city that you won't want to leave it - we certainly didn't.
Fay Watson, who wrote this promotional feature, was a guest of The Marylebone Hotel, which is close to the department stores and boutiques of Oxford Street and Mayfair and the independent restaurants and markets of Marylebone High Street. You can find out more about the hotel, which is part of The Doyle Collection, at doylecollection.com