An Urban Resort near Oxford Street, London
Guoman Cumberland Hotel
Great Cumberland place,
London W1H 7DL
TEL 0871 376 9014
Just around the corner from Marble Arch tube station, this is the ideal place to stay if you wish to explore the heart of the Capital’s shopping and West End theatre districts. From the front door, wander along Oxford Street with its famous department stores and browse the designer boutiques of Bond Street.
Originally opened in the 1920s, The Cumberland was the first London hotel to have direct-dial telephones and en-suite bathrooms. Modern interior design and facilities have kept pace through the century, starting with the entrance lobby with the Wow factor: the vast, minimalist art gallery space with two imposing, impressive sculptured figures. Leading off at each side is a choice of stylish, contemporary bars and restaurants.
This palatial hotel has around 1,000 luxurious bedrooms, suites and apartments, including the Jimi Hendrix suite. Great Cumberland Place was the last known address of rock ‘n roll musician, Jimi Hendrix when he conducted his last ever interview with music journalist at the hotel, just days before his death in 1970.
Bedrooms come in all shapes and sizes, with views of Oxford Street, Park Lane and over to Hyde Park. Be sure to reserve the style and situation of your preferred accommodation. The bedroom I was initially shown on the first floor was immediately above a busy intersection of buses, taxis and rush hour traffic, with no double glazing. I asked if I could possibly move to a room higher up or with a quieter outlook and I was offered a junior suite with lounge area, (sofa, armchair, 32” plasma TV), and deluxe bathroom (bath and power shower), bathrobe, slippers and soft towels.
All rooms have tea and coffee tray, wi fi internet and free access to the cardiovascular gym. Guests in executive bedrooms and suites have complimentary use of the Guoman Club lounge with PCs, newspapers and magazines for a quiet retreat or business meeting.
An Urban Resort –wining and dining
With a choice of Bars – the Patron, the cutting-edge Carbon nightclub and Momentus Champagne lounge bar – this is more like a Leisure Resort on an exotic island than a London city hotel. Over an aperitif in the low-lit Patron Bar – famous for Tequila cocktails and chill out sound track, I study the Brasserie menu of British favourites listed in simple shorthand manner – Beetroot, Macaroni, Mussels, Duck, Risotto. Moving through to the restaurant, I sit on a comfortable, long banquette, with tables well spaced out. To start I sample a generous portion of lightly sautéed Scallops on a bed of creamy risotto, followed by whole Lemon Sole served on the bone – (sufficient to share between two) with a side order of hand cut chips (naughty) and a green salad (healthy).
Breakfast is served in the Market which took me a while to locate downstairs, along a corridor around the corner, hidden in the depths of the basement level. It’s a barn of a place to cater for hundreds of guests all wanting their coffee, toast and eggs at the same time.
Be prepared to a self service experience with few waiters on duty to assist or clear tables, except for pouring mugs of tea and coffee from large flasks. While it’s more like McDonalds than a Hotel dining room, the range of British, American and Continental breakfast dishes is extraordinary. Allow time to wander around each buffet table and kitchen station to select your choice of fruit, cereals, pastries, omelettes, eggs, bacon and pancakes. Noisy and crowded it may be, but you can certainly enjoy a hearty breakfast to keep you going.
With all facilities for leisure and business traveller, The Cumberland ticks all the boxes offering an exceptional choice of upmarket bars and restaurants, private hospitality, meeting rooms and conference suites. At Marble Arch, it’s the perfect district for shops, galleries, and city visitor attractions: “Great location if you want to shop,” says one recent guest, “ almost too convenient if you want to restrain the wife’s spending!”
See the website to check out special offers. Who could resist the Guoman Shopping package with a £ 50 Selfridges gift voucher thrown in. Also upgraded accommodation, Club Lounge and dining deals such as Pre-Theatre Dinners and Romantic Stays with bottle of champagne and breakfast in bed.