With its considerable style and comfort and W1 location, it's a mystery why the Marylebone Hotel remains a well-kept secret. Perhaps because, disguised by a grim '60s facade on one of the anonymous, shop-less streets which run behind the Oxford Street department stores, it is unrecognisable from the street as a four-star hostelry.
Enter the lobby and you'd think you were in a particularly welcoming boutique hotel - the Marylebone fields more seating areas full of squashy sofas than most five-star hotels. Yet boutique it is not since this is a hotel of 257 rooms, which runs across a city block from Welbeck Street
to busy Marylebone Lane.
Rooms are stylish, but warmly modern, and there is a seventh-floor penthouse with a balcony overlooking the West End rooftops which is a particular delight. Toiletries are classy, and a nice touch is the herb tea and little dessert sent up by the hotel's acclaimed restaurant, 108 Marylebone Lane. This restaurant is really worth a try for the buzz and the excellent food; I enjoyed great sea-bream, followed by cheese from the famous La Fromagerie. Breakfast, as might be expected, is superior to that offered by most London hotels, with a superb array of fresh food on the cold buffet and egg dishes cooked to order.
There's free wi-fi in the stylish drawing room, which has yet more comfy seating, and out-of-town visitors will find it handily placed for the New West End, Marble Arch and Central synagogues.
TEL: 020 7 486 6600