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The Landmark London

    The Landmark London
 in LondonHistory: 
    The Landmark London
 in London


Sir Edward Watkin, "The Last King of the Railways," was the chairman of several rail lines and wanted to combine the lines into the Great Central Railway, Marylebone Station, and a luxury hotel. Against fierce opposition, Watkin prevailed but not without a significant toll on his finances and his health. He suffered a heart attack before construction began in 1894 and the serving Vice Chairman, Edward Montagu, took over the project. Watkin attended the opening of Marylebone station and the hotel in 1899, but died two years later in 1901.

Not originally a financial success, The Great Central Railway was negotiated to Sir John Blundell Maple, the chairman of Maple furnishers, for his company. Threatened by the emerging Waring's furnishers, Maple saw this investment as a way to ensure his company remained the leader in fitting out hotels. Maple installed a company shop in Marylbone station as well.

The hotel itself was designed by Colonel Robert Edis, whose previous work included a ballroom for the Prince of Wales' estate. Designed with a large courtyard, dramatic entrance and contemporary amenities, such as a cycle track on the roof, the property outdid its competitors in style and class.

The Great Central Railway opened for use in March of 1899 while the Great Central Hotel opened in June of that same year. Called the "Streets and Squares Bazaar," the opening ceremony and charity event were a hit. Attended by several royals and nobles, the Great Central Hotel was off to a brilliant beginning. Guests began arriving in July of 1899 to stay in elegant guestrooms for three-and-sixpence a night.

The Great Central Hotel's history runs right alongside well-known British history. In October of 1902, the first service of Reform Judaism was held in the Wharncliffe Rooms at the Great Central Hotel with policeman at the entrances in case of any civil unrest. The JRU would go on to become the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues, which still exists today.

In March of 1908, with her release from Holloway prison, Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst was welcomed back from her sentence with a lavish breakfast at the Great Central Hotel by her fellow suffragettes.

By the start of the First World War, the hotel had been requisitioned for use as a convalescent home for returning officers. By 1918, the hotel was back to its original business.

Paul Paquot managed the hotel from the twenties up until the economic depression before World War II. With his great financial losses, Paquot declared bankruptcy in 1930 and was found dead five years later. His ghost is believed to haunt the premises.

During the Second World War, several British officials, fed up with false propaganda put forth by their enemies, organized the Army Film and Photographic Unit to capture the truth of fighting in the war. The Great Central Hotel served as the meeting place for the unit to interview, recruit, and billet soldiers while field training commenced nearby at Green Park and Pinewood Studios.

After changing hands several times and hosting history throughout, the Lancaster Hotel Company purchased the property in 1995 and renamed it The Landmark London.

The Landmark London, a charter member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2014, dates back to 1899.


International Numbers

Austria 08000706176
Belgium 080081830
France 805542721
Germany 8007241217
Ireland 1800995320
Italy 800979444
Netherlands 08000200956
Norway 80054304
Spain 900814719
Switzerland 0800001798
UK 8009179622
Book by Phone: +1 866 670 3764
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