I attended a two-day conference at The Landmark at Marylebone in London about 14 months ago, so it made sense to stay there overnight. The main characteristic of this well-established station hotel is that it's a very old building, refurbished to a high standard. The interior - adorned with stone and red brick - has been restored to its traditional grandeur. A large atrium leads to the main communal area and mock-up garden. Great service isn't essential for business stops. You want to find somewhere at least as comfortable as your own home! I was particularly taken by the comfort of this hotel. The bedroom was spectacular because it had so much character. At only two tube stops from Oxford Circus, you've got the whole of the West End at your mercy. It's a convenient location for me - only a nine-minute journey to work - and will be a handy stop for everyone once the new Wembley stadium has been built.
Gleneagles at Auchterarder in Scotland - another refurbished station hotel - has a tremendous location, boasting panoramic, 360-degree views over the mountainous terrain. The setting is its main attraction, making it the perfect short break for my wife and me one February. I've stayed there a couple of nights on business, but it's really a leisure hotel, famous for its magnificent golf courses. I've taken golf up more recently, but somehow I doubt I'll ever be good enough for Gleneagles courses. Still, we did make use of the golf course range. We'd go for a walk, eat a lot, walk around again, and then eat some more. Service was the overriding factor. Some hotels that try to be upmarket end up being condescending, but the service here was quite the opposite. The staff were friendly, always asking if you needed anything else. They could never do enough.