London Marriott County review: Perfect come rain or shine

Hotel meteorologist-in-residence Kirsty McCabe makes sure the weather will never spoil your holiday


London has many delights to offer tourists but sadly, the weather is not one of them. With its changeable climate, the capital can often rain on your parade – quite literally – leaving you scrambling to change plans (or clothes).

Now, however, holidaymakers can have a great time whatever the weather with the Marriott County's Silver Linings package.

With the help of Sky News's Kirsty McCabe, the South Bank hotel offers room service tailored to the weather. McCabe, the "meteorologist in residence", forecasts what the day will hold and the concierge team then advise guests in their 12 premier suites on how best to spend their time in the city, with a little extra luxury thrown in.

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"This is a first," McCabe tells The Week Portfolio. "We want to give that extra level of service to guests. You know what it's like living in the UK - you can plan your holiday but you can't plan the weather. This is a way of making the most of your trip to London whatever the weather throws at you.

"A phone app doesn't always give you the inside knowledge as to what's going on with the weather. You get more detail from a person who can say, 'I know your phone says it's cloudy but I think there'll be some bright spells and warmer than yesterday.' It's a more personal level of service."

We checked in on a sunny afternoon to find a detailed itinerary from Kristy on the activities best enjoyed in the sunshine. The idea is that you don't spend a glorious day in the basement of the London Dungeon when there are picnics to be enjoyed in Regent's Park. Alternatively, Kristy and the team will advise on the best way to enjoy a rainy afternoon and make sure you don't book a trip on a sightseeing bus when the city is hit by a pea-souper. Rain macs, umbrellas and wellies are on offer if the heavens open.

It is not only the team who look out for you; your suite will also keep an eye on the weather and react appropriately. The air-con had our light and modern room at the perfect temperature for our arrival – although we promptly threw the window wide open to step out on to the Juliet balcony and admire the incredible vista over the river. All the suites on the Silver Lining package offer amazing views of the London Eye – so close you can wave to the tourists – and the Houses of Parliament. Indeed, with Big Ben in the distance, there was no need to worry about being late for our appointments.

The view was not the only thing to greet us: guests are welcomed with a package of luxury goodies to help them enjoy the weather. For the sunshine, our gift included a selection of Clarins suncare products and a Kiehl's hydrating facial mist, as well as Ray-Ban sunglasses and some indulgent chocolates. A different package awaits depending on the colour of the skies.

A team of beauty therapists are also on hand to make sure you look your best no matter the weather. In-room services include a summer pedi for sandal-ready feet, or if the wind has ruined your hair, a stylist can have you coiffured in no time. As The Week Portfolio indulged – an express manicure for me and a "pre-storm relaxer" massage for my partner – room service arrived with two complimentary ice-cold mojitos to start the evening off. There can be few more opulent experiences than sipping cocktails during a pamper session overlooking the Thames, interrupted only by Big Ben chiming down the minutes to dinner.

Wandering down from our suite on the sixth floor to Gillray's steakhouse and bar – via the exclusive M Lounge, where evening drinks and canapes are available to Silver Lining guests – allows more time to admire the impressive building. The hotel is situated in what was once London's County Hall, opened by King George V in 1922, and served as home to the Greater London Council throughout the 1980s, when leader Ken Livingstone was battling Margaret Thatcher. With such a stormy history, it is perhaps no surprise the hall is now home to the Silver Linings package.

With its wood-panelled walls and crystal chandeliers, Gillray's is worthy of a spot worthy of a VIP politician or two. We enjoyed tender steaks overlooking the bright lights on the river before a nightcap back on the balcony of our room.

After breakfast in the M Lounge the following morning, we set out to enjoy some of McCabe's recommendations – check-out is not until noon, giving you plenty of time to relax before leaving full of the joys of spring, even if it is a cloudy July.

The Silver Lining package at London Marriott Hotel County Hall is available for those booking a suite until 30 November 2017, at an additional cost per night. For details, click here

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