Published On: Sat, Mar 9th, 2024

The Cumberland review: A music-themed hotel in central London | UK | Travel

The Cumberland review

The Cumberland puts music at the heart of its service (Image: PH / The Cumberland)

Rock and roll legends, including Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Madonna, have walked these halls


  • Central London location
  • Live music seven nights a week
  • Attention to detail
  • Electric guitars for guests to use

The Cumberland Review

The Cumberland is parked perfectly outside the Marble Arch in Central London, bordering Hyde Park and minutes away from the hustle-and-bustle of one of the most touristy corners of the capital.

Rock and roll legends have walked these halls, with the hotel having previously spent years as the Hard Rock Hotel London, before being transformed into the newly revamped Cumberland in 2023. The hotel was the location of Jimi Hendrix’s final interview and has also been frequented by Bob Dylan, Madonna and Lady Gaga. 

From the path outside the grand building beckons guests inside, where they will be greeted with an array of music-themed trinkets.

The hanging lights above the reception desks are drumsticks with LEDs embedded within them, while the VIP gold rope barrier is held up with silver holographic guitars. Even the bar is shaped like a vinyl disc.

The Cumberland Review

The Cumberland puts attention to detail at the forefront of its service. (Image: PH / The Cumberland)

This is the power of The Cumberland Hotel – attention to detail that is carried on throughout the hotel. The hallways are adorned with portraits of musicians and bands, drawings of iconic guitars and artistic interpretations of album covers.

Music echoes through the halls to usher you into your room, but once inside your suite, it’s a peaceful haven where you can relax after a busy day exploring, or get glammed up for a night of live music.

The communal areas are where The Cumberland really comes alive. From the SOUND restaurant, SOUND bar and SOUND sports bar, to the SOUND event space with live music event night, The Cumberland is more than just a hotel – it’s a destination with entertainment at its heart. 

The Rooms

Rating: 5/5

Although The Cumberland’s front-of-house excitement is where the party is at, the real meat of any hotel comes from the rooms. The hotel is home to four room categories, ranging from the Classic Double to the Gold Family and two suites: The Studio Suite and The Star Suite. The second was where we spent our stay.

Complete with its own lounge, large closet, two bedrooms and not one but two bathrooms. Large mirrors are dotted around the room, along with a coffee machine and snacks left for your use. But the real beauty of The Cumberland is how encourages guests to enjoy music, as well as my stay.

Every single room comes complete with a record player and a collection of vinyl you can freely play at any time. The hotel’s manager later informed us that they have a stack of records at their disposal, so if your collection of albums isn’t tickling your fancy, you can request something different to take the edge off as you put your feet up.

What’s more, guests have the option to get a guitar placed in their room, along with an amplifier and set of privacy headphones. Yes, a real guitar, that you can play, for free, as long as you want, at your leisure.

The Cumberland Review

Each room at The Cumberland comes with a record player – and a guitar if you want it (Image: PH / The Cumberland)

Guests are given a guitar menu to choose their weapon of choice. The guitars are tucked away in a secret part of the hotel, and the collection is quite something. 

The Cumberland Hotel as a whole spins out this epic tapestry of music-themed trinkets, posters and decorations, plunging you deep into a musical world and sending you away from your troubles. But the addition of the instrument, and record player, are what elevate the rock and roll getaway. Instead of being someone who is on holiday, you embody a rockstar waiting backstage for your green room call.

For a £500 fully refundable deposit, this guitar is worth every second of its presence in the room – especially considering it is entirely free.

Throw in a sound-sleeping bed, a powerful shower, mirrors and hairdryers aplenty, and a glorious view of London, The Cumberland’s rooms are exceptional.

Dining and Drinking

How does the Cumberland compare to other London hotels?

Rating: 4/5

The Cumberland has three main attractions where drinks and dining are concerned – with a fourth hidden away for VIPs.

First, it’s the SOUND Bar. The vinyl-shaped bar is a buzzing spot which imitates the excitement of being tucked away in the luxury backstage area of a sold-out concert.

As the heart of the hotel, the SOUND Bar is where things happen – and it, thankfully, caters to all kinds of drinkers. From your locally brewed beers to your mass-produced favourites, liquors of every kind, and everything in between, you’ll be able to find something to wash away your woes. And with fairly reasonably priced drinks on offer, you could even use The Cumberland as a relaxation zone after your rough work shift.

The cocktail list is where it’s at, though. Alcoholic or not, pick your music-themed poison and soak in the live music from afar.

If you’d rather be up close and personal with the music, the SOUND Café is where you’ll find yourself. Situated directly in front of the stage, the Sound Cafe is The Cumberland’s restaurant and pops you right in the middle of the action. Where you might usually find the crowd eagerly awaiting their favourite band, you’ll instead be dining away at your table.

The SOUND Cafe has a limited yet powerful offering of dinner choices. You’ll find an assortment of diner-styled menu choices here: nachos, steaks, wings, fish and chips, burgers, fries, etcetera. Included in the dinner menu is a “burger studio” and a “club classics” menu, allowing you to, without question, find your meal of choice.

The Cumberland sports bars

SOUND sports bar serves up some incredible cocktails and mocktails (Image: PH / The Cumberland)

While it isn’t the fanciest of dinner menus at a hotel, it is certainly the most reliable – and it keeps to the theme. Chowing down a greasy burger with a cocktail while watching a live band where Jimi Hendrix had his last interview is quite the flex to drop at your next dinner party.

Less of a flex, however, is some of the menu’s prices. They range from fantastic (£15 for a chicken burger and fries) to an arguably shocking (£24.50 for fajitas).

With that said, the service was some of the most attentive we have experienced in a hotel – from both its human waiters and robot waiters – so you really will be looked after throughout your meals.

If you’re keen to get a little more casual with your day, The Cumberland’s SOUND Sports Bar might be more your speed. As a more laid-back drinking area, this location feels a lot more like a traditional pub or bar and has some large screens on display for any sporting events you might be interested in viewing. While less in line with the hotel’s overall theme, this is where many people may feel more comfortable with a pint in their hand.

The last – and best – part of The Cumberland’s lounges is the Backstage area. This is the exclusive area where hotel guests can hang out, and help themselves to complimentary drinks of all kinds, snacks, plus those amazing guitars, and records.

The Backstage area is The Cumberland’s ethos come to life. It allows friends and family to sit relax and enjoy the music, grab a drink, and chill out without being observed by the rest of the world.


Rating: 4/5

The Cumberland Hotel is located just outside Hyde Park, a stone’s throw from the Marble Arch, meaning it’s perfectly located for those who are visiting the city and want to be within easy reach of all the most famous attractions.

Located on the edge of perhaps one of the busiest parts of London, The Cumberland is very much near anything you might need at the drop of a hat. A pharmacist, food, shopping, West End shows, gig venues. This is the spot to be if you want easy access to everything the capital has to offer.

While noisy outside, the din is drowned out as soon as you step into the music-filled walls of The Cumberland, removing any issues there.

However, if you’re looking for a hotel tucked away in a quiet part of the city, this isn’t it. With that said, for us, the biggest struggle about the location would be that we didn’t want to leave. 

The Cumberland music sound bar

The Cumberland’s SOUND Bar has live music almost every night (Image: PH / The Cumberland)


  • Live music
  • Event space
  • Bar and restaurant
  • Sports bar
  • Guitar rental
  • Family-friendly 
  • Gym 
  • Meeting rooms
  • Accessible rooms 

Value for Money

Rating: 3/5

At the time of writing, a two-night weekend stay in a classic double room starts from £406. Find rooms and book direct on The Cumberland Hotel website.

Or, compare deals and prices for a stay at The Cumberland with or

The Cumberland Review

The Cumberland welcomes guests into The Backstage – where you can take a seat and relax (Image: PH)

Final Verdict

The Cumberland feels like it was made, entirely, for music lovers. Whether you’re an impassioned musician or a distant fanatic, it’s where you’ll want to be. If music is in your bones, the hotel’s commitment to the decor, vibes, and tiny details embedded within the halls, rooms, and lobby are jaw-dropping, and totally memorable.

It’s a confident gambit to say very few (if any) other hotels offer a guitar in every room, or one that comes complete with a record player and a stash of vinyl, as well. 

Every single member of staff was more than happy to help in any way they could, too. From the expertise of Daniel or Grace, to the care of Juan and Leo – these people were knowledgable, friendly, and comforting in an unknown city. They truly completed an almost perfect experience at The Cumberland. 

While all of this exceptional attention to detail and care is to die for, the price does reflect that. 

If The Cumberland is out of your budget, the bells and whistles of a stay may not be enough to coax you indoors.

But if The Cumberland is within your budget – even barely so – and you’re a music lover, staying is an absolute must. It is an exceptional experience that you will not forget anytime soon.

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