Settled squarely in the Mayfair section of London with a posh Park Lane address, Grosvenor House puts you in the center of uptown luxury. But with a focus on gentility, service and personal attention, it’s much more than just a place to stay.
Nothing spoke more to us after a long inter-continental flight than what happened upon arrival. We were greeted by a welcoming, beautifully lighted entrance and two official greeters decked out in tails and top hats.
Even the lobby said “Welcome!” with plush seating in soft, cream-colored leather and sink-in fabrics. Originally built in the ’20s, the hotel has undergone multiple renovations, most recently a major one lasting four years (2004-2008).
But it still maintains the appeal that we suppose it did when it opened in 1929 on the site previously inhabited by the Dukes of Westminster, whose family name was Grosvenor.
Today, the hotel exudes opulence but also maintains its modernity in terms of color palette and decor. With seasonal decorations like the towering central lobby table arrangement and clean, fresh Christmas trees trimmed in simple, yet elegant gold balls, we knew this was a place that valued appearances as well as comfort.
If our bedroom is any indication of what the other 428 rooms are like, you can’t go wrong here. We stay at Marriott hotels for the quality and comfort of the beds and the silky, sink-into linens that we love.
But the bathroom was a real surprise. Creamy white and gray marble floors and counters greeted us. And as we looked around, we couldn’t have been more pleased with the brass-fitted shower head, soft robes, and (oh, yes!) a heated towel rack.
Cleanliness, too, must be a top concern. Each day, our room was put to order just the way we found it on Day One. Imagine our surprise when we came upon a meeting of the staff responsible for all this polish — ladies that we commended for jobs not just well done, but outstandingly done.
If you stay at Marriott hotels often, be sure to sign up for their loyalty program. The points you earn can land you in some of the best Concierge Lounges in any city of the world — and, aside from saving you money on breakfast and evening snacks, they are comfortable places where you can dine — usually with a great view — and meet people from all over the world.
Grosvenor House didn’t just put out one table of fresh food in their Concierge Lounge — there were several. Arranged beautifully, the varied offerings appealed to our senses — sight and taste. Most items were labeled, so we knew what we were sampling. Drinks, too, were no exception. If we didn’t see a wine or water or soft drink to our liking, the staff would try their best to find something to please.
Grosvenor House is home to several restaurants conveniently located throughout the building — all with varied menus from formal fare to casual dining. And all offered the same comfort we enjoyed in the lobby, room, and Concierge Lounge.
But one thing set this big-city hotel apart from others we’ve enjoyed: the advice we received from the concierge himself. When we sought help on transportation, he suggested sites we could see within walking distance of the hotel and helped us prioritize what to see in a limited amount of time. More specifically, he provided spot-on tips for purchasing an Oyster Card for public transportation, suggestions on how to hail a London taxi, and well-marked maps leading to all the best spots. (Like Hamleys Toy Store for Paddington Bear. It was Christmas, after all.) But it wasn’t just the concierge who was attentive. All staff seemed to take an interest in guests. The lady pictured below wanted to see the photos I took of the black doors on Park Street. (She even understood our Southern drawls. Well, we think she did.)
If you’re looking for a deluxe stay in London with a knowledgeable, caring staff, check out Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel. It offers a luxury stay, for sure. But with all the amenities, incomparable service, and useful advice, this could qualify as a bargain in many ways!
For more information:
Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, 86-90 Park Lane, London; +44-20-74996363; http://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/longh-grosvenor-house-a-jw-marriott-hotel/
Note: We were not reimbursed in any way by Marriott International or anyone at Grosvenor House for writing this post. All opinions are our own.