Arrival/Check-In: How many people can say they stayed in the building where Queen Elizabeth II learned how to skate at the age of 7? Well, I can. I stayed several nights at Grosvenor House on Park Lane, which had an ice rink in its basement for the first five years of its existence. The rink closed in 1934 and was demolished to make way for The Great Room, the largest ballroom in Europe, which is the venue for many prestigious gala events in London.
I arrived at the hotel’s exclusive entrance off Park Place, which runs parallel to Park Lane, after a long circuitous flight from New York; I was weary, to say the least. I arrived earlier than expected and my room was not quite ready, so I was escorted to the Executive Lounge, a private lounge for premium guests, to sit back and have some refreshment while I waited. Once the room was ready, I checked in while in the lounge, after which I was shown to my premium park view suite on the fifth floor.
Checking in at Grosvenor House was such a pleasant experience that I was restored to my usual genial self by the time I got in my room.
Guest Quarters: My suite consisted of a good-sized sitting room and a large bedroom and bathroom. The sitting room, which had two windows overlooking Hyde Park, included a big sofa, several overstuffed chairs, a coffee table, a large-screen TV and a big desk with desktop outlets.
My bedroom featured a king-sized bed, another large desk with desktop outlets, a desk chair, an overstuffed chair and ottoman, and a dresser on which a large-screen TV sat. The bathroom had a large vanity, a tub/shower and a wall-mounted towel warmer, which is greatly appreciated no matter the season. The toiletries were Quercus.
Services/Amenities: The hotel gym is open 24 hours and has a good variety of equipment, including treadmills, bikes, free weights and machines. The Grosvenor is a popular place for meetings and events in London, with the largest ballroom in Europe, another ballroom and 30 other meeting/events rooms.
There are several dining and drinking options in Grosvenor House. One night I had dinner at the JW Steakhouse, an American-style steakhouse, and it was superb. I highly recommend it if you enjoy a great steak. JW’s also houses The Bourbon Bar, which includes the largest selection of bourbon outside of Kentucky.
The Experience: It is rare when one can say one’s stay could not have been better, but this was the case for my two nights at Grosvenor House. The hotel itself is a landmark on Park Lane, and its location is ideal for the business traveler as well as the leisure traveler. The staff played a huge part in making my stay so pleasurable. They were accommodating and seemed to have a sixth sense in anticipating my needs. I would stay at Grosvenor House in a nanosecond and will recommend it to my friends.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Separate tub and shower
- Large vanity
- High-quality towels
- Powerful, unattached hair dryer
- High-quality bed linens
- Large, flat-screen television
- Large desk with convenient outlets
- Complimentary in-room WiFi
- Complimentary bottled water
- Stocked minibar
- Ample lighting
- In-room coffeemaker
- Iron and ironing board
- On-site restaurant and bar
- 24-hour room service
- Large, complimentary laptop safe
- State-of-the-art fitness center
Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel
Mount Street and Park Lane
London W1K 7TN
tel 44 20 7499 6363
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PHOTO: © ADRIAN OLSTAD
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