FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

The Grand America Hotel

Feb 1, 2012
2012 / February 2012

Arrival/Check-in: Upon our arrival, a doorman came out to welcome and usher us inside for a speedy registration. Salt Lake City’s only 5-star hotel earns the “grand” in its name. Built for Utah’s 2002 Olympic Games, it was designed and furnished with artwork and antiques personally selected by owners Earl and Carol Holding, who traveled the world not only to select specific pieces but also to oversee artisans’ crafting of custom furnishings and architectural details. In the entry, magnificent, handwoven Aubusson tapestries hang behind the registration and concierge desks; the gray and white Italian Fior di Pesco marble floor and walls are book- and end-matched; a Barovier and Tosso chandelier, custom-crafted from handblown Murano glass, shines above an Italian gold-leaf credenza with a green marble top. Such art and antique riches accent all public spaces.

Guest Quarters: Our 14th-floor, executive king suite had an entry area with a closet and a spacious living room with a richly upholstered sofa bookended by tables and grouped with armchairs around a coffee table, all within view of the large-screen TV hidden in a cabinet. A wall of draped glass windows included doors opening onto a balcony. French doors opened to the bedroom, which included another flat-screen TV. A walk-in closet area with shelving, safe and large vanity sink separated the bedroom from the Italian marble bath, with separate bathtub and glass shower and a water closet.

Original artwork accented the walls; English wool carpeted the bedroom and living room floors; down comforters and pillows topped the bed. We found outlets plentiful, both by the elegant desk and throughout the room; and excellent lighting, with most lamps having three settings. The whole room was elegant, inviting and extremely comfortable. All rooms have marble baths, dual-line phones and free WiFi.

I toured the hotel’s smallest room, which at 700 square feet is extremely spacious but lacks French doors separating the bedroom from the seating area. Suites with kitchens are also available.

Services/Amenities: We ordered a light, room service dinner. When I requested two forks to split an entrée salad, the order-taker asked if we wanted it split on two plates. Perfect! It arrived, as promised, within 45 minutes. As we waited for dinner, an attendant offered turndown, which included chocolates, plush robes and slippers.

The Grand America has a full-service spa; a well-equipped fitness center; indoor and outdoor heated pools; a business center; a men’s haberdashery; a women’s boutique; a French patisserie shop with homemade ice cream, pastries and chocolates; and a truly imaginative and engaging toy store. There are three dining options: the Garden Café restaurant; the Lobby Lounge, where afternoon tea is served daily; and the Gibson Girl Lounge, with a big-screen plasma TV. Complimentary coffee is available in the lobby in the morning but, alas, not tea.

Information about the hotel’s art is available from the concierge. Among other significant pieces are the largest handcrafted bronze and crystal Moscatelli chandeliers ever made, oils by Henri Bouvet, a Napolean III Boule clock, a 19th-century Louis XVI gold-leaf mirror, Besler botanicals, and handtinted Audubon lithographs.

The Experience: Staying at The Grand America is an immersion into Old World European elegance without stuffiness, complemented by topnotch service and exceptional amenities.

GT Checklist

  • Doorman/valet
  • Less than 10 minutes for check-in
  • Separate tub/shower
  • Large vanity
  • High-quality towels
  • Large, flat-screen TV
  • Large desk with convenient outlets
  • Complimentary in-room WiFi
  • Ample lighting
  • High-quality bed linens
  • Choice of pillows
  • Powerful, unattached hair dryer
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Easy-to-set alarm clock
  • On-site restaurant and bar
  • 24-hour room service
  • In-room coffeemaker
  • Large, complimentary laptop safe

The Grand America Hotel

555 S. Main St.
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
tel 800 304 8696
www.grandamerica.com

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