Before traveling to Birmingham recently to attend the Best of Britain & Ireland trade show, Luxury Travel Advisor checked into the Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel in London. The stately hotel on Park Lane was built in 1927 to accommodate the first transatlantic cruise passengers. To this day, the 494 spacious guest rooms are outfitted with an impressive amount of closet space, a vestige from the days when passengers disembarked the ocean-liners with huge trunks and hat boxes.
Grosvenor House is the largest five-star hotel in London, and its Great Room—formerly an Art Deco ice skating rink—is one of Europe’s largest ballrooms, with a capacity of over 2000 guests. From the annual Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair to the British Association of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards, the Great Room is known for hosting its share of star-studded events. In addition, the hotel has 31 individual function rooms.
There’s a long tradition of American clientele appreciating the Grosvenor House; Orson Welles, Jacqueline Kennedy, Henry Kissinger and Ella Fitzgerald number among the distinguished guests. During our stay we checked out various room categories (Superior, Deluxe Suite, Executive Suite, Premium Park View) and found that there’s a consistency to the product. Amenities are pretty uniform (bright marble bathrooms, boldly colored furnishings, private bars, flat screen TVs, and dual voltage 240/110v power outlets); the only difference is the size of the room. Tip: All Executive Rooms and Suites get access to the 7th floor Executive Lounge where a hot breakfast buffet is served, along with snacks throughout the day and evening. Nice perk: A large number of rooms at Grosvenor House are connecting, ideal for families traveling together.
Verdict: The sheer size of the hotel makes it a good choice for hosting groups and staging large events. The location—just steps from Hyde Park—is another plus. And the JW Steakhouse gets good reviews for its hand-cut selections of dry-aged American USDA prime beef, grilled to perfection. With the same corporate parent company as Ritz-Carlton Hotels, JW Marriott properties are also considered “five-star deluxe”—but distinguish themselves with the motto: “approachable luxury.”
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