There are some hotel brands which come with pre-conceptions. But things are changing – and the large hotel chains are going through personality changes, like we all do. When Marriott’s PR team invited me to try their hotel in Grosvenor Square, I wasn’t so sure – but the location was fantastic (for my life in London) and they quite rightly pointed out that I had enjoyed previous stays at the St. Pancras Renaissance and the JW Marriott’s Grosvenor House (where I got to play with dolls and drink gin in the nursery suite). These are all Marriott brands (as is the sexy and brand spanking new London Edition, which I have also tried, loved and will be reviewing soon here on the blog).
And do you know what? I discovered a gem in London. So going out of one’s comfort zone does pay off sometimes – here is how my stay at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel went.
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
Yes there was. The hotel stay was sorted weeks before, but having arrived from a long trip where I had some luggage issues, I did get in touch with the hotel the day before as I needed to ensure that some of the items that were in my luggage could be provided. I am never one to ask for much, but I really needed some hair straighteners (usually mine, of course!) and a good hairdryer. The hotel’s guest team were lovely and told me not to worry as they obviously have good hair dryers and have hair straighteners available for guests (on request). It is something silly, but I really appreciated the gesture.
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
Interestingly, the hotel engaged with me, days before my arrival, saying they were looking forward to having me stay. Usually, I ‘take the first step’, and have to confess I was quite surprised. Pleasantly, of course.
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
I volunteered some (see above)!
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
With such a traditional exterior (appropriate for the area, of course), I have to confess I wasn’t expecting the multimedia wall which dominates the lobby, which is quite compact. It is quite a feature and it adds a touch of ‘modernity’. I then approached the check-in desk, and it would be fair to say that it had quite a different style.
It would be fair to say that it was an interesting combination of old and new, a theme that continued throughout the hotel.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
I arrived at the hotel at 8am, not expecting to check in at all. I had a busy day in London and just wanted to leave my suitcase. I was indeed surprised to know that my room was ready so early in the day. The reception team was very good (not just on check-in, but throughout our stay).
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
Yes I was, and as I checked in, the guest services team came to greet me and escort me to my room.
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
I had no idea what room type I was assigned. During my stay, I had a Club Balcony Room.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
Very good throughout the whole stay.
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know
I had a small carry-on bag and took it with me to the room.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
Wi-fi is not free of charge, but my room rate included Club Lounge Access and Internet (this is also given to those with the appropriate status on the Marriott loyalty programme).
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
I was really surprised and quite impressed. It was really modern but subtle and I loved the bed! It looked very welcoming and do not get me started on the outdoor space – a lovely surprise in London, I have to say.
– Welcome amenity
I had different welcomes on each day of my stay, but I had to say, this was the sweetest. I loved the cheese selection and the quince liqueur, paired with the coffee mousse and the macarons. And a glass of wine, of course.
– The bed
The bed was lovely and uber comfortable. The pillows were also very good and we slept really well.
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
Everything was fine in this department.
– Iphone Charger/Dock
There was an iPhone dock for iPhone 4s, which Mr. O used.
– Bathrobes and slippers
Yes, of course, and slippers were brought to the side of the bed on turndown.
– Coffee and Tea
Yes, there was a kettle and a selection of teas and coffee, which I did not use.
– Free bottled water
Yes and changed daily.
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
Not very inspiring, I have to say (Where magazine). But to be fair, a lot of ‘proper’ magazines and newspapers could be found at the Club Lounge.
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
Not a problem, all very easy.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
The bathroom cannot be faulted in any way – it was white and modern. I quite liked the bathtub which would let you overlook the room and the fireplace should you be that way inclined.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
All state of the art, as they should be. The shower was outstanding.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
They were fine, but not amazing. A little room for improvement here.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
We had baby L’Occitane toiletries, which is a solid brand with good quality products.
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
Very good shower cap and I did like the nail file.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
It was good and so were the hair straighteners that the hotel let me borrow during my stay.
For rooms and guest with Club Lounge access, breakfast is served in this room (as are snacks and drinks during the day). I have to confess I found the room a bit soulless – possibly as it had no natural light. It wasn’t busy when we visited either during the day or at night, but we didn’t feel inspired to spend a lot of time in this room.
During the rest of my stay, I chose the Maze Grill, which offers a buffet and a la carte options. To be very honest, the eggs on all occasions (including when made to order), were not impressive and really were ‘hotel eggs’. There was a good bread selection, but the fruit not so much. I was expecting more and was not very impressed, to be honest.
I do not know how I have never heard about this place. With a separate entrance from the hotel, the Luggage Room was one of the nicest bar surprises I have ever had. It was lovely – a bit dark (loved the decor), sexy and very comfortable. We loved it and have been back since our stay. Service was outstanding (we needed a lot of help selecting the cocktails as the selection was vast). If you find yourself in this part of town (the lovely Mayfair), do go as you won’t be disappointed in any way.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
I did not have a problem during my stay.
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
Outstanding – you are in one of London’s most iconic squares, in the heart of Mayfair. And steps from Oxford Street….
– Cost – rooms starting from…
Standard rooms start from £209 and Club Balcony rooms from £429 per night. Outstanding value for money.
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
I would without a problem.
– Would I stay again?
Yes indeed. The room was really good and comfortable, service was also spotless and we adored the bar.
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Marriott Hotels during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property. For more information about the hotel, visit its official website.