Getting invited to test and review Grosvenor House’s Nursery Suite, especially when I am not a mother (yet), was.. hum.. interesting, to say the least. But the fact that I don’t have a baby in my house (so to speak), doesn’t mean that I don’t have others around me (pretty little things that I love) or can’t appreciate it. So, here’s how I slept like a baby…in London!
In time with the Royal Baby, which is due this summer, the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, part of JW Marriott, recently launched its nursery suite – aimed, obviously, at yummy parents with lovely children. Designed by the lovely Lucinda of Dragons of Walton Street, the result is an extremely well-appointed suite, with great views and plenty of room to play.
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
I was actually invited to stay via twitter, so the answer has to be yes!
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
Absolutely, pre-arrival I was getting quite excited. The promise of “sleeping like a baby” did strike a chord!
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
It was very discreetly done, and I really appreciated it.
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
The “back” entrance of Grosvenor House (which is the one not on Park Lane), is always special. I have stayed previously at this hotel for the BAFTAs and it has something. No movie stars for me this time – but boy, was the lobby busy! I walked in to the hotel, ahead of a busy day in London, at around 9am, which much be prime check-out time. It actually gave more personality to the hotel, it really felt alive!
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
I checked-in when I returned to the hotel mid-afternoon. I waited around 2-3 minutes and I even got to check-in in Portuguese – which was rather strange for both me and the front-desk staff, as we were clearly more comfortable to do it in English. It was a happy coincidence and quite funny.
– 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)
I was, with special emphasis on the Portuguese part of my name.
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
I was there to try the new Nursery Suite and that was exactly what I got!
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
I did – I had left my luggage with the concierge and everyone was lovely.
– 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 and just took it to my room.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
Basic Wi-fi is free to all registered guests and there is also a BT-Wifi hotspot.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
It was all ohhhhhhhh, ahhhhhh, how sweet, how lovely! This is definitely a very different hotel room. I can’t tell you how well the yellow worked for a baby room (I promise you, it looked so peaceful!). The bedroom was also very soothing for the parents, I can assure you. The suite was large and with great views of Hyde Park.
– Welcome amenity
Well, not fit for a baby (obviously), but I must say I loved the lovely Gin & Tonics that were there to welcome me on arrival!
– The bed
The bed was huge and perfect for a morning cuddle with the children. The pillows were great.
– 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.
All good, with plenty of space for parents and children.
– Iphone Charger/Dock
There was a Bosé dock, perfect for a bit of music or recharge the batteries.
– Bathrobes and slippers
Lovely, but I did not use.
– Coffee and Tea
Obviously, in the lounge area.
– Free bottled water
At night, with the turndown service.
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
I loved the Grosvenor House book, which tells you a bit about the history of this classic London hotel. A very nice touch.
– 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.
There were quite a few around the suite, which was handy (especially as children nowadays come with more and more devices!).
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
It was a classic bathroom – all nice and proper and spacious, but it has not been renovated with the rest of the suite.
– 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?
It had a bath (for obvious reasons) and no walk-in shower. I would have preferred both, but understand it could be quite difficult to make it work.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
There were plenty and they were baby soft.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
I loved the non-baby sized Penhaligons. A UK classic and a favourite of ours. The Quercus range can also be found in other other areas and it was a really nice touch. I was impressed.
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
It was all there and beautifully displayed.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
I used it and it was good.
We were also invited to try the fab JW Steakhouse, which was so so wonderfully weird, I can’t tell you! Within seconds, we did feel like we were somewhere in the USA – which is pretty much the objective. Dark oak floors and walls, spacious and inviting – I really liked the room (which doubles up as a breakfast room in the mornings).
We loved the crab cake and the lumb of crab on ice (give me anything with crabmeat and I will be on my best behaviour!) and really appreciated the steak selection – both USA and UK based. A really nice touch.
The star of the show was obviously the cheesecake. I couldn’t move.. but I couldn’t resist!.
– Décor of breakfast room
Breakfast takes place at the JW Steakhouse which is more of an evening venue, but transformed quite nicely.
– The spread (inc yumminess)
It was great, with eggs and cooked items made to order (a la carte)
It was included in my room rate.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
Wi-fi was quite good and worked well.
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
It did, and it was quite interesting.
Bang on Park Lane, you really can’t ask for a better location. As most of my day was spent in Mayfair, it was truly perfect.
– Cost – rooms starting from…
Standard rooms cost from £269 per night. The nursery suite starts at £1,700 per night and guests are also able to select from three packages starting from £2,230 per night: Clarence (one night), Windsor (two nights) and Buckingham (three nights).
Guests who choose the premium Buckingham package will enjoy a full baby concierge service including: pick up from the airport, an evening of childcare, dinner for two in JW Steakhouse, pampering treatments for both parents, a private consultation with one of the Dragons of Walton Street’s head designers, a private tour of Buckingham Palace (date dependent) as well as a personal shopping trip at Harrods.
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
Yes, and we could take our godsons and have a blast!
– Would I stay again?
Absolutely, and hopefully will bring some additional baby guests.
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of JW 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. For more information about Dragons of Walton Street, just click here.