A CITY BREAK ON PARK LANE

The Grosvenor House is the perfect location for few days’ getaway to enjoy everything London has to offer

Grosvenor House, which was rebranded as a JW Marriott Hotel in 2008, opened its doors in 1929 when London was dramatically changing to become a bustling commercial metropolis. Albert Octavius Edwards was the investor who conceived and built the hotel, employing architects L. Rome Guthrie and Sir Edwin Luytyens to carry out the development. Edwards left his mark on the shape of the building – from a bird’s eye view the initials AO can clearly be seen. The hotel’s Great Room, originally an ice rink where a seven-year-old Queen Elizabeth II learnt to skate, has been one of the largest banqueting spaces in Europe since the 1930s and even played host as the US officers’ mess in 1943.

ACCOMMODATION

After a four-year, multi-million pound restoration in 2008, Grosvenor House boasts 420 guest rooms and 74 suites. All are elegantly furnished with rich, muted colours, contrasted with crisp, cream walls and Art Deco-style bathrooms, many of them retaining the original features of the building. One of London’s most desirable hotels, the interior is timeless and elegant, with light and well proportioned rooms offering breathtaking views of Hyde Park. The hotel also has an array of culinary experiences – enjoy an award-winning afternoon tea in the Park Room, a liqueur at the Library Bar, cocktails in the Red Bar or, in keeping with the hotels Anglo-American connection, dinner at JW Steakhouse.

LOCATION

Situated in the heart of London, with a desirable Park Lane address, Grosvenor House is a five-minute walk to Oxford Street, and a 20-minute walk to Buckingham Palace.

Travel log ……. October

First impressions

As we approached the hotel, we were astounded by the grand exterior architecture of the historical property. After a warm greeting, we were instantly struck by our luxurious surroundings and the beautiful displays of seasonal flowers throughout the lobby.

What we did

We dropped off our bags in our well-appointed suite, with a magnificent view of Hyde Park, then headed off to the Fitness Centre to try out the high-tech Star Trac equipment. After earning our dinner, we dressed for the evening and ventured down to the Red Bar for a refreshing cocktail, accompanied by beautiful music from a pianist. We moved on to a meal at JW Steakhouse – the hotel’s signature restaurant. At its own Bourbon Bar, we indulged in another delectable cocktail on the terrace, before going inside to enjoy a delicious steak and mouth-watering cheesecake. After a good night’s sleep, we took advantage of the buffet breakfast before heading off for a busy day of sightseeing and shopping.

Highlight

With a classic and contemporary decor, our lavish suite, with its own lounge, remained true to the hotel’s history and grandeur with many of the beautiful original features still in place.

OXFORD STREET

Just a five-minute walk from Grosvenor House is the infamous Oxford Street. Renowned for its world-class shopping, vibrant ambiance and endless selection of entertainment, it truly is the ultimate shopping destination. With over one and a half miles of high-street brands, including Topshop, Gap and River Island, and endless iconic department stores such as Selfridges, John Lewis, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer, it’s a shoppers’ paradise!

HYDE PARK

Acquired by Henry VIII in 1536 to satisfy a royal passion for hunting, over the years, Hyde Park has become a place where people have pursued many other pleasures. It is one of London’s eight Royal Parks and sits opposite Grosvenor House. It covers 350 acres and is home to a number of landmarks, including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers’ Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. From swimming and boating, to concerts and exhibitions, there’s plenty for all. Plus it also offers some great green routes, taking cyclists away from the hustle and bustle and through some of the most attractive areas of the capital.

AFTERNOON TEA

No trip to London would be complete without afternoon tea. Set in a typically British stately home environment with beautiful views of Hyde Park, the Park Room at Grosvenor House is an idyllic location to enjoy this quintessentially British custom. Suited to many tastes, there is a variety of three-tiered afternoon tea options – including Anna’s afternoon tea, which is named after the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who is understood to be responsible for this well-loved tradition – as well as an à la carte menu or cocktails at the bar. If you feel like treating yourself, add some sparkle with a glass of champagne.

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