Review: the JW Marriott Grosvenor House hotel, London
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This is our review of the JW Marriott Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane, London.
The JW Marriott Grosvenor House (not to be confused with the nearby London Marriott Grosvenor Square) opened 94 years ago and is a stalwart of the Mayfair 5 star hotel scene.
The hotel has a long history of serving afternoon tea and my daughter and I were invited to stay overnight at the hotel and try the children’s ‘Grover’s Afternoon Tea’.
Where is the JW Marriott Grosvenor House?
Grosvenor House is situated on Park Lane and overlooks Hyde Park, or rather the Winter Wonderland amusement park if you visit just before Christmas as I did. It is less than 5 minutes’ walk from Marble Arch tube station and is walking distance from Bond Street and Oxford Street. Ultimately, it’s a very central location, a walk or short tube ride away from most central London attractions.
The main entrance to the hotel is impressive, with a short driveway lined with expensive cars and the odd taxi.
This entrance is off a side road that runs parallel to Park Lane. If you arrive at the hotel from Marble Arch or Park Lane you actually enter the back of the hotel. It is, however, very easy to walk through to the main entrance and there are helpful doormen at both entrances available to point you in the right direction.
Check-in was very smooth and didn’t take long. We were directed to our room on the 2nd floor via some gold lifts, and found our bedroom very quickly
Bedrooms at JW Marriott Grosvenor House
I had asked for a twin room and a travel cot and I was pleased to find the room as I requested – my personal experience of requesting travel cots is that it’s 50/50 that they are there when you arrive.
This room is sold as a Family Room and was sizeable, with plenty of space to move about.
There were two decent sized windows. Whilst Hyde Park could be seen, it was over a less glamourous view of the air conditioning and ventilation units.
The overall room decor was a little on the bland side for my personal taste, but everything was fresh and seemingly recently painted and I liked the heavy light-blocking curtains.
The beds were small doubles which I found very comfortable with plenty of pillows on each. There wasn’t an easily accessible plug socket between the beds so I had to charge my phone at the desk which was not ideal.
I was delighted by the child-sized dressing gown and mini slippers with Grosvenor House’s signature children’s icon, Grover the English Bulldog. I kept the slippers as they were rather adorable and seemingly single-use.
Facing the beds was a TV on a large cabinet containing the mini fridge and tea-making bits and pieces, along with some glasses. There was no coffee machine, but there was a small kettle with packets of instant coffee and coffee. I have become used to having a coffee machine at 5* hotels so I was a little surprised by this and think it is an enhancement the hotel should consider.
There was a good desk with plenty of plug sockets and lots of room for a laptop. I liked that it had a desk lamp too, which I find are useful but not a given in a hotel room.
This room won hands down for storage over any other hotel room I’ve stayed in (including, amazingly, the mega-suite I had in Bangkok).
The wardrobes stretched across the full length of the room, effectively the size of three wardrobes side-by-side. They housed a safe, ironing board, hairdryer, umbrella and still had lots of room to spare.
Now I have to admit that this bathroom was pretty challenging to photograph, and whilst I did my best by climbing on a windowsill, the photos don’t capture the shower in particular.
Running along the width of the bedroom and entered through a small entrance area by the room’s front door, the bathroom was long and thin. There was a large double shower running along half of the room, which was roomy and had nicely powerful, flexible showerhead.
There was just a single basin. Whilst I would have preferred a bigger wash basin or double sink, there was a useful wide ledge running next to the unit where you could store several washbags.
Dinner at JW Marriott Grosvenor House
There are three restaurants at JW Marriott Grosvenor House: JW Steakhouse, Corrigan’s Mayfair, serving “quintessential British and Irish dishes” and Ruya London, specialising in Anatolian cuisine. We had a table reserved at the JW Steakhouse for dinner, which as the name would indicate, specialises in American steaks and bourbons.
I’ll be honest, we did find it a bit strange looking at a menu of imported American steaks when you can easily find high-quality British beef, and my guest was keen to select from the small selection of more local options. As a fish-eating veggie, I had less of a moral quandary but surprisingly for a steakhouse, plenty to choose from.
I had an enormous plate of smoked salmon to start which was excellent.
My guest had scallops, but did find them a little salty.
My guest went for the fillet steak – they come in a variety of sizes and she wanted a a small 6oz.
I had a lentil chilli which was hearty and warming (not pictured).
We were far too full for dessert, although we enjoyed a glass of wine instead from the restaurant’s large wine list.
Breakfast was also hosted at the JW Steakhouse the following morning. Both my companion and I went for the buffet breakfast, which was really very good. There was plenty of choice and it was very neatly laid out.
Unlike dinner, efforts had clearly been made to use quality UK suppliers for the hot food, such as the Chiswick-based Macken Brothers for the sausages and St Ewes eggs.
The bakery section was plentiful. After such a big dinner, I fought the urge to go for a delicious looking Chelsea bun.
Special shout-out to the homemade granola – it was really very good.
My daughter really enjoyed the selection of fresh fruit.
My only ‘complaint’ was that there was an excellent smoothie selection, but located on the opposite side of the large dining room to all the other food. I only discovered this at the very end of breakfast.
Afternoon Tea at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House
Afternoon tea is hosted in the Park Room at Grosvenor House, a beautiful room that faces towards Hyde Park. It is a popular spot, particularly in the weeks leading up to Christmas and was pretty busy so you need to allow enough time to relax and enjoy it..
My companions and I enjoyed the Festive Afternoon Tea, which was a lovely way to get into the Christmas spirit and to stretch our stomachs in preparation.
The tea featured a fun amuse-bouche of cranberry and candy floss.
There was a large selection of jams, with some less-common flavours such as rhubarb and ginger and rose petal.
The Festive tea comes with the usual scones and sandwiches.
However, the cakes were certainly festive and featured a carrot cake snowman and Christmas cake ‘santa’. They were very good.
My daughter had the Grover Children’s Tea, a specific menu and experience for children under 12.
She was given her own special place setting, with an adorable dog to take home (who has swiftly become a firm favourite of hers) and a little jigsaw. The children’s menu comes with a set of dog themed cakes, such as a dog-shaped chocolate mousse cake.
We had to have doggy bags as there was so much food, and it was all delicious. The tea menu itself was very extensive with a huge array of leaf teas, herbal teas, green teas and so on.
As a place to stay with a family, I felt the JW Marriott Grosvenor House hit all the marks. The family room was a really good size and additions like the mini dressing gown and slippers were really thoughtful and useful.
I thought the breakfast was particularly good for a hotel of Grosvenor House’s size, and we really enjoyed it.
For an upmarket afternoon tea, especially in the lead-up to Christmas, the Park Room was ideal and the children’s version looked excellent. As my daughter is still quite little, we ended up just giving her the sandwiches and in some ways it was wasted on her. However, for an older child, I think it would be a really wonderful special treat and I hope to take my daughter there when she’s a bit older.
Rooms start at around £370 for Marriott Bonvoy members, with a Family Room starting at about £475, but clearly this moves around sharply from week to week. In terms of redemptions, a stay in a Family Room like mine seems to hover around 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can see more about the hotel at their website here.
Thanks very much to Aria and the team at the JW Marriott Grosvenor for their hospitality.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (March 2023)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
Marriott Bonvoy American Express
20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)