I have stayed at Grosvenor House many, many times and love that property. My cousin's wife who is very picky about hotels has stayed there as well, and absolutely loves it too. Matter of fact, she is the one that told me about the history of the property [see link below]. Up to that point, I was just staying there and enjoying.
Everytime I have stayed, they have put me in the Duchess Suite cause they don't have a concierge floor for platinum members. One time the entire floor was taken over by an oil sheikh as he had all his wives and daughters staying there. He had these guards dressed in traditional dress standing guard and checking everyone out coming on the floor from the stairs or the elevator. When I was on my way to Harrod's to shop, ran into the ladies leaving the hotel to shop as well.
Love the property and all the interesting guests staying there.
Another place I have stayed and love is the County Hall, another historical place, though not a historical hotel. It has a beautiful location with great views. They also upgraded me into a fabulous room.
I'm in the same predicament. I'll soon be making reservations for a five day stay in London with my two teens and am having trouble deciding where to stay. Jerry's personal favorite is County Hall but I think my kids would rather be in the Mayfair section of town due to its proximity to Oxford Street.
I've stayed at the Marriott at Grosvenor Square but found the rooms much too tight. Since I'll be using points for two rooms, I want something that's worthy of a Level 8. I've also stayed at Park Lane but wasn't terribly impressed with it.
Jerry, your input please.
That is a "Tough call"!
I like the JW Grosvenor and County Hall! Are you comfortable with the Tube? You have Westminster Station or Waterloo to get around London. Either spot will be great.
Mike, both have nice CL's, and I think a lot depends on what it costs you to stay at either place. Another thing to consider is the option of an upgraded room?
It's a "Tough call"! May I suggest you contact the hotels directly, via email, explain your situation and desires, and see who responds with the best situation for you?
The reason for my lousy stay at the Park Lane hotel the last time was the really poor room I got. It was tiny, faced a brick wall and had two single beds. I complained about it at the time but got the ubiquitous answer that they were full. I loved the location and the lounge however.
I may send a message to the GM at the Park Lane hotel telling him of that experience and see if he can guarantee me a decent room this time around. If he can then I'll probably stay there.
I agree Jerry. Have had fabulous upgrades at County Hall. Also at Grosvenor House. These are my 2 favorite go to hotels. Am just try St. Pancras cause I need to take the train out to Dover. Who knows. Maybe it will be a great property I return to over and over again. Or if its average, it becomes the place I use when I need to go by train.
If only I could stay longer...
am having to decide between trying out a new Marriott like St. Pancras, or going directly out to Dover where there is no Marriott, but a nice hotel on the ocean so I can explore. Decided if the relatives are in London, will stay there and visit, and if not will head out to the coast and explore.
For what it's worth in the midst of this thread, we stayed at the St. Pancras Renaissance last month and absolutely loved it. The staff were on their game, the room was quite comfortable, and the access to 6 different Underground lines just steps away was extremely convenient. I'd definitely stay there again!
I sent a message to the Park Lane asking them if I can have their assurance that I'd be given a "decent" room if I reserved there and the reply was that I would be given their basic "deluxe" room and that I "may request an upgrade upon check-in". That wasn't enough of an assurance for me and I'm afraid of getting stuck in another small, sunless room overlooking an alley that's given to patron's using points. Imagine that, by their own admittance they will only assign their basic room to a Plat member.
That said, I'll reserve at County Hall and stay in a section of London that I've never been before.
As an update to this thread, I contacted the GM of the Park Lane Marriott directly and described my situation.
He apologized for the poor room given to me on my last visit to the hotel and issued me his personal assurance that he will make things right the next time. He requested that I forward to him the reservation number so that he can flag the record. With that I proceeded to book the reservation for a five night stay next June and sent on the number. I received a reply that it was noted and that he looked forward to my visit.
Can I ask your advice, I am traveling in December for 1st visit with my family of 5 including 3 teen daughters, to Europe ever. 1 week in London and 1 week in Paris. Have booked Paris for great apartment for week and I have been looking over the Marriott site for days as well as multiple short term apartment rentals in London. Right now I have booked based on recommendations the County Hall with 1 room which will use more points than I have now but should have by December and 1 room hopefully to be adjoining. I am using all our points for 7 days which is 240,000 plus paying for the additional room if I go through with the reservation. I would feel better if I felt they would upgrade a gold member to executive floor but doubtful about that. In your experience as far as location in cold weather, and use of points for stay plus about $2500 for additional room should I go back to hunting for apartment?
Yes, I would look for an apartment in December. You really must remember that you may be in an out of the way location if you do. With one week in both London and Paris you will probably take the Eurostar to the Paris. This would lend itself to St. Pancras in London. Personally, I really enjoy County Hall, but keep an eye on rates using points. You may want to lock in a place on points and if you find some super apartment you can cancel the room. Just remember, location will be key for you especially in December with the group you have. The easier you make it for all of you to do what you want the better.
County Hall allows you the easiest walking visits along with having the Big Red tour bus at your door.
Lastly, why not contact the Concierge at the hotel directly and seek their take on your situation. You may be surprised at how they can help.
I just returned from the St. Pancras, and it is a lovely hotel in a wonderul location. My teenage niece and nephew would have loved it had they been there, as it is in a train station complex that is also a shopping mall, and London just outside the doors. I did travel light with a backpack and large carry-on, so was able to take the Underground from LHR terminal 4 right into the St. Pancras Terminal. This cost me GBP 5.3, so for 5 people would be GBP 26.5. I did use the baggage cart to get out to the train as they were heavily, and only walked a few steps to the train, past the barricade where I could not take the cart. I highly suspect I could have found a porter to do this had I had more baggage.
When you get to St. Pancras Station, the hotel is not well marked, but it is on the upper level, so take one of the elevators up, and walk to the end of the hall, which is also the end of the track, where the St. Pancras restaurant is. There is a doorman outside the restaurant, and also some table outside by the tracks. You walk through the restaurant to reception.
The staff is quite young, but very enthusiastic. Alex who checked me also gave me a mini-tour, and took me part way to my room. They bellman took the bags the rest of the way there. They have an official tour at noon & 3pm. Tea is served in the Chambers Club from 3-5:30pm. After tea are appetizers, followed by desserts. Breakfast is also served in the Chambers Club. In the morning the bellman took me and my luggage to the train. If your using the Eurostar, it will be very easy as its right outside the restaurant on the same level. For National Rail we had to go down the elevator, across the station and up the elevator to another platform, which took all of 5 minutes. The hotel did send the bellman with the baggage cart, and he helped but the luggage on the train. The website does advertise this service.
The only disappointment I had, was that while they upgraded me to a better room, they did not upgrade me to suites even though they were available. They did seem very apologetic, and after I left I noticed they credited my account with 1000 points [equivalent of $100]. Also, I went to eat in the dining room and it was crowded, so I ordered food to my room that never showed up. When I called down about dinner they were most apologetic, and sent what I ordered, and more, complimentary.
What a wonderful report.
Been to the hotel, but never stayed there, it really sounds like it has a lot going for it. The price to get there from LHR is fantastic. This is really a special place for people who know there way around London or like the Tube and Eurostar.
I would highly recommend trying this when you have a trip planned on the Eurostar as it is very convenient. Also, if you are on a short trip and don't have the time to get out and sightsee, you can feel like you did some touring by taking the hotel tour, and experiencing the country by shopping in the mall area.
Another thing I learned from someone on the cruise is that there are many grand old hotels at train stations throughout the UK. Most have not been renovated like the St. Pancras has been, so you can stay for a rather modest amount, if you don't mind the inconveniences of older properties that have very nice architecture to enjoy. I am thinking maybe a rail pass and a tour of these old properties.
Maybe Marriott might want to consider buying some of these and rennovating them.
Thanx PP for pointing this out!
I think I am still jet lagged, and need to go back and double-check my statment.
Also, I think I need to talk to the platinum line about the upgrade policy and how it was executed. It just seemed all too contrived. I felt like I was at the car dealership with the salesman running to the back office negotiating!
It was a very nice stay, but missed the 'WOW' factor that it could have had just because they chose to leave a suite vacant for a night instead of letting me use it??? I was only there 1 nite, arrived late, and left early. Most properties under these conditions usually give me their best suite, as they can quickly turn it around for use the next day.
Well, it was an interesting piece of info, as another MI wrote about this property and chalked it up to being a new hotel where the staff has not matured. When I arrived and saw how young they were, my 1st reaction was that the staff was just young and inexperienced. Then I observed that running to the back office to check on everything, and realized these decisions were coming from above, and that person was pretty cowardly for not coming outfront to discuss this with me in person as I am platinum elite. Instead they choose to send a young desk clerk to be the bearer of their bad news, and he knew it too. so did the bellman the day I checked in, and the next day when I checked out with another bellman. All three, in addition to the platinum line the day before told me there were unoccupied suites. Whoever that person is, they should be on the Wall of Shame, while I would place the front desk and bellhops on the Wall of Fame, as they went over and above trying to compensate for the bad decision of one of their superiors. Maybe they should be promoted to that position, and the decision maker should be given a job where they would be closer to the customers and get to know them better.
p.s. another thing I learned on my cruise was that in London there is this very cheap but nice chain that you can get a room for GBP 29 that several folks had used and liked. At that rate, I could stay alot longer if I could tolerate it. They also have properties in a handful of other European cities.
All-in-all, it was a great stay. The property itself is lovely and I can not complain about that. Its just that are platinum status and rewards points have been unofficially significanly downsized! Given the price of the property [~GBP 400-500 normally....AAA rate of GBP 260....weekend special of GBP 209...and I eventually used 40K points & GBP 40, witht the GBP being refunded to me eventually] I might make different decisions in the future. The cheaper chain [~GBP 29] are located at Paddington and Victoria stations, so with one train transfer I could save alot of money.
If you get an upgraded room (with a couch) the Grosvenor Square Marriott is exceptional. It's proximity to Oxford Street and the Bond Station Tube
will make your stay ideal. The executive lounge is in the basement, and is always well stocked and serviced. This location in London
(Westminster) is saturated with wealthy Arabs everywhere being transported in V12 Mercedes with chauffeurs, and 'personal shopping assistants' at Selfridges a block away. It's an enjoyable and eye opening experience for the common American. Be aware of the excessive prices of everything when compared to costs in the USA.
After trying to make London affordable multiple ways, I realized there was a reason it was not working out and decided to plan only 4 nights in London and 3 in Amsterdam before heading to Paris. The Marriott in Amsterdam is much more reasonable for point stay. I have also taken out credit cards from Hyatt one for me and one for my husband and will use their 2 free nights, no restrictions, to book a room in London for free for 4 nights. I am considering switching my loyalty to Hyatt and wondering what others think of their program. Also, are there any tips for traveling to and staying in Amsterdam? Thanks.
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