As part of my guide to the best luxury hotel club and executive lounges in London I am writing a review of the newly renovated, (in late 2014), and extended executive lounge at the Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel, on Park Lane, right in the centre of London.
The entrance to the Grosvenor House’s lounge is on the ground floor, reached by following some stairs adjacent to the hotel’s reception area. Climb up the marble staircase and enter through a keyed glass door to reach this spacious lounge. After entry, your eyes are immediately drawn to an attractive floor to ceiling media wall showing colourful videos shot in Hyde Park. These videos change so that the colours and scenes that you see on the wall depict those of the current season – during our stay an autumnal montage was on display. I love little touches like this. In fact this concept is also used in the new and exclusive British Airways Concorde Bar & Lounge at Singapore Airport.
To your right sits a welcoming concierge beyond which, the lounge opens up to reveal some private meeting rooms to the left and 2 large communal lounges to the right, the latter of which backs onto the food and drinks offering. The natural creams and oatmeals make the lounge feel relaxing, plentiful sofa style seats arranged in groups of 2 to 6 offer guests plenty of room to relax. There is also shared dining table area for about 10 guests. Lighting is subtle but not dim. Mirrors, glass work and ornaments are strategically placed to accentuate the space and form wall coverings and divisions. A fireplace is lit throughout the day and the temperature is a comfortable 23’C. Although there are no windows in this lounge, the interior design is such that I didn’t really notice the lack of natural light. One unusual thing about the lounge is the slight rumble of tube trains passing below from time to time, serving to remind guests that they’re in the heart of London.
The food offering in the executive lounge at the JW Marriott, London is generous. The morning spread includes scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, sausages, cereal and hot porridge. The main island area showcases a large array of pastries, fruit and charcuterie and cheeses. Also on offer are Actimel drinks and yoghurts as well as juices and coffees. The breakfast is self-service but there is plenty of room and collecting the food is enjoyable.
Throughout the day the food offering remains generous with cakes, cookies and scones with jam and cream (see pictures below). I can recommend the lemon drizzle cake – it is good enough to merit a second slice. There is also an all-day snack offering of nuts smarties, sweeties and crisps.
In the evening a filling array of meal choices are on offer. For example on Friday night, the food included a tasty vegetable noodle dish in soy sauce, a lamb curry with rice, a cold noodle salad, cheeses, breads and crackers, followed by some slices of deliciously good cake about an hour later.
Throughout the day there is a large selection of teas, coffees, plenty of still and sparkling water, Britvic juices and Pepsi. In the evening there is an additional selection of wines, champagne and bottles of Stella Artois. All offerings are replenished regularly and were still available at 9.30, unlike other executive lounges in London that limit drinks to very early happy hour times.
The lounges environment is enjoyable and never too busy, the staff friendly and helpful, it really is a pleasant place to work, hold a meeting or just relax. The food offering is impressive, tasty and extensive enough to keep you full. If you do choose to eat out, the JW Steakhouse just up the corridor is well worth a visit, offering huge and tasty portions including very large steaks for around £20 GBP a main.
Is this the best hotel club lounge in London? The lack of natural light, although not a problem, means no window seats are available to while away the day watching London go by. However, for me, this is the only imperfection. The lounge at the JW Grosvenor House definitely falls in my top 3 best executive lounges in London, alongside that of the Langham and the Intercontinental hotels. The advantage the JW lounge has over its competition is that you can gain access purely because of your Marriott status, (free access is gained if you hold Gold or Platinum status). To access the executive lounges of the Intercontinental and Langham you have to pay for a high-end room or pay an additional fee to gain access regardless of your status.
An excellent executive lounge, in itself reason enough for me to add the JW Grosvenor House to my list of preferred London hotels. I will return.
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