We Love London: Grosvenor House

GH Park Lane

Spotlight: Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel
Park Lane


As I step delicately from my cab onto the pavement in front of Grosvenor House’s main entrance, my eye is immediately drawn to the gold-plated crest emblazoned on the property’s wrought iron gates. A doorman greets my cabbie with a smile and proceeds to whisk my luggage into the massive lobby of the hotel. I can hear my heels tap tapping on the marble as I make my across the room to the check-in counter. Within minutes, I am on the lift en route to my suite (one of 74 in the hotel), which just so happens to overlook Hyde Park.

The étoile wallpaper and opulent furnishings—think rich, red cushions, Art Deco marble bathrooms and thick, cream-colored curtains—act as an homage to the hotel’s storied history. (In fact, the inspiration behind the majority of the décor can be found in the hotel archives.) Sprawled out on the enormous king-size bed, I can understand why celebrities and dignitaries have flocked to Grosvenor House for all these years: I feel quite like a princess.

Premium Park View Suite


Speaking of princesses, Queen Elizabeth II was a frequent visitor at Grosvenor House when she was a small child. In fact, she learnt to ice skate on the rink that used to be housed in what is now The Great Room. A painting that hangs in the lobby shows The Great Room as it was in the hotel’s youth: Hundreds of figures, all robed in the finest silks and jewels, skate and swirl around the rink—a dizzying blur of color that perfectly captures the spirit of decadence that is ever-present at Grosvenor House.

The word “decadence” can be used to describe more than the furnishings, though—the food at Grosvenor House is simply divine. Guests arriving in the afternoon would be wise to sit down for a cup of tea. From 17 June to 12 July, the hotel will host daily Wimbledon-themed afternoon teas in honor of the celebrated Wimbledon Tennis Championship. The menu for this special service includes an assortment of delicate pastries, finger sandwiches and scones made in true British style (Devonshire clotted cream included). Tea time is a regular treat at Grosvenor House, though. Even children can sit down for a cuppa (and leave with their very own Grover, a plush toy named after the hotel’s eponymous bulldog).

If tea time isn’t on the itinerary, though, follow my lead and sit down for dinner at JW Steakhouse. As an American in London, I am trying my best to eschew the types of food I would normally find at restaurants back home in favor of trying out true, British dishes. Apparently, though, American steak is kind of a big deal, even across the Pond.


JW Steakhouse Blackboard


The walls of the JW Steakhouse serve as a giant menu board. The items are written in chalk, which is a good thing, since the menu varies with the season and the types of beef available. Not feeling a T-bone? Don’t fret—the restaurant is famous for it’s signature steak: The Tomahawk. This impressive 32-ounce, on-the-bone rib-eye is the Mother of All Steaks. It’s massive—I swear, the thing might actually be the size of my head.

Seeing as how a steak of that size is much too much for someone like me, I opt for a sample of a smaller fillet. My meal is rounded out with a mistmatched menagerie of side dishes, which include onion rings, scalloped potatoes and roasted vegetables. Although I try to be healthy by ordering vegetables, all my good intentions are flung unceremoniously out the window as my waiter brings out one of the restaurant’s now-famous cheesecakes. (After all, if it’s good enough for Johnny Depp—a fan of both the restaurant and this cheesecake—then it’s definitely good enough for me.) And good it most certainly is.

As I stagger back to my room (on the verge of a food coma), I remember the soft, luxurious robes and state-of-the-art shower waiting for me back in my suite and let out a small, satisfied sigh. This is the life.