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LUXURY IN LONDON
The Grosvenor Hotel (London)
Member Name: SweetTooth93
The Grosvenor Hotel (London)
Advantages: Brilliant rooms, service, food, internet etc
I'm a huge fan of London and have been on many occasions this year. This means i've been able to experience very different ranges of hotels. One I've recently tried is the Grosvenor in London.
===Getting to the hotel===
We had absolutely no problem finding the hotel. We took the train from our hometown, to King's Cross in London. We only had to wait around ten minutes in a queue to get two underground tickets, which came to a very reasonable £6. We then took the underground to Victoria, which only took around 10 minutes and didn't require any changing of tube routes. My grandma, although having not stayed in this part of London before, had a very good idea of where the hotel was in relation to the underground. It wouldn't have been a problem even if she hadn't of known, as; as soon as we rose up from the underground stairs we were met by a large sign with a huge black arrow on it stating "The Grosvenor". We followed the sign and within literally a minute, we were outside the hotel.
===First impressions and checking in===
The hotel, from the outside was utterly huge, and extremely beautiful. It reminded me very much of a palace, it was a creamy brown colour and looked incredibly posh. The front door was obvious to see. We were met at the door by an Italian (?) man who kindly offered to take our heaving suitcases up the front steps. We agreed, and followed up the three stairs, through the revolving door and into the main reception area of the hotel. I was utterly gobsmacked when my eyes first adjusted to the bright light. Right in front of us was a humungous, grand black piano. Behind the piano, was a set of grand, very posh looking stairs which lead up to what looked like a balcony above? The main reception area wasn't overly busy, with only two or three families and couples wandering about. The man kindly showed us to reception where we were greeted straight away. Checking in was a very simple process. We had to confirm our booking, show a source of identity, check our credit card details and such like. The man on reception had a very strong English accent and being Scottish, it was fairly difficult to actually understand him, however we eventually figured out that he was trying to tell us when breakfast was served, and asking whether we'd like one key or two, for our rooms. We told him one, and were given the key and pointed in the directions of the lifts. To get to the lifts we had to pass the piano, and on my way, I noticed that there were 3 computers - 2 in use- which I assume could be used for internet access at a small price.
The lifts were very quick and seconds after requesting on to the 5th floor, where our room was, it arrived. There was plenty of space in the lift, and even with two heaving suitcases, I think that another 3 people could have fit.
After the grandness, and impressiveness of the hotel, we were very excited to see our room. We were not disappointed. The room was utterly huge- even with lots of furniture and bits and pieces. We had booked a twin room; however there are also singles, doubles and family rooms available too. The two single beds were fairly big, and very comfy. There was a bedside table at each side of the beds as well as one in the middle which held a telephone and a lamp. The telephone could be used to call any other room, reception or for room service. As well as the two beds, there was a large wardrobe with plenty of coat hangers, a desk, and a huge 30 or so inch television, a dining table with 4 chairs around it, and a microwave and kettle.
As with most hotels we had an en-suite as well. The bathroom was on the small side, however it was fitted with a lovely, clean bath, an overhead shower, a sink and a toilet. The facilities were in spanking clean condition, and the bath was a sparkling white shade. We didn't use the bath, but I did have a shower and I can truly say it was one of the best showers I have ever had! The water was beautifully hot and even after fifteen minutes the temperature was maintaining and it hadn't gone cold at all. We were also supplied with mini shampoo, conditioner and a type of shower gel. I didn't use these in the hotel, but I took them home, and they are still waiting to be used.
There were coffee and tea utensils in one of the drawers which we sampled and they tasted okay. We were also given 3 mint chocolates on arrival in a small dish and they were gorgeous too!
The television was also very handy and provided some entertainment on our morning of departure when we had nothing else to but wait on time to check out. There was a wide choice of channels including the regulars BBC-Channel 5 as well as some extras such as E4 and a few music channels. It did take us about an hour to figure out how to work the TV but this was only because we had failed to realise it wasn't plugged in.
We didn't use the microwave at all but I assume it worked as everything else did too!
Overall I was thoroughly impressed with the room, it was spacious and provided just about everything we needed!!
===Food and drinks===
We were told on arrival that breakfast would be served between 6.30 and 10.30 from Monday to Saturday, and between 7.30 and 11.30 on Sundays. We went down for breakfast at around 8am each morning we were there, and it was incredibly busy. The first morning we had to queue up outside the breakfast room for around ten minutes which I found quite annoying. However, we were seated by 8.05 so we still had plenty of time. The second day we only had to wait around 2 or 3 minutes on getting a seat, so this wasn't too bad.
When you first enter the breakfast room you are greeted by one of the staff. You then have to tell them your room number and then they circle it off on their clipboard. I thought this was quite a good idea as it is likely if they didn't, they'd end up with some random from the street, or some of the guests would end up going for four or give breakfasts! The breakfast room is very large, and very noisy too. The food selection is outstanding though. On three of the walls, there is a choice of hot breakfasts- including, bacon, sausage, square sausage, boiled egg, scrambled egg, mushrooms, baked beans etc. Then there are a choice of different fruits including melon and pineapple, along with a wide choice of yoghurts of different flavours including a strawberry and a vanilla and banana. You can also choose cereal if you wish, and there are also a lot to choose from- including branflakes, special K and cornflakes. Finally, you will come to the pastries, which smell delicious. In the pastry section you are offered muffins in different flavours, croissants, scones and doughnuts (for breakfast!?). There is also a round of toast with spreads on each table.
On my first morning I was starving so I took advantage of the big breakfast. I had a bowl of branflakes with milk to start off with, which all I can say is, tasted like it should have done. I then had a slice of toast which wasn't overly nice. It was cold, and white bread, which wasn't tasty at all. After that I had a little of the hot breakfast- I tried a sausage which was delicious, some scrambled egg which was the best i'd ever tasted and a spoonful or two of beans which was again scrumptious. My first breakfast was a success and I couldn't wait until the next morning.
The second morning I tried the weetabix which was just as weetabix should be. I then decided to try a croissant with jam, after the toast disaster the previous morning. It was gorgeous and had quite obviously just been freshly cooked. To finish off my second breakfast, I had some melon and pineapple with a serving of banana yoghurt. I was quite surprised at how fresh the fruit was! Overall breakfast was a success.
There was a lounge, where you could order snacks and drinks. The snacks available included toasted baguettes and cakes. On our last morning we came down here at around eleven o clock, and ordered a drink and a scone which we shared. It was a good job that we'd only ordered one scone as it was huge! We were given 5 jams to choose from, but only two butters which I thought odd.
Room service was available but we didn't choose to use this. Instead, on our first night we decided to have tea downstairs in the dining room. We went down at around 4.50 and were seated by 5.10pm. We had a show to see at 7.30pm so we were relieved when we were seated quickly. It was quite busy on arrival, but when we left and 6pm it was much more busy and there was a small queue beginning to form at the door. The menu was just as extensive as the breakfast one. You could choose from various dishes including pasta and burgers. I choose a burger which came served with chips and veg. The burger was gorgeous and the chips were similar to burger kings- which was good as I love them! My grandma chose a meal of pasta in a mushroom and white wine sauce. She said she really enjoyed it but it was extremely filling. The dessert menu was big as well but as we were so full up we decided just to share a dessert. We choose the apple crumble and we were very glad we did- it was scrumptious. It was not only served with a rich vanilla ice cream, but a large jug of single cream came on the side. After our dinner we were stuffed, and could have done with a lie down on our comfy beds upstairs!!
Overall I was greatly impressed with the food and drink and i'd definitely recommend it!
===The staff and service===
The only one thing that I can complain about staff wise was a few incidents that happened in the breakfast room on our first morning. We were given seats very near to the cutlery and plate trolley, and the staff seemed to congregate here. At one point, there were around 6 people waiting at the door for a seat, yet around 5 of the staff stood here talking and laughing.
Another time on that morning, there were two members of staff at the trolley who were clearly arguing. It made us feel quite uncomfortable, and even once we'd given them a few dirty looks, they didn't get the message, and they continued to argue and cuss under their breaths.
Other than this though ,the staff were of great help and provided everything we needed.
Room cleaning is once a day and they always knocked before they entered. As with most hotels you are provided with a "do not disturb" sign which can be hung over your door handle outside if you don't want them to come in. We used this when I was in the shower and we were luckily not disturbed.
Although the hotel is 4*, it doesn't actually have anything like a swimming pool- not that we'd have had time to use the pool anyway! As I mentioned before however, there are computers downstairs which can be used at a price, and there is Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel as well.
One thing that I found quite weird about the hotel is, that in the main lobby area, there are cabinets which sell jewellery. The jewellery is beautiful but very expensive, and the prices near the £10,000 mark. Needless to say, we didn't purchase any.
The hotel has a wide range of leaflets and maps telling of what is on in the area, what shows there are to see, information about the tube stations, and so on. The staff are also happy to help you with any directions or places you are inquiring about. Overall, the facilities at the Grosvenor are fairly limited, but the ones they do have are of a high quality.
===What is near the Grosvenor?===
To me the most outstanding thing about the hotel, is that is right opposite the Apollo Victoria Theatre which is home to my favourite musical ever- Wicked. (Review to come soon...). For me this was a plus point as we were going to see it and it meant we could leave our hotel at say 7.20 and still make it in time for the 7.30 show. (We didn't do this though..we were there way too early!...what can I say? I was excited!!!). The Victoria Palace Theatre home to Billy Elliot is also only a two minute walk from the hotel, which is great. I'd recommend both these musicals.
Buckingham Palace is a short walk away too which is a great place to visit and there are often events going on at or around the palace. The hotel is also within walking distance of the London Eye, Covent Garden, and St Jame's park.
Well this was incredibly easy- all we had to do was hand our key in!!!
===Who would I recommend the hotel too?===
I have to say, I think the hotel is slightly too posh for families with young children to stay in. It could cause a bit of intimidation and the kids would HAVE to stay under control. I think its perfect for older people, aged 17+...although i'm 15 and I still really enjoyed it. It could be perfect for a honeymoon as well or people on business who want a luxury place to stay. It's also handy if you need a tube station nearby as the Victoria underground is exactly next door!
The hotel is not cheap though. I can't say the exact price as I didn't pay, however i'm sure you could find this online.
You should also note that there is quick access to the hotel from the underground station which is handy if you are loaded with cases.
Rooms - 8/10
also on ciao
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