Asian customers may not be familiar with the Grosvenor House in London, but once they hear it has become a JW Marriott Hotel, the recognition factor is expected to rise.
Marriott International, which manages the brand, has presided over a multi-million pound renovation of the 80-year-old Grosvenor House. It is keen for a new generation of customers to experience the icon’s history and unique ambience, now coupled with the personable and efficient service Marriott properties are known for.
“We want to make people comfortable and provide for everyone,” said Anthony Stewart Moore, general manager of Grosvenor House, who’s on an Asian swing to better understand the needs and expectations of local customers.
While maintaining cultural authenticity – Sir Edward Luytens, who left his mark on the city of Delhi, was one of two architects responsible for designing Grosvenor House in 1927 – the refurbishment has imbued its guestrooms and public spaces with leading-edge technology without greatly altering its DNA as the quintessential “British hotel”. Through its elegant wrought iron gates have passed the high and mighty, the smart and fashionable, among them the Royal Family, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Henry Kissinger, Jackie Kennedy and Ella Fitzgerald. A young Queen Elizabeth was a frequent visitor to its skating rink, the only London hotel to have one. The skating rink is now the popular Great Room, venue of numerous high-profile gatherings.
Drawing on Marriott expertise and presence in several countries, Stewart-Moore, a 28-year veteran of the group, said they would try to render service on “the guest’s terms”. He believed the “approachability of the hotel and staff” influenced repeat clientele and was a significant factor in the growth of new business.
With 494 guestrooms including 74 suites, Grosvenor House is London’s largest five-star hotel. The interiors are classic contemporary and retain retaining many original Art Deco features of the period, especially in the marble bathrooms. There are five bar and four dining options, including French brasserie Bord’Eaux, helmed by La Trompette former head chef Ollie Couillaud and opening this month, Corrigan of Mayfair of celebrity chef Richard Corrigan. A spa opens in 2010.
The famed Great Room also received a face lift. Accommodating up to 2,000 guests, it is acknowledged as the largest banqueting space housed within a deluxe European hotel. The BAFTAs (Britain’s version of the Oscars) and annual Art & Antiques Fair are only two of an array of headline events regularly staged there. Likewise relaunched is 86 Park Lane, a collection of 20 suites and function rooms suiting any occasion.
For more details, go to www.londongrosvenorhouse.co.uk
Margie T Logarta