Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour

30 Dec 2013 by Tom Otley
BACKGROUND A modern hotel, Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour originally opened in 1990 as a Conrad Hotel, but since 2007 and a refurbishment it has been a Wyndham. The property was last reviewed by Business Traveller in 2010 (click here to read that review). WHAT'S IT LIKE? Just after my visit in late December news came out that the hotel had been acquired by Millennium and Copthorne, so presumably there will be another brand change some time in 2014, but the property will remain as I found it for at least a while. The reception area has been redesigned to give the Wyndham an "urban resort" feel, which means the reception desk facing you as you enter is now the concierge desk (though doubtless you will try and check-in there), while to your right is the actual check-in, where you sit at one of the chairs in a more relaxed frame of mind to go through the check-in procedures. The hotel’s design has obviously been updated since it was originally built, and is contemporary without being too homogenised – it’s clearly a five-star hotel but with the views out to the marina you still get a sense of place. WHERE IS IT? Chelsea Harbour – not a place that most visitors to London will have ever seen, or indeed most people who live in London. Built originally in the late 1980s on the site of a British Rail Coal Yard in the Sands End area of Chelsea, it now has its own railway station - Imperial Wharf - on the West London Line linking Clapham Junction with Willesden Green. The majority of guests arrive here by taxi, however. On the plus side, the Kings Road is about a 15-minute walk away, or you could use the Thames Clipper boat service, though this is probably best left for a weekend’s sightseeing rather than to get to the office. There is secure car parking nearby in a NCP car park (chargeable). ROOM FACILITIES The 154 rooms (all suites, in effect) are on floors 1-8. Views are either of the city “Chelsea views” or the marina. Floors 5-8 also are characterised as river views on the marina side, since you begin to see over the tops of, or between buildings, and the top floor has four Penthouse suites. The majority have balconies, so although there are no official smoking rooms, if you do smoke, ask for one of these – the tables on the balconies have ashtrays. The rooms are large – entry level is 45 sqm and can take a family of four. All rooms have a good size desk, sofa and armchair, large marble and granite bathroom with bathtub and separate walk in shower. Amenities are five-star – Egyptian cotton linen, Zenology toiletries, complimentary high speed wifi, a sound system, good flat screen TVs, complimentary bottles of water, and tea and coffee making Caffe Musetti espresso machine). RESTAURANTS AND BARS There are two restaurants – the Chelsea Riverside Brasserie and the Harbour Bar & Terrace which serves Asian-inspired cuisine. Both restaurants overlook the marina and are bright and cheerful places, particularly for breakfast which was busy and buzzing the morning I ate there. BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES These are on the lobby floor and lower lobby floor, all with natural light and views on to the marina, and also the four penthouse suites are used for functions. The lower lobby also has a business centre (accessible 24-hours by key card) and you can send your boarding pass down there and then print it off. The ballroom is a good size – it can seat 400 for a banquet. LEISURE FACILITIES Blue Harbour Spa has a good sized gym, 17-metre pool with natural light along with steam rooms and spa baths for both men and women and a full range of spa treatments – outside memberships are sold. Open 0630-2130 daily. VERDICT Good service, and a surprisingly decent location for its river views and sense of being in London but away from the noise and bustle. Great if you fancy adding on a weekend to a business trip as well, though if your business is in the West End, you will spend a fair time on public transport (or in taxis) going to and fro. FACT FILE
  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 154, all large (starting at 45sqm, and all with good views, though I’d go for a marina view or better still a higher floor for a river view – there are few hotels in London offering river views
  • HIGHLIGHTS Room size – big enough for a family stay – and the convenience for shopping in Chelsea and Kensington further afield.
  • PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in January started from £228 including taxes for a Chelsea Twin room.
  • CONTACT Wyndham Grand, Chelsea Harbour, SW10 0X; tel +44 (0)20 7300 5098; wyndhamgrandlondon.co.uk
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