- Introduction: An English Summer
- Selecting between the British & Irish Visa
- Review: JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar
- Review: AI 131 Mumbai to London Heathrow, Business Class, Boeing 787-8
- Review: Plaza Premium Lounge, Arrivals Area, London Heathrow Terminal 2
- Review: London Marriott Park Lane, Deluxe Room
We arrived into London in Air India’s 787 Dreamliner from Mumbai around mid day. I caught some mesmerising views of the London city from up in the air on a clear sunny day.
Once out of the airport we visited the Plaza Premium Arrival Lounge at Terminal 2, LHR, where we called for an Uber and headed to our hotel, the London Marriott Park Lane. We wrote about our first impressions of the hotel here.
We chose to stay at the Marriott because of its prime location in the Mayfair district. To add to it, the hotel is situated in a 19th century heritage building that has undergone a massive refurbishment just 3 years ago. The Hotel is a Category 9 Marriott Rewards Hotel, and we used 45,000 points from Ajay’s Marriott Rewards Account to make the reservation for one night. He is a Marriott Rewards Gold Member, so it just made more sense to use his account for the benefits as well.
It was a beautiful summer day and during our drive to the hotel we got glimpses of the Hyde Park and drove past the JW Marriott hotel in Grosvenor House, another hotel that we were considering for our stay.
As the car pulled in, I noticed that the entrance to the hotel is quite unassuming. The main entryway is located in a street just off Park Lane, though the hotel is visible right from the main road and Marble Arch station. On arrival at the hotel, the bellman appeared came to assist us. He took our luggage in his custody and directed us to the reception lobby.
The hotel’s lobby had the charm of a boutique hotel and gave it a very vintage feel. There were vases with fresh flowers and guests seated on stylish chairs.
A half flight of steps from the lobby was the check-in area. There were 2 separate desks and none them were marked dedicated to Marriott Rewards members. A third desk would also operate at times, tucked a bit on the inside beyond the elevators. The hotel appeared busy this afternoon, according to all the cars we saw pulling over with the concierge buzzing.
The staff at one check-in desk was busy with another group check in and the other one was unmanned. After waiting for 15 minutes a lady came out to help us.
She competed the formalities and advised us that we had been allocated a room on the 5th floor of the hotel. It was a Deluxe Room, the entry level rooms at this hotel, so no real upgrade for being a Marriott Rewards Gold Member here.
We headed straight to the elevators adjacent to the check-in area, and on our way to the fifth floor. On my way to the elevators I noticed a majestic shoeshine service chair place in the lobby.
The hall way leading to guest rooms was tastefully done in light hues.
The purple carpet gave it a regal look.The room itself was compact, although Ajay felt that it was reasonably sized compared to other central London hotels. The lilac, grey and cream hues gave it a light and airy feel.
The bedroom was beautifully designed. The bedside table had elegant lamps and I was happy to see a radio-cum-clock on the bedside table.
The room had a queen size bed with comfortable sink-in mattress and plum cushions. There was an end of bed sofa placed at the end of the bed (where else?!).
The window looked out into the Marble Arch with a view of the Hyde Park. A balmy summer day today. We were glad the weather was being kind today in London.
There was a solid wood workdesk in a corner with an array of electrical ports fitted on the wall. American and British electrical ports were covered.
An extended easy chair with a footstool sat in one corner next to the television cabinet. The minibar was right under.
A Nespresso machine and a hot water kettle was in the closet.
There was a small closet as soon as one enters, Good to hang a few clothes but not spacious enough to accommodate a large suitcase.
The bathroom looked luxurious, and was done up in marble.
I loved the temperature controlled Japanese toilet seats from Toto.
There were Floris London amenities which is an upscale British family-owned perfumery brand dating back to the 1700s.
Overall the room even though compact, was comfortable with a beautiful view and had everything we needed. My grief was that Ajay and I could not open both our suitcases simultaneously.
Next morning I woke up early, partly still adjusting to London time, at about 4 a.m. and I figured room was quite warm. When I tried to reset the air-conditioner thermostat, I realised that there was some sort of an electrical failure, as half the room’s electrical points, including the washroom, the television, the minibar and the workdesk were not working.
We called up the reception and were advised that the electrician will only be available a few hours later at 7 a.m. The staff mentioned very callously that they can’t do anything about it.
The problem was finally fixed at around 10 a.m, after which air conditioning temperature control malfunctioned again and I was unable to reduce the temperature. Net result our room was unbearably warm on a sunny London summer day.
The Executive Lounge
Since the booking was made with a Marriott Rewards Gold account, that of Ajay, his status gave us access to the lounge. The lounge is located on the lobby level and could be accessed with our room key cards.
The lounge is charming and has an upscale English tavern feel to it, with the walls covered with art. Apart from the regular seating there was also a private room in one corner.
As soon as I entered the lounge there was a long community table with a book shelf in the back drop. Perfect place to catch up on some reading or just unwind over a drink.
The lounge changes its spread 3 times everyday. Apart from the breakfast and evening canapés there was a nice afternoon tea spread of scones, wraps and sandwiches between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. everyday.
The hotel was running at full capacity therefore as expected the lounge was busy too. For the evening spread there were various Hors d’oeuvres, a cheese board and some Arabic appetisers like pita and hummus. The hotel attracts a great amount of their patrons from the Middle-East.
There was a small self-service bar in one corner where I could make myself a drink or serve myself wine and beer.
For the morning breakfast spread there were cereal, bakery items along with fruits and greens. Warm food included scrambled eggs, hash brown and sausages. They even had fresh honey off a honeycomb.
Although the spread was limited the food was good and the ambience top notch.
The hotel has a rooftop bar and a popular restaurant, Lanes of London, both of which we could not visit during our one-night stay. There is an indoor heated pool, a spa fitness centre in the basement of the hotel.
This is a USP for this hotel. The hotel is right in front of the Marble Arch Tube station, Hyde Park is just across the road and a 2-minutes walk landed us in Oxford Street.
Since the weather was good we walked through the upscale residential neighboring streets and discovered a summer festival happening at Grosvenor Square, which is a large garden and the center piece of Mayfair district.
In the morning Ajay and I also went for a jog in the Hyde Park. It is surreal to sit by the lake and soak up all the greenery in the middle of concrete central London. If you are looking at staying in Central London then there can’t be a better choice of location.
On the service, apart from the bellman who chatted us up during check-in, the other hotel staff didn’t really care much. It sounded like electrical failures were normal at the hotel and no attempt was made to speed up fixing or offer service recovery in any form.
I noticed that the staff at the lounge would just stand like a robot in one corner with the sole task of only replenishing items on the buffet. The entire service style at the hotel felt very mechanical and made me feel like everybody was just going about doing their jobs and that’s all, which should not be in line with a hotel which routinely wants to charge at least 415 GBP for a night.
As I mentioned above, London Marriott Park Lane is a category 9 hotel and costs 45,000 Marriott Rewards points per night. During the time we were staying the standard rooms at the hotel were selling at average of 415 GBP/ 540 USD/ 36,000 INR per night.
We had booked the room on points. The hotel did nothing about the failure situation until we escalated it to Marriott’s Twitter team, and acted matter of fact about it even later. Ajay wrote to the Marriott Rewards about our room situation and our experience and the hotel later sent a note of apology and refunded 25,000 MR points back in the account.
So, while I wouldn’t be happy with a malfunctioning room in the posh Mayfair district, the final cost of 20,000 points did not hurt that much.
Undoubtedly, I am in love with the hotel’s location. We were close to the parks, which were great for strolling. The main shopping areas of Oxford Street and Bond Street were a stone’s throw away, and if I wanted to get somewhere far, the Tube station was a minute away.
The hotel has been renovated beautifully with a curated selection of British artwork throughout the historic building, royal perfumers Floris provide the bathroom amenities, and there’s even a bespoke shoeshine service (chargeable) courtesy of The Jaunty Flâneur. Every aspect of the decor and furnishing is sophisticated and speaks luxury.
Though would I come here and stay again just for the location and magnificent building is a big question mark. I found the rooms small. A long stay would have really made me claustrophobic.
Secondly the service standards were disappointing. What is a beautiful hotel with shoddy service? I was happy that we just stayed here for one night and I couldn’t wait to move on to the Hyatt Regency Churchill.
Have you stayed at the London Marriott Park Lane before? What has been your stay experience?