“There’s luxury, and then there’s sophistication,” says Maddie Salters, and “The Penthouse at Grosvenor House Apartments embodies the latter: true elegance, presented with grace, not overstating itself.”
The Grosvenor experience starts at the front door. Despite its location on bustling Park Lane, the manicured stone building seems discreet, tucked into a corner pocket. This nestled bit of privacy right in the hub of Mayfair must be valued by its guests, who range from top celebrities to the everyday holiday-maker. A doorman sees me in when I arrive, and leads me to a sky-high atrium, daubed in candle-light and fragrant orchids. I already feel relaxed, easy, and at home.
That’s the point, or so the new General Manager, Renato Moretto, explains to me. The Apartments, a Jumeirah Living space, are meant to embody a sense of “home away from home,” rather than the typical hotel experience. While guests are welcome to stay for any length of time (some, I am told, have been there since it opened its doors), many people check-in for a short-term stay in one of the 130 serviced apartments on-site. The rooms range from studios (£350/night), all the way up to the 450 square metre, five-bedroom penthouse (£10,000/night) – and that’s where I head.
What greets me is breathtaking. The Penthouse, which is furnished contemporarily in hard angles of black and white complimented with sunny, warm touches of orange and vermillion, has every modern amenity, but blends it with traditional touches that give it a welcoming feel. The state-of-the-art kitchen, ultra-modern media room with a swell of DVDs and leather couches, the multiple balconies with views over London’s spires and the iconic Hyde Park, the bathrooms equipped with speed-jet showers and detached baths, the walk-in closets, the impressive thread-count cotton bedding … all of this might seem daunting and untouchable, down to the living room with its carefully-arranged pillows and symmetric lighting.
Instead, touches like a working fireplace, merrily lit, the big, fuzzy bathrobes and slippers, the fully stocked library, the rustic wooden paneling, and sweet amber lighting made it feel approachable. The couches, far from looking catalogue-chic and off-limits, instead invited me to go and lounge on them– only to find they were as comfortable as they looked. I could see feeling a sense of belonging, in a space like this: it begs you to have a seat and cozy up by the fire over wine while taking in the view.
Of note, there was already the smell of hot food on the stove when I first entered. I was served up canapés, cooked on-sight by the Grosvenor private chef, available to all residents. Menu highlights such as fried risotto balls with clear tomato soup don’t go amiss. The Penthouse’s scent, I was told, is personalised towards the visitor: if the guest likes roses, then roses will be waiting for them, and if they like sandalwood, well, the concierge will make a special trip to get the proper candles.
The personalisation is what really went over-the-top in impressing me. With a 24-hour concierge available, guests’ needs (and whims, it would seem) are catered to. An in-house trainer can focus on meditation or physical fitness for guests who need a time out, or a shape up. Private entries are made available to guests who have safety concerns, or wish to escape media attention. And each of the rooms reflects who will be staying in it: in one of the five Penthouse apartments, I was thrilled to find a teddy bear with a ribbon awaiting a surely lucky child.
Grosvenor House Apartments are perfect for those visitors to London who want to feel a sense of belonging, and settle into the city right away. Its proximity to Tube lines and the West End make it a great step-off point for the eager tourist. Most especially, I’d recommend the Apartments to business travellers: the serenity of the space, coupled with the all-hours services and the fully-stocked in-home office make it a sure bet. The Penthouse is especially ripe for business travellers to bring their families. It’s a wonderful spot, after a day of work and sightseeing, for the family to come together, share a meal, and then snuggle up for a movie – or, frankly, with that much space? A game of tag.
Currently, they have an 7-for-5 offer on any of their suites, where guests staying seven nights pay for five (inclusive of continental breakfast), and additionally are given a £100 gift voucher to Hamleys or Harrods. For more on the offer, which runs for bookings up from December 1st through the end of February 2016, or, if you’d like to learn more about the hotel, you can visit their website: jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/london/grosvenor-house-apartments.
Grosvenor House Apartments are located on the Corner of Mount Street and Park Lane, W1K 7TN.