The Grosvenor House became the flagship European J W Marriott about four years ago, J W Marriott being the apogee of Marriott branding. Traditionally the grandest of grand hotels, Grosvenor House tries to be a grand hotel and certainly in the public areas it succeeds.
Heart of the money though is the Great Room. Originally a skating rink this, along with the Dorchester just down the road, is the main competitor for large dinner events in Central London. Perpetually booked the Great Room with its own grand entrance from Park Lane is a major driver of room bookings, but the hotel is also very popular with US tourists, and this is reflected in the J W steak house, a very transatlantic innovation added to the ageing hotel the end of a four year programme of deep refurbishment in 2008.
Resisting the temptation to knock it down and start again, which can scarcely have been much more expensive, owners the Royal Bank of Scotland invested heavily in bringing all the unseen services, soil stack, electrical and plumbing systems, into the twenty-first century. Marriott seized the opportunity to gain a major landmark in the European hotel industry as one of their first, and proclaimed as their leading J.W. Marriott in Europe.