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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Marriott International is to bring its first JW Marriott hotel to the UK when renovations to London's Grosvenor House on Park Lane are completed in mid-2008. Marriott acquired the hotel, built in 1927, in February 2004 from Starwood's Le Meridien and began a £100m ($199m) restoration project to bring the property back to its former glory.
The end result will be a five-star hotel with a focus on ”approachable luxury,” featuring 494 rooms, 72 suites, three bars, two restaurants, a spa and the largest meeting facilities the city has to offer. The infamous Great Room alone (pictured below), originally built as an indoor ice skating rink, spans an impressive 22,000sq ft (6,705sq m) and seats more than 2,000. Room rates will reflect the heightened grandeur at Grosvenor House, with published rates having risen from £149 when the acquisition completed to £279.
Speaking in one of the hotel's 33 state-of-the-art meeting rooms today (26 April), president and MD international lodging Marriott International, Ed Fuller, said: ”We will bring in the JW Marriott name when all the work is finished on the building. It”s important to keep the Grosvenor House title as it”s a property with such enormous history, but we hope to bring the hotel back to life and spark the attention of the world with the JW Marriott brand.”
The new-look Grosvenor House is anticipating a different class of guest in the future, as general manager, Antony Stuart Moore, said: ”The old customers are literally dying out. We are really focussed on attracting a new customer base, with a high number of corporate clientele and corporations from the Middle East and other emerging markets.”
Indeed, markets such as Asia, the Middle East and Russia are the focus not just for Grosvenor House, but Marriott International itself. Fuller explained the company”s expansion strategy: ”First and foremost we aim not to be perceived as an American chain, and we”re working very hard to be seen as a global organisation.
”Our primary focus is to open full-service hotels in key cities worldwide with our three luxury brands - JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Bulgari. Then we will role out our Courtyard brand internationally, creating different prototypes to match the individual market.”
And expanding globally is much easier, Fuller explained, in emerging markets where land is more readily available. ”The majority of the new full-service hotels are in the Middle East and Asia - Europe is a high priority, but we won't open properties in secondary or tercery locations. We want to be in the heart of every city and that”s easier in Asia and the Middle East.”