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For our trip we had a two night stay in London. In the past London was a city in which I typically redeemed points whenever possible, though with the weak GBP, it’s once again worth considering paying for stays in some instances.
Last time I was in London I stayed at the Park Tower Knightsbridge, which is a Starwood Luxury Collection property. I was happy with my stay, so figured the best apples-to-apples comparison I could make this time around would be at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane. The hotel was recently renovated, and was only a few blocks away.
The paid rate was 250GBP per night, or about $300. For London that’s a pretty darn good rate, especially when you consider that it includes VAT. As a point of comparison, this is an SPG Category 6 hotel, meaning a free night here would have cost 20,000 Starpoints. I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so paying cash was the better option.
Furthermore, I had managed to redeem a Platinum Suite Night Award to confirm an upgrade to a Park Suite several days in advance, so I was thrilled about that, since London can be a tough city for suite upgrades.
We took the tube from Heathrow Airport to the Sheraton, which is an easy journey, even for someone who is as bad at public transportation as I am. We just took the Piccadilly Line to Green Park, and from there it was a less than five minute walk to the hotel — easy peasy, and the whole journey took about 50 minutes.
The hotel is on Piccadilly, so it’s a beautiful walk anyway. The Sheraton Grand has a pretty snazzy interior — it’s classic without looking outdated.
While there’s an entrance to the hotel directly on Piccadilly, the hotel’s main entrance is off a side street. There we found ourselves in the fairly small lobby, where reception was located to the left.
Directly inside the entrance is a pretty cool wall with some pictures, which has a hidden entrance to the staircase.
Our stay was off to a rough start — our room wasn’t ready by the stated check-in time, and then when our room was ready, it got broken into by three kids, who ended up stealing stuff. The situation with the kids could happen at any hotel, but the way the hotel handled it was phenomenal, so to me they turned a negative experience into a positive one. The front office manager, Roman, and general manager, Kieran, are absolute professionals, and a huge asset to the hotel.
I won’t rehash that whole situation again, so see the above links for those stories.
Okay, now back to one of the negatives of the hotel. There are only two elevators on opposite sides of the hotel, and they’re tiny. Since there’s one elevator per “bank,” it means that it can take forever for elevators to arrive. Since our room was on the first floor, we ended up just taking the staircase most of the time, as it was faster.
Once on the first floor, our room (#141) was down the hall and to the right.
I’ve never been terribly impressed by the Sheraton brand, so had low expectations. But damn, the suite was gorgeous. The suite had a massive living room, with two couches, two chairs, and two stools.
There was even a full dining room with six chairs.
Behind the couch and close to the bedroom is the desk, which has conveniently placed outlets.
Behind the desk is the minibar area, with a Nespresso machine.
The room had views of Green Park. Since we were on the first floor the views were somewhat limit, though I imagine the views a few floors up must be even better. Surprisingly there wasn’t much street noise either.
Then the bedroom was separated from the living room by a door, and featured a comfortable king size bed.
At the bottom of the bed was a couch, facing a wall mounted TV.
I thought the living room and bedroom were stunning. Again, this could have just as easily been a St. Regis or Ritz-Carlton as a Sheraton. Furthermore, this has to be one of the biggest standard suites I’ve ever had in a city hotel, given that it had a full living room, dining room, etc.
The bathroom was also a good size, though not quite as lux as the rest of the room, in my opinion. It featured double sinks, and then a shower area, which contained both the shower and the bathtub.
Toiletries were provided by Molton Brown — very nice!
We also had a nice welcome amenity waiting in the room, consisting of sauvignon blanc, sparkling water, and nuts, likely thanks to my awesome Starwood Ambassador.
The in-room wifi was fast and complimentary.
Due to my Starwood Platinum status we had access to the Sheraton Club, located on the lobby level. Keep in mind that not only Platinum members have access to the lounge, but also those with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.
There’s a reception desk located outside the lounge, though you can enter the lounge with your key.
Physically the lounge is gorgeous. To the left is a dining area, with a bunch of tables.
Then there’s a small business center with a couple of PCs and a printer.
Then the far side of the lounge has more seating, including a TV area, some comfortable couches, etc.
Back on the other side of the lounge was a fridge with soft drinks and water available all day.
There was also an espresso machine and tea selection available all day.
The evening reception was nightly from 5:30PM until 7:30PM, though was subpar for a non-U.S. Sheraton property. There were cold cuts, olives, cheese, etc.
Then there was only one hot option, which wasn’t even labeled.
So perhaps it’s best to come here for a drink, though don’t expect any filling or tasty snacks.
Then there was afternoon tea daily from 2:30PM until 4:30PM, including cakes, warm scones, etc.
There were also several types of cookies and snack mix in jars.
It looked good, though I was trying not to consume 2,000 calories of sweets in the afternoon, so just had a coffee instead.
Breakfast in the lounge was served daily from 6:30AM until 11AM (on weekends it’s from 7AM until 11:30AM), and was a pretty good spread. There was juice, cold cuts, pastries, toast, cereal, scrambled eggs, etc.
It wasn’t an extensive spread, but was filling, though I’m also not someone who loves a hot breakfast anyway.
So overall I thought the Sheraton Club was a beautiful space from which to work, and was great for getting coffee and water all day. However, the evening selection was disappointing, and perhaps is a case where the Sheraton brand standard is holding them back.
As I mentioned earlier, the hotel also has an entrance on Piccadilly, which was beautifully decorated for Christmas.
To get from that entrance to the rest of the hotel you have to walk through The Palm Court, which seemed to be popular for evening cocktails and afternoon tea. It’s a stunning space.
Right near the Park Lane entrance was the hotel’s gym, located down a level. The gym was a good size and modern.
Sheraton Grand London bottom line
Our suite at the Sheraton Grand London was fantastic. The suite was huge and gorgeously appointed, and at our rate is a value that’s tough to beat. I really value having a suite when I’m traveling with Ford internationally, given the odd hours at which I’m often working.
Based on the rooms alone, this hotel could be branded as a St. Regis, in my opinion.
The hotel’s management was excellent as well, and handled a negative situation in a very positive way. Furthermore, I found the service across the board to be friendly, not that we really had many special requests, or anything.
Lastly, the club lounge was a beautiful space physically, though the spread was a bit disappointing, especially in the evenings.
Overall I’d highly recommend the Sheraton Grand London as a Starwood Platinum member. It has a great location with huge suites and good service. I’d choose this any day over the Luxury Collection hotel just a few blocks away.
I’d return, though I have a lot of other hotels I still want to review in London.
Do you have a favorite SPG property in London? Anyone else like the Sheraton Grand as much as I do?