Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa

Lexington, Kentucky

The hotel

With its roots firmly in Bluegrass Country, this golf and spa resort’s wrapped in a landscape dominated by equine delights and Kentucky Bourbon Trail sights. Before you reach them, you’ll pass the hotel’s 18 hole golf course; designed by Rees Jones, son of legendary golf architect Robert Trent Jones, it comes with the near-mandatory 19th Hole, where breakfasts and light American lunches are served. Dining elsewhere at Griffin Gate Marriott Resort means prime steaks and seafood at JW’s, coffee and pastries at Starbucks®, and poolside refreshments at Top Deck. The pool bar accompanies the swanky outdoor pool and patio, but you also get an incredible indoor pool to swim in, with stunning views through its dramatic glass wall; and they’ve even thrown in a full-service spa for good measure.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Valet parking
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Access
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Restaurant

Where is it

In the Griffin Gate area of Lexington, not far from the Downtown district, the hotel is around 6km from Explorium of Lexington, with its interactive children’s fun, 8km from Kentucky Horse Park, and 15 minutes’ from Keeneland Race Track. It’s also close to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Hotel information

409 rooms and suites on 7 floors. All with air-conditioning, LCD TV with cable channels and premium pay-per-view movies, WiFi access*, alarm clock, telephone, coffee maker/tea service, hairdryer, and iron and board. Cribs, play yard, and rollaway beds available*. Guest Rooms with 1 king-size or 2 queen-size beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults.

JW’s Steakhouse (steak and seafood menu; breakfast, lunch and dinner). 19th Hole (American light bites menu and bar; breakfast and lunch). JW’s Lounge (American appetizers, cocktails, and Kentucky bourbon; lunch and dinner). Starbucks® (with free WiFi). Top Deck (poolside snacks, sandwiches, and drinks, seasonal; lunch). Room service* (6.30am-12.00am). Local restaurant dinner delivery*. Outdoor pool (seasonal). Indoor pool. Whirlpool. Patio with fire pit. The Spa at Griffin Gate* (full-service spa with beauty salon and barber, steam room, and children’s and couples’ treatment options, reservations required). Fitness centre. Griffin Gate Golf Club* (18 hole golf course designed by Rees Jones). Sports court. Tennis*. Concierge. Babysitting service*. Valet/dry-cleaning services*. Laundry facilities*. Gift shop. Vending machines. ATM. Safety deposit box (at front desk). Complimentary WiFi. Valet parking* and self parking* (payable locally; subject to change).

This hotel has a resort fee of $15 plus tax per room (per day (payable locally, subject to change)

Resort fee includes: - Bicycle storage - Internet access

*Denotes local charge

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (399)
  • Very good (277)
  • Average (151)
  • Poor (60)
  • Terrible (32)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating What a dump and a sham!

Sep 9, 2020 bajaskier12

We booked the resort as the website and the pictures looked very nice. After a day hiking in the nearby Daniel Boone Forest, we were so looking forward to relaxing in the outdoor spa. it was the primary reason we booked this resort. Whe we arrived and began the check in, I asked whether the Concierge Room (which we paid an extra $30) had either… Read more
We booked the resort as the website and the pictures looked very nice. After a day hiking in the nearby Daniel Boone Forest, we were so looking forward to relaxing in the outdoor spa. it was the primary reason we booked this resort. Whe we arrived and began the check in, I asked whether the Concierge Room (which we paid an extra $30) had either the balcony or the patio. I was told neither, the concierge Rooms were not equipped with either (all the pictures on their website showed either a patio ro a balcony). I was the primary reason we booked the Concierge Room. I asked when the Concierge Lounge was open and told it was closed for the weekend. WTF!! I asked that, since we paid the extra for the Concierge Room, could we at least get switched to a regular balcony room? Yes, or course. I told the front desk manager I was really looking forward to hitting that outdoor spa, and was told unfortunately, there were no more reservation spots for the outdoor pool that evening. WTF again! Since we are in a pandemic, I could let these slide so far, as I understand we need to be fairly flexible in these trying times. Well, we went to the rom, al lo and behold, we did get a balcony room. The balcony room looked directly over an adjoining rooftop. Not the pool area, nort the surrounding hillside, nor the golf course....a friggin' roof! Nice. When we went out on the balcony, it was disgusting. The paint seemed very moldy and the whole area seemed dingy and unclean, like it hadn't been cleaned in a long time. Leaves and spider webs were all around. Well, I guess no balcony for the night. We ended up opening the window instead, but there were leaves and dirt all over the ledge, with spider egg sacks in the window frames. We went back in to take a shower, and my wife shrieked and said, "Look!" A one inch black spider was on the ceiling directly above the bed. Oh, hell no. I wasn't even gonna try to kill that thing. As my wife entered the bathroom, she told me to look up. A one foot hole in the ceiling right by the entrance to the bathroom. You cold see the floor above. I guess we know where the spider came from. I took pictures of all this to document and we decided we were too creeped out to stay. We packed up and went back downstairs. I told the front desk manager that I just checked in but amy checking out again. When he asked why, I started to tell him all about the creepiness in the room (I didn't even get to the part about the concierge Room and Spa, etc.), but he acted like he didn't even want to hear about it. We ended up checking in to a nice Residence Inn down the road. They were very nice and accomodating, even allowing us to use the indoor spa. I figured I was just going to write off the room expense (we had booked it using Chase Ultimate Points app. 16,000) but when I got home to Tampa the following day, I thought I might follow up with Chase to see if there was anything they could do. They advocated on my behalf with the resort; however, the resort replied that I never complained to anyone and therfore they were not refunding any money/points. Oh, well. Lesson learned. I did want to write this to help inform anyone else that is thinking of staying here about the issues this resort is currently experiencing. I am sure this place was once nice (maybe back in the 1980s) but crtainly not anymore. Book at your own peril. I am also posting some of the pictures we took in the rrom on this review page, so you can see the spider, hole in the ceiling, spider egg sacks, etc. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Troubled by a 40 year old design, the COVID crisis is not helping this place

Aug 25, 2020 zjxtinpusher Live Oak, Florida

We have stayed at this property many times over the years, most recently during two family gatherings for funerals. The service has always been on par with what we would expect from a higher end Marriott property. This go round, not so much. The fails were, for the most part, COVID related. Had it been in the early days of the crisis, I would… Read more
We have stayed at this property many times over the years, most recently during two family gatherings for funerals. The service has always been on par with what we would expect from a higher end Marriott property. This go round, not so much. The fails were, for the most part, COVID related. Had it been in the early days of the crisis, I would be more forgiving. First, we have found that having a balcony is an important step for us in COVID land. With very real anxiety about being in public, we found aurselves spending a lot more time enjoying our room. With that in mind, I called ahead to the desk to arrange one of the rooms with a larger patio area so we could safely entertain our grandchildren with social distancing. The clerk I spoke to described several variables, but advised they "have plenty" of the rooms available. They were more costly, nearly double, but it was going to be worth it. On arrival to the property, the substantially less friendly gent behind the counter promptly explained that ALL of the larger balcony rooms are 'tied off' for pressure washing. Somehow that message didn't get delivered to all the staff, or the online reservations system. We ended up with small balcony, but decided not to have the grand kids up stairs. Which brings us to the pool. On the same phone call, I was advised that they were taking reservations for pool time to ensure social distancing. More on that later. First, we headed for the doors that we always use to go to the pool area. ALL the way down steps by the indoor pool (more on that later too), and out the double doors. We arrive at the security gates we normally use, and they are locked. No signage. Just locked. We eventually found a piece of paper tacked to a wall that said we should use the entrance next to the "Bluegrass Bar" I think it was. We eventually found it, but after a long walk carrying gear. The staff was helpful, and friendly, and did a good job of making us feel welcome by the pool. Back to reservations. The times were rigid (we were only offered 3-5 and 5:30-7:30), as the pool staff was charged with 'sanitizing' the area during the down time. This barely worked for us, because the grands couldn't arrive until about 4:15. With three little girls to entertain, we planned meal time for the closure. Assuming that the restaurant was not going to serve wet kids, we ordered from the snack bar by the pool. $80 worth of pretzel's "Uncrustables", chips and drinks. Not exactly what I would have picked for dinner, but it was what was available. At the 5:00 sharp, a whistle was blown, and we vacated. We had spotted some tables with umbrellas just outside the gate, and adjourned there to eat our junk food. We had just gotten settled when a server came around and advised us we'd have to move, since this was part of the restaurant. We were moved "off the patio" to the grass, but had a comfortable picnic. The fail there wasn't that we minded being in the grassy area, or even someplace else entirely. Had we realized that they would be serving out there (those tables sat empty the whole time we were there), we would have put the $80 and probably another $80 toward getting better food and a cocktail. Our Marriott experience would have been greatly enhanced by a little marketing. "Even though we have to close the pool for a few minutes, it would be a great time for you feed the kids at our patio seating for the restaurant. Would you like for me to reserve you a table for 6? Back to the indoor pool: Nowhere in the reservation process was their any differentiation between the indoor and outdoor pools. When we told the staff that we'd plan to move indoors, while the outdoors closed, they confirmed that the indoor would not be closing at the same time. While that sounded promising, they said "it would depend if a family is already there". Could we have reserved the indoor space? Perhaps we could have saved the chinese fire drill outside with that information? It all adds up to I hope they can do better. Our room was fine (even with the small balcony) but small. The hotel was not busy at all, and little information would have made it a lovely stay. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Aging Hotel

Aug 24, 2020 TimH392 Greenville, South Carolina

Stayed here one night on a business trip. The hotel was almost empty and the room rate was good, but I was really surprised at the general condition of my room. I got upgraded to a room with a balcony, that was filthy. While I always appreciate an upgrade, what good is it if you can't use it. I suspect some of this is due to lower staffing… Read more
Stayed here one night on a business trip. The hotel was almost empty and the room rate was good, but I was really surprised at the general condition of my room. I got upgraded to a room with a balcony, that was filthy. While I always appreciate an upgrade, what good is it if you can't use it. I suspect some of this is due to lower staffing during Covid. That said, I'll make a different choice next time. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Horsing around

Jul 16, 2020 K2010M Chicago, Illinois

We stopped for a couple nights on our way further south. We understand that traveling is different during covid. Upon checking we were told we got an “upgrade”, which we’ve experienced before at other Marriotts and had a similar lackluster upgrade. Anyhow our upgrade was to the 3rd floor of a 5 floor hotel, and we had absolutely no view, except… Read more
We stopped for a couple nights on our way further south. We understand that traveling is different during covid. Upon checking we were told we got an “upgrade”, which we’ve experienced before at other Marriotts and had a similar lackluster upgrade. Anyhow our upgrade was to the 3rd floor of a 5 floor hotel, and we had absolutely no view, except the water filled rooftop of some overhang that had bottles and other garbage in it. It is listed as a resort, has pools, tennis, golf, bikes. I realize that it is a strange time but the grounds could really use a good weeding and landscaper. The elevator was missing trim and was generally run down. Plus with our upgrade we got a room that had a questionably working toilet. We called the front desk our first night, then engineer came right away to fix it, but by morning it was not working again. It was disappointing that they didn’t offer to us to change rooms as they are no where near capacity. The pool usage was by reservation only and worked out well for us. Overall the hotel could have used more tlc. Parking is free and there is a $15 resort fee, this includes bike rental. Overall close to horse farms, but check ahead because of covid. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Come on, Marriott, you can do better

Jul 12, 2020 19Howie55 Pikeville, Kentucky

For many years, this hotel has been my favorite property in Lexington. The spacious grounds, spa, golf course and hotel have drawn me back there for decades. In recent months, we have stayed at Griffin Gate several times. It is easily understood that some services have been limited or suspended due to Covid, but maintenance and housekeeping… Read more
For many years, this hotel has been my favorite property in Lexington. The spacious grounds, spa, golf course and hotel have drawn me back there for decades. In recent months, we have stayed at Griffin Gate several times. It is easily understood that some services have been limited or suspended due to Covid, but maintenance and housekeeping should continue regardless. A good property manager knows the importance of image and that the condition of the property is a strong influencer on whether a guest will return. The hotel and grounds have been neglected. Historically, the grounds have been picture perfect. Flowers were blooming, shrubs trimmed and the grass was manicured; but not now. Weeds were at least 3 feet tall in some areas of the parking lot, the elevators, hallways and rooms are showing severe wear. I understand that the hotel has a new owner and I hope that the quality, appearance and services will be restored soon. Read less