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.
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.
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).
*Denotes local charge
Based on 907 reviews
Very good (275)
Outstanding Wedding Experience
Jan 11, 2020FJVLSYorktown, Virginia
We are Marriott loyalists, and this was our second stay at Griffin Gate—this time for our son’s wedding which was hosted at the hotel. We had nothing to do with planning the event, so our impressions are entirely those of hotel and wedding reception guests. Our stay was definitely during a very slow time of year for the hotel. We’d estimate…
We are Marriott loyalists, and this was our second stay at Griffin Gate—this time for our son’s wedding which was hosted at the hotel. We had nothing to do with planning the event, so our impressions are entirely those of hotel and wedding reception guests. Our stay was definitely during a very slow time of year for the hotel. We’d estimate that the first night of our stay, wedding guests were probably about 75% of all those at the property, and the second night (day after) there were maybe two dozen rooms rented in the entire hotel.
We’ve read the various reviews of weddings at Griffin Gate, and our experience was top notch!
Pro’s: Really everything.
- We rented a total of three rooms for ourselves and immediately family. All rooms were very clean, in excellent repair. The accessible room was particularly roomy.
- Front desk, bell, bar, and wedding reception staff were all outstanding. Special kudos to Steven B. (front desk) for his extra efforts to return an item to us that we accidently left behind in the room. Similarly, bartenders at the reception were extremely accommodating i.e. cooling a “special needs” beverage for one of our guests.
- We were impressed with the food quality at the reception. There were 200ish guests, and our filets were perfectly cooked and very tender—much better than some of the mass produced “rubber chicken” dinners one sometimes encounters at large, sit down dinners. The food was a cut above, particularly considering how many meals were involved.
- When learning we were the parents of the groom at check in, and that our Bonvoy Suite Night Certificates had been declined, we were upgraded to a very nice (dare we say ridiculously large) suite on the 7th floor—complete with gas fireplace! (More on suites in our notes for Bonvoy Elites).
- The parents of the bride/hosts also had a very nice suite on a different floor as part of the wedding package. Their room was nicely appointed with a kitchenette, adjacent sitting and dining room for six, and separate bedroom. Very nice for hosting out of town guests.
- Again, we did not make any of the wedding arrangements. Our new daughter-in-law reported that Griffin Gate offered one of the best values for hosting a wedding. She visited several comparable quality venues. (The wedding reception was in the ballroom vice the “mansion”).
- The Concierge Lounge offered a very nice breakfast. In light of the low occupancy of the hotel, we were particularly pleased with the offering.
- Every one of our friends and family stayed at the hotel, and to a person, they were very happy with their stay, and with Marriott’s service during the reception.
- Nobody is a fan of “resort fees” and there’s plenty of dialog on Trip Advisor regarding this. Our vote would be to just put the costs in the room rate. Maybe it’s about getting $15 from folks staying there on points. That said, Marriott and the property are very transparent about this. So it is, what it is.
Notes for Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Guests: We’re not quite sure how Griffin Gate manages the suite upgrades, yet here’s what we pieced together from our experience (and many trips to Lexington—we visit 4-6 times a year, although we use a variety of Marriot branded properties depending on our itinerary):
- Foremost, there are 6-8 very nice suites on the 7th floor. They are not advertised on the website, and we’re not sure they are the suites which are part of the downloadable wedding information. There are also large, not quite so fancy, suites on other floors. We know of 3 from the wedding party; could be more--just don't know.
- When we made our reservation, the only Suite Night Certificate (SNC) upgrade available was a golf course view, not a suite.
- Our SNC was declined, despite very low occupancy at the hotel. The front desk staff, which in fact upgraded us substantially when we asked, hypothesized the group rate did not qualify for SNC. We’re happy for the outcome since the golf course view in December would have been a yawner, and it’s not really a suite. Plus, as we’ve said, the front desk took great care of us with a true suite upgrade and we didn't have to use a SNC.
- We tried a little science project and booked a few single nights during low occupancy times at the Bonvoy “Member’s Rate” (really close to the rack rate), and then attempted to attach SNC’s. In each case, the reservation indicated that we could not use our SNC at all. As near as we can infer, the suites are being assigned truly on a space available basis on the day of check in, which is consistent with Marriott policy before the merger with Starwood.
- We, and friends who are also at these elite levels, asked for an upgrade at check in and got them. So our bottom line is ASK. While we prefer the hotel to be more spontaneous and offer the upgrade that status permits if it is available, it appears you must ask at this property. Yet there’s a big upside; possible suite upgrade without burning the SNC. There are quite a few suites on this property. We were delighted with the results, so by all means ask!
So our bottom line is the Griffin Gate delighted us on a special day for our family. They took great care of all our guests, and we truly appreciated the helpfulness and friendliness of the staff. Thank you so much!
Nicer of the properties in the city
Dec 19, 2019doctoyouSan Diego, California
While I hadn’t stayed here in years, they spiffed but the lobby so it’s more modern and nicer. Rooms standard Marriott. Gym well equipped and included Peloton cycles for those that like to spin. Nice bar (didn’t use). Easy with a digital key for checkin etc. Used the in-app messsging and good responses. Grabbed a bite in the lounge before work…
While I hadn’t stayed here in years, they spiffed but the lobby so it’s more modern and nicer. Rooms standard Marriott. Gym well equipped and included Peloton cycles for those that like to spin. Nice bar (didn’t use). Easy with a digital key for checkin etc. Used the in-app messsging and good responses. Grabbed a bite in the lounge before work which had a nice layout and clean set up. Don’t like the resort fee for a city property though!
A Noisy, But Comfortable Hotel
Nov 26, 2019JeremyPFLancaster, Pennsylvania
Not a bad hotel for a Marriott - clean, comfortable and offering adequate service. But this is a huge property with many rooms and offering conferences and accommodations for large groups. We found it very noisy, no doubt because during our stay a large contingent of racuous college football fans descended on the hotel. The rooms are a good size…
Not a bad hotel for a Marriott - clean, comfortable and offering adequate service. But this is a huge property with many rooms and offering conferences and accommodations for large groups. We found it very noisy, no doubt because during our stay a large contingent of racuous college football fans descended on the hotel. The rooms are a good size but the mattress wasn't particularly comfortable.Over the years I've stayed in countless Marriott properties and this is the first time I've complained about a mattress. There is plenty of self-parking and the hotel offers a car valet service. Arriving at the hotel on the first evening after a long drive we decided to try the hotel restaurant, which proved to be an interesting experience. My wife ordered salmon, but the server told her the restaurant was out of salmon. We were having an early dinner, so we were very surprised. I had the filet steak which was cooked perfectly and frankly, delicious. But in my opinion the restaurant is too bright, noisy and totally uninspiring. Lexington is in my travel plans for next year and I'll have to think carefully if I want to give them a second chance although hotel choices are somewhat limited in the area.
Nice stay and conference rooms
Nov 13, 2019alterego3030Bardstown, Kentucky
I was here for a conference and the convention spaces were nice, well lit and very accommodating. No room seemed too overcrowded. The tent room was the only small negative but on a HOT day is well welcome...the AC vents blow at head height when sitting down and if you don't want your hair to move, sit somewhere else, it was like sitting a…
I was here for a conference and the convention spaces were nice, well lit and very accommodating. No room seemed too overcrowded. The tent room was the only small negative but on a HOT day is well welcome...the AC vents blow at head height when sitting down and if you don't want your hair to move, sit somewhere else, it was like sitting a windstorm! The rooms are typical hotel rooms, nothing fancy. The elevators are a little tricky because it seemed that some of them dont go to every floor.. I wouldn't pick this hotel for me to stay in with the many others downtown close to more attractions, but for a conference, this hotel will do. I did eat at the bar one day for lunch, and t did take some time to get food out and paid for, but when you have 75-100 people break for lunch at the same time, that is expected...but you would expect the hotel to be staffed better for those occasions.
Nov 2, 2019FootlooseMomLexington, Kentucky
Gracious and hardworking front desk and wait staff; cozy rooms; great location in Lexington near I75. Very cold indoor pool. I saw multiple other hotel guest families with kids try to get in then give up after a few minutes. It’s a lovely pool otherwise, with a generous sized warm whirlpool we enjoyed. Took three phone calls to try to get…
Gracious and hardworking front desk and wait staff; cozy rooms; great location in Lexington near I75. Very cold indoor pool. I saw multiple other hotel guest families with kids try to get in then give up after a few minutes. It’s a lovely pool otherwise, with a generous sized warm whirlpool we enjoyed. Took three phone calls to try to get connecting rooms -after making reservation, then the morning and afternoon of the event—and were only able to get rooms next to one another after great effort on the part of the staff. Have stayed here previously for a couple’s overnight and loved the spa and the grounds with the magnificent mansion, with proximity to the Legacy Trail for walking and cycling.