31 May 2021

LEGO® Friends review: 41684 Heartlake City Grand Hotel

Saija Saarenpää (@saija_kristina) is our brand new guest reviewer today, examining the new LEGO® Friends set 41684 Heartlake City Grand Hotel. Hailing from Finland, Saija codes and does graphics for her day job. She finished her Dark Age in 2014 via the Architecture Studio set, after which she was gradually lured back to the world of colourful bricks. Will you be buying this colourful set? It is released at midnight tonight 1 June 2021 priced £89.99/ 99,99 €/ AU$169.99; and in North America, 1 August US$99.99. Regardless of what you're buying, please consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. Products in this article were provided by LEGO; the author's opinions are their own.


LEGO® Friends 41684 Heartlake City Grand Hotel is a big package, and seven-year-old me would have screamed for happiness if I got this as a present. It’s also super fun to build and is as exciting as the previous version of the Grand Hotel (set 41101 from 2015).

The build includes a symmetrical facade and inside decorations in a dolls-house style for maximum playability. Outside there’s a beach chair and a trolley to move some luggage around.


There are some more outdoor items, but as the set is so big they’re in a separate pic – a nice looking fountain and an outside garden patio:

New parts in 41684 Heartlake City Grand Hotel

The set does not include new moulds, but there are a few recolours. Firstly, we get a new Dark Turquoise curved part:

  • 2 x Slope Brick Curved 2 x 4 x 2/3 No Studs with Bottom Tubes in Dark Turquoise (6256622 | 88930).

Also there are bunch of large new Bright Pink items:

  • 2 x Panel 1 x 6 x 5 (6348273 | 59349)
  • 4 x Brick 1 x 2 x 5 with Hollow Studs and Bottom Stud Holder with Symmetric Ridges (6143721 | 2454b)

In addition, we get recolours of the Nakia / Lando Calrissian  hair from 2018 in Dark Brown, a Dark Blue arch and the smaller version of the leaves in the autumnal colour of Dark Orange:

  • 1 x Minifig Hair Coiled and Short in Dark Brown (6350643 | 36060)
  • 1 x Brick Arch 1 x 6 x 2 - Thin Top without Reinforced Underside [New Version] in Dark Blue (6350524 | 15254)
  • 2 x Plant, Leaves 4 x 3 in Dark Orange x 2 (6022079 | 2423)

I especially like the new colour of the foliage! One more fairly interesting part is found in the fountain:

  • 1 x Brick Round Corner 3 x 3 x 1 with Bottom Cut Outs [No Studs] [1/4 Arch] in White (6294351 | 65617)

The piece is fairly new as introduced last year and has appeared in only 7 sets so far. A few more of these pieces are welcome in my collection.


I did not apply the stickers as that would make my pieces less versatile for MOCs, but here’s the sticker sheet for reference.

Inside 41684 Heartlake City Grand Hotel


The backside of the hotel offers a three-story doll-house to build. Let’s dive into the details, there are a lot of them.


The central room downstairs is the entrance. It has a nice functional revolving door mechanism. The tiled red carpet will welcome every visitor to enjoy the luxury of hotel life.

To the left of the lobby, there’s the reception. The receptionist has a desk with the printed letter part (3069bpr9989), a phone, some keys, and a small fridge with one beverage. The container box (35700) with the beverage is actually a really nice inclusion since there has been only one in the Light Bluish Grey colour before, in 2021’s 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens.

The room to the right of the lobby is this cozy room with a grand piano and a fireplace. The design of the piano is not as nice as in the previous Grand Hotel incarnation, and a further disappointment is that the keys of the piano should be applied with the sticker #15 instead of the proper printed piano keyboard part (3069bpr0278), and as mentioned I chose not to apply. A golden frog, though, is always welcome in my collection.


There are three hotel rooms in the building; two regular ones and a penthouse. This is one of the regular ones. It has a nice design with a single bed, rug, table and a lamp. The room also includes a bathroom with a shower, toilet seat and sink.

The other regular room is a mirror image of the previous one. Its decorations differ only in colour: the bedsheet and rug colours have been switched.


This boring little thing is the hallway with the entrances to the rooms and the balcony. There is a red rug to continue the luxurious theme of the floor below.


The third hotel room, the penthouse, is slightly more luxurious than the others. It has a double bed, vanity and a view from a round window to see the whole beauty of the Heartlake City. The entrance to the room is from the roof.

I guess this jacuzzi is included as part of the luxury of the penthouse because the only entrance to the extension goes through that apartment. The 2 x 4 rounded tile part that acts as the bottom of the jacuzzi (66857) is fairly interesting. It’s been included only in 9 sets so far, and only in two of them as White. The part in this set should have sticker #20 applied to create Dark Turquoise water with some bubbles.


The roof extension to the right has a dining table. I’m not sure if this is also dedicated to the penthouse as there is no other entrance to that part of the build eitherhough it may be just simplified. The penthouse door includes a printed electric lock (3070bpr0234).


A speciality of this set is that it also includes foliage and accessories for autumn and winter. Here, in the autumn accessories, you can find the alternative colour of the water for the smaller fountain in the patio extension. There is also an umbrella, a squirrel, some hotdogs with ketchup and mustard bottles, pumpkins and apples.

The winter foliage and accessories are even slightly more interesting than the autumn ones. There’s more stuff you can build: some icicles you can attach to the roof of the hotel, a sled, a snowman and some additional balls of snow. To create a mood while you have something to eat there’s a candle (the other one is spare), some tea and pretzels. The accessories are completed by a rabbit.

Conclusion

As a build, I enjoyed this very much. Even though as a symmetrical building this had some repetitive parts, it has interesting outside decorations and a highly ornamental facade – especially notable was the nice SNOT usage in the window jambs. The indoors were also interesting to build, I love those tiny little pieces of furniture, even though the piano was a disappointment. Overall, although there are no new moulds and only a few interesting recolours, it is a solid set with an interesting build and good playability. 

LEGO® Friends 41684 Heartlake City Grand Hotel has 1308 pieces. Affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission:

READ MORE: Now for a review the 'other' Friends – the TV show! – as featured in new set 10292

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2 comments:

  1. Good review!

    I really like the layered coloration of the walls in this set (with pink on the bottom floor, a cooler lavender on the middle floor, and dark blue for the roof). It helps to set the different areas of the hotel apart from one another and give a sense of progression to the build. Similar layering (though slightly more organic) was used for the "underwater" aesthetic of last year's Friends Water Park (which used darker azures near the bottom that transitioned to lighter ones and then to a tan sand castle aesthetic for the top).

    Both this set and the new Heartlake City School are updates of older Friends sets, that trade the modularity of those earlier sets for a larger number of rooms. I love the look of these new buildings and how full-featured they feel (no longer does the hotel only have one suite!), but I do sort of miss the modularity and hope the Friends theme might return to that idea in the future. The ability to expand a set like this hotel with additional rooms or floors could really elevate it, I think.

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  2. Thanks! I also prefer the modularity of the previous incarnations of the sets, although the diverse interiors are also fascinating and have their own benefits. I guess it depends whether you're a MOC builder to appreciate the expandability or prefer ready-made spacious interiors instead. Probably most people are the former one in this forum :) I actually did not look into that layered coloration that carefully, but now that you said, it is pretty eye-pleasing.

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