Brown's Hotel

Brown's Hotel is a luxury 5-star hotel in London, England. Opening its doors in 1837, it has been owned by The Rocco Forte Collection since 3 July 2003 and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.

Brown's Hotel is set in the heart of Mayfair on Albemarle Street. It is located within walking distance of shopping streets such as Bond Street and Regent Street in addition to theatres, art galleries and central London landmarks. It also sits on the doorstep of Green Park and Hyde Park.

History

Brown's Hotel was founded in 1837, by James and Sarah Brown.

In 1889, Brown's Hotel purchased St George's Hotel in Albemarle Street, which backed on to Brown's, and combined the two hotels, adding a fifth floor to both properties. On Albemarle Street, a new front of stucco and entrance portico were built, and two panels of blue and gold mosaic bearing the legend of Brown's and St George's were placed on the wall (both still exist today).

The hotel has hosted some notable people. Alexander Graham Bell went to stay in 1876 to demonstrate his new invention - the telephone - and the first successful telephone call in Great Britain was made from Brown's in 1876. The Niagara Room commemorates the meeting held there in 1890 by the International Niagara Commission, which agreed on 'the adoption of electrical methods as the chief means of distributing Niagara power'; the inauguration of the alternating current system resulted and has subsequently been adopted throughout the world.

In 1886, Theodore Roosevelt stayed at Brown's prior to his second marriage. Royal guests have included Napoleon III and Princess Eugenie in 1871,Queen Elizabeth of the Belgians (who took refuge in the hotel during World War I), Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia and King George II of the Hellenes, who stayed at Brown's for nine years after his exile from Greece in 1924.

Other notable people who have stayed at Brown's include Cecil Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia, Rudyard Kipling (who completed The Jungle Book there) and Agatha Christie, who based her 1965 thriller At Bertram's Hotel on Brown's. Historian John Lothrop Motley stayed at the hotel in 1874, as shown in a letter he wrote on the 17th of June of that year, to Dutch historian Groen van Prinsterer.

The hotel became part of the Rocco Forte collection of luxury hotels on 3 July 2003, having once been managed by Raffles International Hotels. During 2004-2005 the hotel underwent a £24 million refurbishment and re-opened in December 2005.

Interior

The Brown's Hotel is noted for its traditional English Victorian sophistication fused with a contemporary feel. The bedrooms are designed by Olga Polizzi and combine modern features with traditional furnishing and are all individually decorated. The standard rooms are 32 to 40 square metres in size with the suites being 50 to 95 square metres.

The hotel has several restaurants and bars including The Albemarle (formerly the Grill), an informal A La Carte restaurant which serves both English and continental cuisine, the Brown’s English Tea Room which has served afternoon tea and light snacks since the mid nineteenth century and the The Donovan Bar, which pays homage to the German-Australian photographer Helmut Newton with his iconic prints. The bar is furnished with wooden floors, black leather seating and dark country check banquettes. In one corner are pornographic photographs and a table for 12. The bar serves over sixty cocktails and thirty wines and champagnes.

The hotel also has 6 conference rooms, serving up to 120 people.

Awards

Brown’s Hotel has received a wide range of awards and accolades including:

Top 10 UK Leisure Hotels in Condé Nast 2009 Reader’s Travel Awards.

UK Best Hotels for Ambience & Design in Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2010

Best Hotels 2010 in National Geographic Traveler USA

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