Brown's Hotel

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Not to be confused with Brown Hotel (disambiguation).
For Dylan Thomas' regular pub in Laugharne, see Brown's Hotel (Laugharne). For resort in upstate New York, see Brown's Hotel (Catskills).
Brown's Hotel
Brown's Hotel London logo.gif
Brown's Hotel London.jpg
General information
Location 33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London
Coordinates 51°30′33″N 0°8′33″W / 51.50917°N 0.14250°W / 51.50917; -0.14250
Opening 1837
Owner The Rocco Forte Collection
Management The Rocco Forte Collection
Technical details
Floor count 5
Other information
Number of rooms 117
Number of suites 29
Number of restaurants 1
Parking Valet parking
Brown's Hotel

Brown's Hotel is a 5-star hotel in London, United Kingdom. Opened in 1837, it is one of London's most established hotels, celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2012.[1] Brown's 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 is in walking distance of Green Park and Hyde Park.


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.[2] 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.[2] 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 Empress Eugenie in 1871,[2] Elizabeth, Queen of the Belgians (who took refuge in the hotel during World War I), Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia and George II, King 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 is popularly believed to have based her 1965 mystery At Bertram's Hotel on Brown's. However, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says Christie's model was a different Mayfair hotel, Fleming's.[3] 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.[4] Celebrated Victorian writers Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, JM Barrie and Bram Stoker were also all regular visitors.[2]

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.[2]


The Brown's Hotel is noted for its traditional English Victorian sophistication fused with a contemporary feel.[2] 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.[2]

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 Donovan Bar, pays homage to the celebrated British photographer Terence Donovan and is lined with over 50 of his iconic black and white prints.[2] The bar is furnished with wooden floors, black leather seating and dark country check banquettes. In one corner are "naughty" adult-oriented photographs and a table for 12.[2] The bar serves over sixty cocktails and thirty wines and champagnes. The hotel has six conference rooms, serving up to 120 people.[2]


Brown’s Hotel has received several awards and accolades including: Top 10 UK Leisure Hotels, in Condé Nast 2009 R eader’s Travel Awards; UK Best Hotels for Ambience & Design, in Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2010; and Best Hotels 2010, in National Geographic Traveler USA.


  1. ^ "Brown's celebrates its 175th anniversary". The Handbook. Dec 28, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Rocco Forte Brown's Hotel". Miles Faster. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Morgan, Janet (Oct 2008). "Christie , Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa (1890–1976)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn (subscription required). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Nationaal Archief (National Archives), The Hague, Collection 043 Groen van Prinsterer, 1810–1876, access number, inventory number 124

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′33″N 0°08′33″W / 51.50917°N 0.14250°W / 51.50917; -0.14250