Claridge's

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For other hotels with a similar name, see Claridge Hotel.
Claridge's London
Claridges Hotel - geograph.org.uk - 1064579.jpg
Claridge's in 2002
General information
Location Mayfair, London, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°30′45″N 0°08′51.36″W / 51.51250°N 0.1476000°W / 51.51250; -0.1476000Coordinates: 51°30′45″N 0°08′51.36″W / 51.51250°N 0.1476000°W / 51.51250; -0.1476000
Opening 1812
Owner Maybourne Group
Design and construction
Architect Edward James Ferrel
Other information
Number of rooms 203
Number of suites 11

Claridge's is a 5-star hotel at the corner of Brook Street and Davies Street in Mayfair, London. It has long-standing connections with royalty that have led to it sometimes being referred to as an "annexe to Buckingham Palace".

History[edit]

Claridge's was founded in 1812 as Mivart's Hotel,[1] in a conventional London terraced house, and grew by expanding into neighbouring houses. In 1854, the founder (the father of biologist St. George Jackson Mivart) sold the hotel to a Mr and Mrs Claridge, who owned a smaller hotel next door. They combined the two operations, and after trading for a time as "Mivart's at Claridge's", they settled on the current name. The reputation of the hotel was confirmed in 1860 when Empress Eugenie made an extended visit and entertained Queen Victoria at the hotel.

Drawing of the current version of Claridge's was published in 1897, the year before the reopening.

Richard D'Oyly Carte, the theatrical impresario and founder of the rival Savoy Hotel, purchased Claridge's in 1894, as part of The Savoy Group, and shortly afterwards demolished the old buildings and replaced them with the present ones. This was prompted by the need to install modern facilities such as lifts and en suite bathrooms. The new Claridge's, built by George Trollope & Sons, opened in 1898.[2] It is a Grade II listed building.[3] The hotel has 203 rooms and suites.

After the First World War, Claridge's flourished due to demand from aristocrats who no longer maintained a London house, and under the leadership of Carte's son, Rupert D'Oyly Carte, an extension was built in the 1920s. During the Second World War it was the base of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia's forces in exile and home of Peter II of Yugoslavia. He and his wife spent much of the Second World War in exile at Claridge's, and suite 212 was ceded by the United Kingdom to Yugoslavia for a single day (17 July 1945) to allow their heir, Crown Prince Alexander, to be born on Yugoslav soil.[4] In December 1951 West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer secretly met World Jewish Congress president Nahum Goldmann at Claridge's to begin negotiations on German reparations to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.

Well-known actors, directors and entertainers who have used Claridge's include Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, regular visitor Alfred Hitchcock, Brad Pitt, Mick Jagger, U2 and Mariah Carey. The hotel lobby and several guestrooms appear in the 2001 Stephen Poliakoff BBC television drama Perfect Strangers. Claridge's is known for hosting visiting royalty and guests of the Royal Family. The late King Hassan of Morocco was known to travel with his own mattress, but at the hotel he used a Savoy Mattress. Impressed by the quality, he ordered 24 identical mattresses from the Savoy for his palace.[5]

Claridge's has become famed for its Christmas tree display. Trees have been designed by John Galliano (Dior) and Kally Ellis (McQueens).[6]

In 1998, the group of hotels — along with the later-added Connaught — were sold for $867 million to two American private-equity funds, Blackstone and Colony Capital.[7] In 2004, they both retained Deutsche Bank to sell[8] The Savoy Group, including Claridge's, to private-equity firm Quinlan Private, which eventually sold the Savoy Hotel and Savoy Theatre and renamed the group Maybourne Hotel Group.[9]

In 2007 Claridge's gained worldwide media coverage by introducing a Water Menu containing bottled waters sourced globally and from the United Kingdom, such as Malmberg and Iskilde.[10]

The Maybourne Group includes two other five-star luxury hotels in London, The Berkeley and The Connaught.

Suites[edit]

Claridge's offers the finest designer rooms, suites and penthouses. The Mayfair Suite is furnished in art deco style. Rooms start at USD $904 per night, suites start at USD $1,791 per night, penthouses start at USD $7,000 per night.

Facilities[edit]

Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's

For 12 years the fine dining main restaurant was run by Gordon Ramsay, with head chef Steve Allen who replaced Mark Sargeant. Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's lost its Michelin status in January 2010 and closed in 2013 following Ramsay's withdrawal from renewal negotiations with the hotel. Michelin-starred Northern Irish chef Michael Deane also started his career at the restaurant. Claridge's offers afternoon tea and has been endorsed by the Tea Guild. Claridge's has two ground floor bars: a main bar and a former cigar bar known as The Fumoir. The smoking ban in England has caused The Fumoir to stop selling cigars.

From 28 July to 6 August 2012 the hotel hosted a 10-day pop-up restaurant by two-Michelin-starred New Nordic Cuisine Noma, while the restaurant in Copenhagen was closed from 22 July to 13 August for refurbishment. Owner and founder René Redzepi with head chef Matt Orlanda and staff from the restaurant served a GB£195-per-head nine-course menu that included their take on scone and clotted cream, Lancashire hotpot with British ingredients, an live ants foraged in Denmark and flown to London.[11][12][13]

Christmas tree[edit]

Most years Claridge's Christmas tree is designed and decorated by someone notable in the fashion industry. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana decorated a lavish 22 ft Christmas tree displayed in the lobby in 2013.[14]

In 2012 the tree was created by Kally Ellis, founder of British floral designers McQueens. In 2011 the tree featured a family of puppets in a Christmas scene and was decorated by Lanvin.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Claridges: An opulent hotel where every polished corner tells a story". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 9 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Trollope & Colls at the National Archives
  3. ^ English Heritage. "Grade II (208860)". Images of England. 
  4. ^ Christopher Long (25 October 1991). "A Regal Bid Too Far?". Retrieved 15 December 2006. "I was born on Yugoslav territory at Claridge's Hotel in London, 1945, on 17 June, and this was done in agreement with the British Government." 
  5. ^ Jones, Ronald F (1997). Inside the Best Hotels: Grand Hotelier. Jones & Jones. p. 248. ISBN 0953273709. 
  6. ^ "Claridge's unveil their Christmas Tree". The Handbook. 3 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Dana Vachon (August 2014), To Capture Claridge’s Vanity Fair.
  8. ^ Dana Vachon (August 2014), To Capture Claridge’s Vanity Fair.
  9. ^ Walsh, Dominic. "Savoy Group changes name after deal", The Times, 25 January 2005.
  10. ^ Telegraph online news, 15 October 2007.
  11. ^ O' Ceallaigh, John (24 April 2012). "The 'world's best restaurant' comes to London: Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant will decamp to Claridge’s hotel this summer". Telegraph. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  12. ^ Lisa, Markwell (1 August 2012). "World's best restaurant comes to town... and it's serving ants". The Independent. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Bazalgette, Peter (13 July 2012). "A nomadic Noma: The Copenhagen restaurant is hosting a 10-day London pop-up at Claridge’s. Its crew will bring their own red seaweed oil, but many ingredients will be British". Financial Times. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  14. ^ Winter, Katy (23 October 2013). "The Christmas Tree". Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 

External links[edit]