Brown's Hotel

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Brown's Hotel
Brown's Hotel London logo.gif
Brown's Hotel London.jpg
Brown's Hotel is located in Central London
Brown's Hotel
Location within Central London
General information
Location33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London
Coordinates51°30′33″N 0°8′33″W / 51.50917°N 0.14250°W / 51.50917; -0.14250
OwnerRocco Forte Hotels
ManagementRocco Forte Hotels
Technical details
Floor count5
Other information
Number of rooms117
Number of suites29
Number of restaurants2
ParkingValet parking
Brown's Hotel

Brown's Hotel is a luxury hotel in Mayfair, London, established in 1837[1] and owned by Rocco Forte Hotels since 3 July 2003. It is considered one of London's oldest existing hotels.[2]


Brown's Hotel was founded in 1837, by James and Sarah Brown. The architecture of the 11 Georgian townhouses mean that each room is distinctly different from another. In 1889, the hotel was unified with the neighbouring St George's Hotel, as they backed onto each other and were eventually merged to allow for a throughway between Dover Street and Albemarle Street.

Historian John Lothrop Motley stayed at the hotel in 1874, as shown in a letter he wrote on 17 June that year, to Dutch historian Groen van Prinsterer.[3] Celebrated Victorian writers Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, JM Barrie and Bram Stoker were also all regular visitors.[4] The hotel was the location of the first successful telephone call in Europe, made by Alexander Graham Bell on a phone which can be seen in the hotel today. The hotel has also hosted Theodore Roosevelt; Napoleon III; Empress Eugenie;[4] Elizabeth, Queen of the Belgians; Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia; George II, King of the Hellenes; Cecil Rhodes; Rudyard Kipling; Agatha Christie; and Stephen King. While Brown's has been described as the inspiration hotel for Christie's At Bertram's Hotel,[4] the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says Christie's model was a different Mayfair hotel, Fleming's.[5]

The hotel came under the management of Rocco Forte Hotels on 3 July 2003, having once been operated by Raffles International Hotels. During 2004–2005, the hotel underwent a £24 million refurbishment and re-opened in December 2005.[4]


Brown's Hotel is noted for its traditional English Victorian sophistication fused with a contemporary feel.[4] The bedrooms are designed by Olga Polizzi and combine modern features with traditional furnishing and are all individually decorated. The standard rooms are 30 to 50 square metres in size, with the suites being 60 to 168 square metres.[4]

The hotel has several restaurants and bars including Beck at Brown's (formerly The Albemarle then HIX Mayfair), an à la carte restaurant which serves seasonal Italo-British cuisine, The Brown's English Tea Room which has served afternoon tea and light snacks since the mid-nineteenth century, and The Donovan Bar, named after the British photographer Terence Donovan. The bar is lined with over 50 of his black and white prints.[4] 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.[4] The bar serves over sixty cocktails and thirty wines and Champagnes. The hotel has six private dining and meeting rooms, which can accommodate up to 72 guests for a lunch or dinner or up to 120 people for a reception.[4] The hotel also features a 24-hour gymnasium and spa treatment rooms.[6]


  1. ^ "Brown's celebrates its 175th anniversary". The Handbook. 28 December 2012. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Nationaal Archief (National Archives), The Hague, Collection 043 Groen van Prinsterer, 1810–1876, access number, inventory number 124
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "BBC R4: Five Meet to Make Up Myths]".
  5. ^ Morgan, Janet (October 2008). "Christie, Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa (1890–1976)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn (subscription required). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  6. ^

External links[edit]

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