Strand Palace Hotel

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Strand Palace Hotel

The Strand Palace Hotel is a large hotel on the north side of the Strand, London, England, positioned close to Covent Garden, Aldwych, Trafalgar Square and the River Thames.[1]


The hotel was built after Exeter Hall was demolished in 1907. It opened in 1909 [2] and was refurbished in the Art Deco style during the 1930s,[3] but has now been modernised.

Strand Hotel Limited was incorporated on 31 October 1907, with some 4,000 shareholders. Created by the Salmon and Gluckstein families, it was established to fund the building of the Strand Palace Hotel. J. Lyons & Co. acquired shares in this enterprise in 1922, and also bought the adjoining Haxells family hotel in order to expand and improve the Strand Hotel.[2]

After extensive redevelopment, the hotel became an art deco showcase, and re-opened in 1928, with 980 bedrooms. The same year, some not-so-prominent changes were made behind the scenes. Two secondhand coal-fired steam boilers, salvaged from World War I battleships, were installed in the boiler house. The rear of the property was occupied by the Winter Garden Restaurant, which had a large domed ceiling and could seat over 500 guests, who were served by over one hundred staff. Due to its large number of bedrooms, the hotel became popular with American forces before they were sent into action in World War II. Indeed, the hotel was commissioned as an official U.S. rest and recuperation residence.

Once again, the hotel became an important social venue, as Londoners and war-weary soldiers jived and jitterbugged long into the night. Over the years, many of these service personnel have returned to relive memories.

In February 1946, Neville Heath was found by staff members in a room standing over the body of Pauline Rees, an incident occurring during Heath's murder career.

After the war, the hotel made several improvements. Private bathrooms were installed in all guest rooms in 1958; this reduced the overall number of rooms at the hotel to 786. The new bathroom facilities meant that oil-fired boilers had to be installed to cope with the demand for hot water.

In 1968, the front hall and ground floor restaurants, including the Winter Garden, were redesigned, and the first computerised billing system in London was installed.[citation needed] The revolving doors and other parts of the foyer designed by Oliver Bernard were removed in this redesign, but were of such fine quality and historic interest that the curators at the Victoria and Albert Museum requested them for their collection in 1969. The pieces were dismantled and stored in the museum's Battersea depot. The doors were exhibited in 2003 in the museum's major exhibition 'Art Deco: 1910–1939', following reconstruction.[4]

The Strand Palace hotel photographed on 25 August 1981

In 1976, Forte bought the lease of the Strand Palace Hotel from the Lyons Hotel Group. Over the next ten years, there was minor refurbishment throughout the hotel. In 1985, a more in-depth refurbishment was undertaken on all floors of the new hotel; this included new furniture, new bathrooms and a redecoration of the bedrooms.

London and Regional Properties took over the hotel in 2006. They contracted Michael Gallie to deliver an updated floor plan, online[clarification needed] the external elevations, and much of the area referencing, contributing to what the hotel is today.


  1. ^ "Review of the Strand Palace Hotel". Archived from the original on 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
  2. ^ a b "The Strand Palace Hotel – The History". The Strand Palace Hotel in Central London. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
  3. ^ "Strand Palace". Art Deco: 1910–1939. Victoria and Albert Museum. Archived from the original on 23 April 2003. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  4. ^ Victoria and Albert Museum, Online Museum (January 11, 2011). "Strand Palace Hotel".

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Coordinates: 51°30′40″N 0°07′16″W / 51.511°N 0.121°W / 51.511; -0.121