For a hotel that melds history, glamour and luxury look no further than London’s oldest hotel; Brown’s Hotel. Located in Mayfair, Brown’s boasts a brand-new restaurant, its own spa and impressively spacious, gorgeously designed suites and guest rooms.
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Why We Love This Hotel
Brown’s Hotel is wonderfully located in the very heart of London, is luxury at its’ very refined best and has that rather fabulous new restaurant to try out too; put simply, everything that we look for in a hotel. This was a perfect match for Luxury Travel Diary and we were eager to pay a visit this winter.
Tucked down Albermarle Street in Mayfair right next to Bond Street, Brown’s Hotel finds itself opposite the stunning Royal Arcade, a beautiful shortcut to London’s most exclusive shopping district. Once you arrive, you really only need your legs to explore the heavenly district of Mayfair and its’ tempting shops, boutiques and restaurants. If you wish to escape the glitz for a moment, the hotel is also just minutes from Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James Park so be sure to make the most of these on your visit too.
Best Time To Visit
There can be no bad time to visit London. Although late Spring and Summer bring the most visitors, early Spring is a great time to visit as the city’s parks are in full bloom. Even on rainy days, the museums, galleries and shopping beckon and Christmas time is just magical with the lights of Regent Street, Bond Street, Oxford Street and Covent Garden.
How To Get There
You are just a 45 minute drive from Heathrow Airport. If you arrive by train, you are a 10 minute drive from Euston and Victoria stations and a 15 minute drive from St Pancras International station. The hotel has valet parking or if you wish to travel by London Underground, Green Park station is less than 5 minutes walk around the corner.
Style & Character
This is London’s oldest hotel, originating from 1837 (owned by Rocco Forte Hotels since 2003) with past guests including Queen Victoria and Agatha Christie (one of her books is reportedly set here) and was the location of Alexander Bell’s first phone call. So, you could be forgiven for thinking it could be dated and stuffy. Thankfully this is very definitely not the case. Brown’s is chic, beautiful, very luxurious and seems both not too classic and not too contemporary.
Despite the wonderful Mayfair location, everywhere feels spacious; from the entrance hall, to the restaurant, to our gorgeous suite. The achingly stylish wallpaper in the reception space (which is reflected around the hotel), coupled with the vaulted ceiling, not only give, a “wow” welcome, but also nicely sets the scene for your style journey at Brown’s.
Service & Facilities
The service here is delightful. We were warmly greeted by the doorman and all the staff from that point on were just as warm and welcoming. We travel with our two children and the welcome for little people was brilliant. They were bursting with excitement to find the Brown’s mascot monkey (Alby!) and personalised book waiting on their pillows. Children were accommodated throughout and were treated just as special as all Brown’s guests.
To ease aching bones that have walked too many of London’s finest streets, The Spa at Brown’s awaits. A calming refuge from the busy streets above, it is peaceful, calm and relaxing, just the place to indulge in a massage or beauty treatment. My daughter and I spent a very happy hour or so getting our nails done together and ensuring we were dinner-ready.
There’s also a large, well-equipped fitness centre and 6 meeting rooms. The Wi-Fi was easy to log on to and best of all was retained by my phone! To really make your stay memorable, all guests have access to the hotel’s very own chauffeured Bentley Mulsanne so you can cruise London in style.
There are 82 elegant Guest Rooms and 33 sumptuous Suites, all designed by Olga Polizzi who accentuates the beautiful period features with glamourous contemporary furnishings, tasteful splashes of colourful wallpaper, and art coupled with fun accessories; it’ll fill your Instagram if you’re so inclined. The Classic, Executive and Deluxe Rooms are stunning but I do feel you’ll gain more from the experience of a stay at Brown’s, and make no mistake – it is a magnificent experience to stay here – if you can stretch to a Suite.
We were lucky enough to be roomed in one of the very spacious and elegant Classic Suites. I counted 6 rooms in the Suite; ok maybe a slight stretch with the hallway and dressing rooms included, but still the space of this suite is seriously impressive, especially for a central Mayfair location. The bedroom was huge and if you’re checking out the photos, does only include one Super King bed, the Chaise Longue itself was vast enough to easily be confused for a second bed! The bathroom was just as spacious and included a separate rain shower cubicle and bath with a built-in television. My favourite room though, had to be the living and dining room; its huge windows let the light flood the room from the Mayfair streets below and it had easily enough space for a family of four to spread out and feel at home. These suites can also be interconnecting which would be very convenient with older children or if you are travelling with friends or family.
I would definitely recommend this room but any of the Suites, particularly the ultra-opulent Hellenic Suite or Kipling Suite (so named for Rudyard Kipling, who penned The Jungle Book at Brown’s Hotel), would be equally wonderful.
Food & Drink
One of the things I was most looking forward to about visiting Brown’s was dining at the brand-new restaurant; Charlie’s and suffice to say, it did not disappoint. Charlie’s is a beautiful, fine dining establishment where service is evidently as important as the exquisite cuisine. The British menus were developed by Michelin-starred chef and are bursting with fresh, creative dishes. I had the Sutton Hoo chicken, ham, tarragon and leek pie and it melted in your mouth and left me satisfyingly full. The charming staff were happy to make smaller portions of anything on the menu for the children as well as being about to offer the usual family favourites. The wine list is worthy of its own mention, stocking some excellent wines which the very helpful sommelier can guide you through.
As well as Charlie’s, the hotel has a large bar, Donovan’s with a distinctly art deco vibe and an inspiring cocktail menu and there’s also the charming and very popular The Drawing Room; we missed out on afternoon tea this visit so are already planning our return, Brown’s does seem to rather get under your skin!
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