Albemarle Street, London, England, W1S 4BP
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Culture vultures, Foodies, Honeymooners, Art, History, Shopping, Sightseeing, Special occasions
Expert review of Brown's Hotel
Describing itself as "London's first ever hotel", Brown's opened its doors in the heart of Mayfair in 1837. Today it is a star property in the Rocco Forte Collection and a prestigious address for any visitor. I like its unashamedly British feel that starts with a Union Jack and St George's Cross flag fluttering above the entrance and continues right through to Earl Grey tea served in china pots and famous boarding school desserts like spotted dick. Not that it's fuddy-duddy. Created by the amalgamation of 11 townhouses, the hotel has 117 rooms - including 29 suites - decorated in a style that is quietly luxurious. Add in a high class modern British restaurant, superlative service and a secret spa, and you have a five-star hotel that is easy to fall in love with.
Sandwiched between Albemarle and Dover Streets, Brown's has the best of London on its doorstep. Walk for just a few minutes and you can be enjoying the luxury shops of New Bond Street, the fine art of the Royal Academy, the foodie treats at Fortnum & Mason, and the leafy spaces of Green Park. If you want to feel you are in the heart of classic, upmarket London, I find it hard to think of a better location to recommend.
The mood at Brown's is subtly cosseting. Colours are quiet and natural with a good use of mirrors to add a sense of space. Beds are dressed with Italian linen that is like sleeping in cream, the bathrobes are thick and all-enveloping. Some rooms look onto internal light wells, while triple-glazed windows ensure a peaceful night's rest.
The lobby and restaurants are an inviting mix of traditional oak-panelling and vibrant modern British art; upstairs the dull corridors are occasionally enlivened by a flash of antique stained glass.
HIX at the Albemarle is a highly enjoyable restaurant with a cosy, club-like feel and a menu devoted to the best of British seasonal produce - be prepared to learn all about the delights of soused alexanders, angels on horseback and ginger parkin. I like it best for dinner, especially in autumn when there are lots of game dishes, and Brown's is also a good choice for any Christmas event. Next door, The English Tea Room is a bastion of the full-blown Afternoon Tea (£37, book well ahead), while the Donovan Bar, decorated with eye-catching photos by the celebrated photographer Terence Donovan, is a fashionable spot for a cocktail or nightcap.
Take the lift to the lowest floor and you'll find a well-maintained fitness centre and The Spa, a pampering cocoon with three private treatment rooms (including one double) that offer a sophisticated range of massages, facials and "indulgences".
The staff are excellent. You can look forward to doormen in top hats, polite waiters who remember your name, prompt and courteous room service - and a sense that the people who work here are happy in their profession.
Well-off leisure travellers, often from overseas; top flight businessmen and women; international families; couples with something to celebrate.
Rates do not generally include VAT or breakfast (£22.50 for Continental, £29.50 for Full English). Unlike in many hotels, service charge is not automatically added to a bill but is "at your discretion".
More information on Brown's Hotel:
- Price from:
- Albemarle Street, London, England, W1S 4BP
- Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Restaurant, Room Service