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.
Eating and drinking
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.
Who stays there
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".
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Culture vultures
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Excellent location
- Seasonal British food
- Top class service
- Very expensive
- WiFi not included