Background and Concept
Period features meet contemporary interiors in this hotel opened in 1837. The design by Olga Polizzi was inspired by literary works and former guests – Rudyard Kipling wrote many of his novels here and it’s believed that The English Tea Room was the inspiration for Agatha Christie’s ‘At Bertram’s Hotel’. As such, the Afternoon Tea is popular with history lovers, seeking to retrace the steps of heroes and heroines in this award-winning, wood-panelled establishment. Now owned by Rocco Forte, modern comforts in the 33 suites and 82 rooms abound. Elegant muted shades are offset with pops of colour and unique artworks. The in-house restaurant Charlie’s, named after the founding Forte, Lord Charles, is all about British cooking. While Donovan’s bar (named after photographer Terence), is an intimate and playfully decadent spot to enjoy a bespoke sixties-themed cocktail.
Brown’s Hotel has perfected service to a tee, from the friendly door staff welcoming you into the hotel through to the guest concierge and reception team and all the staff in the restaurant and bar, they really try and make your time at the hotel extra special. Nothing is too much trouble and nothing is forgotten – I loved the small touches like remembering my name to welcome me back from my day or evening out in London. It really is a special hotel.
In the very heart of Mayfair on Albemarle Street is where you will find Brown’s Hotel, seconds away from Bond Street with a wealth of luxury shopping choices on your doorstep. The Grade II listed Royal Arcade sits across the road and Garrard the jewellers to the Royal family on the corner. Green Park is a five-minute walk and beyond that is Buckingham Palace and Pall Mall. The area provides a selection of London Underground services within easy walking distance and for short trips in and around Mayfair use the hotel’s Bentley.
Rooms and Suites
Brown’s Hotel is made up of 11 individual townhouses which have been merged into one property. This provides space for 115 guest rooms and suites. Rooms sit within five different categories; Executive, Superior, Deluxe, Family and Junior Suite with Suites, Signature Suites and Forte Suites as the three different suite options.
Executive Rooms start at 28sqm and look into the inner courtyard. They offer elegant bedrooms with a stylish sitting area as well as marble bathrooms with Irene Forte products.
Superior Rooms are bigger at 30sqm and overlook the inner courtyard, the historic Albemarle Street or Dover Street.
These rooms start at 38sqm. each having their own individual identity with open plan seating, walk-in wardrobes, and large work areas. Bathrooms have a separate bath and shower and pampering Irene Forte Skincare toiletries.
Family rooms combine a stylish open-plan sitting room and two bedrooms with sleek bathrooms complete with a bath, walk-in shower and indulgent Irene Forte Skincare toiletries. Children can look forward to playful amenities on arrival and special surprises in the evening.
Junior Suites start at 50sqm each featuring an inviting king-sized bed, open-plan living area and generous walk-in wardrobe as well as a large bathroom with bath and walk-in shower alongside pampering Irene Forte Skincare bathroom amenities.
Suites are available in a range of styles and sizes to suit every need and desire ranging from their nature-inspired Brown’s Suites with a stylish bedroom with a king-sized bed and walk-in wardrobe, a separate sitting room and two bathrooms. The larger Family Suites, through to the Signature Suites which are available in Classic And Deluxe, with the Deluxe Suites reaching up to 200sqm in floor size.
The hotel also has three Forte Suites – The Dover Suite, Hellenic Suite and the Kipling Suites which is named after Rudyard Kipling who penned The Jungle Book at Brown’s Hotel.
The Kipling Suite is the most distinguished suite with a grand entrance hall that leads to the commanding sitting room, which beautifully marries period features and antique furnishings with contemporary style. The stunningly appointed bedroom with a king-sized bed and walk-in wardrobe is accented by gold and green hand-painted Lewis & Wood wallpaper and one-of-a-kind artworks. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Albemarle Street while the luxurious Italian Arabescato marble bathroom features a freestanding bath, a double shower, double washbasins and indulgent Irene Forte Skincare toiletries.
Our Brown’s Suite
During my stay, I enjoyed one of the beautiful and spacious Brown’s Suites. This nature inspired suite is decorated with moss and sage green tones, beautiful oak wood flooring and treescape Lewis & Wood wallpaper which invokes a sense of natural calm. A super stylish bedroom with king-sized bed and large walk-in wardrobe has a connecting door taking you though to a separate sitting room. Adjoining the bedroom, the bush-hammered limestone bathroom has a generous bath and walk-in shower while the Bisazza mosaic bathroom features a marble vanity unit.
Room and spa products are by Irene Forte (Charle’s sister, read his interview here). Based on the research of her Scientific Director Doctor Francesca Ferri who is a pioneer in the medical use of plant extracts to treat skin conditions. Irene has introduced novel ingredients into the products that have shown extraordinary results in independent clinical and user trials.
Food and Drink
The Chef Director at Charlie’s is the AAA Rosette and Michelin-starred Adam Byatt. Elegant and distinctly British, the restaurant within Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair features wood panelling, imposing pillars, circular tables and playful bold wallpaper accents. This is a great choice for a glamorous Sunday roast; Charlie’s menu offers dearly-loved classics with a contemporary and European twist, showcasing our isle’s best produce and ingredients – and it changes with the seasons. In addition to the lunch and à la carte menus, there’s an excellent range of plant-based dishes. Sharing platters are also available, such as the quince, pear and almond crumble.
Our Dining Experience
The Drawing Room
The Drawing Room is where Afternoon Tea is served, with original wood panelling and contempory art-works this London tea room is quintessentially British. Follow in the footsteps of Royalty and indulge in neatly crimped sandwiches, the daintiest of pastries and pillowy scones stuffed with fresh cream and jam.
Intimate sophistication, playful decadence and scintillating cocktails are the order of the day at Donovan’s. Olive and teal velvet upholstered chairs, black leather bar stools and a glowing bar harmonise with stained glass windows depicting the English patron saint, St George. Donovan’s is tucked into the sophisticated Brown’s Hotel and is named after 1960’s photographer Terence Donovan – his large black and white prints can be viewed on the walls. The cocktail menu has been designed by master mixologist Salvatore Calabrese, whose experience includes preparing libations for film stars, royals and heads of state. Some of his elaborate creations – such as Harry’s Star and The Winston – are named after famous figures from history.
The hotel also has a wellness centre in the lower level of the building, where therapists can organise a pampering beauty treatment or restorative massage or you can check into their 24 hours gym any time of the day or night to use the range of latest Technogym cardiovascular, weight and resistance equipment.
Brown’s Hotel is the jewel in the crown of luxury hotels in London. The building oozes history, without feeling the remotest bit stuffy, friendly staff and top-notch service, food and drink, and beautiful guest dwellings are guaranteed to make any stay here extra special. Brown’s is included in our guide to the best hotels in London.