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DIPLOMATIC CONCIERGE: The illustrious charm of Brown’s Hotel London continues almost two centuries on, says Venetia van Kuffeler

BROWN’S HOTEL is not only London’s first hotel, but also one of the most illustrious in the British capital. Since opening on Albemarle Street in 1837, this distinguished property has hosted royals, heads of state and world-famous authors.

Established by Sir Rocco Forte and his sister Olga Polizzi in 1996, Rocco Forte Hotels is a collection of 12 individual hotels and resorts, led by a family who has been in hospitality for four generations. From Rome and Brussels to Edinburgh and St Petersburg, all of the hotels, both old and new, occupy magnificent buildings in exceptional locations.

Since opening almost two centuries ago, Brown’s Hotel has always been at the forefront of design and, this legacy continues as the property recently unveiled a new renovation of much of the ground floor. In the eye-catching front hall, Olga Polizzi has created an “ode to spring in the UK,” with bold, floral wallpaper created exclusively for Brown’s, and a new Belvedere glass roof flooding the reception with light. The results are beautiful.

The award-winning Donovan Bar – with walls adorned with works from iconic 1960’s photographer Terence Donovan – and the restaurant Beck at Brown’s from renowned three Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck, are ideally placed for high-end entertaining. Both spaces were also renovated in 2018 and continue Brown’s legacy of being London’s original luxury hotel. Rumour has it that Queen Victoria took tea in the English Tea Room, and this quintessentially British custom continues to this day.

The legacy is evident in each of the 115 Olga Polizzi-designed bedrooms and 33 sumptuous suites. Supremely comfortable and stylish, my bright, spacious junior suite had three large windows overlooking Albemarle Street. The elegant space came complete with comfortable seating area, desk, generous walk-in wardrobe, and a vast marble bathroom with walk in shower and bath. Luxurious, and incredibly welcoming. Suite guests also have use of the hotel’s chauffeured Bentley within Mayfair and the surrounding neighbourhood.

The jewel in Brown’s Hotel’s crown is undoubtedly the Kipling Suite, named after the author Rudyard Kipling who stayed at Brown’s and penned the Jungle Book here. The suite’s large sitting room has floor-to-ceiling windows and a wooden floor and is ideal for guests who wish to entertain.






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