Rocco Forte Brown’s Hotel
What We Love
- The impeccable service
- Indulging at the Champagne Afternoon Tea
- The black-and-white Terence Donovan photography in the Donovan Bar
- The location, only a short walk from the shops on Oxford Street
What To Know
- The restaurant can get busy; book in advance
- There's plenty of live music, from live jazz in the Donovan Bar from 9pm to midnight (Monday through Saturday) to the pianist in the English Tea Room
- READ MORE: How to see London for free
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Made up of 11 townhouses in posh Mayfair, Brown’s Hotel is nothing short of a British institution. Opened in 1837, the hotel had a chic modern overhaul in 2005 when Sir Rocco Forte and the talented Olga Polizzi took the helm. Think plush carpets, neutral tones, enormous beds clad in white linens and marble bathrooms. Downstairs, the HIX restaurant dishes up delicious British cuisine amongst artwork from Bridget Riley and Tracey Emin. There’s a bijoux spa, and the Donovan Bar serves a mean cocktail. If you like your hotels with a hefty dose of history, then Brown’s is your place. Queen Victoria was a regular visitor, Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book in the tea room and it was here that Alexander Graham Bell made his first U.K. phone call. If only the walls could talk.
In the Area
The best of England’s high-fashion stores are at your doorstep, including Selfridges, Liberty and the Topshop flagship store at Oxford Circus. If the sun puts in an appearance, have lunch alfresco at Hyde Park, one of the city’s most picturesque green spaces. Expect to hear lively debates, rants and ramblings every Sunday at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, where orators have taken to their soapboxes to celebrate freedom of speech since 1872 (heckling optional). For more park life, do a circuit of the Serpentine and admire the more than 4,000 trees, stop by the Diana Memorial Fountain and stroll down to Buckingham Palace to take a tour of the royal residence.
How to Get There
All aspects of our stay were perfect - the room, dining in the restaurant now overseen by Adam Byatt, breakfast and service throughout. A memorable 5-star experience for a special occasion. And for those not visiting Brown's for a good while, the new restaurant layout/refurbishment and, more recently, the combined reception/concierge areas work so much better than before.
Overall an average experience. Got bumped to a junior suite but the room was dark and was denied changing rooms although I requested a downgrade if I can get some light in the room. The manager at the desk was rude and so was the gate keeper condescending. The saving grace is the Donovan bar where they have excellent staff. They should have kept up with the history of the hotel as many staff didn't know what the hotel stood for and it took them a while to print me something on the history of the hotel. Mixed signals overall hence the review. Make sure your card doesn't decline by mistake. They will devour you with their looks.
I can’t even begin to express how wonderful our afternoon was! Manager Alexander Wilson happened to greet us as we entered, and he made the experience all the better with superb attention to detail! The staff was fantastic in service and supply of the amazing sandwiches and fabulous desserts! Alexander remembered our names and checked back in with us several times to make sure we had everything we needed. He gave us a fabulous tour of the property, and answered all of my many questions. I will recommend to any who asks (and those who don’t!) to have tea and stay at the exquisite Brown’s Hotel! Bravo to all of the staff! Thank you for being a highlight of my time in London! Will be back for sure!