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
London was my final stop on a trip that took me through New York, Geneva and Paris. Many years ago I had the good fortune of being invited for tea at Brown's by an English friend. After never quite getting the timing right, I finally returned to Brown's for High Tea and, as a special indulgence, to stay. From my arrival, through to the spa, my beautifully appointed room, High Tea, drinks in the Bar and breakfast in the room the following morning...my stay was superb. The staff was extremely attentive...using my name and providing me with an experience that has spoiled me for other mere hotels. A few highlights from my stay...(1) the best reflexology I have had outside of Bangkok Thailand...I wish it had lasted forever; (2) a High Tea and tea tasting curated by staff of the tea room that exposed us to a tea from Cornwall...yes, that Cornwall!...which was a surprise and delight, and finally (3) the finely appointed room, luxurious shower and by far the best night's sleep I have ever had outside my own home. No question you are paying for this experience, but if indulgence is your goal, Brown's is it!
During my stay in London I spend a wonderful evening at the Donavan Bar. The drinks are amazing, I had a little bit trouble to choose - each cocktail is unique and has its own story. At the end I went with „Sparkling side of the moon“ an homage to Pink Floyd and it was just fabulous. Later in the evening I got a wonderful tour from the Duty Manager Claus B. He showed me different rooms and suites and explained all the history. „Thank you very much again, for the effort.“ It was just perfect!
Good place for a quick business breakfast. Nice buffet spread, good service and nice hot order options. Able to get a quiet corner for a business conversation. Poached eggs with avacado toast was great