When you stay at Brown’s Hotel in London, it’s often difficult to explain your true motivation for being there in the first place. Made up of 11 Georgian townhouses and situated on Albemarle Street in the heart of Mayfair, this is about as fashionable a location as you can get. Within walking distance of Bond Street and Oxford Street, you’re also 30 seconds from Burlington Arcade – great if you’re looking to pick up a vintage Rolex or a pair of Church’s brogues.
History has called at Brown’s on more than one occasion as writers, royals and heads of state have all passed through its doors for generations. Alexander Graham Bell made the first ever telephone call Herein 1876 while Rudyard Kipling completed The Jungle Book from one of the suites. The literary theme was embraced as Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, JM Barrie and Bram Stoker all called Brown’s home at one point or another.
If none of the above appeals then you’re there for one of the 117 bedrooms or 29 suites. The Albemarle is our favourite, offering a bottle of Ruinart champagne, a butler to unpack your bags and your first night’s eveningwear pressed.
Perhaps you’re there for the dining options, which even by London hotel standards are pretty impressive. Hix of Mayfair is one of the city’s finest restaurants, while The Donovan Bar – created in homage to the 1960s and famed photographer, Terence – is lined with 50 of his iconic prints and makes a mean cocktail. Finally, you might well be there for something a little more interactive. In which case, a carving masterclass with Mark Hix or one of their Mayfair art tours fits the bill nicely.
Make no mistake, Brown’s is an institution worthy of its lofty status. There’s no resting on laurels here meaning that, whatever your reasons for visiting, the only certainty is that it won’t be your last.