June 3, 2024

A Cosmopolitan Twist at London's Oldest Hotel

Picture of Kenna Reyner
Kenna Reyner

Inspiring generations, Rocco Forte's Brown's Hotel is the ideal place to experience the wonders of Mayfair.

This iconic address was once a popular stop for the world's most notable travelers and remains on today's bucket list due to its rich sense of history, imaginative interiors, and contemporary pulse. 

The hotel blends a storied past and boutique allure with stylish décor and modern amenities. Olga Polizzi, co-founder and director of design at Rocco Forte Hotels, has infused the 19th-century exterior with creativity, character, and an eye for modern design, offering modern travelers the quintessential London escape. 

Historic Mayfair

As the Industrial Revolution struck Britain, the new era of transport, power, and tourism opened the doors to the hotel industry. Brown's Hotel was the first of its time when it opened its doors in 1837 and quickly became the hot spot for international clientele. At the time, Mayfair was an up-incoming residential parish, and Brown's Hotel was a townhouse turned hotel by James Brown and Sarah Willis.

By 1859, the hotel was run by James John Ford, who advanced the legacy with 11 townhouses and the first-ever hotel restaurant.

The New

Rocco Forte has since infused London's oldest hotel with modern charm and luxury amenities, creating a social hub and cultural hotspot. In 2003, Brown's Hotel was acquired by Rocco Forte Hotels. The new look pairs with modern design while maintaining its roots, tying in the history and culture of the hotel at every step. Rocco Forte transformed the historic pillar into a modern collision of new and old with a £24-million renovation and refurbishment. They frequently refresh modern touches with new restaurant concepts, trending suites, and more recent renovations in 2019.


The Kipling Suite

Unveiled in 2016, the Brown's Hotel's Kipling Suite seamlessly blends historic charm with modern luxury. Inspired by Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, the suite features whimsical touches such as a hanging monkey figurine, framed letters by Kipling, and hand-painted wallpaper by Lewis & Wood. Guests can enjoy an exclusive Brown's edition of The Jungle Book, making their stay a unique literary experience.

The suite's classic, contemporary design is evident in the original elements of the spacious sitting room, complemented by modern amenities. The light-filled bathroom, with Arabescato Italian marble finishes, offers a serene sanctuary stocked with Irene Forte Skincare toiletries made from organic Sicilian ingredients. Guests can also indulge in the chic subterranean Spa at Brown's, featuring treatments like the 20-minute Midday Miracle Boost Facial. The Kipling Suite perfectly combines timeless elegance with modern sophistication.


Local Entertainment

The location and design of the hotel offer plenty of fun things to do and visit.

For Mayfair's most discerning sippers: Donovan Bar

Donovan's Bar is the perfect haven for Mayfair's most discerning sippers, offering an impeccable cocktail menu crafted by legendary maestro Salvatore Calabrese and Director of Mixology Federico Pavan. This duo has curated a sublime list that marries personal classics with original concoctions, ensuring a varied selection of 'must try' cocktails. Salvatore Calabrese, one of the world's leading bartenders and former President of the United Kingdom Bartender's Guild, brings his expertise to this intimate, sophisticated space, which has hosted movie stars, royalty, and presidents. Inspired by celebrated photographer Terence Donovan, the Bar exudes playful decadence, adorned with iconic 1960s prints and sleek, photography-themed accents, making it a top destination for luxury cocktail enthusiasts.

For a bit of theatre and a lot of exceptional food: Charlie's

Charlie's is the perfect place for a little theatre and exceptional food, offering classic British cuisine with a modern twist. Michelin-starred chef Adam Byatt curates a menu that evolves with the seasons, featuring locally sourced ingredients like crisp Cornish crab salad and sage-roasted summer squash. Guests can indulge in stalwart dishes such as venison en croute and roast beef, presented with flair as they glide by on a gilded trolley and are carved tableside. With subtle nods to Italian, Spanish, and French cuisines, Charlie's offers a dynamic dining experience. Don't miss Jazz Sundays, where exceptional food meets live music for an unforgettable evening.


For Afternoon Tea fit for a queen: The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room at Brown's Hotel is the best place for an Afternoon Tea fit for a queen. It's believed that Queen Victoria herself took tea here in this irresistibly elegant setting. With original wood paneling, striking contemporary artworks, and a sophisticated ambiance, the Drawing Room beautifully blends quintessentially English sensibilities with modern sophistication. Guests can follow in the footsteps of royalty and indulge in neatly crimped sandwiches, delicate pastries, and pillowy scones filled with fresh cream and jam, making every afternoon tea a regal experience.


For a Botanical Escape: The Spa at Brown's

The Spa at Brown's is the perfect place to unwind, offering a serene sanctuary in the heart of London. With luxurious treatments like the newly introduced Urban Spa therapies, guests can indulge in rejuvenating experiences such as the 20-minute Midday Miracle Boost Facial, featuring Irene Forte's aromatic lavender and rosemary cleanser, apricot peel, and hibiscus serum. The spa's tranquil ambiance, combined with top-tier skincare products sourced from organic Sicilian farms, ensures a blissful escape from the city's hustle and bustle, making it an ideal retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation.

For culture enthusiasts: Visit the Art galleries on Cork Street and theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue.

For culture enthusiasts visiting Mayfair, exploring the art galleries on Cork Street and the theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue is a must. Cork Street is renowned for its prestigious galleries showcasing contemporary and classic works, offering an immersive art experience. Just a short stroll away, Shaftesbury Avenue's iconic theatres present world-class performances, from cutting-edge plays to timeless classics. This vibrant cultural scene perfectly blends visual and performing arts, making Mayfair an essential destination for those seeking artistic inspiration and entertainment.


Travel Tip: Discover the wonder with Rocco Forte Nights 

Montecito Village Travel is proudly a member of Rocco Forte Nights, Rocco Forte's preferred partner program. When an MVT advisor makes your arrangements at Rocco Forte Hotel, you'll receive members-only benefits like an upgraded room and exclusive amenities.

Rocco Forte Knights benefits:

  • VIP welcome and recognition
  • Complimentary daily breakfast for two
  • Hotel credit of $100 for rooms and Junior Suites per stay
  • Hotel credit of $200 for Suite bookings (based on minimum two nights stay)
  • Highest priority for an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability
  • First priority for early check-in / late check-out, based on availability
  • 20% off spa services at certain hotels
  • Priority waitlist clearance
  • Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access during your stay

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