A Rocco Forte Hotel
What it is
One of London’s oldest and most idiosyncratic hotels, updated for 21st-century travelers.
What it isn't
Though the Donovan bar is packed with Mayfair’s finest, this isn’t a party place.
What we think
Claiming to be London’s first hotel, Brown’s opened its doors in 1837 and has hosted the likes of Alexander Graham Bell, Oscar Wilde, and J.M. Barrie. Theodore Roosevelt got married here; Churchill had a secret bunker during the war. Its warren of 88 rooms and 29 suites are spread over 11 Georgian townhouses, and while a redo by Olga Polizzi (designer sister of hotelier Rocco Forte) added contemporary elements, its eccentric charms remain. Every room is different, combining contemporary block patterns, subtle mosaic floors, and a neutral color palette with historic touches like wood panelling and antique stained glass. In the same spirit, Hix serves brilliantly elevated British cuisine (a wild fallow chop with braised red cabbage and prunes) under the glow of a Tracy Emin neon. And the Donovan Bar—its walls decorated with black-and-white photography by Terence Donovan—serves expertly mixed cocktails to a fun and stylish crowd.
You're here because
You appreciate a hotel with history and hominess, but require contemporary surroundings.
The pianist’s notes drift around in the afternoon light; it’s Champagne Afternoon Tea time in the Tea Room and the cake trolley is on its way.
Restaurants & Bars
HIX Mayfair - Quintessentially British, seasonal and traditional cuisine
The Donovan Bar - with live music by way of DJs and guitar
The English Tea Room - highly award-winning afternoon tea
Visit the Aquarium at South Bank
See a show in West End
Harrods Toy Store - One of the best toy stores in the world
Horniman Museum - You'll never believe the incredible activities at this anthropological museum
Prime Mayfair, a two-minute walk to Piccadilly and Bond Street.