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Hotel Highlights

  • London’s oldest hotel in style-central Mayfair
  • Impeccably civilised afternoon tea
  • Jazz and cocktails in the Donovan Bar

Overview

Proudly perched at one of the most desirable addresses in Mayfair since its Victorian heyday, Brown’s Hotel has undergone a renovation at the hands of Olga Polizzi that’s blended fresh colours, mosaic floors, and antique furnishings with the hotel’s historic wooden panelling, gilt mirrors and stained glass. Its ageless good looks, combined with the jazzy glamour of the Donovan Bar and a moving, shaking guest list, have made it one of London’s must-stays.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Brown's Hotel with us:

A NuBo spa gift, a Hix Fix cocktail in the bar, late check-out until 2pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; members booking suites will also get a bottle of Ruinart NV champagne

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Brown's Hotel

City break with breakfast Advanced purchase 10% Advance purchase 15% Advance purchase: 20% Seasonal offer: save 20%

Facilities

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Brown's Hotel – London – United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

117, including 29 suites.

Check–out

12 noon, though later check-out can be arranged for a fee. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $616.17 (£372), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (£20 each for Continental, £27 for full English).

Also

Book a Classic Suite or above and you and your other Smith will be able to bask away in twin baths, with TVs at the end of each tub.

At the hotel

Spa, gym, library, DVD selection, valet parking (£50 a day), WiFi in all public areas (£15 for 24 hours). In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar. Suites have DVD/CD players, iPod docks and Penhaglion toiletries. Deluxe Rooms and above have rain showers.

Our favourite rooms

Staying in the Kipling Suite – where Rudyard honeymooned with his wife more than 100 years ago, and penned much of his work – is an irresistibly glamorous experience. Alternatively, our favourite Deluxe Room is number 126, which offers a linen-upholstered bedhead facing an enormous mirror. The sculpted relief in the ensuite bathroom and the vases of fresh orchids make it all the more special.

Packing tips

Bring your best threads. Browsing nearby Bond Street’s boutiques or dipping into the nut selection in the Donovan Bar loses some of its cachet if you’re just wearing your tracksuit.

Also

No pets, but guide dogs are welcome.

Children

Are welcome at the hotel. Extra beds can be put into rooms for a £75 charge (+VAT), and cots are free. Babysitting (£16.50 an hour plus a £17 booking fee), cots, baths, bottle-warmers and high chairs are available on request.

Eco‐friendly

Brown’s closely monitors energy use within the hotel to minimise wastage. Foodstuffs (and, where possible, staff) are locally sourced, and there’s a strong recycling programme in place.

Food & Drink

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Brown's Hotel – London – United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

HIX Mayfair (formerly the Albermarle) serves brushed-up Brit classics (scrumpy-fried oysters with dittander mayonnaise) amongst Tracy Emin’s neon sculptures, traditional crisp linen-covered tables and oak panelled walls. Ingredients are seasonal – picked from local vendors by chef Lee Streeton – weekend brunch is offered and a carving masterclass (with Mark Hix, no less) teaches a savvier way to serve. Afternoon tea in the English Tea Room is widely renowned.

Hotel Bar

The Bill Amberg-designed Donovan Bar is a buzzy hangout for both well-heeled guests and glitterati, who pour from Mayfair’s galleries and publishing houses to enjoy an intimate, convivial atmosphere and a live jazz soundtrack.

Last orders

Dinner is served between 5.30pm and 11pm; the bar keeps its shakers a-quiver until 1am (midnight on Sunday).

Room service

A wide-ranging menu of meals and snacks is available 24 hours a day.

Smith Insider

Dress code

There’s no dress code as such, but the smartly dressed staff and your well turned-out fellow diners might make you want to think about your outfit.

Top table

The fireside table is perfect for large parties and a great spot to eye up the artwork; or choose a window seat to watch Mayfair bustle as you tuck into your Dover sole.

Local Guide

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Brown's Hotel – London – United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

You're at the heart of old London's best shopping network here, with the pick of Mayfair's Bond Streets, Dover Street and Conduit Street all a short amble away.

Aroma addicts should follow their noses to the beautiful Ormonde Jayne perfume boutique in the Royal Arcade at 28 Old Bond Street (+44(0)20 7499 1100; www.ormondejayne.com). Venture inside and pick up exquisitely packaged scents made with high-quality ingredients sourced from North Africa, the Orient and the Middle East.

The Royal Academy of Arts (+44 (0)20 7300 8000; www.royalacademy.org.uk) is such a short stumble away on Piccadilly it would be scandalous not to pop in and see what's hanging…

Local restaurants

Mayfair is a hotbed of haute cuisine, with many of the capital's most hankered-after eateries clustered around its chic streets. The Wolseley (+44 (0)20 7499 6996) offers brasserie brilliance at the end of the street on Picadilly. Nearby on Dover Street, Automat (+44 (0)20 7499 3033) serves modern American dishes in an elegant wooden dining room. 50-year-old London landmark Bentley's (+44 (0)20 7734 4756) is a five-minute walk away on Swallow Street, owned and helmed by Irish superchef Richard Corrigan, who does speactacular things with fish. Just on the edge of Hyde Park, the Metropolitan hotel's gastro landmark, Nobu (+44 (0)20 7447 4747) still accommodates a hefty proportion of the London A-list every night.

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Magnificent Mayfair

Brown's Hotel

Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BP, United Kingdom

Planes

Get to London Heathrow and you'll be 45 minutes from the hotel.

Trains

Green Park (on the Jubilee line) is roughly a minute's walk from the hotel. Bond Street (on the Central line) and Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo) are also fairly close. National rail services run to Victoria (less than 10 minutes in a cab).

Automobiles

A car might prove to be a mild encumbrance that needs to be stowed away for most of the trip, but if your motor's your pride and joy, Brown's will take good care of it. Valet parking costs £50 for 24 hours, £35 for 6 hours or £27.50 for 4 hours.

Reviews

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Brown's Hotel – London – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Rufus Purdy , Word wizard

Mrs Smith is certainly taking her time. I’ve been sitting by the oak counter in the Donovan Bar at London’s Brown’s Hotel for about half an hour now, nursing the same glass of wine and trying to look inconspicuous. Everyone around me is engaged in hand-waving and drink-splashing animated conversation, and even the bar staff are chatting merrily to each other as they mix cocktails…
Read more

Brown's Hotel

Anonymous review by Rufus Purdy, Word wizard

Mrs Smith is certainly taking her time. I’ve been sitting by the oak counter in the Donovan Bar at London’s Brown’s Hotel for about half an hour now, nursing the same glass of wine and trying to look inconspicuous. Everyone around me is engaged in hand-waving and drink-splashing animated conversation, and even the bar staff are chatting merrily to each other as they mix cocktails and pop the corks from bottles of champagne. I silently curse my other half. How can I have arrived here first for our decadent weekend break in our home city? I’ve come in from Smith HQ in Chiswick. She works just around the corner.

Finally, just as I’m contemplating reading the newspaper I rescued from the tube from cover to cover for a second time, Mrs Smith appears in the doorway. She looks fabulous. I can see why it’s taken her so long to get here. All feelings of loneliness and frustration disappear, and I suddenly feel as though I have a right to take my place amid the blur of Savile Row suits and elegant Bond Street dresses that fill the dark and buzzing space. I stand up and lead her into a just-vacated alcove, and we sit, perusing the cocktail menu, surrounded by mildly erotic black-and-white Terence Donovan prints.

Our flat may only be a 20-minute tube ride away, but it may as well be in Adelaide for all the thought we’ll be giving it over the next couple of days. The plants have been watered, the timer on the cat feeder has been set and we’re affecting the air of a couple who regularly frequent this W1 grande dame. Well, Mrs Smith is. I’m still in mildly scruffy work garb. We down our drinks, and check into our Deluxe Suite, leaving instructions for a bottle of prosecco and an ironing board to be sent up.

Our beautiful suite – all subtle design flourishes and antique furniture – feels like the London pad of a fabulously wealthy gay uncle who subscribes to Attitude as well as The Stage. There’s a mahogany table for six over there, beneath an art deco mirror and shelves of what look like well-thumbed books; over there, there’s a B&O flatscreen TV and an enormous wall-mounted photograph of Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element. The decor is all cream and brown, and the overall effect manages to be both hip and homely. That’s just the living room. The bedroom comes with a bed that’s almost big enough to levy its own taxes, and the pale marble-and-mosaic bathroom with its twin sinks and two-person shower is one of the most decadent spaces in which we’ve ever washed our hands – next to each other. By the time the wine arrives, Mrs Smith is already slipping into the bath to watch EastEnders on the in-tub plasma-screen TV.

Downstairs in the oak-panelled Albemarle restaurant, we take our places on a semi-circular banquette and settle down for a spot of fine formal dining. I’m a big fan of chef Mark Hix’s traditional British cooking, so I’m really looking forward to tucking into the dishes that he and Lee Streeton have created here. So wonderful-sounding are all the options, though, that I’d have been perfectly happy if they just brought me the menu and let me peruse it all evening. ‘You’re being like Homer Simpson,’ Mrs Smith chides me. ‘You’re just reading out the names of dishes then going “Mmm” after them.’

Eventually, I settle on delicious, garlicky baked razor clams and a thick and tender slice of Aberdeenshire sirloin on the bone, while Mrs Smith goes for Dorset crab and a fillet of John Dory. It’s every bit as delicious as I’d hoped. We toy with the idea of dessert – ‘too full’ is the consensus – but decide, instead, to head back to the Donovan Bar for a nightcap. Livelier than when we left it, the bar is now home to a jazz duo, as well as some pretty florid foot-tappers. We find a table among them all and settle back with our single malts. The complimentary nuts and olives that we’re brought, though, remain completely untouched.

Later on, in bed, I call across to Mrs Smith, and ask her what she’d like to do tomorrow. Central London is our oyster: we could stroll across nearby Green Park to see if the Queen’s at home; we could wander into Soho for coffee at one of the last remaining Italian caffs; we could even make our way up to Bond Street and unfurl pieces of cashmere and silk. ‘Breakfast,’ she yawns. ‘In bed…’ And then promptly falls asleep. It looks as though we won’t be leaving in a hurry.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Brown's Hotel's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The location of the hotel cannot be beaten. Also, the staff is so friendly and accommodating. The rooms are a wonderful retreat with luxurious bedding, bathroom and all amenities are true perfection. It would be hard to find anything that needed improvement.

 

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Probably my most favourite hotel in London, Brown's really is in a class of its own; it oozes history, style, elegance and brilliant service. The spa is wonderful: it doesn't have a pool or some of the facilities that you would expect to find in a large spa, but for a hotel in central London they really have created a world away from the hustle and bustle. The therapists are, I think, the best in London and really do a great job. Hix's restaurant is fantastic and translates really well to room service. All in all, an exceptional hotel.

Rating: 10/10 stars