History Claridge’s Present Claridge’s


One of the most faithful regulars at Claridges: Empress Elisabeth of Austria


"I don't want to go to heaven, I want to go to Claridge's" said actor Spencer Tracy.

Claridge's is a London institution. A hotel was first opened here in 1812 and during the heydeys of Victorian pomp and ceremony this was the bee's knees, a favourite haunt of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert themselves.

It fell into decline towards the end of the 19th century, only to be rescued by that great visionary Richard d'Oyly Carte, who knocked down the original property and opened a spanking new hotel in its place in 1898 - complete with en suite bathrooms and electricity. The rest, as they say, is history.

How the Stage was Set


1812: A hotel first appeared on the site

1854: run by husband and wife William and Marianne Claridge, the hotel traded as “Claridge’s

1898: Theatre impresario Richard d'Oyly Carte opens the revamped Claridge's. 1996: Major renovation programme to bring the hotel into the 21st century.


1812: James Mivart opened a hotel at 51 Brook Street. It was designed for guests who wished to stay in London for periods of time, rather than simply passing through, and apartments were let by the month, rather than by the night.

1817: Mivart’s venture was thriving. Needing an annexe, he acquired a second property at 57 Brook Street.

1838: At this point Mivart owned a row of five consecutive houses and he knocked through them to create one large hotel.

1851: The Great Exhibition brought a great influx of visitors to London, and foreign royalty including the Grand Duke Alexander of Russia and King William III of the Netherlands made Mivart’s their home from home.

1854: No. 49 Brook Street had always been a separate hotel, run by husband and wife William and Marianne Claridge. That year, they purchased Mivart’s

1854-6: The hotel traded as “Claridge’s, late Mivart’s” until Mivart’s death in 1856. Claridge’s, as the hotel would now be known, continued to attract the best of British and foreign aristocracy, including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

1860: Empress Eugènie of France made Claridge’s her winter quarters that year.

1874: August 25th. "The Prince of Wales visited the Empress of Austria at Claridge's Hotel, ..." The Empress would return to the hotel in 1876, while visiting Queen Victoria. Other visits to Claridges by the IH took place in 1878, 1880, 1888, ...

1878: the Empress of Austria, Elisabeth, arrived in the company of her son, crown prince Rudolf.

1881: William Claridge was in poor health and reluctantly he and his wife sold the hotel to a consortium who lacked the personal touch. More attractive hotels were being built in London at this time, offering such luxuries as electricity, lifts to all floors and en suite bathrooms. It was difficult to upgrade and Claridge’s suffered by comparison.

1888: Empress of Austria visits with daughter. Published: Thursday 22 March 1888: The Duke of Carobridge was among those who visited the Empress of Austria at Claridge's Hotel yesterday. In the evening, Her Majesty went to the Lyceum Theatre ...

1890s: The company which owned Claridge’s proposed the building of a new hotel on the site but there was simply not enough money.

1893: Theatre impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, who had already built The Savoy, stepped into the picture, buying the hotel from the consortium.

1894: On taking control of Claridge’s, D’Oyly Carte promptly closed it down and completely demolished it.

1898, November: A brand-new purpose-built hotel designed by C.W. Stephens opened on the site. D’Oyly Carte replicated some of the ingredients that had made a success of The Savoy: electricity, lifts and en-suite bathrooms. He kept alive the idea of offering apartments for long-term residents though. World War I: Claridge’s came into its own after the First World War, when many aristocrats were forced to sell their London houses. Keeping a house in London which one might only use for six months of the year had been very expensive. Renting a suite at the London Season was a great deal cheaper as the hiring and keeping of staff was no longer an issue.

1920s: Parts of the hotel were redecorated by Basil Ionides to reflect the fashion for art deco that was starting to become popular.At about the same time, the Duke of Westminster offered to sell the freehold of the site. The two houses were demolished and a new block was erected next to Stephen’s “original” Claridge’s. World War II: Claridge’s was fortunate to escape war-time bombing, and remained a popular social centre.

Early 1940s: The Grill Room with its separate entrance on Davies Street became Claridge’s Causerie. The Causerie The Causerie, designed by Sir Howard Robertson, served smörgåsbord, and the twist was that clients could eat as much of this as they liked, while only paying for their drinks. This would have been a novelty at any time but was a brave and successful attempt to make rationing seem a little less depressing.

1941: Exiled from his country, King Peter of Yugoslavia came to live at the hotel. Many royal families who found themselves exiled from their own countries as war raged across Europe made their way to the familiar haven that was Claridge’s

1945: Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, son of King Peter (above) was born in Suite 212 in July. Post-World War II: Many visiting statesmen came to the hotel.

1996: Claridge’s embarked on the first major designer restoration since the 1930s, when David Collins was invited to create a new cocktail bar. New York-based designer Thierry Despont was brought in to revitalise the Foyer area. Using archive photographs of the Ballroom Extension that dated from the early 1930s as inspiration, the space was completely made over in a modern art deco style, with a stunning, and completely up-to-the minute Dale Chihuly chandelier as its centrepiece.

The hotel, and Mivart's before it, has played host to countless VIPs. Among the most illustrious: From the World of Politics King William III of the Netherlands (Mivart’s) Grand Duke Alexander of Russia (Mivart’s) Queen Victoria & Prince Albert Empress Eugénie of France King Peter of Yugoslavia From the World of Entertainment Spencer Tracy From the World of Fashion Marc Jacobs

When Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia was born in Suite 212 in July 1945, Sir Winston Churchill declared the suite Yugoslav territory, and legend has it that a spadeful of Yugoslav earth was placed under the bed so that the heir to the throne could literally be born on Yugoslav soil. ------ After the war, State delegations from all over the world stayed at Claridge’s, and many of these would be invited to attend a banquet in their honour at Buckingham Palace. Eventually it became traditional for visiting statesmen to return hospitality by hosting a banquet for H.M the Queen at Claridge’s, and the hotel staff were more than equal to the occasion.

Managed by: Maybourne Hotel Group
199 Rooms

Alarm clock Room service Refrigerator with mini bar Non-smoking rooms Hair dryer Complimentary newspaper (The Daily Telegraph ) Terrace in Penthouse Suite Decorative fireplaces in some rooms and suites Separate bath/shower Central heating Air conditioning Privacy buttons Waiter/Maid/Valet Evening turndown Wake-up call Complimentary shoe shine Fresh flowers Bathrobes Slippers Make-up mirrors Floris toiletries Art-deco features Direct dial telephone Dual voltage Voice mail High speed Internet connection Laptops and printers available ISDN/Video conferencing facilities Infra red keyboard for Internet access via TV Entertainment Remote control colour TV CD / DVD players Pay per view films Satellite TV Radio Pay per use audio CD via TV Pay per view movies and internet use

The Davies Penthouse is a two-bedroom suite decorated in a traditional style, complete with fireplaces, marble fixtures and hardwood floors. The sitting room has a barrel-vaulted ceiling and is decorated in shades of yellow. It also has a terrace, and both bedrooms feature four-poster beds and separate dressing rooms. The Brook Penthouse is designed in an Art Deco style, with shades of mauve, pale oak floors and original 1930s fixtures. The sitting room has floor-to-ceiling French doors that open to a roof terrace, and the suite also has a dining room with its own cocktail bar and cloakroom. Both penthouses will set you back around £3,850 (approximately € 6,500).

Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's ------ The Causerie ------ The Reading Room ------ The Foyer ------ Claridge's Bar ------ Manacudo Fumoir

Dine at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant. Love him or hate him, Ramsay is one of just three UK chefs to have three Michelin star-rated restaurant. He has a total of 10 and is famous in both the UK and the United States for his TV programmes, not to mention his, how should I put it, 'flowery' language. After dinner, cruise around London in Claridge's very own Continental Flying Spur, one of the latest Bentley models.

Clardige's Health and Beauty, with views over the London skyline ------ Golf at Wentworth

The hotel boasts a selection of function rooms to host meetings and events, including The Ballroom, The Drawing Room and The French Reception.

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Our Select Member Hotel

Country: England
City: London
Opening date: 1898

Note from the Host

General Manager
Hotel Manager: Mr. David Broadhead


Brook Street, Mayfair
W1A 2JQ England, London

Tel: 44 (0)20 7629 8860
Fax: +44 171 499 2210

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