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“Tranquility in Town” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Brown's Hotel

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Brown's Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   33 Albemarle Street | Mayfair, London W1S 4BP, England (Mayfair)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #53 of 1,049 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Tranquility in Town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

From the uniformed doormen to the oak panelled entrance and English Tea Room, Brown's exudes the understated air of a Gentlemans Club . As befitting the oldest hotel in London the timeless elegance is complimented by first class staff with a 'here to please' attitude.The rooms are well appointed, with very comfortable beds and excellent bathrooms, our only gripe being the proximity of the offices opposite in Dover St and the absence of any privacy blinds. Afternoon tea is excellent,the Baby Grand Piano creating the perfect leisurely atmosphere, booking essential, whilst Donovan's Bar has a jazzy atmosphere all of it's own with a great range of cocktails.
Breakfast in Hix's was nothing to write home about and doesn't compare to The Wolseley down the road in Piccadilly.

Room Tip: The rooms on the first floor facing Dover St are spacious and have high ceilings, all the Dover St s...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StuartJohnsonLondon, General Manager at Brown's Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you so much for your wonderful comments following you visit to Brown's, in particular towards the team who are indeed here to please. I was pleased to learn you enjoyed your visit overall and have taken serious note in relation to breakfast. If you are able to read this I would be most interested to understand as to whether you felt it is the breakfast offering or the level of service as we are focussing on both currently. Thank you in advance and we look forward to welcoming you back.
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725 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
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Exeter, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

I was honestly expecting better—this hotel's not particularly impressive. I stayed there with my family in late December, and it was mostly kind of average. The hotel's at a practical location, though—5-10 minutes' walk from both Green Park and Piccadilly Circus. There's only one elevator for all the guests, which makes it take a while sometimes. The rooms are fine, comfortable beds and all. The shower was a bit grimy. Internet access is charged. Breakfast is absolutely dreadful—if you stay here, make sure to get a room-only rate and have breakfast at the bakery just around the corner.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StuartJohnsonLondon, General Manager at Brown's Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you very much. I am sorry that we did not exceed your expectations as this is atypical of the feedback we receive from other guests and our record by others who write Trip Advisor reviews. In relation to the lifts, we have two - one for the Albemarle Street side of the hotel and the other for the Dover Street side. Internet is not charged for those staying in a Suite or if you have booked via our website. Thank you for your valued comments in respect of breakfast albeit we have had favourable comments, we are working to ensure the level of offering meets the needs of our guests. I hope that we will be able to welcome you back on a future occasion giving us the opportunity to indeed exceed your expectations.
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Surrey
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We visited Browns for Afternoon Tea having been unable to book at The Ritz. The selection of teas was impressive and the constantly replenished supply of food was impressive. We were asked more than once if we would like more sandwiches, scones and cakes and were given fresh tea without having to ask. The atmosphere was very informal and fun and I would definitely recommend the whole experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StuartJohnsonLondon, General Manager at Brown's Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Many thanks for your glowing report on your visit for Afternoon Tea. I am so pleased that we were able to exceed expectations. There is always a recommendation prior to visiting Brown's for Afternoon Tea that one does not have lunch! We look forward to welcoming you back.
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Brown's Hotel for a long weekend with our 7 month old baby. The minute we entered the hotel, we were greeted with great service. Check in was no problem and they upgraded us to a Junior Suite free of charge. The lobby area is beautiful and elegant. The room was very spacious with an area for sitting and area for the bed. Bathroom was very spacious as well with a shower and separate large tub. Everything was clean and looked well cared for. Housekeeping came right away to set up a cot for our baby and the details put into making our baby comfortable was impeccable. Not only did they set up a cot, they made it up with nice scented blankets, set up a mobile above the bed, brought in a bottle warmer, play mat, nappy trash can, and also left extra nappies, nappy cream, and child friendly soap/bath products in the bathroom. This was our first time staying at a hotel with our baby so I was very pleasantly surprised at all the "extras" provided. Though we did not use the service, the hotel also has babysitting services available. The area where the hotel is located is also great. Walking distance to Green Park tube station, the immediate area of the hotel (Piccadilly) has great options as far as shopping and dining. Definitely would like to stay there again when we visit London next time!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vanessa S, General Manager at Brown's Hotel, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Thank you for your recent review placed on Trip Advisor. We pride ourselves on being child-friendly at Brown’s, and I am so pleased that you enjoyed the extra touches to make your baby’s stay as comfortable as your own. Thank you for highlighting our five star children’s amenities and the service you received from my team.. We look forward to welcoming you back again.
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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Brown's is a delightful blend of old-fashioned English and high-end contemporary. The public spaces have character and charm, while the rooms (or at least ours) was sleek in a "minimalist luxury" style. The bathroom was large and luxurious, and the room was well appointed.

We had breakfast in the restaurant, which is excellent although certainly not inexpensive. We also had dinner once, which was very good, with a creative menu including many traditional English dishes with a contemporary twist.

The bar is also a fun place to spend an hour or two. We did so several times! It's very lively, with a great buzz and great people watching. Also, excellent cocktails and a very personable barman (or should I say mixologist?), Adam. We chose to sit at the bar, rather than at a table, because he was so interesting to converse with.

I do have one minor gripe, which is not unique to this hotel. I really do think five-star hotels should provide wifi in the rooms without charging you through the nose for it. Add it into the room rate, for heaven's sake. Reminding me every day that you're charging me 15 pounds for wifi is just annoying – and undermines the air of comfort and relaxed luxury the hotel is purveying.

Brown's is the fourth Rocco Forte hotel at which we have stayed, and like the other in the family, it does not disappoint.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vanessa S, Manager at Brown's Hotel, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Thank you for your recommendation of Brown's and all it has to offer, posted recently on Trip advisor. In particular, thanks for singling out the special features you enjoyed, namely our lively Bar and excellent mixologist Adam. Thank you, too, for your endorsement of the other Rocco Forte Hotels you have enjoyed staying at. We all look forward to your return visits.
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New York City, New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

A beautiful place. Quiet rooms with plush beds, spacious bathrooms, elegantly decorated, great customer service and good location. The rooms leave nothing to be desired. Even the toiletries are delightful. The tearoom is always warm and and animated without being overcrowded, a real treat.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StuartJohnsonLondon, General Manager at Brown's Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you for your delightful review following your recent visit to Brown's and for your endorsement of everything about it! I am pleased to know you had such a comfortable and enjoyable stay and I hope we shall have the pleasure of welcoming you back again soon.
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
251 reviews 251 reviews
74 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
188 helpful votes 188 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

The hotel is contemporary throughout with a hint of old world in places. There is little to suggest the hotel is the oldest in London. Service and those small special touches associated with hotels in its class were however lacking. More detail should you wish...

Guest Room
Upgraded from an Executive to Deluxe Room (a benefit of LHW membership), it was plush but certainly not spacious as one would expect from a room a few levels above the entry level. The bed was not as reserved (a King) but in fact two single mattresses pushed together. Notifying reception, they arranged a change of rooms to another Deluxe - this time far more spacious with lounge seating area. Upon inquiring as to the significantly different size, I was advised this was due to the hotels age. A poor excuse, as such a significant discrepancy could be addressed by more consistently classifying room types. See photos.

Whilst the rooms were luxuriously decorated in contemporary style, and the bed was exceptionally soft and comfortable, room layout was poor. In both rooms the televisions seemed an after thought - obscuring artwork - and in the second room there was not a single accessible power point without moving furniture (entrance hallway excepted).

Donovan Bar
Comprehensive cocktail list, well prepared, including most classics and a number of their own inventions. Service was however slow on arrival with staff more occupied in talking to each other. Upon attempting to reorder, the barman/waiter had walked off leaving the bar completely unmanned.

English Tea Room
Please refer to my related review of English Tea Room if you're considering taking afternoon tea.

The Small Touches
Small touches which are common place at most premium hotels were lacking. E.g. no doorman to open the main door on arrival (on multiple occasions), not referring to guests by name when telephoning, etc and charging £1 for a Times newspaper on top of the £400/night room rate.

In summary, it's a luxurious hotel however I personally found it lacked in service and those high-end hotel finishing touches to make me favour it over London's other premium hotels.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StuartJohnsonLondon, General Manager at Brown's Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you very much indeed for your comprehensive comments. Brown's was indeed created out of eleven town houses and thus in each room category the rooms themselves do vary from floor to floor. In relation to beds, we do in fact have a large number of king size one mattress beds. In the hope that we may have the opportunity of you returning on a future occasion, if you were able to give me the name, I will update your profile so we can respond accordingly.

We have two doormen and I am sorry there were occasions when they were not available to welcome you as if they are dealing with other arrivals this is not always possible. It is our aim to welcome gusts by name throughout the hotel. We offer a complimentary newspaper of the Daily Telegraph but do place a charge for any additional papers delivered to guest bedrooms, although a comprehensive selection of international broadsheets is on display in both the Tea Room and at breakfast in the restaurant. I am indebted to you for the comments you have made and do so hope we will have the opportunity of welcoming you back to show that we can indeed exceed expectations.
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Additional Information about Brown's Hotel

Address: 33 Albemarle Street | Mayfair, London W1S 4BP, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Mayfair
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Spa Hotel in London
#36 Business Hotel in London
#37 Romantic Hotel in London
#48 Luxury Hotel in London
#49 Family Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Brown's Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 117
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Brown's was the first hotel to open in London in 1837 and since completing a 24 million-Pound restoration, this outstanding hotel now offers guests 117 luxurious rooms and suites, outstanding dining, a buzzing bar and relaxing spa. Situated in the heart of Mayfair, Brown's Hotel has many of London's major attractions and best shopping on their door step. It is from here that Rudyard Kipling wrote "The Jungle Book" and Agatha Christie "At Bertram's Hotel". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Browns Hotel London
Brown's Hotel London, England

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