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TravelPod Member ReviewsBrown's Hotel London
What a nice bar and restaurant. Enjoyed the Sunday Roast Chicken.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Brown's Hotel London
Disappointing stay - won't return in the near future
Overall, the most attractive feature of the Brown's is its minimalist interior design. However, as illustrated on the picture below, the interior designer also seems to have lacked basic skills, when hanging a painting behind the TV screen and desk lamp. Unfortunately, the hotel does not seem to deserve 5 stars as its internal organisation and procedures appear deficient. Just two examples: between 10.00 p.m. and 10.00 a.m., hotel staff knocked on our door three times (!) to prepare the bed (a bit late) and to check the minibar (a bit early) - something I never experienced before in a "leading hotel". Also, when asked for a Lebanese restaurant, the concierge sent us to a Turkish one; close, but not the same! All in all, hotel management and staff seem unexperienced, and hopefully they will one day meet the standards of the hotel's overall design - and maybe the interior designer will take a second look at details in the meantime too. Meanwhile, I will not visit again.
A True 5-Star Hotel
This hotel is pure class. We stayed for two nights.
First of all, the thing that really stood out for me was how friendly and happy the staff members were. This friendliness definitely set the mood for the hotel.
Our room was very comfortable. The bedding was very nice, and the furniture was very comfortable to sit in. Many hotels nowadays opt for a minimalist approach in guest rooms which often means that the furniture is not very comfortable. This was definitely not the case here. The bathroom was large with a large tub, separate shower stall, and well-appointed with very nice toiletries. My only complaint about the room was that a recycling truck came by at 4:21 a.m. and emptied the bins on the street right outside our room. But, I guess that the hotel can't really do anything about this. I noticed that the windows are double insulated, but the noise still woke me up.
We had drinks in the bar and the lounge, and we found both of them to be very comfortable and attractive with dark wood paneling and plush furniture. We also had High Tea in the lounge on Sunday afternoon, and I highly recommend it. It was very classy, the tea and food were very good, and I would definitely do it again.
We ate at The Grill restaurant on Friday evening, and we found the menu, wine list, and food to be excellent. The suited staff were very knowledgeable, friendly, and inviting. We found it to be a very pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. The food was classic, but not overly fussy (i.e. leg of lamb carved at the table, roast duck, cheese board, etc.).
At breakfast, there was a nice cold buffet, and hot items were made to order. The Traditional English Breakfast was a bit pricey at 27 Pounds, but what nice hotel doesn't overcharge for breakfast these days.
If you like to shop, the hotel's location in the Mayfair area a few minutes walk from Piccadily Circus is in the midst of a shopper's paradise. One street over from the hotel you'll find Gucci, D & G, Channel, Burberry, etc., etc.
We worked out in the gym, and I found it to be one of the best gyms I've encountered at a hotel in a long time with weight machines and cardio equipment galore.
My only complaint, and it's a minor one, was with housekeeping. Don't get me wrong, the room was very clean. However, the first night we received our turndown service very early. Plus, the turndown service was done as if only one person was staying in the room. We've encountered this problem at other hotels recently,and I'm not really sure why because we always make the reservation for two people. Then, since we showered after the turndown service was performed, we requested to have the room cleaned again so that we could get fresh towels, etc. It never was. The second night, we left the hotel to go out for dinner at 9 p.m., and we had still not received our turndown service even though we did not have a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. We advised the front desk, and the service was performed while we were out for dinner - for two people this time.
Aside from the 4:21 a.m. recycling truck issue, and the turndown service issue (which was minor), I'd say that this was pretty much a perfect stay at a near perfect hotel.
We will definitely stay at Brown's the next time we're in London.
We felt like celebrities
We loved Browns. We spent Christmas Day and Christmas Evening there. The renovations were one week old when we stayed and we are pretty sure we were using some of their cutlery for the first time ever! The staff were lovely. They knew exactly who we were from the moment we walked in. I highly reccomend room service - such production value!
Totally refurbished and back to being a gem in London
We stayed at Brown's for 2 nights last weekend. The hotel has just come out of a major refurbishment and is now part of the 5* Rocco Forte collection. At check-in we were upgraded from a Classic Queen to an Executive King. The room was very spacious with a huge comfy bed complete with Frette linen as well as a flat screen TV. The furniture & interiors were beautiful, with a comfy chaise long. The bathroom was almost the same size as the room! The room was adjacent to the front of the hotel in Albemarle Street which made it slightly noisy but not significantly enough to affect sleep.
The best thing about the hotel is the service from the staff - they acknowledged us everywhere we went and were always on hand to answer any questions or direct.
If you're visiting then you must have a drink in Donovan's Bar, which although a bit pricey, is adorned by a superb collection of Terence Donovan's photographs. We found the breakfast (which wasn't included in the rate) to be a little expensive as well at nearly £30 per person for a full English Breakfast. Afternoon tea was of a similar price.
In conclusion we loved the hotel and would return. Its not the cheapest, at around £275 per room, per night, but nice for a special occasion!
Good hotel, needs some TLC
While the Brown had that quintessential English shabby-chic (I hate that phrase!) there is definitely room for improvment. Good points: We stayed there for our honeymoon in January due to a really great price on a travel package. Great central location and very close to the tube. Our room was a good size, comprised of a small sitting room and bedroom and a large bathroom. I wasn't expecting much from a British hotel bathroom, having stayed at many over a three month period years before, however, I thought the victorian marble bathroom was quaint and inviting--the shower worked well and we had plenty of hot water. The soaps and toiletries were superb (Italian)! Unfortunately we blew a fuse twice in the bathroom which was an annoying inconvienince to have to let in the repair man. The king sized bed was amazing: Frette sheets (again, Italian) are a dream to sleep in, and the matress felt like it was brand new!
I understand the hotel is undergoing renovation (so check if you are booking soon!) and it can use some improvement. Perhaps it will take off some of that shabby edge...afterall, it is supposed to be a five-star hotel. Ragged carpets, narry a 90 degree angle to be had, some possible electrical problem in our room, and now the service...
For the most part, those who we came in contact with were friendly and helpful (bellhops, front desk, repair man) yet we were fairly disappointed by the restaurant service. This surprised us. The waiters (again, Italian) never remembered us day to day or what is was we liked for breakfast tea/coffee. That may sound ridiculous but I'll explain in a moment. A few times we got wrong orders. Rarely were we asked if we needed anything else. They were not very friendly or helpful and one got the feeling that they genuinely did not want to be there, or that we were unwelcome...which made for a stuffy, nervous meal.
My husband and I work in Egypt and I find it amazing that hotel staff over there, who we see maybe once a year to every two years, remembers us by name. If not, then they certainly recognize that we have been there before. We even had a bellhop remember us by name when we saw him in the street away from the hotel we had stayed in on a previous trip! That said, I found it interesting and frustrating that at a five-star hotel like the Brown, the same waiters we had all week cared not a whit for serving us. They didn't even pretend to care.
Sooo, breakfast is too expensive any way you look at it. But do try the afternoon tea which was delicious, if not expensive. Don't eat too much before hand--you will be stuffed with beautiful finger sandwiches and sweets! Oh, and the excellent service at tea was a far cry from that at the hotel restaurant.
Stay here if you find a good package deal but otherwise, you may think twice about spending full price.
Refined, traditional but overlooked the wear and tear
Very lovely, quaint hotel in an upscale area. Serice was very good.
Beds and bath were just fine. It Definitely takes you back to the 19th century. Tea is a highlight for $200 bucks. Rooms and hotel in general need some work but if you don't look real close it is overall a very nice hotel and certainly british.
Tea nice, but needs a facelift
Reasonable post-xmas rate thru expedia booking ($244/night). Salon rooms very cosy, afternoon tea v. good. Central location convenient for shops (Piccadilly, Fortnum's etc). Comfortable beds, but hotel needs renovating, especially the 1950's bathrooms and elevators - I gather the new owners (Rocco Forte) will do this by 2005. Hotel a bit jumbled as made up of five different houses put together. Food is very expensive, only afternoon tea (you need to book) is really worth it. Note that if you're taking a taxi to the airport, taxi driver will pay bellhop 5 GBP for the intro.
Not a 5 star
While the hotel is quite nice in an antique English fashion, the only real high point was afternoon tea. It was very good . However, service in the rest of the hotel was at about a 2 star level, thus removing it from the same rating level as the Dorchester, the Savoy and the Ritz. It was not good value for the money, but it's central lcation is hard to beat. I will definitely stay elsewhere next time.
Lovely & posh, but very traditional & conservative
Very lovely, posh hotel in a beautiful part of London. I stayed in a standard double room, and while it was nice, the room itself was a bit dark. Beds were comfortable and linens crisp and clean. It is very much a traditional English establishment with excellent service, although I felt it a bit "stuffy" at times. Good for the business excecutive or a slightly more conservative traveler.
A really nice hotel
Very nice hotel. Very pricy. Suggest that you not use room service, although server was very nice, the price of the food was outrageous.
Never found the exercise room. Room was very well turned out. Very clean and well stocked. No view. Close to shops and just a short hop to Buckingham Palace. Concierge was very courteous as was the front desk staff. Recieved substantial discount via Expedia.com and was very happy with the stay.
TripAdvisor Reviews Brown's Hotel London
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How can you tell?
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