Some luxury London hotels are historic landmarks in their own right. Here are the stories of three: The Dorchester, Browns And Claridges.
This renowned luxury hotel, in the upmarket London district of Mayfair, has been a favourite with celebrities and royalty since it opened in 1931.
The Dorchester Hotel was the brainchild of Sir Malcolm McAlpine, of Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons, a leading British construction company, and Sir Frances Towle, Managing Director of Gordon Hotels Ltd.
Designed by Sir Evan Owen Williams, a British engineer and architect, and William Curtis Green, a Royal Academy-trained architect, the hotel was constructed on the former site of Dorchester House, a nineteenth century mansion situated in the capital’s prestigious Park Lane.
Constructed from reinforced concrete and with lavishly designed interiors, the Dorchester Hotel became a haven for many leading political figures looking for a luxurious, but safe, building in which to stay during World War II.
Winston Churchill and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, for example, both took suites at the hotel at that time.
The hotel has also been popular with musicians, actors and film stars, with guests over the years having included Elizabeth Taylor, Woody Allen, Diana Ross, Alfred Hitchcock, Barbara Streisand and Charlton Heston.
The Dorchester Hotel is well known for its royal connections too. Prince Phillip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, held his stag night celebration in the hotel’s Park Suite, for example,.whilst His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong – the Malaysian Head of State – held a lavish banquet in the Gold Room, which was attended by Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1993.
His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong – the Malaysian Head of State – held a lavish banquet in the Gold Room, which was attended by Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1993.
With its beautifully designed rooms and suites, and superb in-house restaurants and bars, The Dorchester Hotel is one of London’s most glamorous places to stay.
It’s also known for its sumptuous afternoon teas, which include delicate finger sandwiches, mouth-watering pastries and, of course, scones and jam with lashings of clotted cream.