It wasn’t until the 19th century that London began to see a rise in the traditional type of hotels we know of today. Before this time, if you wanted to stay in London your choices were to rent a house or take a room in a lodging house or coaching inn.
There certainly wasn’t a tourist industry as we see today and the rich would tend to rent accommodation, rather than staying in a ‘hotel’.
With the arrival of the railways and the industrial revolution, people began travelling to London more frequently. Many of the railway companies started to build hotels near to their stations to accommodate travellers; the resulting grand buildings were status symbols for the massive railways firms, the richest business in the country at the time.
Fitzroy of London wanted to look into the history of the hospitality sector we all know and enjoy today. Below we’ve listed just some of the first hotels in London, UK
The Oldest Hotel in London?
There have been many contenders for the highly-prized title of being named as “London’s oldest hotel”. Brown’s in Mayfair probably takes the title of “London’s oldest hotel” – though it has also been extensively refurbished by the Rocco Forte Collection
Founded in 1837 by the Brown family, the hotel has hosted many distinguished guests over the years, including US president Theodore Roosevelt and legendary Ethiopian emperor Haille Sellassie.
Brown’s has also witnessed many historic events, such as the first ever telephone call by Alexander Graham Bell. Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ was also written during the author’s stay at the hotel and Agatha Christie apparently based her famous novel ‘At Bertram’s Hotel’ on Browns.
After being purchased by the Rocco Forte Collection in 2003, Browns was noticeably revamped and renovated, yet retains its 19th century grace.