Essential Architecture-  London

The Connaught Hotel

architect

 

location

Carlos Place, Mayfair, central London,

date

1897

style

Edwardian

construction

brick with limestone trim

type

Hotel
 
 
 
   
The hotel was an offshoot of a hotel opened by Alexander Grillon in Albemarle Street, Mayfair, and was originally a pair of Georgian houses in Charles Street, near Grosvenor Square. The Duke of Westminster decided to redevelop the area, and the street was changed, becoming Carlos Place. In 1892 Scorrier, the owner, applied to rebuild the hotel although work did not start until two years later, when the original houses were demolished.

In 1897, the Coburg Hotel duly opened, named after Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg. In 1917, during World War I, the decision was made to change the name to The Connaught. The name chosen was that of Queen Victoria’s 3rd son, Prince Arthur, the first Duke of Connaught.

In 1935, Rudolph Richard, a young Swiss hotelier, became general manager of The Connaught and ran the hotel almost as an English private house, with the highest standards of comfort and service. In 1956, The Connaught was acquired by the Savoy Group, owners of Claridge's, The Berkeley and The Savoy in London.

In March 2007, The Connaught closed it's doors for a £60million restoration programme, described as a 'contemporary interpretation' rather than re-creation. Maybourne Hotel Group has stated that they intend to preserve the traditional values for which the hotel is famous. This interpretation has seen the departure of chef Angela Hartnett who will not return when the hotel re-opens.

The hotel reopened in December, with a fraction of the usual number of rooms available, and a new phase of development will continue throughout 2008. This will include the hotel having it's own swimming pool and spa for the first time. Some changes include a new Gallery Restaurant, with a covered terrace and The Connaught Bar replaced by the rather more stylish Coburg Bar.

links

The Connaught Hotel London
The Connaught Hotel Map
www.essential-architecture.com