|Architectural style||Art Deco|
City of Westminster
|Town or city||London|
|Named for||William and Marianne Claridge|
|Opened||1856 (original building)|
1898 (current building)
|Owner||Maybourne Hotel Group|
|Material||Red brick with red Mansfield stone, slate roofs and cast iron balconies|
|Floor count||Six plus four storeys of attics and five basement levels|
|Design and construction|
|Architect(s)||C. W. Stephens (1898)|
|Developer||Savoy Hotel Company|
|Other designers||Ernest George (interior)|
|Number of rooms||190|
|Number of restaurants||2 (Davies and Brook, The Foyer & Reading Room)|
|Number of bars||3 (Claridge's Bar, The Fumoir, The Painter's Room)|
|Facilities||Health Club & Spa|
|Public transit access||Bond Street|
|Official name||Claridges Hotel and attached railings Claridges Hotel wing|
|Designated||8 May 1981|
Claridge's was founded in 1812 as Mivart's Hotel, in a conventional London terraced house, and it grew by expanding into neighbouring houses. In 1854, the founder (the father of biologist St. George Jackson Mivart) sold the hotel to a Mr and Mrs Claridge, who owned a smaller hotel next door. They combined the two operations, and after trading for a time as "Mivart's late Claridge's", they settled on the current name. The reputation of the hotel was confirmed in 1860 when Empress Eugenie made an extended visit and entertained Queen Victoria at the hotel.
Richard D'Oyly Carte, the theatrical impresario and founder of the rival Savoy Hotel, purchased Claridge's in 1894, as part of The Savoy Group, and shortly afterwards demolished the old buildings and replaced them with the present ones. This was prompted by the need to install modern facilities such as lifts and en suite bathrooms. From 1894 to 1901, Édouard Nignon was the hotel chef.
19th and 20th centuries
After the First World War, Claridge's flourished due to demand from aristocrats who no longer maintained a London house, and under the leadership of Carte's son, Rupert D'Oyly Carte, an extension was built in the 1920s. During the Second World War it was the base of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia's government in exile and home of Peter II of Yugoslavia.
21st century renovation and relaunch
In 2005, the private-equity owners sold The Savoy Group, including Claridge's, to a group of Irish investors led by Derek Quinlan. The investors later sold the Savoy Hotel and Savoy Theatre and renamed the group Maybourne Hotel Group. The Maybourne Hotel Group includes two other five-star hotels in London, The Berkeley and The Connaught.
Between 2016 and 2021, the hotel was renovated and expanded as part of a "relaunch" by co-owner Paddy McKillen. The top two floors were replaced by a four-storey, 14-bedroom extension that included a penthouse with swimming pool, gym, private lake, and 1,800 sq ft (170 m2) grand salon. A 22 m-deep (72 ft) excavation was dug beneath the Art Deco 1920s extension to create a five-level basement. Construction work was largely done by hand to avoid disturbing guests, and the hotel continued in operation throughout the building work. The project was recorded in a BBC documentary series, The Mayfair Hotel Megabuild.
Actors, directors, and entertainers who have used Claridge's include Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, regular visitor Alfred Hitchcock, Brad Pitt, Joan Collins, Mick Jagger, U2 and Whitney Houston. In his memoir The Moon's a Balloon, David Niven wrote that for film producer Alexander Korda, "Home was the penthouse at Claridge's". The hotel lobby and several guestrooms appear in the 2001 Stephen Poliakoff's BBC television drama Perfect Strangers. Claridge's has hosted visiting royalty and guests of the Royal Family. The late King Hassan of Morocco travelled with his own mattress, but at the hotel he used a Savoy Mattress. Impressed by the quality, he ordered 24 identical mattresses from the Savoy for his palace.
During the Second World War, the King of Yugoslavia and his wife spent much of the Second World War in exile at Claridge's, and suite 212 was supposedly ceded by the United Kingdom to Yugoslavia for a single day (17 July 1945) to allow their heir, Crown Prince Alexander, to be born on Yugoslav soil, although no documentary evidence now exists to support the story.
In December 1951, West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer secretly met World Jewish Congress president Nahum Goldmann at Claridge's to begin negotiations on German reparations to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
Restaurants and other facilities
Claridge's has been described as London's most "food centric hotel". It offers afternoon tea in The Foyer and Reading Room. There are three public ground floor bars; the Foyer and Reading Room acts as the main bar, when not being used for afternoon tea; The Fumoir, a former cigar bar until the smoking ban prohibited indoor smoking in 2007; and the Painter's Room, opened in 2021.
Davies and Brook, with head chef Daniel Humm, closed in 2021 after Humm proposed a vegan-only menu, similar to Eleven Madison Park, his three-star Michelin restaurant in New York. The hotel received criticism for "not moving with the times".
For 12 years, the fine dining main restaurant was run by Gordon Ramsay, with various head chefs including Steve Allen and Mark Sargeant. Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's lost its Michelin status in January 2010. The restaurant closed in 2013 after having "lost its way". Harden's guide rated the restaurant second in London for "most disappointing cooking" and fourth for "most overpriced restaurant" in 2010.
Claridge's later replaced Ramsay's restaurant with Fera, meaning 'Wild' in Latin, run by chef Simon Rogan. Fera was awarded a Michelin star in 2015 and Rogan left the restaurant in May 2017, leaving the restaurant's head chef Matt Starling in charge. Following Rogan's departure, the restaurant closed in December 2018.
For 10 days in 2012, the hotel hosted the restaurant Noma, while the restaurant in Copenhagen was closed for refurbishment. Owner René Redzepi and his head chef and staff from Noma served a £195-per-head nine-course New Nordic Cuisine menu that included scones and clotted cream, Lancashire hotpot with British ingredients, and live ants foraged in Denmark and flown to London.
Claridge's built an art gallery and started an artist in residence programme; illustrator David Downton became the first artist in residence in 2011. Downton created the Talking Heads Gallery, which displayed sketches from guests including Kristin Scott Thomas, Sarah Jessica Parker and Thandiwe Newton.
The hotel hired artist Damien Hirst, and over 200 of his prints were installed in guest rooms. During the Frieze Art Fair in 2019, Hirst's sculptures were displayed in the lobby. In 2021, a skylight designed by Hirst featuring butterflies was installed, and Claridge's Art Space opened and included an exhibition by Hirst and others. Since 2023, Claridge's rooftop penthouse suite has been housing 75 works by Hirst.
The Christmas tree in the lobby is designed annually by artists, designers or fashion houses; these have included Diane von Furstenberg, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana. In 2015, Christopher Bailey decorated the tree with around 100 umbrellas, and 77,000 lights triggered by passersby.
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I was born on Yugoslav territory at Claridge's Hotel in London, 1945, on 17 June, and this was done in agreement with the British Government.
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Narrator: In the past Damien has taken up residence at the hotel. Damien:I had a studio in claridge's where I was painting
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Damien did 200 prints for us. Such a friend of Claridge's.
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