London’s 5 most historic five-star hotels

Here are London’s 5 most historic five-star hotels, in date-of-opening order. If your budget doesn’t stretch to an overnight stay, settle for a coffee in the public lounge!

London’s first hotel built in 1837 with numerous historical associations – not least being the location for the first successful telephone call in London by Alexander Graham Bell in 1875. A favourite with political leaders, writers and a long list of American patrons. Sample the vibe today at the Donovan Bar.
The inspiration of society butler William Claridge in 1855, Claridge’s is renowned for being home (and refuge) to travelling foreign royals. Churchill even declared suite 212 Yugoslav territory during WWII.
‘Too good for its purpose’ – said the architect George Gilbert Scott of the Midland Grand Hotel (now the St Pancras Hotel). Built in 1863 in the high gothic style, it’s what Whitehall would have looked like if Gilbert Scott had won the government commission.
The forerunner of London’s grand hotels, Langham’s Florentine-style palace caused a sensation when it opened in 1864. It’s desirability waned post-war as fashionable hotels moved west, Langham’s even served as an annex for the BBC (across the road) before it’s rebirth in 1991.
The creation of impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte in 1884, as an accompaniment to his famous theatre, the Savoy has the longest historical associations being built on land that housed the Savoy Palace in the 1200’s. Famed for its restaurants, American Bar and the only street in London where you drive on the right – so that all passenger doors face the entrance upon your arrival!

(c) Photos Essential London

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