The Connaught (hotel)
The hotel first opened in 1815 as the Prince of Saxe Coburg Hotel, 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 was reopened. In 1917, during World War I, the decision was made to change the name to the less-German "Connaught". The name chosen was taken from the title 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 Hotel in London. In 2005, the Savoy Group, including the Connaught, was sold to Quinlan Private, which sold off the Savoy Hotel and Savoy Theatre and renamed the group Maybourne Hotel Group.
In March 2007, the Connaught closed for a £70 million restoration programme, described as a "contemporary interpretation". Guy Oliver was the lead designer of the restoration, refurbishment and redecoration of the old hotel, completing a total of 88 rooms and suites (including The Prince's Lodge, The Eagles Lodge and The Sutherland and Somerset Suites) as well as the restoration and redecoration of the main staircase, new lifts, concierge and public areas, L'Espelette Restaurant and The Georgian and Regency Rooms. Immediately after this work was completed he designed a further 31 rooms and suites in the new addition to the hotel, a terrace penthouse, and all of the public spaces and function rooms, including the Ballroom, Maple,Oak and Silver Rooms. The Maybourne Hotel Group stated that they intended to preserve the traditional values for which the hotel is famous. Chef Angela Hartnett was replaced by French chef Hélène Darroze.
The hotel reopened in December 2007, with many fewer rooms than usually available; development continued throughout 2008, when the Connaught Bar, designed by David Collins, opened. The hotel also has a swimming pool and Asian-inspired spa managed in conjunction with Aman Resorts. Other changes include a new Espelette Restaurant, with a covered terrace, and the Coburg Bar, managed by Mark Jenner.
- The Connaught Hotel London
- Architect's Summary of recent work
- French Indian interior Architect India Mahdavi who designed major parts of the hotel