Claridge’s London

A short stay in London can be topped off by a night (or more) in a top hotel, one which is renowned for its class and opulence. You may find that it costs more than you would ordinarily pay for a hotel room, but once you have spent the night in one of London’s best hotels you will be in no doubts as to why people pay out large amounts for the privilege of sleeping beneath the ceilings of a hotel with the mark of quality and a famous name.

Just one such hotel is Claridge’s. Opened in the 1850s, there are few hotels on the planet which can lay claim to anything like its history and reputation. Its list of past customers reads like the index of a tome of 19th-20th Century history, along with some of the biggest names from Hollywood past and present. That the great and good continue to be attracted to Claridge’s has no little amount to do with its past, but also a lot to do with the class that positively drips from the place in this day and age.

Claridge's LondonFrom the present day, names like Mick Jagger and Brad Pitt are patrons, but the big names are not just on the guests’ register. The main restaurant at Claridge’s is run by no less than Gordon Ramsay. Back in the 1850s it is safe to say that no-one at Claridge’s ever imagined that a day would come when the restaurant’s main chef would be more famous than many of the guests, but such a time has come. Claridge’s is also famed for its tea rooms, and has been endorsed by those harbingers of all that is good in the world of tea, the Tea Guild.

Claridge’s is one of the few establishments in the world which has a specific water menu and water sommelier. Though this may seem in some people’s view to be rather excessive, the truth is that people have gone for the water menu in a big way, paying up to $16 a glass for the more esoteric brands of water. More conventionally, the hotel has two ground floor bars – one typical bar referred to as the main bar, and one – the Fumoir – which served as a cigar bar until the ban on smoking in public dining and drinking establishments was passed in  2007.

It is, undoubtedly, for its part in the War years that Claridge’s historians will reserve the greatest part of their stories.  A great many anecdotes exist from that time, including June the 17th, 1945 when suite 212 was ceded by the United Kingdom to the former Yugoslavia  to allow Crown Prince Alexander to be born on Yugoslav soil. Rumor has it that a sod of Yugoslav earth was placed underneath the bed during the labor. Famously, a diplomat rang the hotel in 1947 asking to speak to the King, to be met with the response “Certainly, Sir. But which one?”

To experience the opulence of Claridge’s for yourself, rooms start at about $700 per night. But what a night! To get the best hotel deal, compare online hotel booking sites for the best price at Claridge’s London!