Founded in 1837 by James Brown, Lord Byron's "gentleman's gentleman," this hotel occupying 11 Georgian town houses holds a treasured place in London society. Nowadays the interior has a slightly more modern edge, thanks to a top-to-bottom renovation by the Forte chain. Fans of the hotel still love the old world ambiance, although a few complain that it's not quite the atmospheric old place it used to be. Nonetheless, it's a well run operation, filled with the kinds of
top-end extras you'd expect with this kind of price tag. The subtle, contemporary guest rooms have office spaces and marble bathrooms equipped with luxurious products, while the staff is exceedingly professional.